Barack Obama Visits Denver
Barack Obama quietly visited the Mile High City Sunday to build support and raise funds. "Obamamania", however, gripped those in attendance, as he was introduced by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. (slideshow)
But perhaps the mere presence of the candidate stumping in Denver 19 months out says more than the typical boilerplate Obama used in addressing his supporters, even as he tried to deal with charges of inexperience (video):
Obama acknowledged critics who say he lacks experience, but he said experience in Washington isn't all it's cracked up to be. He said he has a lot of experience as a state lawmaker working to fix the death penalty, walking the precincts and as a civil rights lawyer.Candidates like Obama recognize the state's importance not just in terms of electoral votes, but also visibility--as Denver hosts the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Democrats want to lay the foundation for a successful showing at next year's convention; Republicans would like to shore up support in a state many view as vulnerable to a Democratic swing, in spite of its superior number of registered voters. Both parties are courting the unpredictable independent unaffiliateds that populate much of the state.
"I say to them, `Look, I understand I'm a relatively young man. When you say I don't have enough experience, what you really mean is that I haven't been in Washington long enough. I've been in Washington long enough to know Washington needs to change," he told a cheering crowd of hundreds of supporters at the fundraiser at an events center.
Obama said the United States needs a better health care system, better education and a better energy policy. He also said the United States needs to get out of Iraq.
He then appealed for supporters to get out the vote and for help with fundraising, telling them "this campaign is a vehicle for your hopes and dreams."
Colorado--flyover country no longer.
Obama did have something to say regarding the war in Iraq:
But the crowd gave its loudest response when Obama reminded them of his early opposition to the war in Iraq."Cut and run" will apparently be Obama's foreign policy.
"I am proud of the fact that I was against the war in Iraq from the start," he said, adding he is just as proud of co-sponsoring a bill that calls for a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq by the spring of 2008.
"There are no military solutions to be had in Iraq," Obama said.