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Obama Absent as ’08 Hopefuls Hit Town

Candidates and donors must dance around Hillary.

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The midterms are history, and Democratic presidential wannabes are already looking at Hillary’s home turf. One day after the election, Joseph Biden had scheduled fund-raising cocktails at the home of advertising executive Michael Sennott, co-hosted by hedge-funder Terence Meehan, but at the last minute had to pull out because he had a cold. On Tuesday, John Edwards will be here to promote his book Home: The Blueprints of Our Lives, probably followed by some sort of fund-raiser. On the 28th, philanthropist and Dem fund-raiser Fern Hurst will throw a party for Elizabeth Edwards and her book, Saving Graces. The big question is, where’s Barack Obama? “If he is serious about running, he should have started meeting with New York donors yesterday,” says Toni Goodale, a Dem fund-raiser (who favors Mike Bloomberg for prez). The problem for everybody, of course, is Senator Clinton. “At this point in the game, there’s no excuses,” says John Catsimatidis, a Clinton supporter who says New York donors fear appearing disloyal if they give to someone else. “What are you really going to say, that you’re giving to Joe Biden’s Senate campaign?”

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