The other day, as his sport utility vehicle idled outside, former President Bill Clinton held forth on a sofa in the publisher's suite at The Des Moines Register, explaining why he believed Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton should win the newspaper's coveted endorsement.
Only nine days earlier, the Clintons had played host to a few top editors for drinks and appetizers at one of Des Moines's fashionable new restaurants. But on this visit, Mr. Clinton was the closer in the exhaustive campaign of persuasion. Even after an hour he had not made his full case to Laura Hollingsworth, the new publisher, so he called back later in the day.
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