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Obama Looks to the Southwest

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) gestures while talking to students at the Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts in Thornton, Colorado May 28, 2008. (Reuters)

By Karl Vick
THORNTON, Colo. -- The next and final Democratic primaries are in Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota.

Barack Obama spent the past three days in New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado.

Itinerary might not be destiny, but here was the schedule of a candidate keen to be seen taking the long view -- beyond the nomination battle his campaign claims to be essentially decided and toward a general election campaign to be fought in the booming states of an intermountain West no longer ceded wholesale to the Republican party.

"We are going to fight as hard as we can in these states," Obama said in Las Cruces, N.M., where he chose to observe Memorial Day. "We are going to send the message now that we are gong to after them and I expect to win them."

With November in mind, each day carried a theme: veterans affairs in Las Cruces, housing foreclosures in Las Vegas and here, in an upscale Denver suburb where all 44 high school seniors at Mapleton Expeditionary School for the Arts have been accepted to college next year, what could it be but education?

"In this kind of economy, countries who out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow," Obama said in the jam-packed auditorium of a small school that appears to have found a winning formula in using the arts to activate interest in topics usually confined to textbooks. "Already, China is graduating eight times as many engineers as we are. By 12th grade, our children score lower on math and science tests than most other kids in the world. And we now have one of the highest high school dropout rates of any industrialized nation in the world. ... It is worth crying about."

But as the candidate noted during the question and answer session that followed his policy speech, "You can go into any state and find 10 schools that are doing a great job educating their kids."

By highlighting one in Colorado, Obama was making the same calculation that Democratic leaders made in selecting Denver for the party's 2008 convention -- encouraging through dutiful attention the continued purpling of a once reliably red state that in recent years has grown steadily more hospitable to Democrats, at least at the state level.

"I'll see you back in August!" the Illinois Democrat called from the stage, after a night sheltering in the shadow of the brushed steel splendor of the Colorado Convention Center (opposite a vacant lot where a semi-permanent tent was going up, available for functions).

With its nine electoral votes, Colorado ranks behind only John McCain's home state of Arizona as the region's prize. New Mexico brings only five to the electoral college, but its tight-as-tick margins on presidential election nights challenges the metaphorical capacities even of Dan Rather. McCain spent Memorial Day in the Land of Enchantment, too.

The question is what a Democrat was doing in Nevada. Republicans have carried the state in eight of the past 10 cycles, and Bill Clinton's triumph came with a strong assist from the independent candidacy of Ross Perot.

"On every map Nevada shows up as a red state, but that could be changing," said Jon Ralston, a leading political journalist and blogger. Statewide polls show McCain ahead of both Obama and Hillary Clinton, but the state has three times as many people as it did in 1980, many of them service industry workers whose votes cancel out suburban Republicans and the state's deeply conservative rural reaches.

Ralston is impressed by Democrats' impressive voter registration efforts, and the Obama campaign's reason for stopping in Las Vegas: to highlight what he would do to ease the rate of home mortgage foreclosures, which in Nevada are running three or four times the national rate.
"McCain has said very little about it," Ralston said. "Obama was here to show that he cares about the number one economic issue in the state of Nevada, and begin turning the state his way."

Meanwhile, the campaign has scheduled stops in both Montana and South Dakota before Tuesday's voting.

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 28, 2008; 4:47 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Wheat, Silver and Nuclear Waste: McCain Takes Questions In Nevada
Next: Obama's Lobbying Contradiction


Hillary supporters,please join us in November and vote Hillary or McCain.There are 17+ million of us that voted for Hillary,we can stop this empty suit from bringing his UCC brand of unity and patriotism to the white house.Vote Hillary or McCain.Pass it on.

Posted by: obamamama | May 30, 2008 1:42 AM | Report abuse

hope the o man campaigns in arizona. we independents in mad dog's home state have been looking for a solid candidate to take back his senate seat for years with little help from the dems. maybe a smack down on the national level would send mad dog packing for good. he has been a poor senator and generally just another corrupt politician.

