Sleepless in Chicago

She's running strong among workers in Ohio and Latinos in Texas, but Hillary Clinton may have just lost a crucial swath of the Democratic electorate to Barack Obama:

The "hopeless romantic" vote.

Fans of chick flicks that involve Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks and/or Nora Ephron and tell the story of two people coming together despite overwhelming odds--count me in--may be disappointed to hear that Bill and Hill will not be spending this most amorous of holidays within 400 miles of each other. While the former president stumps across Wisconsin--Milwaukee to Waukesha to Madison to La Crosse--his wife is wooing voters three states away in Ohio. I never bought the whole "marriage of political convenience" cliché, but with Clinton coming off eight straight losses, lagging in the latest Badger State polls and banking on Ohio as one of her March 4 bulwarks, political inconvenience is more than enough to keep her from cuddling up in Chappaqua with chocolates, Courvoisier and a whole lotta Bubba.

The surging Obama, on the other hand, is doing exactly that. (Minus Bill.) When I noticed that today's schedule put the senator in Chicago with no public events, I got in touch with a campaign spokesperson to ask whether he was "home for Valentine's Day, or just fundraising." She confirmed that Obama is, in fact, "spending time with his wife and daughters--no interviews, no fundraisers, no events." And what about tonight--anything special planned?

"He is going out to dinner with his wife in Chicago," she wrote back.

Hopefully that heart graphic available on the Sears Tower, too.

UPDATE, 5:30 p.m.: During an impromptu press conference on board her press plane, Clinton just told reporters that this is the first Valentine's Day she and Bill have spent apart in 37 years. Apparently, he sent a dozen roses and some chocolates to her hotel room in Youngstown, Ohio last night. And in a move that's sure to melt the hearts of Meg-aholics everywhere, Clinton passed out chocolates to reporters and apologized via cell phone to two of their girlfriends for the holiday travel.  “I want to personally apologize to you that Fernando is with me and not with you on Valentine’s Day," she told one. “I would love to be Fernando’s second choice for Valentine’s Day.” Meow.
 

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