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Haircuts and hatchet jobs?

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It must be the day for attention-getting e-mail subject lines. \ \ “Hello from Hillaryland” reads one campaign e-mail from Sen. Hillary Clinton, New York Democrat.\ \ “What Inspires You?” asks Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois Democrat, in his fundraising request.\ \ But former Sen. John Edwards, North Carolina Democrat, takes the cake with a “Haircuts and hatchet jobs” subject on an e-mail blasting negative campaigning.\ \ “What happens when the candidate who will shake up Washington the most also has the best chance of getting elected?” the e-mail starts. “Everyone who likes things just the way they are gets scared and goes on the attack. If they can’t attack the substance, they’ll create ‘scandals’ any way they can. We are fighting back hard but we need your help.”\ \ Mr. Obama took a different tack, asking for cash but promising, “This is the last you will hear from me until after the June 30 deadline.”\ \ The Hillaryland memo was an update on the former first lady’s recent activities, and encourages supporters to host a debate watch party July 23.\ \ Mr. Edwards’ deputy campaign manager Jonathan Prince said the other candidates are attacking his boss because they fear he is the only candidate who can win a general election, and said it is a repeat of the 2004 campaign.\ \ “Last time they attacked his hair; this time it’s his haircut. But it’s the same sad game. And this time, we can beat it,” Mr. Prince wrote, adding a postscript trying to debunk the New York Times story on the Edwards poverty center.\ \ New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has his own ploy — comparing himself to former President Clinton. “It was only 16 years ago that another small state governor found himself facing better funded and more well-known rivals. As late as December 1991, 70% of Americans didn’t even know who this candidate was,” wrote pollster Paul Maslin in the Richardson e-mail. “But by December 1992 Bill Clinton was preparing to move in to the Oval Office. If Bill Richardson can get enough people like you behind him, there is absolutely nothing stopping him from taking off. But to get to those voters, we need resources now.”\ \ — Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter, The Washington Times

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Christina Bellantoni

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