Obama Visits Southwest Virginia
By Juliet Eilperin
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) didn't make it to the rural district of Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) in the run-up to the Virginia primary, but he promised he would return once he had locked up his party's nomination.
Today, he delivered.
Boucher, who endorsed Obama in January but saw his conservative district support Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) in the primary, said the presumptive Democratic nominee "made a large start here in winning the hearts and minds of people in my district" as he addressed roughly 3,000 people in Bristol, Va..
"No sooner had he secured the Democratic nomination, then he came here," Boucher said in a phone interview, adding that the crowd "packed the biggest indoor facility" in his district. "The enthusiasm today was just remarkable."
Boucher said he was confident that with enough time in the state, Obama would be able to defeat his GOP rival, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). Plus, he was just happy people are competing In Virginia at all.
"We have not had a competitive presidential race in Virginia since 1964," he said. "Both parties used to take Virginia for granted. This year, that's going to change."
Boucher's prediction? "I think Obama will win Virginia. And if Virginia votes Democratic, then I think he wins the White House."
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