Clinton scores a 'coup'
Hillary Clinton (D) Senator, New York
Born: 10/26/1947
Birthplace: Chicago, IL
Home: Chappaqua, NY
Religion: Methodist
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PORTSMOUTH - There's a very good reason why the presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton is happy to have native son Bill Shaheen on their team.

He has delivered the victory goods for Democratic candidates.

"I'm going to work the state," Shaheen told the Herald Wednesday shortly after making his announcement that he would be the co-chair of Clinton's New Hampshire campaign.

Shaheen, a Dover-based lawyer and the husband and campaign strategist for former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, has worked the state in numerous statewide and national campaigns for more than three decades.

In addition to guiding Jeanne Shaheen to victory three times, he was a major contributor to the victorious Democratic primary campaigns of Jimmy Carter in 1976, Al Gore in 2000, and John Kerry in 2004. He was most recently the co-chair of Carol Shea-Porter's upset victory in November over incumbent Jeb Bradley in the 1st District congressional race.

Adding Shaheen's organizational and inspirational energy is a "significant coup" for the Clinton campaign, said Charles Arlinghaus, the former executive director of the state Republican Party.

"The two most important Democrats in the state are John Lynch and Jeanne Shaheen," said Arlinghaus, the president of the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy in Concord. While New Hampshire voters won't cast their ballot based on name endorsements, he explained, the Shaheens know all the party activists.

"He knows who the best guy in Ossipee is," Arlinghaus said of Shaheen's extensive connections.

Shaheen, a Dover native and graduate of the University of New Hampshire, helped his wife become the first female governor in New Hampshire. More importantly, he said, "Hillary stands out as the one to get us out of Iraq with dignity."

Shaheen believes that as Democratic primary voters become more accustomed to Clinton, they will "listen to her and judge her fairly."