Posted by: blue111 | May 29, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

That picture calls for a funny caption.

Though it would be funnier if it was Hillary, with same hands and the same expression.

Posted by: gbooksdc | May 29, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

A tidbit from Mark Mellman:

"There is no relationship between how candidates perform among any particular group of voters in primaries and how they do with that segment in the general election. In 1992, Bill Clinton lost college-educated voters to Paul Tsongas in the early competitive primaries, but he went on to win that group in November by the largest margin any Democrat ever had. Similarly, John Kerry lost young voters in the competitive primaries in 2004 before going on to win them by a record margin in the general election.

Second, Democrats running for president have been losing white, non-college-educated voters since before Mr. Obama was elected to the Illinois legislature. Al Gore and Mr. Kerry each failed to win a majority of this bloc in the general election. With these voters, the size of the losing margin is what matters.

Mr. Gore lost them by 17 percentage points while winning the national popular vote. Mr. Kerry lost them by 23 points and the country by fewer than two and a half points. The last Democrat to win white, non-college voters was Bill Clinton, who carried them by a single point in the three-way races in 1992 and 1996.

By comparison, Mr. Obama is only two percentage points behind John McCain among these voters in the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. Another recent survey shows him down seven points.

In other words, Mr. Obama is faring better today with the white working class than did either Mr. Gore or Mr. Kerry."

Posted by: easyenough | May 29, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

You know what is funny. If After exhaustive research, and we know they have looked under every rock, all they have on Obama are the few lame things that people like to repeat. Like he misspoke and said 57 instead of 47, as everyone knows he meant as you have heard him say it many times. I think we have a pretty good candidate. Thank you all for the vetting, I am convinced now, he is a good guy.

Maybe Obama should focus on campaigning in the phantom 7 states. Apparently, the rest of America is too stupid to know that there are not 50, but 57 states. Obama, good luck in those seven states.

Obama is a joke, he can't get the number of states in the union correct and fabricates or tells tall tales of obscure uncles liberating the wrong concentration camp. Especially when he was trying to pander to the Jewish vote. Way to go Obama, I guess the best way to get the Jewish vote is by mixing up the concentration camps and making a foolish ploy to make yourself look patriotic.

Obama what have you done? Why must you constantly refer to other people to make up for your own short-comings. If your uncle speaks to your patriotism, I guess Rev. Wright also speaks to your racism.

Posted by: Hillary Can | May 28, 2008 5:41 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 29, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Jason I have seen your comments all over
the Internet. Just one thing do you know
about Donald Young? The gay guy that was a choir man at Trinity Church and was found death cause he knew too much about your
Messiah? Do you know who Larry Sinclair is?
Are you one of the many thugs that rigged the caucuses and intimidated voters for Senator Clinton, does Gary county Indiana
ring a bell? Have you seen the video coming
out about Michelle blasting the white
people? I have, and it ain't pretty!!!!!!!Folks fasten your seat belts it is going to be a hell of a ride.

Posted by: amurcia | May 29, 2008 3:32 AM | Report abuse

To those wondering if Obama can win mountain states - the answer is yes.

Colorado for one is in a state of transition from Republican to moderate Democrat, with a progressive, pragmatic mentality. Just a few years ago we had a Republican Governor and two Republican Senators (Bill Owens, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Wayne Allard), and have a new very popular and effective Democrat Governor (Bill Ritter), one Democrat Senator in office (Ken Salazar), and most likely a second Democrat Senator in November (Mark Udall, currently a US congressman).

Clearly the door is swinging the other way.

Posted by: Brian | May 29, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse


Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Montana, Aridzona, Even California and Oregon;

Hola! Mittster! :~)

McClown, What sort of Brain Cancer are you suffering?

Get Romney on board your Moron Express NOW!


Posted by: SAINT---The | May 29, 2008 1:04 AM | Report abuse

I am not sure if Obama has any more of a chance of winning in the mountain states than previous Democratic candidates. Perhaps, he has a chance in New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado. If he were to win these states it would be heroic.

The problem is that the more time and money he devotes to winning these states the less resources he has to defend in states like Minnesota (Pawlently possible McCain veep), Michigan (still sore about losing delegates, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and other usually Democratic states.

But Obama has raised a huge amount of money so maybe he can afford to do it all.

We will see.

Posted by: danielhancock | May 29, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Ever go to "Barry's" Web Site?

I wanted to find out about Barack O'Bomba-Nation's Stances and Issues!

Seems, unlike and, Obasama wants to find out about YOU, before he let's YOU know ANYTHING,

About HIM!


Posted by: RAT-The | May 28, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

This is what happens when you have dirt on the Clintons :
1 - James McDougal - Clinton's convicted Whitewater partner died of an apparent heart attack,
while in solitary confinement. He was a key witness in Ken Starr's investigation.
2 - Mary Mahoney - A former White House intern was murdered July 1997 at a Starbucks Coffee
Shop in Georgetown. The murder happened just after she was to go public with her story of sexual
harassment in the White House.
3 - Vince Foster - Former white House councilor, and colleague of Hillary Clinton at Little Rock's
Rose Law firm. Died of a gunshot wound to the head, ruled a suicide.
4 - Ron Brown - Secretary of Commerce and former DNC Chairman. Reported to have died by impact
in a plane crash. A pathologist close to the investigation reported that there was a hole in the top of
Brown's skull resembling a gunshot wound. At the time of his death Brown was being investigated,
and spoke publicly of his willingness to cut a deal with prosecutors.
5 - C. Victor Raiser II and Montgomery Raiser, Major players in the Clinton fund raising organization
died in a private plane crash in July 1992.
6 - Paul Tulley - Democratic National Committee Political Director found dead in a hotel room in
Little Rock, September 1992... Described by Clinton as a "Dear friend and trusted advisor."
7- Ed Willey - Clinton fund raiser, found dead November 1993 deep in the woods in VA of a gunshot
wound to the head. Ruled a suicide. Ed Willey died on the same day his wife Kathleen Willey claimed
Bill Clinton groped her in the oval office in the White House. Ed Willey was involved in several
Clinton fund raising events.
8 - Jerry Parks - Head of Clinton's gubernatorial security team in Little Rock. Gunned down in his
car at a deserted intersection outside Little Rock. Park's son said his father was building a dossier on
Clinton. He allegedly threatened to reveal this information. After he died the files were mysteriously
removed from his house.
9 - James Bunch - Died from a gunshot suicide. It was reported that he had a "Black Book" of people
which contained names of influential people who visited prostitutes in Texas and Arkansas.
10 - James Wilson - Was found dead in May 1993 from an apparent hanging suicide. He was reported
to have ties to Whitewater.
11- Kathy Ferguson, ex-wife of Arkansas Trooper Danny Ferguson, was found dead in May 1994, in
her living room with a gunshot to her head. It was ruled a suicide even though there were several
packed suitcases, as if she were going somewhere. Danny Ferguson was a co-defendant along with
Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones lawsuit. Kathy Ferguson was a possible corroborating witness for Paula
12 - Bill Shelton - Arkansas State Trooper and fiancee of Kathy Ferguson. Critical of the suicide ruling
of his fiancee, he was found dead in June, 1994 of a gunshot wound also ruled a suicide at the grave
site of his fiancee.
13 - Gandy Baugh - Attorney for Clinton's friend Dan Lassater, died by jumping out a window of a
tall building January, 1994. His client was a convicted drug distributor.
14 - Florence Martin - Accountant & sub-contractor for the CIA, was related to the Barry Seal Mena
Airport drug smuggling case. He died of three gunshot wounds.
15 - Suzanne Coleman - Reportedly had an affair with Clinton when he was Arkansas Attorney
General. Died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, ruled a suicide. Was pregnant at the time
of her death.
16 - Paula Grober - Clinton's speech interpreter for the deaf from 1978 until her death December 9,
1992. She died in a one car accident.
17 - Danny Casolaro - Investigative reporter. Investigating Mena Airport and Arkansas Development
Finance Authority. He slit his wrists, apparently, in the middle of his investigation.
18 - Paul Wilcher - Attorney investigating corruption at Mena Airport with Casolaro and the 1980 "
October Surprise" was found dead on a toilet June 22, 1993 in his Washington DC apartment. Had
delivered a report to Janet Reno three weeks before his death
19 - Jon Parnell Walker - Whitewater investigator for Resolution Trust Corp. Jumped to his death
from his Arlington, Virginia apartment balcony August15, 1993. He was investigating the Morgan
Guarantee scandal.
20 - Barbara Wise - Commerce Department staffer. Worked closely with Ron Brown and John Huang.
Cause of death unknown. Died November 29, 1996. Her bruised, nude body was found locked in her
office at the Department of Commerce.
21- Charles Meissner - Assistant Secretary of Commerce who gave John Huang special security
clearance, died shortly thereafter in a small plane crash.
22 - Dr. Stanley Heard - Chairman of the National Chiropractic Health Care Advisory Committee,
died with his attorney Steve Dickson in a small plane crash. Dr. Heard, in addition to serving on
Clinton's advisory council personally treated Clinton's mother, stepfather and brother.
23 - Barry Seal - Drug running pilot out of Mena, Arkansas, death was no accident.
24 - Johnny Lawhorn Jr. - Mechanic, found a check made out to Bill Clinton in the trunk of a car left
at his repair shop. He was found dead after his car had hit a utility pole.
25 - Stanley Huggins - Investigated Madison Guarantee. His death was a purported suicide and his
report was never released.
26- Hershell Friday - Attorney and Clinton fund raiser died March 1, 1994 when his plane exploded.
27 - Kevin Ives and Don Henry - Known as "The boys on the track" case. Reports say the boys may
have stumbled upon the Mena Arkansas airport drug operation. A controversial case, the initial report
of death said, due to falling asleep on railroad tracks. Later reports claim the two boys had been slain
before being placed on the tracks. Many linked to the case died before their testimony could come

