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Obama Goes Downscale for Intimate Mo. Fundraiser

By Jonathan Weisman
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- On a Tuesday night when John McCain was raising $3.2 million at a lavish estate outside Denver, Barack Obama was in a nondescript, windowless room in the University Plaza Hotel (to call it a ballroom would be generous), taking what he could from 40 to 50 Missourians.

The group stood on line to take pictures with the candidate, milled around and chatted with Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). Participants say they paid $5,000 to the Obama Victory Fund to get in, although some confessed they were invitees, not donors.

Organizer Nadia Cavner said the event raised $250,000, hailing that as a record for Springfield.

Obama stood on a small riser and spoke proudly of his trip abroad last week, saying, "What struck me was how hungry people were for American leadership." Of the 200,000 who came out to hear him in Berlin, he said, "They know that if America stands up and is leading with its values and ideals, then the whole world benefits."

A shortened stump speech lamented the 468,000 jobs lost since the beginning of this year, the highest rate of foreclosure since the Great Depression, spiraling gas and education prices and an average family income that has "flat-lined."

"We may be the first generation to pass on an America that is a little poorer than the one we inherited from our parents and grandparents," he said.

Speaking to "a lot of doctors in this room," he promised universal health care access by the end of his first term, a line that drew loud applause. He promised to spend $15 billion a year over the next decade on renewable energy sources, and he spoke of common-sense Midwestern values, singling out a woman who said she was his fourth cousin twice removed on his maternal side.

By Post Editor  |  July 29, 2008; 11:37 PM ET
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Barack Obama is a rockstar! Berlin saw it and the rest of the world will see soon!

Posted by: Anju Chandel | July 31, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Another reason to not elect McCain... He'll cut spending at home only to keep spending in the Middle East at the same level, if not higher. At least Obama's spending will benefit Americans.

Here's an interesting take on the ever increasing deficit.

Posted by: lord jeff | July 30, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

theass, Try saying the two words that Bush and McBush can't bring themselves to say: "Alternative Energy." If Bush weren't bought and paid for by his buddies in the oil and gas industry, we could have made a huge amount of progress on solar, wind, compressed air, etc. and made great strides on reducing our independence on foreign oil. The longer we wait, the worse off we'll be.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Can't the GOP voters see Mccain for what he is? Just like Bush a Puppet for big bussiness. Mccain gives speeches (written by the GOP) and then forgets what he has recited. I feel embaresed for him just like I did for George Bush and the face he presents for the world to see. No wonder the other countries see us as stupid and easy prey, look at the leader we elected.
WE have a chance to change. Obama is willing to tackle all the troubles the GOP have dropped in our lap. Mccain would continue to dance for the GOP puppetiers

Posted by: E Collins | July 30, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

If you don't like a candidate don't vote for him. You don't have to hate him so much for what he looks like and what he stands for, it is not good for your health.

Posted by: Fred | July 30, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

So he actually deigned to meet with the little people. What a hardship that must have been for him. To not actually ask for $250M up front to be blessed with his presence.... His campaign has become all about buying the presidency. Nothing more, nothing less...

Posted by: LAMM01 | July 30, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

We all know that "popular" rock bands bring 200,000 people into the city center on a weekday. What was the number who came to see the Rolling Stones--30,000? These rock bands who performed before Obama drew seven times that number and no one can remember their names.

And everybody left as soon as the bands finished. Too bad there was no one in the audience when Obama spoke.

Posted by: carolinagirl | July 30, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Bayerishes Maedchen | July 30, 2008 1:41 AM

Ahem to someone who is there and can think critically of what is "reported".

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 8:37 AM | Report abuse

." Of the 200,000 who came out to hear him in Berlin, he said, "They know that if America stands up and is leading with its values and ideals, then the whole world benefits." There were 2 popular rock bands there before he spoke. The mainstream press has NOT reported this. WHY NOT?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

"What struck me was how hungry people were for American leadership." Of the 200,000 who came out to hear him in Berlin, he said, "They know that if America stands up and is leading with its values and ideals, then the whole world benefits."

...He's right, you know. We have all become used to so much less, we have difficulty remembering how it should be.

Posted by: Susan | July 30, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Ward, that we know of. Yup, and Larry Craig was practicing tap dancing in the airport men's room. One thing you have to hand to the GOP, they took crime off the streets and put it in political office where it belongs.

Posted by: Not Tricky Dick | July 30, 2008 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Obama is an awesome leader! I appreciate how is concerned for America's future! He has shown great leadership and organization! I have been so impressed with how he brings people together and how he has met with all the leaders, economic advisor! He doesn't waste time! He get's his work done! Obama will be great for America!

Posted by: ebony | July 30, 2008 2:36 AM | Report abuse

repugs have to work late to get in their jab before being overwhelmed by the reasoned in the morning. Racism as a dynamic.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | July 30, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

Hey cheer up Republicans, at least Ted Stevens didn't get caught having sex with children!!

Posted by: Ward | July 30, 2008 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps Obama should read what the rest of Germany had to say about his visit there and to the other leaders of Europe.
Bottom line, crowds turn out when the circus is in town and they could care a less about the leadership in America. To portray himself as being the European Dream President is delusional beyond belief. That many want to see us put our money where our mouth is by electing a black man to the Whitehoue shouldn't be construed as any more interesting to them than watching any other train wreck.
Read his speech word for word from Berlin and you'll see a man restating the obvious, quoting history, and attempting to assume the credit for deeds our military accomplished many years ago. Europe doesn't need American Leadership to reset their moral or any other compass. Let's clean our own house before we presume to offer housekeeping to the rest of the world.

Posted by: Bayerishes Maedchen | July 30, 2008 1:41 AM | Report abuse

O is evil incarnate.

Posted by: Gabriel | July 30, 2008 12:59 AM | Report abuse

Obama, you promise and talk too much. Shut your trap.

Posted by: Nancy P | July 30, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Sooooo, the Elitist;

is "Sluming" ! :-(

Posted by: RAT-The | July 30, 2008 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Obama is a slave to his ambitions.

Posted by: Ted | July 30, 2008 12:36 AM | Report abuse

Theaz, Better to be tree hugger and respect our earth then be ignorant and selfish like you.
How does it feel to be part of party that is full of criminals and thugs.

Posted by: vwcat | July 30, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

So is it the lying, the cheating, or the stealing that makes you a Republican?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 30, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

How you going to tax us enough for Universal Health Care if our economy runs out of gas, tree huggers?

Posted by: theaz | July 30, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

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