Despite pleas from governors and top lawmakers, Barack Obama "didn't sound eager" on 4/17 to debate in NC this month. Obama said he doubts a debate would cover any new ground. Obama: "I could deliver" Hillary Clinton's lines. "I'm sure she could deliver mine." Obama also expressed frustration about 4/16's debate. Obama: "I think we set a new record because it took us 45 minutes before we even started talking about a single issue that matters to the American people." Dem chair Jerry Meek said a debate could help the party raise as much as $300K through individual sponsorships of pre- and post-debate receptions. Meek: "There is a financial component to this, as well as a part-building component" (Morrill/Ingram, Charlotte Observer, 4/18).
The Invisible Man
In the 4 months since John Edwards abandoned his second WH bid, "he's all but disappeared." If Edwards has made up his mind between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, "not only is he keeping quiet about it, he's not even putting himself in a position where he might be asked." The silence "has not gone unnoticed."
Obama and Clinton have traveled to NC "for visits at his Chapel Hill home that both candidates tried to keep secret." Edwards mngr. David Bonior said he expects Edwards and his wife "to step back into public life to push for action on poverty and other issues that were at the heart of his presidential campaign." Bonior: "I wish that he would speak up more on those issues that he cares about" (Baker, AP, 4/17).
Tell Me How It Feels To Be The One Who Turns The Knife Inside Of Me
Obama said 4/17 "that he was disappointed with the 'gotcha' tone" of the Philly debate with Clinton, making a proposed NC debate increasingly unlikely. Obama: "They like stirring up controversy, and they like playing gotcha games, getting us to attack each other. Senator Clinton looked in her element. She was taking every opportunity to get a dig in there. That's her right to kind of twist the knife a little bit."
"Saying one must brush off such attacks, Obama provoked laughter when he used his hands to dust his shoulders and his pants." Obama's comments suggest that NC's primary "-- which began mostly on a positive note -- may be hading toward the harsher tone that has marked the campaign in other states."
Obama: "I don't think she crossed any lines. I think she has run a conventional Washington campaign. The textbook Washington manual says if you are behind, then you must go on the attack." More: "She hasn't done anything that I won't confront from Republicans in greater measure should I end up being the Democratic nominee" (Christensen, Raleigh News & Observer, 4/18).
Obama: "We're trying to figure out what our schedules look like, but I'll be honest with you, we've now had 21." Obama said that is NC hosts a debate, IN will say "what about us?" Over the past 3 days, Gov. Mike Easly, ex-Gov. Jim Hunt and NC Dem leaders "have sent letters to Obama urging hims to agree to the debate" (Romoser, Winston-Salem Journal, 4/18).
Nice Excuse To Get Out Of Class
"A get-out-the-vote march brought hundreds of college students and others to the Forsyth Couny Board of Elections office" 4/17 to cast ballots on the first day of early voting. A drum line from the Winston-Salem Univ. band "led the way was students marched from the clock tower on campus about noon." A group from Salem College met the WSSU students, to make a group of about 200.
Although Obama supporters organized the march, "they weren't the only ones." Clinton supporter/Amber Brown, who marched from Salem College, "said she didn't feel intimidated by all the Obama supporters. She said she was more worried that her relatives," supporters of John McCain, would see her.
Nat'l Clinton chair Terry McAuliffe "was making the rounds of voting places in the central Piedmost to promote early voting." His stops included Mocksville and Lexington, "where about nine people showed up in front of the Davidson County Board of Elections office" (Young, Winston-Salem Journal, 4/18).
Cumberland Co. voters began casting primary ballots 4/17 "in record-number fashion." As of 5 p.m., 744 had voted -- "about seven times the normal turnout for the opening day for the early-voting" (Barksdale, Fayetteville Observer, 4/18).
This article appears in the April 18, 2008, edition of Latest Edition.