With both candidates in agreement on a broad range of issues, the two rivals appear to be hoping that late-deciding voters will support the candidate who offers the best dental plan.
Speaking to 400 supporters in a high school cafeteria in Cleveland, Ohio, recently, Sen. Clinton made an emotional appeal to voters, saying that she has been "working to keep Americans' teeth healthy and shiny" for the past 35 years. "When I was campaigning in Cincinnati, I met a mother of two who had a horrible overbite," she said. "I told her that I will be ready to get braces on those choppers on Day One." Sen. Clinton was harshly critical of Sen. Obama's dental plan, which she said "would leave 15 million people without bridgework or root canals."
For his part, Sen. Obama blasted Sen. Clinton's proposal at a stadium in Beaumont, Texas, where he spoke to a capacity crowd of more than 90,000 people. "Sen. Clinton's plan only offers five dollars for every tooth extracted," he said. "The tooth fairy gives you more than that."
But in a possible preview of the fall general election campaign, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) blasted both Democratic rivals in a speech at an El Paso retirement home: "My friends, neither of their plans says anything about dentures."
Elsewhere, President Bush expressed support for Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, telling reporters, "Just because somebody didn't get the most votes doesn't mean he shouldn't be president."