before a Grand Jury.
28 - Keith Coney - Died when his motorcycle slammed into the back of a truck, July 1988.
29 - Keith McMaskle - Died stabbed 113 times, Nov, 1988
30 - Gregory Collins - Died from a gunshot wound January 1989.
31 - Jeff Rhodes - He was shot, mutilated and found burned in a trash dump in April 1989.
33 - James Milan - Found decapitated. However, the Coroner ruled his death was due to "natural
34 - Jordan Kettleson - Was found shot to death in the front seat of his pickup truck in June 1990.
35 - Richard Winters - A suspect in the Ives / Henry deaths. He was killed in a set-up robbery July 1989.
- Captain Scott J. Reynolds 38 - Sgt. Brian Hanley 39 - Sgt. Tim Sabel 40 - Major General William
Robertson 41 - Col. William Densberger 42 - Col. Robert Kelly 43 - Spec. Gary Rhodes 44 - Steve
Willis 45 - Robert Williams 46 - Conway LeBleu 47 - Todd McKeehan
Quite an impressive list! Pass this on. Let the public become aware of what happens to anyone who
might damage the Clinton machine

Posted by: jason | May 28, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

When youre weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all;
Im on your side. when times get rough
And friends just cant be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.

When youre down and out,
When youre on the street,
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you.
Ill take your part.
When darkness comes
And pains is all around,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.

