The Washington Times - August 18, 2008, 03:58PM

ALBUQUERQUE - Earlier today, Sen. Barack Obama chatted with about 50 women in a local library about fair pay and their concerns.



Here’s part of his opening statement:



Obama is starting a town hall forum now, after being introduced by Gov. Bill Richardson and offering a big compliment for potential VP dark horse and relatively early endorser Sen. Jeff Bingaman. (“If you look up in the dictionary the word ‘gentleman,’ you would see this man’s face,” Obama said. Bingamann didn’t speak.)


Watch the town hall here.


Obama also portrayed himself as a regular guy who understands economic woes yesterday in Nevada.


I had a story in today’s paper looking at the importance of rural spots in the battle for the White House.


RENO, Nev. | Sen. Barack Obama is taking his campaign to the rural backroads that helped him win early primaries but later slipped from his grasp.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s small town-hall meetings are aimed at showing voters that he understands their economic plight.

“This election is about whether or not we are going to sustain and maintain the American dream for the next generation,” Mr. Obama told voters here during an early-morning town hall before later jetting to San Francisco for a high-dollar fundraiser.

The Illinois senator bashed Sen. John McCain’s economic plan, linking the presumptive Republican nominee repeatedly to President Bush and saying they have “the same team and … the same strategy.”

“The wealthiest 1 percent have never had it so good, but ordinary families, middle-class families, saw their incomes go down by $1,000” under the Bush administration, he said. An Obama administration would push “an economy that’s working not just for some, but for all,” he said, drawing cheers.


Read the full story here.


I interviewed former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner for the piece, since he’ll appear with Obama Wednesday in Martinsville, Va. Warner gave me a little tease about what he’ll discuss in his DNC keynote next week.

RENO, Nev. | Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner hinted his Democratic National Convention keynote speech will focus as much on his famed “sensible center” as on getting things done.

“I think there is such cynicism about ‘Can you get politics to work again?’ ” Mr. Warner told The Washington Times on Sunday on a break from speech preparation. “I don’t want to say we got it completely right in Virginia, but there is a bit of a Virginia story here that we found some way to get Republicans and Democrats to work together and actually get stuff done.”

The Democrat acknowledged being “a tad nervous,” and he added that he hoped a recent minor basketball injury will heal enough to let him remove an Ace bandage before the big speech.

Read the full story here.

Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter,
The Washington Times


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