Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Too Busy for the People?

More and more people – including left-leaning libs like the leaders of La Raza and the editors of the San Francisco Chronicle – seem to be grumbling about Sen. Obama's willingness to talk to the people of this great nation:

Presidential candidate Barack Obama addressed the nation's largest Latino civil rights group here Sunday, but the appearance before the National Council of La Raza raised questions about whether the Democrat - who declined a town hall appearance here with GOP rival John McCain - is too shielded from off-the-cuff grilling from voters and the press.
Obama told [La Raza] he is "not taking a single Latino vote for granted," adding, "I know how powerful this community is - and by the way, so does John McCain."

But in making the La Raza appearance, Obama rejected McCain's challenge for a joint town hall appearance before the organization, which gathered 15,000 people in San Diego this weekend - and represented the capstone of a week in which both candidates addressed Latino issues in several major venues across the country.

Obama delivered his 30-minute remarks Sunday without accepting questions from the audience, or later from the state and local media - a contrast with the Arizona senator, who has generally held a town hall meeting weekly as part of his campaign events, and whose "Straight Talk Express" bus rides with reporters have been a hallmark of his campaign.

McCain will address the La Raza group today and has scheduled a town hall session for the public Tuesday in Albuquerque, expected to draw a largely Latino audience.
Apparently, this is the closest Obama came to mixing and meeting with actual voters during his San Diego stay:

Of course, this is not the first "town hall" question and answer opportunity that Obama has refused, nor I am sure will it be his last. As radio host Laura Ingraham reported in her latest daily e-blast, Obama has as yet refused to take part in a similar town hall meeting and debate with McCain in front of the military servicemen he hopes to soon lead (or abandon, as the case may be):

POTENTIAL COMMANDER-"OF"-CHIEF AVOIDS MILITARY: We'd like to know what incredibly important event Barack Obama has scheduled on August 11 that prevents him from participating in a debate at Texas' Fort Hood. The townhall event, sponsored by an array of military support groups, hopes to offer the 6,000-strong audience (predominantly veterans and military families) an opportunity to directly question their next commander-in-chief. John McCain is ready and willing, but so far the Obama just can't find an opening. We wonder what scares him most -- a face-to-face matchup with McCain, potential heckles, or simply not being in front of his customary mass gathering of zombies. Whatever the explanation, Obama looks weak in front an audience that needs to respect him as their commander. Not a good start.
I wonder if the San Francisco Chronicle will push the good senator on this missed opportunity as well...

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