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Inside Politics

Candidates tap heavy hitters in homestretch

Clinton on Kerry schedule; Schwarzenegger might go to Ohio


Clinton will campaign for Kerry early next week in Philadelphia.
Clinton and Schwarzenegger may be hitting the campaign trail soon.
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(CNN) -- Republicans and Democrats are calling on some heavy hitters to help attract voters as the presidential campaigns enter the homestretch before the November 2 election.

Former President Bill Clinton will join Democratic candidate John Kerry on the campaign trail Monday for a rally in Philadelphia, a senior Kerry adviser and a Clinton spokesman said.

Senior Republican officials said California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been approached about a campaign trip with President Bush, and White House national security adviser Condoleezza Rice has already visited several swing states.

Clinton's public role in the election campaign has been limited since he underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery September 6. He has offered Kerry advice and is scheduling further appearances.

"President Clinton is pleased to be able to help John Kerry in this very important campaign for the future of our country," said Clinton spokesman Jim Kennedy.

Clinton agreed to appear with at a lunchtime event in Philadelphia and to campaign for Kerry on his own, including sending out a recorded message to people's homes.

Campaign officials hope the former president could appeal to undecided voters.

"In a city like Philadelphia, he has the potential to have a tremendous impact on Democrats and to cross over to moderate Republicans in the suburbs," said Mark Nevin, communications director for Kerry in Pennsylvania.

The senior Kerry adviser said Clinton will appear at other campaign events but details were still being worked out.

Senior Republican officials said the White House and officials from Schwarzenegger's office have been in talks about a campaign trip with Bush.

The trip is likely to be to Ohio, a key battleground state and one to which Schwarzenegger has close ties through his annual Arnold Classic bodybuilding contest.

Senior Republican officials said the Bush campaign would welcome the opportunity for Schwarzenegger and Bush to stump together, but they said the campaign is deferring to the governor's office to make any announcements.

A member of Schwarzenegger staff said there was "nothing formal to announce" and referred further questions to spokesman Rob Stutzman, who did not return a call for comment.

Rice's appearances in battleground states, meanwhile, have raised eyebrows because national security advisers in previous administrations have refrained from entering election year politics.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Rice is making herself available to "be accessible to the American people" to talk about national security priorities.

The Washington Post reported that Rice has made speeches in Oregon, Washington, North Carolina and Ohio, and plans to speak in other swing states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida by the end of the month.

McClellan would not say that the speeches were unrelated to the campaign. He said the appearances she has already made were "engagements that she was invited to attend."

CNN's Kelly Wallace and Suzanne Malveaux contributed to this report.


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