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Clinton Confab in Selma

It wasn't enough that Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) -- the two leading contenders for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination -- were descending on Selma, Alabama this weekend. Now, former President Bill Clinton will be there as well.

Clinton (Bill that is) will be inducted into the Voting Rights Hall of Fame on Sunday and has decided to attend the ceremony in person. Hillary Clinton was initially expected to simply appear in her husband's stead but an opening in Bill Clinton's schedule will allow the former First Couple to appear together, according to sources familiar with the planning.

Both Hillary Clinton and Obama had been previously scheduled to be in the city to commemorate the 1965 civil rights march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The two candidates will speak at separate churches prior to the ceremonial walk across the bridge.

Clinton and Obama are engaged in a taut contest for the support of the black community. A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll showed Obama making considerable gains among this crucial voting bloc in the month since he announced his candidacy.

Bill Clinton is a revered figure in the black community. The very mention of his name at a historically black university in South Carolina brought extended applause and author Toni Morrison has called him "America's first black president."

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 1, 2007; 6:02 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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