Tales from the Trail

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

He also expressed empathy for the daily struggles of older people worried about paying for prescription drugs and health care while trying to get by on a fixed income.

In a proposal that was popular with the group, Obama promised to try to eliminate the income tax on their Social Security benefits.

Clinton tries to ring 3 a.m. alarm again

To great effect during the Texas primary, Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton ran a television ad arguing that she was best able to handle a late night national security crisis if elected to the White House. Now she’s gone back to that well again.

The focus this time is the see-sawing economy and imploding housing market, leading Clinton to question whether presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain can handle that call at 3 a.m.

Clinton, who trails rival Barack Obama in the overall Democratic delegate race, leads in polls in Pennsylvania, the next state to hold its primary. The two senators are neck-and-neck in Indiana, which follows in early May.