Thursday, October 26, 2006

Big dogs to help Bell

From the Houston Chronicle

AUSTIN - It's Clinton versus Bush versus Kerry all over again in the Texas governor's race as Democrats and Republicans work to turn out their base for the Nov. 7 election.

GOP Gov. Rick Perry's campaign blog touted a "huge political rally" for their candidate in Dallas on Nov. 6 featuring President Bush. Supporters call Bush a definite plus despite the dent that issues, including the Iraq war, have made in his poll numbers.

Although neither the White House nor Perry's campaign would officially confirm attendance, Perry's camp has asked supporters how many free tickets they want for the event, which is expected to include other statewide elected officials.

On the Democratic side, former President Clinton is recording get-out-the-vote "robo-calls" and radio ads for candidate Chris Bell, said spokeswoman Heather Guntert. The campaign also is hoping for a Clinton visit.

U.S. Sen. John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat who sought to unseat Bush two years ago, will be featured at a $1,000-a-person Bell fundraiser Friday in Austin.

"It really sends a message about Democrats coming home," said Bell. "We're trying to get the Democratic Party to unite, and if we do, we win. I think he helps a great deal in that regard."

Bell's camp sees no downside despite Kerry's 2004 loss and the criticism that Clinton still can draw. Guntert, who worked in the Clinton White House, said Democrats are "nostalgic for the Clinton presidency."

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