CINCINNATI, Ohio (CNN) – Hillary Clinton and her press entourage didn't have much time to eat this morning at an economic roundtable held at a Skyline Chili here in the Cincinnati, so the campaign picked up some of the city's signature dish to go.
It was a hefty order. For Clinton, her staff, secret service and reporters, the campaign ordered ten pints of Skyline's famous chili (vegetarian included), along with 20 three-ways and several more five-ways. Got that?
A three-way is Skyline's staple, a longtime Cincinnati tradition along with the ribs over at the Montgomery Inn restaurant. According to the menu, a three-way is "steaming spaghetti, covered with original, secret recipe chili and topped with a mound of shredded cheddar cheese." A five-way is essentially the same order, with the addition of beans and onions.
Clinton's advance team also picked up 36 coneys (chili dogs loaded down with shredded cheddar).
Vickie Misleh, part-owner of this particular Skyline franchise, said it was not the first time Clinton has encountered Cincinnati chili. Misleh said she helped cater a 1992 campaign tailgate in town for then-candidate Bill Clinton, and at the time Hillary ordered two cheese coneys. No onions.
– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby
(CNN) - CNN has learned that John McCain will travel to Texas, most likely next week, to accept the endorsement of former President George H. W. Bush.
The campaign is working on the scheduling with the former president's office but the goal is for an event in Texas next week, accordoing to two Republican sources familiar with the discussions.
The endorsement is part of the Republican rally around McCain nationally. But it is also aimed especially at Texas, where voters will weigh in March 4.
There is a vocal faction of social conservatives in the state who regularly sparred with President George W. Bush during his presidency and his days as governor.
The former President Bush is no favorite of these social conservatives either, but his embrace is being orchestrated as an important signal to the state's broader Republican establishment that it is important to back McCain and participate in the primary.
–CNN Chief National Correspondent John King
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican presidential front-runner Sen. John McCain on Thursday defended his statement that U.S. troops could spend "maybe 100" years in Iraq - saying he was referring to a military presence similar to what the nation already has in places like Japan, Germany and South Korea.
This week, Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama both took McCain to task for the comments, saying that if he's elected he would continue what they call President Bush's failed policies in Iraq.
"It's not a matter of how long we're in Iraq, it's if we succeed or not," McCain said to CNN's Larry King.
"And both Sen. Obama and Clinton want to set a date for withdrawal - that means chaos, that means genocide, that means undoing all the success we've achieved and al Qaeda tells the world they defeated the United States of America.
"I won't let that happen."
GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (CNN) – If Mitt Romney’s endorsement of John McCain did anything to dampen Mike Huckabee’s desire to stay in this race, it didn’t show.
“I think still the Republican Party ought to be big enough to have the debate, the discussion and an election. I’m not just willing to be part of the coronation yet,” Huckabee told CNN Thursday. “If we have a battle and [McCain] wins, he wins. But he hasn’t won yet so I just think it’s a little bit premature to go ahead and slice the cake when you haven’t had the wedding yet.”
Huckabee described McCain’s growing support as “a ‘me too’ herd mentality.” “There's a lot of folks in the establishment of the party now not wanting to be left out,” he told reporters.
“But what I'm concerned about is that there are a whole lot of people out here in middle America who are feeling left out. They're feeling their votes aren't even going to be counted.”
Huckabee repeatedly points out that Republicans will have to win the states he’s won to keep the White House. He then ticks off the big states McCain has won primaries in that are typically Democratic strongholds in the general election.
Compiled by Jonathan Helman
CNN Washington Bureau
The Columbus Dispatch: Clinton At OSU: "The People Of Ohio Get Me."
Sen. Hillary Clinton last night said she does not view Ohio as a must-win firewall to keep Sen. Barack Obama from winning the Democratic presidential nomination.
WSJ: McCain-Obama Race Could Redraw Electoral Map
Barack Obama's success in rallying African-Americans and John McCain's difficulty with conservative evangelicals raise an intriguing question: Would a general election between the two put additional states - particularly in the South - into play?
Washington Post: Romney Releases His Delegates, Backs McCain
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney made a Valentine's Day endorsement of Sen. John McCain on Thursday, ending a bitter, year-long rivalry and handing over almost enough delegates to guarantee McCain the Republican presidential nomination.
Washington Post: Clinton Camp May Regret Largely Turning Its Back on Caucus States
Among the costliest decisions Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign has made this year was to largely cede caucus states to Barack Obama. It is one that, in retrospect, baffles Democratic strategists and, even more so, the operatives on Obama's team.
Compiled by Rebecca Sinderbrand, CNN Washington Bureau
* Hillary Clinton attends campaign events in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Lyndhurst, Ohio.
* Mike Huckabee stops by a pancake house in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
* John McCain is in Wisconsin, where he holds town halls and media availabilities in Oshkosh and LaCrosse and a Reagan Day Dinner in Milwaukee.
* Barack Obama is in Wisconsin, where he attends campaign rallies in Milwaukee, Oshkosh, and Green Bay.