The Washington Times - March 17, 2008, 07:12PM
Sen. John McCainHillary Clinton SEE RELATED:

Barack Obama
A year ago, no one would have guessed our party’s primary season would still be going this strong. But that’s not the only surprise of this election season.\ \ Democrats are voting in larger numbers than anyone expected, and this record turnout shows incredible promise for the general election ahead of us.\ \ But we also have a problem. John McCain has already sewn up the Republican nomination, and he’s free to raise money and campaign all across the country.\ \ The past few days, he’s taken his campaign on a world tour at taxpayer expense. This weekend, he made a “surprise” stop in Iraq, trying to re-frame five years of steadfast support for George Bush’s war with photo ops and press releases.\ \ We can’t afford to wait for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama to win the Democratic nomination — they’re focused on winning the nomination while John McCain is focused on winning the White House. We are the only organization that can look beyond the primaries and lay the groundwork for Hillary or Barack to inherit if they win. They can’t run against John McCain yet, but we can do it for them.\ \ I need you to make a donation now so that we can continue our campaign against John McCain. Hillary or Barack will need the infrastructure in place as soon as they’re nominated:\ \\ \ Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are generating the sort of passion this country hasn’t seen in a long time. Both of them are bringing new Democrats into the process — and reactivating old ones who haven’t voted in years.\ \ In Texas, 2.8 million Democratic ballots were cast in our Party’s primary. That’s more votes than Al Gore or John Kerry received in Texas in the past two general elections.\ \ Now states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Oregon, and Kentucky will have their chance to impact the presidential nomination process. That’s more states that Barack or Hillary may never have visited if not for the enthusiasm everyone has for them. It’s also more states where voters will show up in record numbers for the primary and general elections.\ \ The energy we’re seeing across the country is what the 50-State Strategy is all about: giving Democrats a party that can compete in areas we’ve continually ignored in past elections. It’s not easy, and it’s not cheap, but it’s the best way for our party to win.\ \ But every day that the Democratic primary continues, John McCain is hitting the campaign trail, misleading the American people about his record, contradicting himself on the issues, and attacking Hillary and Barack.\ \ I need you to contribute right now so Hillary or Barack can make it to the White House in November.\ \ It’s clear that there are benefits to a healthy, contested primary. But right now, John McCain thinks he can get a free pass while our campaigns are focused on each other.\ \ You and I aren’t going to let John McCain get ahead — and we’re going to do that by making sure Americans hear the truth about him.\ \ From the war in Iraq and tax cuts for corporate special interests, McCain has put forth an astonishingly simple agenda: continue the Bush Administration’s failed policies for another four years.\ \ It’s not just the Iraq War and tax breaks for the wealthy where John McCain falls in line with President Bush. Even on the unconventional issues that gave John McCain his “maverick” reputation, he has traded his integrity for a chance at the presidency.\ \ This may not be news to you, but too many Americans don’t know the facts about the Republican candidate for president, and Hillary or Barack can’t get started just yet. Make a donation today and support our efforts to take him head-on and lay the groundwork for them:\ \ Thank you,\ \ Howard Dean

Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter, The Washington Times