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Is Hillary Secret Rev. Al Ally?

New way to attack Barack.

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Does Al Sharpton have an agreement with the Clintons to help them handle their Barack Obama problem? Obama’s camp thinks so. “It’s no state secret that he’s with Hillary, and that’s fine,” says a source close to Obama. Often critical of the centrist Clinton White House, Sharpton was far from Lincoln Bedroom material—and the Clintons weren’t regulars at Sharpton’s House of Justice in Harlem either. Now, according to a Sharpton source, the Clintons have enacted “a full-court press” peppered with “personal touches” to win Al over. (Bill called Sharpton to offer condolences after James Brown’s death, the source says; Obama only wrote a note.) Sharpton insists he’s not with anyone yet and is eager to hear from the star-studded lineup of candidates (Obama, Hillary, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich) slated to speak at his National Action Network Convention this month. Sharpton’s on-again-off-again mentor, Jesse Jackson, who has all but officially endorsed Obama, resolved a “scheduling conflict” and will make it, too. “I’ll be there,” Jackson says, pooh-poohing the Sharpton-Clinton alliance as “a cheap analysis.”

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