January 24th, 2008
05:58 AM ET
12 years ago

TICKER MORNING EDITION: Thursday, January 24, 2008


WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton told a group of South Carolina voters Wednesday night that one of the perks of leaving the White House was the ability to say whatever's on his mind.

He seems to be taking full advantage of it.

His four-minute lecture to CNN’s Jessica Yellin on misplaced media priorities might have been more convincing if it hadn’t come surrounded by a day’s worth of headline-grabbing attack lines. The method to the week’s campaign trail madness is undeniable, and impressive: his wife hasn’t stumped in South Carolina since the debate, but the Clinton name hasn’t budged from the state’s front pages since she left. Today, she returns to South Carolina for a final 48-hour push.

By all rights, John McCain should be a marked man as the Florida race winds down. The primary season isn’t over if McCain loses the state – it just might be if he wins. But credit his opponents’ shrinking cash reserves, or the soothing effect of the Florida sunshine: the Arizona senator has yet to face a negative ad since the race shifted there. A few opposing campaigns are coasting on fumes, so a last-minute gut-check wouldn’t exactly be the race’s the biggest shock - but with less than a week to go until Election Day, the odds of actually landing a knockout punch grow slimmer by the hour.

Tonight, McCain watches his back as the Republican field faces off for the final time before Florida’s voters head to the polls.

All the Democrats are in South Carolina; Republicans are in Florida.

- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

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