Obama to Address King's Legacy in Indiana
Updated 12: 23 p.m.
By Shailagh Murray and Alec MacGillis
Today is the 40th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, and both Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain will commemorate the day with appearances in Memphis. Clinton will speak at the Mason Temple, the headquarters of the Church of God and Christ, where King delivered his famous "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech on April 3, 1968, a day before his death. McCain speaks to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and will lay a wreath at the National Civil Rights Museum.
Sen. Barack Obama, however, couldn't make it to Memphis. Later today he is the keynote speaker at the North Dakota Democratic Party's state convention, a long-standing commitment, and he couldn't squeeze in a Memphis stop and still make the Grand Forks date. Instead, his campaign said Obama would talk about King's legacy during a town hall meeting in Fort Wayne, Ind., at noon.
Obama won the North Dakota caucus by a 2 to 1 margin Feb. 5 and has the support of both senators, Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad, and the state's lone House member, Earl Pomeroy. But earlier this week, Clinton confirmed that she too would attend the North Dakota convention. Her speaking slot is later tonight -- leaving plenty of time for her to visit Memphis as well.
Asked, after touching down in Fort Wayne, if he was worried about how his absence would be perceived, Obama said no. "I spoke at Dr. King's church on his birthday ... and I obviously gave a very fulsome speech on the state of race relations just two weeks ago. I think it's important to spread the message that Dr. King's work is unfinished to places like Indiana and North Dakota."
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