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Obama Allure Tempts Team Hillary

Her black operatives are eyeing the other guy.

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B arack Obama’s potential presidential run is creating a quandary for Hillary Clinton’s African-American operatives. “I’m in a bad dilemma,” says Bill Lynch, a Harlem-based lobbyist, political strategist, and former deputy mayor under David Dinkins. “He’s reached out to have a meeting with us and I have not said no.” In 2000 and 2006, Lynch was retained by Clinton to do work for her campaigns, and he was planning on working for her again in ’08. But the prospect of a “rock star” black candidate in the race changes things, Lynch says. He plans to meet with Obama’s office in the coming weeks (though Kevin Wardally, who works for Lynch and consulted for Clinton, says she’s still their first choice). Clinton enjoys a 95 percent approval rating among black voters, Lynch operatives note, thanks in some part to their groundwork. Asked about losing consultants like Lynch to Obama, Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson says: “I’ve loved working with Bill Lynch. The senator has loved working with Bill Lynch. And we look forward to talking with him about the future.”

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