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Ken Starr will be in Cary to talk about higher education

Ken Starr, president of Baylor University but better known as Bill Clilnton's nemesis, will be in the Triangle next month, to talk about higher education.

He will give a talk entitled "American Higher Education: Working Hard..or Hardly Working?'' He will appear at the forum sponsored by the John W. Pope Center for Higher Policy on Oct 3 at 4 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Cary.

Starr is a former federal judge, former solicitor general under President George H.W. Bush. He was appointed independent counsel during the Clinton presidency to investigate the death of White House counsel Vince Foster, but soon expanded it to other areas, most notably, Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Starr graduated from Duke University law school.

Palmieri, former Edwards spokeswoman, new White House comm director

The staff shuffling at the White House has resulted in a promotion for Jennifer Palmieri, known among local politicos for her role in John Edwards presidential campaign and her testimony at his trial last year. Palmieri will become White House communications director, replacing Dan Pfeiffer, who will become a senior adviser, according to The Washington Post. Palmieri has been serving as deputy communications director.

Clinton is Obama's salesman-in-chief

Bill Clinton acted as salesman-in-chief for Barack Obama Sunday, both touting the president's policies as having saved the country from a Depression, while writing off Mitt Romneys proposals as the failed “trick-down” economics of the past.

The former president said Obama's policies of investing in public-private partnerships in research, and education,and student loans that have helped fuel the rapid growth of the Research Triangle.

“You are going to vote your hopes rather than your fears North Carolina,” Clinton told a crowd in Raleigh's Pullen Park, that park officials estimated at 4,000.

Weekend Roundup: Election 2012's final push and top races

The final flurry of the 2012 campaign began this weekend. A full roundup of the coverage and click "read more" to see additional stories.

--The candidates for governor started their final push miles away but the campaigns felt further apart than ever. The presidential candidates crisscrossed the country looking for final votes. The expensive and close race between David Rouzer and Mike McIntyre neared a close, as did the 9th Congressional District candidates in Charlotte.

--Early voting totals topped 2.7 million (counted so far) breaking all records. But did the GOP bank enough votes? See a map here.

--Rob Christensen's four races to watch on Tuesday.

Clinton rally on Sunday will be held in Pullen Park

Former President Bill Clinton will speak at a rally Sunday at Pullen Park on Sunday, the Obama campaign announced Saturday.

Doors for the event, which is open to the public, at 3:30 at 520 Ashe Ave.  More information can be obtained at

Clinton is still popular in North Carolina

When Bill Clinton returns to North Carolina on Sunday to campaign for the Democratic ticket, he will return as one of North Carolina's favorite presidents.

A survey by High Point University asked voters which president of the last 50 years they would bring back to serve as president again. Clinton was was chosen by 33 percent of North Carolinians, second only to Ronald Reagan who was picked by 35 percent.

UPDATED: Bill Clinton's visit to North Carolina rescheduled for Sunday in Raleigh

UPDATED: Former President Bill Clinton will attend a get-out-the vote rally Sunday in Raleigh -- a day later than initially planned.

The Obama campaign announced on Friday morning that Clinton would visit Saturday but hours later the campaign changed the date citing scheduling conflicts. No other details about a time or location were disclosed.

Clinton is being brought in to both give a boost to President Obama and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Walter Dalton.

Morning Roundup DNC edition: Obama's challenges entering big speech

CHARLOTTE -- Republicans were so certain of carrying the Tar Heel State last time, that U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina famously boasted: “I’ll beat Michael Phelps in swimming before Barack Obama wins North Carolina."

As Obama accepts the nomination Thursday night in a state that he improbably carried four years ago, Republicans are once again certain that the state will go red. U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, the state’s ranking Republican, doesn’t even think North Carolina should be considered a presidential battleground. Read Rob Christensen's column about Obama's challenges in North Carolina.

More political headlines below:

--This is a critical week for Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, who lags behind his governor’s race opponent, Republican Pat McCrory, in voter polls and campaign donations.

Morning Roundup: McCain, GOP try to use budget deal against Obama

Former GOP presidential candidate John McCain led a delegation of GOP senators Monday in urging Democratic President Barack Obama to reopen budget negotiations to avoid what he called “devastating” defense cuts.

Appearing near the sprawling Fort Bragg Army base, the senator said the president had an obligation to help to work out an agreement with Congress to avoid the deep cuts to the military that will automatically go into effect in January unless a deal can be found. Read the full story here.

More political headlines below:

--A busload of undocumented immigrants has departed for Charlotte, on its way to protest during the Democratic National Convention. The occupants will risk deportation to demonstrate in Mecklenburg County. The group will join hundreds of other illegal immigrants who could march during the convention, protest organizers said.

Bill Clinton records robo-call against marriage amendment

Former President Bill Clinton might be calling you.

Opponents of the marriage amendment on Tuesday's ballot today announced that Clinton has  recorded a robo-call message that will be going to North Carolinians.

Here's what he says:

"Hello, this is President Bill Clinton.  I’m calling to urge you to vote against Amendment One on Tuesday May 8.  If it passes, it won’t change North Carolina’s law on marriage.  What it will change is North Carolina’s ability to keep good businesses, attract new jobs, and attract and keep talented entrepreneurs.  If it passes, your ability to keep those businesses, get those jobs, and get those talented entrepreneurs will be weakened.  And losing even one job to Amendment One is too big of a risk.  Its passage will also take away health insurance from children and could even take away domestic violence protections from women.  So the real effect of the law is not to keep the traditional definition of marriage, you’ve already done that.  The real effect of the law will be to hurt families and drive away jobs.  North Carolina can do better.  Again, this is Bill Clinton asking you to please vote against Amendment One.  Thanks."
 Protect All NC Families, the group organizing the campaign against the amendment, told The Associated Press that the calls would go to hundreds of thousands of people.

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