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Bill Clinton to campaign for Garamendi in SF

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton will host a rally* with 10th Congressional District candidate and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi on Tuesday in South San Francisco.

The public event begins around 2:30 p.m. at the San Francisco Basque Cultural Center, 599 Railroad Ave., in South San Francisco.

Clinton has endorsed Garamendi in the congressional race, and the lieutenant governor says the president promised to make a personal appearance during the campaign if he could fit it into his schedule.

Unfortunately for Garamendi, Clinton doesn’t have enough time to travel to the 10th District, presumably the preferred location for a the chance to publicly stand next to the popular former president. Clinton is in the Bay Area to attend the PGA President’s Cup at Harding Golf Course in San Francisco and has to catch a flight later Tuesday.

Clinton is in Los Angeles, today, campaigning for gubernatorial hopeful and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Garamendi says he vividly remembers a two-hour conversation in 1991 with then-presidential candidate Clinton about health care reform in 1991, when then-Insurance Commissioner Garamendi was working on a California version of a single-payer health insurance system.

“We go way back on health care,” Garamendi said of Clinton. “And here we are today, talking about the same issue.”

Garamendi won the Sept. 1 special primary election and will face on Nov. 3 GOP nominee David Harmer of Dougherty Valley and three minor party candidates.

* Update: Subject of rally no longer limited to healthcare but will cover a range of issues. 11:43 a.m.

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Wednesday’s DNC video highlights

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., moves to halt the roll call and nominate Barack Obama by acclimation:

Former President Bill Clinton:

2004 Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.:

And I’ll update with Joe Biden‘s vice-presidential nomination acceptance speech — and his special unannounced guest — as soon as clean clips are available…

UPDATE @ 10:17 P.M.: Here we are:

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Robert Reich endorses Obama

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, now a professor at the University of California at Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, has blogged today that he endorses Barack Obama for president. This comes about a month after Bill Richardson, a fellow Clinton Administration cabinet member and longtime friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, also went against them. Will James Carville call him a Judas too?

“Although Hillary Clinton has offered solid and sensible policy proposals, Obama’s strike me as even more so,” Reich writes, later adding Obama “offers the best hope of transcending the boundaries of class, race, and nationality that have divided us” and “offers the best possibility of restoring America’s moral authority in the world.”

Reich’s endorsement comes on the heels of his passionate defense of Obama in the hubbub following the candidate’s “bitter” remark at a fundraiser April 6 in San Francisco.

It’s not as if Obama is sweeping the old Clinton cabinet, however — former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; former Secretary of Defense William Perry; and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo all have endorsed Hillary Clinton.

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Can you say “running mate?”

ap-photo-alex-brandon.jpgNew Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson endorsed Barack Obama for president this morning at a joint appearance in Portland, Ore.

“Today I am endorsing Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States because I believe he is the kind of once-in-a-lifetime leader that can bring our nation together and restore America’s moral leadership in the world,” he said. “As a Presidential candidate, I know full well Senator Obama’s unique ability to inspire the American people to confront our urgent challenges at home and abroad in a spirit of bipartisanship and reconciliation.”

Richardson served seven terms in Congress before being appointed by President Clinton to serve as Ambassador to the United Nations and, later, Secretary of Energy; he was elected governor in 2002 and again in 2006. His track record includes negotiating with hostile regimes for the release of American prisoners, and he has been active both in seeking to secure loose nuclear materials and in seeking to end the genocide in Darfur.

Said Obama: “He knows that to secure American interests, we have to talk to our enemies, as well as our friends, which is why he stood up to North Korea and Saddam Hussein to secure the release of American hostages. And that’s the kind of tough, aggressive diplomacy we need to meet the new challenges of the 21st century.”

Richardson’s among the Democratic superdelegates who most likely will end up determining the nomination this year, and could help tip more superdelegates Obama’s way, but I think there could be something more significant going on here.

Ever since Richardson dropped his own White House campaign in January, I’ve been among those saying he’d make a potent running mate for either Obama or Hillary Clinton, but especially for Obama. The nation’s only Latino governor, he would help Obama make deeper inroads into that community, and his foreign-policy chops would help blunt criticisms of Obama’s relative inexperience; Clinton needs less help in both those areas. Richardson would help strengthen either Democratic ticket in John McCain’s southwestern regional home base. And Richardson left the race before he’d said anything too harsh about Obama or Clinton that the GOP could turn back against him later this year.

the-two-bills.jpgI’d been waiting to see whether Richardson’s longstanding ties and loyalty to the Clintons would win out — he and Bill Clinton watched the Super Bowl together last month — but now that he has cast his lot, I’d not be surprised if you see him taking a verrrrrrry active role in Obama’s campaign from here on out.

UPDATE @ 2:24 P.M. FRIDAY: Maybe Richardson waited until now because only now are people and pundits beginning to grapple with the true state of the race for the Democratic nomination: He didn’t want to betray the Clintons’ friendship while she still stood a realistic chance.

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Bill Clinton’s coming back

Hillary Clinton‘s campaign says former President Bill Clinton, after visiting Orange County and Sacramento, will stage “Solutions for America” rallies tomorrow, Monday, Feb. 4, in Stockton and San Francisco.

The Stockton event will be at 2 p.m. in the University of the Pacific‘s Alex G. Spanos Arena — I wonder if that makes Spanos, a big GOP benefactor, break out in hives? — at 3601 Pacific Ave. Details of the San Francisco visit haven’t been rolled out yet; stay tuned.

UPDATE @ 12:05 P.M. MONDAY: Former President Bill Clinton will attend a “Voices Across America” town hall hosted by Mayor Gavin Newsom at San Francisco’s Ferry Building, on the Embarcadero at Market Street; doors open at 4:30 p.m. At 6 p.m., Hillary Clinton will start a live national town hall, being broadcast from New York City on the Hallmark Channel; there also will be a real-time stream of the event on the campaign’s Web site.

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Truth squad, meet the rapid responders!

And now, one day after Barack Obama‘s campaign rolled out its California “truth squad,” Hillary Clinton‘s campaign has unveiled its “rapid responders” in the Feb. 5 primary states, “a national group of truth tellers who will respond to inaccurate or misleading attacks directed at Senator and President Clinton,” the news release says.

In California, it’s state Controller John Chiang; state NAACP president Alice Huffman; San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom; Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles; and former U.S. Rep. Lynn Schenk, D-San Diego.

Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of truthiness! Perhaps we can have a Celebrity Deathmatch-type showdown — maybe Gavin can represent Clinton against Kamala Harris for Obama, or maybe a battle of the Lynns: Woolsey v. Schenk.