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Obama Woos South Texas Students


Supporters listen to Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama during a rally outside the State Capitol building February 22, 2008 in Austin, Texas. (Getty Images).

By Dan Balz
EDINBURG, Tex. -- Sen. Barack Obama courted Hispanic voters in South Texas today, hoping to dent the significant advantage Sen. Hillary Clinton enjoys among one of the most important constituencies in the Lone Star State's March 4 primary.

Obama is a relative stranger in South Texas, unlike Clinton, who has been coming here for decades. Hoping to make up ground and to generate enthusiasm among younger voters, the Illinois senator began with two events on the campus of the University of Texas-Pan American.

He spent about 45 minutes talking with students about the problems of financing the cost of college and quickly got a taste of the kinds of struggles they have with financial aid rules and regulations, credit card debt and collection companies.

Obama touted his proposal for a $4,000 annual tax credit for students, saying it would nearly wipe out the average college debt that Texas students accumulate.

Later, at an outdoor rally under a hot sun, Obama called for the establishment of a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in South Texas and said a fence along the border alone is "not going to work" to deal with the influx of illegal immigrants.

He also invoked the name of Cesar Chavez before the largely student audience, recalling a letter to Chavez from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "Our cause is your cause," he said King wrote to Chavez.

"What Chavez and King and every other freedom fighter has understood is that there's a time, there's a moment in the life of every generation, when that spirit of hope has to come through," he said. "When we decide we're not just going to settle for what the cynics tell us we have to accept."

Before leaving for an event in Corpus Christi, Obama appeared at the corner of the press filing center. "Crank it up, guys," he said to the reporters huddled over their laptops. "Words matter. Don't listen to Hillary." Then he added, "That's a joke."

One reporter asked him to respond to a statement from John McCain criticizing Obama on Cuba policy. Obama quickly slipped behind the blue curtain and disappeared.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 22, 2008; 2:29 PM ET
 
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Posted by: hsljrx huqflbxep | April 8, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

PhilTR:

Yes, people have thought to ask that question. First, of course you can donate money from Saudi Arabia if you happen to be a US citizen who is in Saudi Arabia. If you're a US citizen (or legal permanent resident) you can donate money to any campaign you like, from anywhere. You have to affirm that you are in fact a US citizen or permanent resident, not using company funds, etc., etc.

IIRC, they report all donors who give more than a certain amount ($200?). There's a place online - don't have the URL at the moment - where you can search political contributions from individuals by zipcode, listed profession, etc.

If my memory has erred, of course, do correct me.

Regards,
Beren

Posted by: Beren | February 24, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Barack raises an awful lot of money over the internet. Where does it come from?

Does all of it come from within the country? If not where does it come from?

Is there any way to control or monitor money flowing into campaign coffers from the internet?

If money is coming from outside the country, is it protected political speech? Is it even covered by current campaign law?

If I live in Saudi Arabia, can I go to Barack's web site, click on PayPal and donate to his campaign?

Has anyone even thought to ask these questions?


Posted by: PhilTR | February 23, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Dear kurtrk, I would never toss anything into the sea that would be harmful to the environment. Are you supposed to be a democrat? Suggesting I harm the environment? They might kick you out of the party. Watch what you say, sir. But...be sure to look at the beliefs of Obama's church. Then you'll be an educated voter.

Posted by: gone_tothebeach | February 22, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Daer Mr. Balz,

Both your two columns today, about Hillary and about Obama, have a subtle but clear anti-Obama slant. Have you had a neutral party go over your columns and give you an honest unbiased opinion about such possible slants that may be happening unconsciously?

Munir

Posted by: Munir1 | February 22, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama Woos South Texas Students by giving them a piece of his snotty tissue to take home and treasure forever!!! All this while they fervently fawn and faint and swoon. Koolaid much?

Posted by: brigittepj | February 22, 2008 7:28 PM | Report abuse

The latest poll from Texas is out and has Clinton up 5% which is projected as an 8 delegate lead. Link, which also includes the latest PA poll: http://www.campaigndiaries.com/2008/02/clinton-still-ahead-in-upcoming.html

Posted by: JakeD | February 22, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

kurtrk:

Did you take a look at any of the moronic ruminations from Obama's church?

Posted by: JakeD | February 22, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

On another thread, we were discussing whether Obama can take any State (like Texas or Florida) that Bush won in 2000 or 2004 -- here are some demographics:

Texas 12.09% (2005 est.)
African-Americans

vs.

