Yankees fan Giuliani rooting for Sox
Rudy Giuliani lives and dies with the Yankees, but said yesterday that he will be backing the archrival Boston Red Sox over the Colorado Rockies when the World Series begins today.
"I'm rooting for the Red Sox," Giuliani said during a news conference in Boston's financial district to accept the endorsement of former Massachusetts state treasurer Joseph D. Malone. "I am an American League fan."
The former New York mayor said he wasn't pandering to the local crowd or to Sox fans in neighboring New Hampshire, home of the first primary.
"I am not just saying that because I am in Massachusetts. If I am in Colorado in the next week or two, you will see that I have the courage to tell the people of Colorado the same thing," he said.
JAMES W. PINDELL
Obama steps up ads in N.H.
Barack Obama's new TV ads are coming fast and furious, now, part of his push to close the gap between him and Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire.
Obama's campaign yesterday unveiled its fourth ad in the Granite State, which touts Obama's work as a community organizer and his willingness to forgo a more lucrative career path and includes a testimonial from Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe.
Also yesterday, Obama targeted black voters in South Carolina with a new radio ad on 36 gospel and R&B stations featuring US Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, the son of the civil rights activist.
"Once, South Carolina voted for my father and sent a strong message to the nation," Jackson says in the 60-second ad.
"Next year, you can send more than a message. You can launch a president."
Obama plans a gospel tour through South Carolina this weekend. The tour has caused a hiccup for his campaign because one of the performers is an outspoken critic of homosexuality.
Motherly image for Clinton
Hillary Clinton, who is turning 60 on Friday, has been cultivating a more traditional, motherly image, even joking about how, at her age, she doesn't mind all the attention she's getting from the younger men in the race.
Women who make jokes like that don't always like talking about their age, but Clinton is not being at all bashful. Her husband sent out an e-mail to supporters asking them to write her a birthday wish. "My wish for her is simple," he says in a video. "To have the opportunity as president to do what she loves best, to help every child in our country live up to his or her God-given potential."
In a new interview, Hillary Clinton says her spouse often brings her romantic gifts: a giant wooden giraffe from an African trip, for example, and a Chanel watch that reminded him of teeth. The watch had a bracelet made of white cubes. "Oh, he's so romantic," Hillary Clinton says in the November issue of Essence magazine.
MARCELLA BOMBARDIERI, ASSOCIATED PRESS
LAS VEGAS - Lauding the National Rifle Association is not usually an applause line for a Democratic presidential candidate, but Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico - knowing his audience - was cheered when he boasted that he has the NRA's top rating.
"I'm a sportsman like you," Richardson told the officers of a pipe fitters and plumbers union.
Richardson is running behind in national polls, but hopes to score an upset win in gun-friendly Nevada, scheduled to hold caucuses Jan. 19, to help keep his campaign alive.
The nominee will be decided not by the "chattering class" in Washington, but by people in "the living rooms of Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada," Richardson said.
"America loves an underdog. They love a dark horse. These little states that are so important in electing presidents - I believe they are going to send a message."
Biden pushes healthcare
DES MOINES - Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden Jr. called yesterday for expanding access to health coverage for all children and adults, but stopped short of mandating universal coverage.
Biden's plan also looks to improve coverage for catastrophic illnesses, modernize the healthcare system, and encourage wellness.
"I don't think you are going to need to mandate. When affordable healthcare is available, people will buy it, they'll step into it," he told reporters after speaking to a packed auditorium at a private medical school.
Biden said his plan would cost between $80 billion and $110 billion each year. It would be paid for by rolling back tax cuts for the top 1 percent of earners, eliminating tax breaks on capital gains and dividends, and ending tax loopholes for hedge fund managers and private equity partners, his campaign said.
Hard work, white hair
DES MOINES - Chris Dodd has an explanation for why his hair is white - hard work.
In a new television ad airing in Iowa, the Democratic presidential candidate argues that his hair turned white because of the work he's done in Congress. Dodd, 63, was elected to the House in 1974 and to the Senate in 1980.
The commercial features barbers discussing Dodd's hair, interspersed with the Connecticut senator noting his accomplishments, including peace deals in Central America and Northern Ireland and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Dodd is devoting more attention to Iowa, adding to his staff in the state and renting a house in Des Moines for his family. Polls of likely Iowa caucus-goers indicate that support for Dodd is in the low single digits.