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Does Senator Ted Kennedy's Support Help or Hurt Barack Obama?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Unintended Consequences

Could Senator Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama actually backfire and cost the candidate votes?

A new Rasmussen national poll indicates that 34 percent of Democrats surveyed said Kennedy's support would make them less likely to vote for Obama. Thirty-three percent said it had no impact. And only 30 percent said it would make them more likely to support the Illinois senator.

Now if you throw in the Republicans and Independents with the Democrats, the endorsement looks even more harmful. Forty-six percent of those surveyed said the Kennedy nod makes them less likely to support Obama. Thirty-four percent said it had no impact. Only 16 percent said it makes them more likely to vote for Obama.

Some feminists howled when Kennedy threw his support behind Obama and snubbed Hillary Clinton. But many others are following suit. The Huffington Post reports a group of more than 100 feminist leaders from Senator Clinton's home state of New York has endorsed Obama.

The New York Feminists for Peace and Barack Obama includes actress Susan Sarandon and Katha Pollitt — columnist for the liberal magazine The Nation. They say even though electing a woman president would be a cause for celebration — they are supporting Obama over Clinton because of — "her seven year record as senator." And it says "her record of embracing military solutions and the foreign policy advisers she has selected make us doubt that she will end this calamitous war."

Better to Give

Senator Clinton routinely tells crowds she has — "been working to bring positive change to people's lives for 35 years," and, "I've spent so much of my life in the nonprofit sector."

But Matt Sterns of McClatchy Newspapers notes Mrs. Clinton has held only one full-time job in the non-profit sector — spending less than a year at the Children's Defense Fund. She also worked briefly as a law professor.

But Clinton spent 15 of those 35 years at one of the most prestigious law firms in Arkansas — where she represented big companies such as Wal-Mart and TCBY while simultaneously serving on their corporate boards — a practice frowned upon because of potential conflicts of interest.

The report says Clinton's Web site biography devotes six paragraphs to her pro bono legal work for the poor — but has just one small sentence about her 15 years at the Rose Law Firm.

Bad Reviews

Rock singer John Mellencamp has asked John McCain to stop playing his songs at campaign rallies. Mellencamp is a Democrat who supported John Edwards. Rolling Stone reports his people have been talking to McCain's people about pulling the plug on the songs.

McCain rallies have featured the Mellencamp tunes "Our Country" and "Pink Houses". The latter song features one lyric about what it calls "the simple man" paying for "the thrills, the bills and the pills that kill."

We asked McCain's campaign for a response — but they did not get back to us.

FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.

With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume