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Obama Urges Iowa Undergrads to 'Prove Them Wrong'

The quadrennial effort to lure college students to the Iowa caucuses has been complicated this time around because the Jan. 3 vote is occurring while most colleges are on holiday break. So Sen. Barack Obama, the Democrat who has made strong appeals to young voters a focus on his presidential campaign, is taking action now before students go home for the holidays.

His campaign has peppered Iowa universities and colleges with flyers encouraging out-of-state students to come back to Iowa early so they can vote. "If you are not from Iowa, you can come back for the Iowa caucus and caucus in your college neighborhood," the flyer states, offering a toll-free number (888-OBAMAIA) that students can call to figure out where they should go on Jan. 3.

State law permits students attending college in Iowa, even those from out of state, to vote. And this time around, they don't even have to be registered before hand. Iowa enacted a same-day registration law in April that allows voters to register at the caucuses -- a fact Obama's flyer highlights.

The effort has drawn criticism from rival campaigns and, perhaps more significantly, a respected political observer in the state.

David Yepsen, the veteran political columnist for the Des Moines Register, wrote in a blog entry Saturday that "asking people who are 'not from Iowa' to participate in [the caucuses] changes the nature of the event. And trying to pack the caucuses with people from Illinois might taint Obama's showing."

The campaigns of both Chris Dodd and Hillary Clinton chimed in over the weekend, with Dodd's Iowa state director suggesting that Obama is "scheming to evade either the spirit or the letter of the rules" for the caucuses.

At Iowa State University on Sunday, Obama fired back. "One of the things we've been hearing lately is maybe young people shouldn't caucus if they just recently moved here," he told a crowd of several hundred, mostly students, at the beginning of his speech here. "You're an Iowa student, you can be an Iowa caucus goer. ... I want you to prove them wrong when they say you're not going to show up."

Roughly 35 percent of the University of Iowa's 30,000 students come from out of state, as do 30 percent of Iowa State's 26,000 students, and some of the Iowa colleges have sizable populations from neighboring Illinois, Obama's home state. But even some students who attended Sunday's rally were wary of the idea of coming back early to vote.

"It's a long drive," said Aerika Haeseli, a sophomore at Iowa State who lives in the Chicago suburbs. She said he was leaning toward backing Obama but was not sure yet.

"I just don't have enough money for gas," said Melinda Monterrubio, a senior who is from Chicago who also said she has not fully committed to Obama.

Maya Sharif, a senior from California, said she obviously would not be back, and she laughed at the idea that a large number of students would. "This idea of coming back just to vote, I don't think it's going to happen," she said.

But Nathan Bond, a freshman from Lincoln, Neb., said he was planning on driving the three hours from Lincoln to Ames, attending a caucus and then heading back to Lincoln that night. Of course, he added, "It depends on weather."

The Obama campaign flyer also targets high school students, noting, "If you are 17 by November 4th, 2007, you can caucus!" For those still too young to vote, Obama urges them to "still help by talking to your friends and family who can caucus."

Every aspect of the flyers is tailored to students, touting Obama's early opposition to the war and his support for more fuel efficient or alternative energy cars as well as another issue close to students'
wallets. "He knows what it's like to struggle with student loans His plan expands grants and uses direct student loans to dramatically cut costs," the flyer states.

To view one of the Obama flyers, you can click here.

-- John Solomon and Perry Bacon Jr.

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  December 2, 2007; 4:27 PM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , Barack Obama , Candidates  
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Comments

Clinton and Dodd do not practice what they preach. Check the facts at:

http://www.barackobama.com/factcheck/2007/12/01/clinton_camp_attacks_obama_for.php

Obama 08!

Posted by: Katy7540 | December 5, 2007 12:02 AM | Report abuse

As usual Perry Bacon carry's the water for the HRC campaign. First its if Obama is a Muslim now its bad to target young college voters. Come on. The Big story should be

Kindgergate:
The Hillary campaign is using the fact that Obama wanted to run for president since he was a child against him. And they are citing a essay he wrote at five.

http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=4470
Quotes from the Hillary campaign about Kindergate:

"In kindergarten, Senator Obama wrote an essay titled 'I Want to Become President.' "Iis Darmawan, 63, Senator Obama's kindergarten teacher, remembers him as an exceptionally tall and curly haired child who quickly picked up the local language and had sharp math skills. He wrote an essay titled, 'I Want To Become President,' the teacher said." [AP, 1/25/07 ]

Posted by: TennGurl | December 3, 2007 10:33 PM | Report abuse

rat-the, you are probably in sleepy land as I write this but I just wanted to say - whatever you are, you make me laugh. Thanks for that. What did you major in at HAWAII Loa College - Ignorance? I'll bet you got all A's. And what year was that?
You obviously just like to stir things up - good for you. Obama won't need the out of state votes, but I am sure those who want to caucus for him will do so. It is going to be an interesting day!
Obama 08!

Posted by: sheridan1 | December 3, 2007 8:37 PM | Report abuse

The "new" poll showing Hillary leading was taken the FIRST WEEK OF NOVEMBER. Get over it, she's done for - and the entire country is better off for it.

Posted by: ohio4580 | December 3, 2007 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Hillary supporters...I see you've been spending time at Hillaryhub fueling up on BS again. Here's the BEANO for your mind:
1. Everything Obama has been doing in terms of college kids is legal and ethically fine. I believe this is the first time this issue has ever arisen in Iowa - having to caucus during winter break. See why Michigan and Florida got the smack down from the DNC, because moving the schedule around screws things up for everyone. Hillary's just pissed because her campaign is getting crushed. Her internals show her probably finishing in third and she's lashing out. I'd be freaked too if I was her. She was supposed to be picking out her inaugural pants suit by now.
2. Yes, that poll is as old as Vinod Gupta and Hillary's lucrative friendship. I hope Bill Clinton gave that $3 million check he collected from InfoUSA polling "expert" Vinod Gupta to charity.
3. Obama's Hopefund gave $4,300 to Hillary in 2005. Can we get that back please? We need it to pay the gas bills of all those illegal students driving back to Iowa to caucus illegally on Jan. 3.
4. A lot of Hopefund money went to people who have endorsed Hillary, so there goes your gal's claims that Obama has been buying endorsements. Man, those people will be groveling big time when Obama gets seated in the Oval Office.
5. Read former Bill Clinton cabinet member Robert Reich's blog post today: http://robertreich.blogspot.com/2007/12/why-is-hrc-stooping-so-low.html
It's called "Why is Hillary stooping sop low?" and says Obama's health care will cover more than Hillary's.

Posted by: markiebee001 | December 3, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Hillary supporters...I see you've been spending time at Hillaryhub fueling up on BS again. Here's the BEANO for your mind:
1. Everything Obama has been doing in terms of college kids is legal and ethically fine. I believe this is the first time this issue has ever arisen in Iowa - having to caucus during winter break. See why Michigan and Florida got the smack down from the DNC, because moving the schedule around screws things up for everyone. Hillary's just pissed because her campaign is getting crushed. Her internakls show her probably finishing in third and she's lashing out.
2. Yes, that poll is as old as Vinod Gupta and Hillary's friendship.
3. Obama's Hopefund gave $4,300 to Hillary in 2005. Can we get that back please? We need it to pay the gas bills of all those illegal students driving back to Iowa to caucus illegally on Jan. 3.
4. A lot of Hopefund money went to people who have endorsed Hillary, so there goes your gal's claims that Obama has been buying endorsements. Man, those people will be groveling big time when Obama gets seated in the Oval Office.
5. Read former Bill Clinton cabnite member Robert Reich's blog post today: http://robertreich.blogspot.com/2007/12/why-is-hrc-stooping-so-low.html
It's called "Why is Hillary stooping sop low?" and says Obama's health care will cover more than Hillary's.

Posted by: markiebee001 | December 3, 2007 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Yepsen's criticism of college students right to vote in Iowa is contemptible. Our country has steadily expanded the franchise over the centuries to make its government more representative of all the people, and he wants to go backwards. Where does that stop? Only those who were born in Iowa get to vote? Only those whose families emigrated from Europe at least a hundred years ago? Only political columnists and pundits? The Iowa legislature has determined that a person who resides in Iowa for most of the year is, for electoral purposes, an Iowan. So the charge that Illinois residents are threatening to distort the Iowa cacuses is a false and inflammatory appeal to nativism.

Posted by: bprittenhouse | December 3, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Obama began his campaign as a symbol of high ethical values. It now turns out that his Hopefund, filled with money from PACs and lobbyists, has been used all this year to make donations to politicians in the early primary states. It may be legal, but it sure ain't ethical.

Posted by: ramster1 | December 3, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

ichief - I saw an AP-Pew poll posted on the net this morning. You may have seen the same one too. It did indeed show that Clinton was leading in Iowa. Problem is that poll was OLD. Did you look at the date!

