High-profile politicians canvass California


Former Republican New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani dropped by this the state this week, but more rock stars of politics are making a swing through California.

Former President Bill Clinton started in the southland Friday in Orange County and heads to the Bay Area over the weekend.

While former Republican Alaska governor and vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin addressed a crowd in San Jose on Thursday and one in Sacramento on Friday before heading to Orange County.

"Your next governor will have to make tough choices about spending cuts and certainly, she will be working in bi-partisan manner," said Palin.

"We're not going to reward extremist rhetoric anymore. Get to work on the stuff that matters. That's the message of the new generation," said Howard Dean, the former Democratic Party chairman.

And they're not done.

Republican Sen. John McCain from Arizona, heads to San Diego this weekend, while President Obama visits next week; his wife will visit in late October.

For the first time in a long time, major seats in a blue-leaning state are competitive. There's the tight Governor's race, pitting Republican Meg Whitman against Democrat Jerry Brown. And the new Rasmussen poll shows Democratic incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer in a dead heat with GOP challenger Carly Fiorina in the US Senate race.

"California's in play. The passion and excitement is on the Republican side, plus this state's in play. That's huge for the GOP," said Eric Hogue, a conservative radio host.

"We're going to need as much help as we from folks like Clinton and Obama to pull this thing out," says Roger Salazar, a Democratic strategist.

But you won't see either Whitman or Fiorina campaigning alongside Palin. Palin is popular with Republican Party loyalists, but unappealing to independent voters. The candidates have to play in the middle.

"Carly and Meg are trying to get votes and the votes they don't have right now is that middle ground," said Hogue.

"The Republicans are doing everything they can to run away from Sarah Palin. So, I think it tells you about where our state is," said Salazar.

The Democrats appear to have the bigger task. Political watchers have noted that the constituents of the Democratic Party are less motivated to go to the polls this year.

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