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Puller Angry over Clinton Straw Poll Win

Tim Craig

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) won a presidential straw poll Saturday night sponsored by the Mount Vernon District Democratic Committee in Fairfax County, but the results have left at least one supporter of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) bitter.

Clinton received 100 votes, compared to 80 for Obama. "We are thrilled by our growing support across Virginia," Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee said in a statement Saturday. "Northern Virginians are responding to Senator Clinton because they know she is the candidate most ready to lead from day one and who can best get our country back on the right track."

But at a press conference this morning to announce that 10 state senators are endorsing Obama, Sen. Linda T. "Toddy" Puller (D-Fairfax) accused the Clinton campaign of skewing the results by sending "young people" from Arlington to cast votes for Clinton.

"They were not from Mount Vernon, they were from Arlington," Puller said. "This type of behavior is why people, and, particularly young people, are turned off by politics as usual and why we they are demanding change."

The Clinton campaign was not immediately available for comment, but it's not unusual for campaigns to stack straw polls with their supporters. While such polls are usually meaningless in terms of broader public opinion, they can help gauge a campaign's organization skills.

But Puller was offended. "It's time to put an end to do-anything-to-win politics," she said.

Besides Puller, Obama was endorsed today by: Sens. Henry L. Marsh III and Donald A. McEachin, both of Richmond, Janet D. Howell of Fairfax, R. Edward Houck of Spotsylvania, L. Louise Lucas of Portsmouth ,John S. Edwards of Roanoke, Mark R. Herring of Loudoun, Mamie E. Locke of Hampton and Ralph Northam of Norfolk.

"This election is to important," said Lucas, who had been a Clinton supporter. "It is not enough to change the party in power in Washington, we also got to change the status quo."

By Tim Craig  |  February 4, 2008; 11:47 AM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/President , Tim Craig  
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Comments

Sounds like good old fashioned politics to me. And with the primary only 8 days away, when real votes count, this is little more than A Tempest in a Teapot.

In November, Sen. Puller will be happy to have those Arlingtonians walking the neighborhoods of Fairfax campaigning for either Clinton or Obama. The Senator's looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Posted by: NoVA | February 4, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I attended the event Saturday. I saw three young people from Arlington there, hardly enough to score an upset, plus I would think Sen Puller would be happy for the extra money raised for the party by their attendance. There were lots of people there from other jurisdictions so not sure what the Sen has against Arlington. It was a great party but I don't think Senator Puller was even there so not sure on what she based her comments - very strange!

Posted by: Arlingtonian for Hillary | February 5, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I attended the event Saturday. I saw three young people from Arlington there, hardly enough to score an upset, plus I would think Sen Puller would be happy for the extra money raised for the party by their attendance. There were lots of people there from other jurisdictions so not sure what the Sen has against Arlington. It was a great party but I don't think Senator Puller was even there so not sure on what she based her comments - very strange!

Posted by: Arlingtonian for Hillary | February 5, 2008 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Come on Hillary folks, you know you paid for a contingent to come to the Mt. Vernon straw poll. Toddy was at the aprty. It's all just for fun. All the funds raised go to elect Democrats in the fall and we except that we will all work together to do that.

Posted by: Mary in Alexandria | February 5, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Trying to characterize Toddy Puller as "angry" in this context is just silly.

I was there at the straw poll and spoke with Toddy. We all know that Obama is far and away the grassroots choice in Mount Vernon and we expected him to win the straw poll. Because the Clinton camp wrote a check to cover 90 folks and then asked as many people to come to the straw poll was in fact, a sign of willingness to do what it takes, and as an Obama supporter (who incidentally will be proud to support either as our nominee) I commend them for that effort. I also thank them for supporting our event. I still think Obama will rack up the wins in Mount Vernon precincts come next Tuesday, however.

Posted by: Doug in Mount Vernon | February 5, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I truly hope that people choose a candidate with BOTH their head and heart. If you look objectively and without prejudice, Hillary is a brilliant woman with established multifaceted expertise in wide range of domains. Although Obama is a nice guy, but his depth of knowledge and know-how is quite limited, and unimpressive.

The major changes of the human history are not done by nice speakers, but with determined individuals with immense richness of brain and heart. We have such woman in this race :)..

Hillary 08.

Posted by: Meg | February 6, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Barack Hussein Obama... Out of the clouds, into the light with more clarity, focuses on Presidential run.

Just say NO to Obama (and drugs - specifically Obama youth supporters)!

"Dreams From My Father"
Mr. Obama's account of his younger self and drugs, though, significantly differs from the recollections of others who do not recall his drug use. That could suggest he was so private about his usage that few people were aware of it, that the memories of those who knew him decades ago are fuzzy or rosier out of a desire to protect him, or that he added some writerly touches in his memoir to make the challenges he overcame seem more dramatic.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23080205/

Posted by: Prakaithip | February 9, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Is Obama really for ALL people, or just a select group?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZXeNk7H3u4

This is a serious point that the news is NOT sharing....

Posted by: dara | February 11, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

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