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Indiana Democrats move into the spotlight

March 8, 2008 | 12:56 pm

Dan Parker, chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party, knows a good thing coming his way when he sees it.

Parker has changed the date of the party's annual spring dinner from April 18 -- when attention will be focused on Pennsylvania, where four days later Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will be squaring off in a crucial primary -- to May 4.

That date falls just two days before the Indiana primary -- a contest which, much to the surprise of Parker and everyone else, now will feature intense competition between the Clinton and Obama forces.

Parker has invited the two candidates to speak at the gathering. They may be otherwise occupied; North Carolina, which has more delegates at stake, shares the May 6 primary date with Indiana. But Clinton and Obama can be expected to carefully consider Parker's offer.

Even if they take a pass, they'll surely dispatch high-profile surrogates to promote their causes. And no doubt the dinner will be a much hotter ticket than it would have been -- making it a more lucrative affair for the state party.

You can read more about the excitement brewing among Indiana Democrats here (the article's headline: "Suddenly, we matter").

-- Don Frederick 

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