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BUSH RALLIES CONSERVATIVES TO SOLIDARITY

WASHINGTON

President Bush offered no explicit endorsement Friday of John McCain, but he began to prepare for the eventual nominee, calling on conservatives to put campaign feuds behind them at a meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference. He expressed confidence that the nation would choose a successor "who shares our principles." Ignoring his approval rating, he said, "Our policies are working." In an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Friday, only 30 percent said they like the job he is doing, including an all-time low in support among Republicans - 61 percent.

Contests today

A handful of nominating contests are held today.

Democrats: Voting takes place in Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington, Virgin Islands; 161 delegates available.

Republicans: Kansas, Louisiana, Washington are voting; 74 delegates.

On-air blunder

A comment about Chelsea Clinton by an MSNBC anchor could imperil Hillary Rodham Clinton's participation in debates on the network, Clinton aide Howard Wolfson said Friday. MSNBC's David Shuster suggested that the Clinton campaign had "pimped out" Chelsea, 27, by having her place phone calls to celebrities and Democratic Party superdelegates. Shuster was suspended and apologized on the air. Clinton and Barack Obama are set to participate in an MSNBC debate Feb. 26 in Ohio.

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