Obama to use Democrat female leaders to undercut Republican rivals

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New York, Sep 5 : Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama will increasingly lean on prominent party women leaders to undercut Republican rival John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin.

The Obama campaign is dispatching Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to Florida on Monday and is creating a rapid-response team to deploy female surrogates to battleground states, The New York Times reported. Clinton's campaign event in Florida, her first for Obama since the Democratic convention last month, will include a forceful response to the searing attacks and fresh burst of energy that Palin injected into the race with her convention speech on Wednesday night, Obama aides said. With the McCain-Palin team courting undecided female voters, including some who backed Clinton in the Democratic primaries, Obama aides say they are counting on not only Clinton but also Democratic female governors to criticize their Alaskan counterpart, Palin. Still, within the Obama campaign and among Democratic officials nationwide, talks are well under way about how the party should treat Palin in the final two months of the campaign and what Obama and his running mate, Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware, need to do to regain the offensive after the Republican convention. Some Democrats were urging Obama's campaign not to underestimate the potential power of Palin's electrifying speech to the Republican convention on Wednesday night even among voters not aligned with either party. Senior advisers to Obama predicted that the initial buzz over Palin would fade and the race would quickly turn back into a contest between Senators McCain and Obama, despite the McCain campaign's efforts to compare Obama's experience unfavorably to Palin's while promoting her presence on the ticket.

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