Good thing Obama supporters are not so easily fooled!

Obama '08

Posted by: hoganfam99 | December 3, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone at the WaPo heard yet that Clinton just SURGED AHEAD of Obama in Iowa in the latest AP-Pew poll? Where are the screaming headlines - heck, she's ahead by 5 points compared to his temporary 3 or 4 points that created such a media frenzy.

Posted by: ichief | December 3, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

squintz-Bad News!

Not only did I attend and Graduate College, I did so in a way you are about to envy.

HAWAII Loa College, Now Hawaii Pacific University, Kaneohe, Campus.

Yeah, Surfing Minor!

Shaka Ono Bra!

Quite needless to say, I had MUCH better-or is that Mo' Betta 'tings, to do, than worry about Politics at the time.

You asked for it! LOL!

Go Warriors!

Posted by: rat-the | December 3, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"And Yeah, Children living off Mommy and Daddy, still learning, should NOT be interfering with, or for that matter even be distracted by, Politics!"

rat-the: Aw, is someone jealous that they didn't get into college? From my experience, those most often "living off Mommy and Daddy" are the ones not in school. Perhaps it was your atrocious misunderstanding of capitalization that ruined your application? Anti-intellectualism is so impressive, you loser.

Posted by: squintz | December 3, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

SPARKMIKA-Personally, I am glad you Worked while going through College, as I implied, THAT would have qualified you to vote.
However, I am not sure if you Paid $10 for your Degree, or what, but I do have to say:

If you paid 1$ for your degree, i think you should demand your money back!

Posted by: rat-the | December 3, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

i hope the students do prove everyone wrong, but who knows. i worked full time while i was in college. i paid taxes on my wages. i filed the forms myself. last year, my senior year, the loans i had taken out the year before didn't cover the full cost of my tuition and i had to spend 2,000$ of my own hard-earned money (normally used for rent, books and buying food) to pay for my tuition. i guess being 20 when this happened made me less mature and responsible. oh and dumber. maybe since i was so young i couldn't possibly know how i felt about being a broke working college student struggling to pay my phone bill every month. my mistake. now that i am 21 and graduated i know better.

Posted by: sparkmika | December 3, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"State law permits students attending college in Iowa, even those from out of state, to vote. And this time around, they don't even have to be registered before hand. Iowa enacted a same-day registration law in April that allows voters to register at the caucuses -- a fact Obama's flyer highlights."

CASE CLOSED.

The whiners -- Clinton, Dodds (with zero chance of winning) and Yepsen (Hillary supporter)-- cannot read nor interpret the statues which authorize voting and residency requirements. I suspect Clinton is peeved because she didn't think of it first.

EVERYONE should be encouraged to PARTICIPATE in political process, CAUCUS and VOTE. Disenfranchisement is not an option.

Posted by: jade7243 | December 3, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

It is hypocritical for anyone to complain about this. I have lived in and attended college in swing states. In both states, both parties were telling college students that if they are from a solidly blue or red state, that they should register to vote in the swing state. It has always about getting people to vote in state where they would have the greatest impact. The two states I lived in? Iowa and Wisconsin. So yes, this is not new. It is a strategy that both parties have used, and I guarantee will use next fall.

Lastly, if you attending a school in a state different than your own, you most likely have college loans. The next President will have an impact on your life. Why wouldn't you vote in the palce that you would have the greatest impact? This is such a non story its a joke.

Disclaimer, I have donated money to Obama and Biden.

Posted by: mcmahon10 | December 3, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Rat-the: ultimately your comments present thinly veiled racism and a wish to stratify U.S. society, as well as disdain for the concept of equality. Furthermore, it has never been "proven" that people under the age of 21 are more irresponsible than poeple over the age of 21 when under the influence of alcohol. The problem is not age, it is the ease whith which drivers' licenses are received. More strenuous requirements instill understanding of the level of responsibility necessary to operate a motor vehicle. Finally, I would be VERY interested to know how old you are, as your rhetoric is quite juvenile.

Posted by: elf.ark.87 | December 3, 2007 2:40 AM | Report abuse

Jtmorgan61-I finally figured out my justifiable Rational:

If you are NOT Paying Taxes, as a working or serving Member of the adult community, YOU dont get to vote, until you are legally able to bury your Shame in Booze!

See, by the time the 20 Year Old turns 24, He'll finally Understand WHY we should have seperation of Powers! After, he FOOLISHLY handed the Exectutive Branch to Congress, and destroyed our Country!

