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by TED S. McGREGOR JR. & r & & r & Clinton Country? & r & & r & As one of the most female-run states ever, Washington could turn out to be a Hillary haven. And with the caucuses bearing down this week, esteemed members of our political class have laid their cards on the table. Not surprisingly, both of Washington's U.S. Senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, have come out for Clinton -- as has former Gov. Gary Locke and current Lt. Gov. Brad Owen. But here in Eastern Washington, state Sens. Lisa Brown and Chris Marr have come out in support of Barack Obama.





Perhaps wisely, Gov. Chris Gregoire is staying out of it -- after all, if one of them becomes president, she may need their help. And our own power-woman, Mayor Mary Verner, is keeping her presidential pick to herself, as well.





Callers A-Coming?


As of press time, the Super Tuesday scrum was not settled, but the more in doubt the races remain, the more likely it is that Washington and perhaps Spokane will get a visit from a real, live presidential candidate this week. Pay attention, or you'll miss it.





Hip-Hop the Vote


Like a lot of African-Americans, musician/producer Will.i.am has felt Barack Obama's speeches in a visceral way. But Will.i.am, of the Black Eyed Peas, turned his inspiration into art, producing a music video version of Obama's New Hampshire speech, with an all-star lineup of musicians, singers and pop culture icons set atop Obama's actual words. (Watch it on YouTube.)





Why did he produce the video, in just two days, calling in every favor in the music biz he could muster? "I hope this song will make you feel... love... and think... and be inspired just like the speech inspired me..." Will.i.am wrote on The Huffington Post.





"Let's all come together like America is supposed to..."





The Real Thing


Speaking of coming together, it seems like bridging that liberal/conservative divide may be more than another fad. John McCain-endorsing California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has obviously found out, now that his wife, Maria Shriver, has endorsed Barack Obama. But the real proof was on display during the Super Bowl ads, when James Carville and Bill Frist shared a Coke-fueled frolic through Washington, D.C. Pretty soon somebody really will lead a campaign crowd through a chorus of "Kumbaya."
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