Mississippi 37.24%
Florida 16.31%
Louisiana 33.47%
Alabama 26.70%
Georgia 30.29%
South Carolina (less than) 30% African-Americans

Posted by: JakeD | February 22, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

gone_tothebeach,

Please toss your laptop with your moronic ruminations into the sea.

Posted by: kurtrk | February 22, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

On "Meet the Press" Sunday, Ralph Nader -- will he run again in 2008? He could suck Independent votes from either McCain or Obama.

Posted by: JakeD | February 22, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Take a look at the belief system of Obama's church:

http://tucc.org/black_value_system.html

Posted by: gone_tothebeach | February 22, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

I wish America would wake up to the REAL OBAMA! He is very scary. He has his own agenda for our country and it's not anything that is good for America. He and his wife are bitter about everything in America yet they are living the American dream. Why are they so bitter? Why is she not proud of her country until her husband is winning a presidential election? Wake up America before it's too late!!

Posted by: gone_tothebeach | February 22, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama will NOT be sworn in as President on January 20, 2009.

Posted by: JakeD | February 22, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

TELEGRAM TO HILLARY:


HILLARY, IT'S OVER ! STOP. SORRY, BUT YOU LOST! STOP
OBAMA IS NOW THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE!
STOP
IT'S OVER! STOP
WISCONSIN CLINCHED IT! STOP
OBAMA IS GOING TO BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT!
HILLARY, STOP
STOP!

Posted by: kevinlarmee | February 22, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I hope this is not over by March 5th -- I'm having too much fun -- KEEP GOING, HILLARY!!!

Posted by: JakeD | February 22, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

It looks like Hillary is tired of the whole routine. Steve Clemons thinks she is giving up.
http://jtaplin.wordpress.com/2008/02/22/is-hillary-giving-up/

Posted by: Trumbull | February 22, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

zuckermand:

Why leave out the "question mark" from my comment? It was an honest question -- since the Cuba issue came up last night at the debate -- if Obama indicate he now intends to renege on his pledge to "aggressively pursue an agreement" for public financing, how exactly would unbiased reporting of that look like in your perfect world?

Posted by: JakeD | February 22, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Balz: Obama quickly slipped behind the blue curtain and disappeared.

Message sent.

1st comment: Obama is already dodging difficult questions from McCain's side

Message received

PS- "quickly"? Given Mr Balz's age and tendency to embellish, that's a characterization I won't rely on.

Posted by: zukermand | February 22, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Dan Balz:

If you weren't such a lightweight, you would have asked a few questions:

1. Didn't Cesar Chavez oppose illegal immigration, even turning illegal aliens in to the INS? Why did he do that?

2. Obama supports an anti-American bill called the DREAMAct, something that lets illegal aliens take college discounts and college spots away from U.S. citizens. Doesn't his support for that anti-American bill conflict with his other proposal?

3. Hasn't the border fence worked wonders in San Diego? And, is there anyone who thinks the fence alone will reduce illegal immigration? Hasn't Obama encouraged illegal immigration in word and deed, such as by marching in support of illegal immigration (at an event organized by those linked to the Mexican government and Mexican political parties) and by discouraging immigration enforcement?

As a bonus, you could ask him who he was speaking in code to:

http://lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007494.html

It's obvious he was speaking in code, the only question is, to whom?

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | February 22, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Nope, that where I got the part about "Obama has indicated he intends to renege on the pledge".

Posted by: JakeD | February 22, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, you must be behind in your reading. Sen Obama had an Op-Ed in USA Today the other day outlining his stance on campaign finance.

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | February 22, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

It wouldn't surprise me one bit, since Obama has indicated he intends to renege on the pledge to "agressively pursue" an agreement for public financing.

Posted by: JakeD | February 22, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

"Will he duck behind a curtain during the Presidential Debates too?"

Yes. I understand that the negotiations for the general election debates have begun. Obama has specified that he is ever to be placed more than 10 ft from an opening in the curtain. Candidates will be standing - also to facilite a speedy departure when necessary. Though I also understand there's a caveat allowing seated debates - if the seats are ejection models, which would also moot the curtain requirement.

Posted by: bsimon | February 22, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

He may just get that chance to dash behind a curtain when he gets to the presidential debates, as for sure he has the upper-hand on things now vs. Hillary:

Hillary's Personal Alamo: The Google Effect
http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=53

Posted by: davidmwe | February 22, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Obama is already dodging difficult questions from McCain's side? Will he duck behind a curtain during the Presidential Debates too?

Posted by: JakeD | February 22, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

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