Tales from the Trail

If it’s Tuesday, this must be North Carolina

rtr20881.jpgWINSTON-SALEM -  Republican John McCain had a “where-am-I?” moment Tuesday during a busy day on the campaign trail.

“I appreciate the hospitality of the students and faculty of West Virginia,” McCain told the audience at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
The audience laughed and McCain quickly corrected himself before launching in to a speech on judicial appointments.

With hectic campaign schedules that take them from town to town and state to state, the candidates sometimes stumble over where they are.

Campaigning in Wyoming in March, Barack Obama made a similar slip. Shaking hands and signing baseball caps at a diner, the Illinois senator said, “It’s really nice in Wisconsin,” and then added, “And Wyoming.”

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo credit: Reuters/Chris Keane (McCain speaks in North Carolina on Monday)

Obama says he’s not ‘obsessing’ over setbacks

Barack Obama says his campaign for U.S. president clearly has suffered damage from a series of controversies over the past few weeks, but he is trying to move forward without “obsessing” over the setbacks.rtr203y4.jpg

Obama says public comments by his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, calling the Sept. 11 attacks retribution for U.S. policy and blaming the U.S. government for the spread of AIDS would no doubt be a factor in some voters minds.

But he said he would leave it to pollsters to analyze the extent of the impact.

“We’ve had a rough couple of weeks. I won’t deny that,” Obama told reporters. “I don’t think that what happened with Rev. Wright was helpful,” said the Illinois senator who forcefully denounced the minister’s rhetoric earlier this week.

Obama courts the over-70 set

CHARLES CITY, Indiana – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama tried on Thursday to win over members of one of his most skeptical audiences: senior citizens.

Those voters have tended to be a strong base for Obama’s rival Hillary Clinton, a former first lady and New York senator. At 60, Clinton is older than the 46-year-old Obama and is seen by many older voters as the more experienced candidate.

Visiting an assisted living center in Indiana, the Illinois senator shared stories about his grandfather’s service in World War II, his grandmother’s frugality and his mother’s battle with cancer.barack.jpg

Senate candidate Al Franken’s tax goof bites

CHICAGO – Comedian, author and former radio talk show host Al Franken, the likely Democratic Senate candidate for Minnesota, is paying $70,000 in back taxes and penalties to 17 states to make up for what he says were mistakes by his accountant.

State Republicans say Franken, who was expected to pose rtr1n2zo.jpga strong challenge to incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman in the November election, is at fault. 

“Al Franken’s business activities must have a full, and complete public airing if he is to retain any credibility as a candidate for public office,” Ron Carey, chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota, said in a statement.