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Can Bill Clinton help Barney Frank?

Former President Bill Clinton made a three-state swing through New England, campaigning for Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal in Connecticut, and Libby Mitchell, the Democratic candidate for governor of Maine.

By Susan HaighAssociated Press / September 27, 2010

Former President Bill Clinton and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., acknowledge the crowd during a campaign rally Sunday in Taunton, Mass.

Stew Milne/AP


New Haven, Conn.

Former President Bill Clinton rallied the Democratic faithful in New England on Sunday, urging them to support his longtime friend and U.S. Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal in Connecticut and persuade their neighbors not to give in to their anger toward the economy and incumbents.

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He also made stops in Maine and Massachusetts, appearing with candidates for governor and other offices.

"Any time in life you make a really important decision when you're mad, there's about an 80 percent chance you'll make a mistake," Clinton told a crowd in New Haven, Conn., estimated by Blumenthal's campaign to be about 2,000. "So the trick is to channel your anger, not be consumed by it."

Blumenthal, a Yale Law School classmate of Clinton's, is in a tight race against Republican Linda McMahon to fill Sen. Chris Dodd's seat.

McMahon, a former wrestling executive and political newcomer who has pledged to spend as much as $50 million of her own money on the race, isn't considered a tea party activist but has capitalized on the mood for change in Washington and has shrunk Blumenthal's lead to six percentage points, according the latest Quinnipiac University Poll, by flooding the TV airwaves and voters' mailboxes with political ads.

McMahon has tried to paint Blumenthal, who has been the state's attorney general for nearly two decades, as a political insider and someone the people of Connecticut can't trust.

Sunday marked a full day of campaigning and fundraising throughout New England for the former president, one of the Democrats' biggest stars.

Clinton stumped in Taunton, Mass., for U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, a longtime friend vying for his 16th term.

As Clinton spoke Sunday at the Taunton High School, about 250 supporters of Frank's Republican opponent, Sean Bielat, gathered at the Taunton Green to rally for Frank's defeat.

Bielat says Clinton's visit shows that Frank is vulnerable.

Frank says he is doing what politicians running for office are expected to do, namely campaigning effectively.