The three leading Democratic candidates have ferociously courted the Des Moines Register, Iowa's leading newspaper, in hopes of winning its endorsement.
During the 2004 primary, former Sen. John Edwards snagged its endorsement. He has credited the backing of the liberal paper as helping him come from behind to finish second to winner John Kerry.
This time, Hillary Clinton was the perceived front-runner, and with three women making up the Register's editorial board, she appeared to be a slam dunk.
Several months back, the "inevitable" nominee, Sen. Clinton, invited the editorial board for breakfast at her hotel in Des Moines. The meeting "did not go so well," the New York Times reports.
Apparently, the editorial board members found Mrs. Clinton cold and less than chatty during their all-girl pow-wow. One of the board members, Carolyn Washburn, the editor of the Register, told the Times that after the meeting a Hillary aide called to apologize, admitting the talk was "pretty intense" and asking if they wanted to have another meeting with Hillary. This time they would get to "see her lighter side," Hillary aide was quoted as saying.
Since the disappointing meeting, the editorial board has been bombarded by Hillary surrogates. Recently, Bill Clinton was sent to visit the paper and personally made the case for his wife. His visit came after calls to editorial board members by Walter Mondale, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Madeleine Albright.
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