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“Be a Hillraiser” is one of the more popular new slogans for the presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary RodhamClinton of New York, though her leading Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, responded Wednesday that “change can’t just be a slogan.”

And earlier this week he said, “I’m skinny, but I’m tough. … If I win the nomination against Hillary Clinton, then I must be pretty tough. They don’t play. They’re very serious about winning.”

No matter who wins, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean says he will nominate Mrs. Pelosi as convention chairwoman during the opening session of the Denver convention. He’s nominating as co-chairwomen Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (she’s chairwoman of the Democratic Governors Association), Texas state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (she’s president of the National Conference of State Legislatures), and Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin (she’s president of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors).

Going black

Thanks to the ambiguous ending to the popular HBO series “The Sopranos,” nobody knows whether Tony Soprano is alive or dead.

But if he were alive — as in really alive — U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox says, Tony’s life would be a living hell.

Addressing the New York Society of Security Analysts, Mr. Cox pointed out: “Think about what it must be like to be Tony Soprano or one of his pals. While we’re enjoying the fine fare at the Sheraton tonight, Tony and the other fictional Sopranos — and for that matter the real-world characters upon whom their roles are loosely based — might instead be pondering an uneasy and uncertain life of munching onion rings in a Jersey diner.

“They might appear to be enjoying the company of their families, but in truth they’ll always have to cock an ear toward that scooted chair, or watch out of the corner of their eye as that stranger walks by their booth. For someone who’s led a life of compromised ethics, it can all go black in a moment’s notice.”

c John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmc