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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hillary Clinton Supporters Meet With McCain Campaign

Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard who is a major McCain campaign aide, met Tuesday with 25 former Hillary Clinton backers who, this article states, told Fiorina that they are "uncomfortable" about a "President Obama."

These are not just Hillary Clinton backers, though - they are major fundraisers. And getting them to either not back Obama, or even to support McCain, would be a huge coup for the GOP.

McCain Surrogate Fiorina Meets With Clinton Supporters

The McCain campaign dispatched its top female surrogate Tuesday to meet with about 25 disaffected supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton in Westchester, N.Y.

Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Co. and a top adviser to Republican Sen. John McCain, met with the former Clinton backers at a private home for more than an hour and a half. Fiorina said in an interview that over glasses of iced tea and finger food, she fielded questions from Democratic women she described as “intensely uncomfortable with the notion of a President Obama.’’

Both McCain and his Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama have both been courting the 17 million or so people who voted for the New York senator during the primary season.

The Westchester meeting came at the behest of former Clinton supporters, some of whom have said – adamantly – that they won’t support Obama. Polls show Obama winning the majority of support from women voters while about a quarter of ex-Clinton supporters are leaning toward McCain. The meeting wasn’t stocked with typical voters, however. These were prominent activists and fund-raisers, including several known as “Hillraisers,’’ who raised more than $100,000 for Clinton during the primary season. “I didn’t ask how many of them were Hillraisers but certainly a number of them were,’’ Fiorina said.

Nor, Fiorina said, did she ask the women whether Clinton knew they had arranged the meeting with her. Clinton has endorsed Obama and urged her supporters to help defeat McCain.

Amy Siskind, a former Wall Street executive who helped organize the meeting, declined to identify most the attendees, citing their desire for privacy. She said that some of the recently formed pro-Hillary organizations that have been critical of Sen. Obama–such as, which officially hosted the event, and had representatives there. lists its founders as Jill Iscol, Lady Lynn de Rothschild, Gretchen Glasscock, “and 50 more to be added very soon.”

Fiorina and participants said the town-hall style meeting covered a variety of issues, from health care to foreign policy to workplace rights. While many of the subjects could be described as of particular interest to women, many were not. One topic that got little attention: abortion rights. “John McCain has a very strong record of being pro-life, as do I,’’ Fiorina said. “They knew that. This was not a one-issue crowd.’’

Siskind said Fiorina agreed to provide details regarding McCain’s stances on mandating health insurance coverage for birth control pills, federal mandates for paid maternity leave and a reinvigoration of federal legislation aimed at giving women equal pay for comparable work.

Siskind said the group told Fiorina that if McCain would give some concrete assurances of support on such issues, the people in the room and the organizations they represented could help deliver “hundreds of thousands and maybe millions of votes” to the presumptive Republican nominee.

Fiorina, who recently held a similar meeting in Ohio, predicted there would be more. Of Clinton, the lifelong Republican said this: “I have said on many occasions that I have great empathy for her.’’

Notice that Hillary Clinton has not been seen much speaking for Obama. He wants her to vanish, but wants her supporters to back him with money and votes.

Yet it looks like a good 1/3rd won't be doing either. And that, my friends, is what we call a fatal illness.

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