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Special Report

Member of the Clinton Campaign Team Says Barack Obama Is Where He Is Because of His Race

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

A Matter of Race

Former Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro says Barack Obama is at the forefront of her party's presidential race — because he is black. Ferraro is a member of Hillary Clinton's campaign finance committee.

She says in the Daily Breeze newspaper of Torrance, California — "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

Ferraro, who is a FOX News contributor, also blames the media for unfair treatment of Senator Clinton — "(the press) has been uniquely hard on her. It's been a very sexist media. Some just don't like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign."

Senator Clinton responded this afternoon — "I do not agree with that. It is regrettable that any of our supporters on both sides, because we've both had that experience, say things that kind of veer off into the personal. We ought to keep this on the issues."

In Harm's Way?

Mrs. Clinton's claim that she was sent on a dangerous foreign policy trip to Bosnia in 1996 is being debunked by someone who was there — comedian and actor Sinbad.

Clinton says she was told there might be sniper fire and that her plane had to make a tight corkscrew landing to avoid potential attacks.

But Sinbad tells The Washington Post he and singer Sheryl Crowe were with Hillary on that USO trip to entertain the troops — and recalls no such danger — "I think the only 'red-phone' moment was: 'Do we eat here or at the next place?'"

Senator Clinton has also said — "We used to say in the White House that if a place is too dangerous, too small or too poor, send the First Lady."

Sinbad — who is an Obama supporter — responds to that by asking — "What kind of president would say, 'Hey, man, I can't go 'cause I might get shot so I'm going to send my wife...oh, and take a guitar player and a comedian with you.'"

Unintended Consequences

A Canadian scientist says a planned increase in corn ethanol production in the U.S. will spark an environmental disaster for marine life in the Gulf of Mexico.

Geographer Simon Donner of the University of British Columbia says fertilizer runoff from the extra corn will expand the Gulf of Mexico's so-called "dead zone" — where there is so little oxygen that marine life cannot survive. The zone measures about 12,400 miles each summer.

Donner's research indicates that nitrogen pollution in the major rivers that run into the gulf would increase by as much as 34 percent if the U.S, were to meet its biofuel production goals set for the year 2022.

Think About It

The State Department's official Web log is asking for its question of the week — "Should the U.S. engage Hamas in the peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians?"

That would, of course, be a direct violation of longstanding U.S. policy against talking with terrorists. The question is drawing harsh criticism from many readers — with responses such as "Are you nuts?" and "What is the matter with you people?"

But the Washington Times reports State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says the responses will not affect policy-making. He says the blog is just an effort to see what the public is thinking.

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