Sail on silvergirl,
Sail on by.
Your time has come to shine.
All your dreams are on their way.
See how they shine.
If you need a friend
Im sailing right behind.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind.
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Posted by: olda | May 28, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Here's Obama inventing 7 brand new states:

And, as a bonus, here's a few things the MSM is afraid to ask him about:

If anyone wants to do a good turn, print out that flier, pass it out before his events, and encourage people to ask him about those issues.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | May 28, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone tell me where Obama said there are 57 states in US?

Posted by: hi | May 28, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

If we're at a point culturally where one concentration camp is "better" than another to have been liberated, it's not a progression. I have more faith in the Jewish community than that.

As to those who will vote McCain if Hillary is not nominated, why would you vote for someone the opposite of the candidate you had voted for as if this shows anything but a disturbing lack of judgment and clarity.

This isn't American Idol, I need Obama in, but would have voted Hillary if her "inevitable" run had actually happened.

I don't think it impressive for her to keep on with the Michigan Florida debacle as if she is preaching from on high. We already have one leader in denial with the Iraq war, I don't need a primary contender who has such a dogmatic way of looking at things.

Even clinton supporters recognize that some of that michigan "other" or undecided vote would be from Obama people with no name on the ballot. Not controversial. Just as its clear caucus state votes should also count in a popular vote count.

For Hillary to make it a case of disenfranchisement and not personal gain seems insulting to Clinton supporters, who are generally good people and DO know better despite the medias portrayal of them as die hard Hillary fanatics.

Sexism won't be defeated or won if one person is or is not elected somewhere, if that is the thought, I doubt the sincerity of the motivations of the cause. Let's come together and support Obama!!! McCain is a mistake!!

Posted by: Iowa grant | May 28, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow; interesting comments below. And Obama supporters are supposed to be the "educated" ones. Nice to know what an expensive liberal education will get you.

Posted by: Independent Thinker | May 28, 2008 5:52 PM | Report abuse

So Obama said there was 57 and not 50 states in America. What's the big deal? Seriously, like all of us are experts in U.S. geography. I bet most people don't even know what the capital of Iowa is.

McCain is senile - he will die in the White House, and Clinton has a win at all costs type of attitude.

We don't need their kind of politics.

Posted by: Stacey from PA | May 28, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

To those commenting about Obama's brain fart where he misspoke about Nazi concentration camps:

The Nazis were an evil regime.
People forget that America and the USSR were one the same side. They were our brothers in arms.

So it doesn't matter whether it was US troops or the Red Army that liberated the Jews. They are one and the same.

And to Jewish people who refuse to vote for Obama because he mistook one concentration for another, get real. Every concentration camp was the same. You should be grateful that the US Army and the Red Army saved your butts.

This article is clearly a ploy by a desparate Clinton campaign. So pathetic. Hillary - get lost. We don't need your kind of politics anymore.

Posted by: Obamacrat | May 28, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Obama should focus on campaigning in the phantom 7 states. Apparently, the rest of America is too stupid to know that there are not 50, but 57 states. Obama, good luck in those seven states.

Obama is a joke, he can't get the number of states in the union correct and fabricates or tells tall tales of obscure uncles liberating the wrong concentration camp. Especially when he was trying to pander to the Jewish vote. Way to go Obama, I guess the best way to get the Jewish vote is by mixing up the concentration camps and making a foolish ploy to make yourself look patriotic.

Obama what have you done? Why must you constantly refer to other people to make up for your own short-comings. If your uncle speaks to your patriotism, I guess Rev. Wright also speaks to your racism.

Posted by: Hillary Can | May 28, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Um, upscale?

"MESA is a high-poverty school. All 44 of its graduates this spring were accepted to four-year college programs"

"But by the time she was hired as superintendent in 2001, the metropolitan Denver area had exploded up and down the Front Range, and Mapleton had become a heavily developed, almost inner-city district. Today, about 70% of its residents are Hispanic, and over half are low-income."

The Internet: where you can get your stories factchecked for free!

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | May 28, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

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