Top of the ballot: Gillibrand and Obama make a date

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) gets more help from the White House, California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (R) wants everyone to know she's more conservative than Tom Campbell (R) and former Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawaii) shares a fake phone call with President Obama.

Buffalo's lovely this time of year

President Obama travels to Buffalo on May 13 -- apparently at the request of New York's junior senator.

The Buffalo News reports, "An array of local politicians, including [Buffalo Mayor Byron] Brown, have made a pitch to the president for a visit, but a White House official said Obama was going to Buffalo at the behest" of Gillibrand.

"This shows his strong commitment to the region," Gillibrand told the paper. "It is something I advocated for, because I believe Western New York can play a leading role in America's economic recovery."

Earlier this year the White House moved to dissuade possible primary challengers not to run against Gillibrand. She now has a clear path to the nomination and hasn't drawn a top-tier Republican challenger. 

Card carrying conservative

California Republicans run to the right in their primaries, but always the risk is that they won’t be able to pivot to the center in the general election. It seems Fiorina is taking that risk now.

On Thursday she locked up the endorsement of Sarah Palin and then burnished her conservative credentials in a debate with GOP rivals Chuck DeVore and Tom Campbell.

At one point the candidates were asked whether individuals on the no-fly list should be permitted to buy firearms, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Campbell, who has been leading in several polls, said they should not, but both Fiorina and DeVore disagreed.

"Oh my goodness," Campbell said after the other two candidates answered.

 Fiorina added, "That's why Tom Campbell has kind of a poor rating from the National Rifle Assn., right there."

'Ed, great to hear from you'

Ed Case has emerged as the Democratic establishment candidate in the Hawaii special election set for May 22. Not only does he have the backing of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, he's also got the White House on his side, that's according to a new TV ad his campaign released Thursday.

During a montage of photos of Obama and the White House, the narrator says, "only one candidate's strong enough to stand with the president: Ed Case."

The 30-second ad also says that Republican Charles Djou wants to be the "exact opposite" of Obama. It ends with a split screen of Obama and Case both talking on the phone. 

The Hawaii Republican Party called it a "Hail Mary" pass by Case's campaign.


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