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Recruiting Voters and a Quarterback, Obama Touches Down in New Orleans

Barack Obama (D-IL) arrives at the Tulane University before a campaign event in New Orleans February 7, 2008. (Reuters)

By Shailagh Murray
NEW ORLEANS -- Sen. Barack Obama came to this beleaguered city on an important mission.

"We need a quarterback in Chicago," he told a cheering crowd on the Tulane University campus. "Is there another Manning brother somewhere?"

Before a crowd of 3,500, with 1,500 more listening on loudspeakers outside, Obama pledged to rebuild New Orleans and tackle the poverty and social problems that have riven this city since long before Hurricane Katrina hit.

Obama's promises to the city include: a new hospital downtown and federal funds to revamp the police force; a faster and more efficient rebuilding effort; a $250 million investment to bring teachers and principals back to the Gulf region, with bonuses for those who make a three-year commitment.

Addressing the many students who filled the basketball arena, Obama urged them to stay behind in New Orleans after graduating "to make this work your own. Because you are the change that this city seeks. You can be this city's tomorrow. You can help close those divisions that have plagued us for so long." Two days after Fat Tuesday, he noted: "This is not summer camp. We are not here for fun."

Speaking of Fat Tuesday, the Obama campaign reported that its post-Feb. 5 haul had risen to $7.5 million.

By Web Politics Editor  |  February 7, 2008; 11:44 AM ET
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i agree with the one comment regarding obama's talent for bringing folk togeter. he's a lover not a hater!!!

barack's vision is to shift the paradigm in politics. doing politics as usual is what he starkely against. his focus is on three distinct things: openenss, honesty and collaboration. you think that those three things are important to the american people? as a republican, it sounds good to me. if i can handle his liberal positions relative to national security, economic development and immigration, i might be able to vote for him. i have certainly pumped money into his campaign because i want him to be the one that i can at least consider in the general election, not hillary. she is smart, but i cannot trust her. smart is not enough!

Posted by: alberta | February 8, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

um, not every single word out of a candidate's mouth needs to be in precise political alignment. I'm a Dem and a Bears fan and I'd happly cheer for either Payton or Eli Manning on our team. You see, the Obama campaign is all about bringing people together to achieve common purpose and it doesn't matter what the party affiliation. The more I think about his comment, the more I like it.

Posted by: matt_ahrens | February 8, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

What a glib baby-kisser Obama has proven to be -- I know for a fact the politics of Obama and those of the Mannings wouldn't mix well...
Common courtesy: Say nothing if you don't know what you're talking about.

Posted by: bava84 | February 8, 2008 5:28 AM | Report abuse

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