Hasn't One Libbie Judge on the Ninth Circuit Court convinced you badly we need to keep any more from getting jobs?

Posted by: rat-the | December 2, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

jtmorgan61-I'm refering to the US Senate. not his State Tenure. I also included the Hildebeast in my assualt! BOTH are Legislators with Law backgrounds, and are wholly UNQUALIFIED for the Exectutive Branch!

What is so bad about being a US Senator?
IT, is a Specialized job, that has it's just merits! With the Current 11% approval Rating however, I would personally be looking just about ANYWHERE Else, for a Candidate!

Hint-People with MBA's do Exectutive things, People with Backgrounds specialized in Constitutional Law Legislate and aspire for the Supreme Court-When they are Grown Up!

And Yeah, Children living off Mommy and Daddy, still learning, should NOT be interfering with, or for that matter even be distracted by, Politics!

Posted by: rat-the | December 2, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

rat-the, so you want to ban everyone between 18-21 and going to college from voting, but include everyone not in college? That's a no sale. And Obama has a substantive legislative record if you actually take the time to investigate. I haven't heard about anything major Senator Clinton's done since her failed health care plan in 1993, have you?

Posted by: Nissl | December 2, 2007 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Folks, here is a Fact! The US has undergone a significant change in aging. People are all living longer, and many more are staying in School longer. It was once argued that if someone was 18, and old enough for Military service, and to be tried as an Adult, then they should be allowed to Drink!
We reversed that decission, because Udults under 21, proved to be irresponsible. Many were still living off Parents in College.

I propose a Modified Eligibility clause for Voting prior to 21. Same Should apply for drinking, but at 2 Am, it get's a little hard for Police. Qualifying for a Voter Registration is easier!
Students who are living Under their Parents, should be able to qualify as dependants, and be restricted from Voting. They are in effect, Children. Children, outside the World of self sufficiency. Military Cadets and Trainees, same! Active duty, and Full time Employed 18 Year olds, proving it, should be allowed a Waiver allowing Voting rights prior to their 21Rst Birthday!

Here in Austin Texas, with the Country's Largest University, and several Others, TEMPORARY VISITORS, with NO Permanent Investment or contribution in the SURROUNDING City, are DESTROYING our ability to get a grip on our Councilmen, or Representatives!

That is not right!-At the very least, require College Children, to Vote in their Home Towns! It is simply a Matter of Registering there, and mailing in!

Posted by: rat-the | December 2, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

If Obama wants to cut costs, he'll have to abolish the Federal Direct Student Loan Program.

The reason is that after these recent budget cuts, the bank-run guaranteed program is cheaper.


Posted by: AlexHamilton | December 2, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

This is great. College students and other young people need get more involved in the political process. If more young people do vote I suspect they will trend towards Obama. Hillary is so 20th century!

Posted by: zb95 | December 2, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Barack Hussein, why don't you try "Appealing" to fully Educated, Working Adults involved in the REAL WORLD!

That's right, YOU know, that WE know

BETTER!

Obasama-What a Joke! Try to learn how to do the Job you have taken on First!-I doubt you even get re-Elected with the complete lack of Legislation you have NOT produced!

Posted by: rat-the | December 2, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

If the Obama organizers are able to activate peer to peer networks then the youth turn out will be fine. Young people are committed to do their bit, especially when it involves hanging out with their friends.

It's all about relationships.

Posted by: hellmut | December 2, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

It is possible that Senator Clinton is the best candidate. However, even though many may like the policies that Senator Clinton proposes, they should also consider her record, just as Senator Clinton insists.
.
The last Clinton Administration, when faced with the fact that protection rackets where torturing people with poison and radiation, chose to avoid its responsibilities to incarcerate the criminals and to protect the citizenry.
.
Instead, they made a deal with the criminal gang stalker protection rackets to leave them alone and to consequently abandon the citizenry.
.
Do we want a President who sells out the citizenry for votes?
.
Do we want a President who sends a "crime does pay" message to society?
.
Would you vote for a President who signed nonaggression deals with the KKK or the Nazi party? Gangs that torture with poison and radiation are much like the KKK and Nazi Party.
.
We do not need a sellout President. We need a principled leader President.
.
If you are one of the few who do not know what the above refers to, do a web search for "gang stalking" to see the tip of the dirtberg. Please do it before you decide to reply to my post. Here let me make it easy for you: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22gang+stalking%22.
.

Posted by: avraamjack | December 2, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

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