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Is Bill Clinton Raising Money For Mike Ross? UPDATED: Yes

Politico runs a beat sweetener on Mike Ross today, positing him as a bravely bold centrist under fire from the liberals and conservatives (so he must be just right!), with an EXTREMELY buried lede. At the tail end of the article comes this nugget:

Whether or not any of the mud has stuck to him, Ross isn’t taking any chances back home.

Ross, who got his start in politics as a personal driver for Bill Clinton during Clinton’s 1982 Arkansas gubernatorial campaign, will bring his old friend and former boss to his campaign kickoff in the town of Hope.

OK, this says “campaign kickoff.” I don’t know if that means a fundraiser, a public event, or what, but regardless of the mechanism, this is a Bill Clinton endorsement of Mike Ross. The guy who has been out front among the Blue Dogs in opposing a public option and supporting worthless co-ops.

At Netroots Nation, Bill Clinton asked progressives to settle for whatever bill that can get out of Congress. Apparently that means settling for whatever Mike Ross wants.

I’m trying to get confirmation from Pres. Clinton’s office on what this “campaign kickoff” is all about.

UPDATE: Right from Ross’ campaign site:

Join President Bill Clinton and me in Hot Springs on October 17th!

I am sure you’ve seen the attacks on me in the past few weeks by powerful special interest groups questioning my character and running negative TV ads against me.

I need your help now more than ever before. I am kicking off my re-election campaign Saturday, October 17th, 2009 at 5 pm at Horner Hall at the Hot Springs Convention Center. My good friend, President Bill Clinton, will be the special guest. Tickets are $100 or whatever you can afford. Please come and invite your friends. It is important to show that we will not back down and not give in to those trying to destroy me.

I can’t do this alone. Your contribution to my campaign committee will help me respond to the special interests’ attack ads that are up on TV now, and are likely to continue through November 2010.

So, it’s a fundraiser, that’s confirmed. Nice to see Ross playing the martyrdom role, too.

…as for this proposal from Ross to open up Medicare to people under 65, first of all he disowns the proposal the moment he mentions it, and second, he would only consider it if Medicare rates were increased so much it would bankrupt the government. Not a serious plan at all.

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David Dayen

David Dayen