Baldacci gets help from Bill Clinton


SOUTH PORTLAND (AP) – Gov. John Baldacci, who’s stepping up his re-election campaign with a string of fundraising events featuring prominent figures, will get a boost from a former commander in chief.

Former President Bill Clinton will attend an event for the Democratic governor on June 5 at the Portland Marriott.

Clinton is far and away the Democratic Party’s top fundraiser.

“People are always happy to see a president, whether they like him or not,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “They’ll pay for the privilege to have a picture in their wallet.”

Clinton will be the latest in a string of high-profile visitors coming to Maine on behalf of gubernatorial candidates. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who’s delivering the commencement address at the University of Maine, was attending another event for Baldacci in Bangor. And commentator Jim Hightower was addressing a political action committee on Baldacci’s behalf in Portland.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, meanwhile, planned to raise money on behalf of one of the three Republicans vying to face Baldacci – David Emery – on May 21.