Tales from the Trail

Obama camp to superdelegates: “Read the newspapers”

May 7, 2008

CHICAGO – As Barack Obama celebrated his compelling win in North Carolina and the unexpected closeness of the Indiana race on Tuesday night, his senior strategist said one of the campaign’s top tasks now is to court influential Democratic Party figures.
The Democratic senator from Illinois was seen as showing resilience after a bumpy ride in which he has struggled with questions about his former pastor’s fiery sermons and efforts by Clinton to paint him as an “out of touch” elitist.
Analysts said his rival Hillary Clinton, who won only narrowly in Indiana where she had been favored to do well, was likely to face increased pressure to exit the race because her showing did little to advance her argument that she would be more electable than Obama in a matchup against Republican Sen. John McCain.
Asked by reporters whether there would be a slew of new endorsements from the party stalwarts and officials known as the “superdelegates,” Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, was careful not to reveal too much.
“We’re going to be reaching out to them,” Axelrod told reporters as Obama, who would be the first black U.S. president, flew back home to Chicago from his evening rally in North Carolina.
The Obama strategist said the message in these conversations would be a simple one: “Read the newspapers.”

Fiery sermons at Obama’s church unnerved Oprah

May 4, 2008

Fiery sermons didn’t drive Barack Obama away from his church, but they did unnerve one other prominent parishioner — media mogul Oprah Winfrey.

As politicians come to North Carolina, Edwards goes to Disneyworld

April 29, 2008

While Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton criss-cross North Carolina hunting for votes ahead of the May 6 Democratic primary election, one prominent resident of the state is missing: John Edwards.rtr1wh8r.jpg

On field of dreams, Clinton mangles metaphor

April 26, 2008

hillary-in-south-bend.jpgSOUTH BEND, INDIANA – Sports are a natural metaphor for political campaigns — both have winners and losers, competing teams, and a final score.

Handshake not enough to win over bar patrons

April 26, 2008

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stopped in a sports bar in Gary, Indiana, on Friday, but these two customers who shook her hand said that wasn’t necessarily enough to win their votes.

Clinton challenges Obama to more debates

April 26, 2008

hillary.jpgEAST CHICAGO, Ind. – Democratic presidential candidates have held more than 20 debates. Evidently that’s not enough for Hillary Clinton.

Obama: You don’t have to talk tough to be tough

April 23, 2008

NEW ALBANY, Ind. – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Wednesday brushed aside Hillary Clinton’s attempts to portray him as someone who lacked toughness and could not stand the heat of the media glare.obamatough.jpg

Bill Clinton takes on Obama, media on race comments

April 22, 2008

Bill Clinton is making news again.

Campaigning for his wife Hillary in Pennsylvania, the former president accused the Obama campaign of “playing the race card” and later lashed out at a reporter who asked him about his comments.billclinton

‘Why can’t I just eat my waffle?’

April 22, 2008

obama-in-pa.jpgSCRANTON, Pa. – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama kicked off a day of campaigning in Pennsylvania by dropping by a Scranton diner for a breakfast of waffles, sausage and orange juice.
But the press corps went hungry — hungry for an answer that is.
The Illinois senator brushed aside a question from one reporter on his reaction to former President Jimmy Carter’s description of a positive meeting with leaders of the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas.
“Why can’t I just eat my waffle?” Obama replied.
Reporters traveling with the Illinois senator, fighting with his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton over Pennsylvania ahead of its vote on Tuesday, are venting frustration over a lack of access to the candidate lately. Obama has not held a press availability in 10 days, though he has given dozens of interviews to local press in Pennyslvania.
Republicans have pounced on Obama’s “waffle” comment, suggesting he is evading tough questions.
“Today, Obama continued to dodge questions from the media, responding that he just wanted to eat his waffle,” the Republican National Committee said in an email sent to reporters that included press accounts of the waffle incident at the Glider diner.
Both Obama and Clinton are far less accessible to the media than presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, known for holding lengthy question-and-answer sessions with reporters on his Straight Talk Express bus.
The sessions last so long that some reporters say they run out of questions.

Philly supporters to Obama: pay up

April 11, 2008

Democratic candidate Barack Obama, who has built his candidacy on the promise of a “new kind of politics,” has run up against the old kind of politics in Philadelphia.