Friday, June 01, 2007

Reactions to Obama in Reno and Carson City

Barack Obama made his first trip to Northern Nevada yesterday. In different news reports the crowd was estimated between 3,000 and 4,000 - surpassing Hillary's 3,000 in Reno a month ago. Interestingly, Obama's visit was on a work day while Hillary's town hall was on a Sunday. Here's a sample of the reactions:

Nevada Appeal: Carson City cheers Obama

Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell, D-Carson City, said she was impressed with Obama even though he didn't go into detail about his politics.

"I think we were all just waiting at that point to shake his hand and have kind of a private little conversation with him," she said. "I think he's very exciting."

Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, said she liked how Obama talked about his experience as a state legislator.

"Of course," she said, "that's a very popular thing for us to hear."

Leslie said she is supporting Obama for president, and likes being in a state that has an early primary that gives her the chance to meet so many possible presidential candidates.

After Obama left the Legislative Building, he went to a home on Kings Canyon Road where amateur and professional politicians cheered a speech he gave from a flight of stairs in the living room.

Nevada Appeal: Obama: Bush's environmental policy 'deeply disturbing'

After addressing a campaign-friendly crowd of more than 3,000 at Wingfield Park, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama told the Tahoe Daily Tribune on Thursday he would work to reverse environmental laws rolled back from the Bush administration's time in office.


"Certainly, there's been a chipping away at clean-air and clean-water laws. It's deeply disturbing. Fortunately, some of them can be reversed by executive order," he said in the media conference after the afternoon rally.

Obama explained the Environmental Protection Agency has been demoralized and "not taken seriously." He added the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the fray of agencies intimidated by the politics of the day.

"These people need to feel they can carry out their jobs with vigor. I'll tell you, one of the things you can count on me for is integrity, confidence and people who are experts at management and (are) independent. I want somebody to argue with me and tell me when I'm wrong. That's what my wife does," he said.

Reno Gazette-Journal: Obama strikes a cord with locals

Barack Obama hit a chord with Danette and Bill Thomas when he talked about the civil rights movement as his inspiration.

The retired Minden couple were involved in the movement in the 1960s and remain involved today.

"I have the same emotions with him as I had with John Kennedy," Danette said. "He was the first person I got to vote for when I was young. He just has that charisma."

The Thomases were among more than 4,000 people who baked in the hot sun for more than two hours to wait and then listen to the Democratic presidential candidate's speech at Wingfield Park in downtown Reno.

"He spoke on everything I believe in," Danette said. "Ending the war. Education. Health care. He's fabulous."

They both vowed to do more for his campaign. Others also were wowed.

He said the Nevada caucuses will help define the national race.

"We are going to be competing actively and vigorously," he said.

Obama spent the morning in Carson City, where he met with about 50 voters at Comma Coffee before going across the street to speak with legislators.

He arrived in Reno about 1 p.m. and found a welcoming audience. A long line of people stretched along Arlington Avenue before gates opened and the crowd covered much of the island at Wingfield Park, most spectators standing for more than an hour in the 90-degree weather before Obama's speech began.

"It's really encouraging to see him here," said Connie Douglas of Spanish Springs. "I think he offers a fresh voice, which we need."

"I think he's fabulous," said Jan Corbelli of Reno. "We need fresh energy, and he definitely personifies that."

Elko Daily Free Press (AP): Obama sees political gains in conservative Nevada

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama predicted Thursday he’ll run well in politically conservative Nevada, one of the earliest primary states, comparing it to his home state of Illinois.


“One of the reasons I’m a U.S. senator is that I got strong support from places like southern Illinois where it’s about as rural and southern as you get,” Obama said.

“These are areas back in my home state that are pro-gun, very religious and with low minority populations — and we have consistently done well because I think there is a set of common values that people share.”

“If people feel you’re respectful and taking the time to talk to them, if you care about the things they care about, then you can do well regardless of what your background is,” Obama said.

The Sparks Tribune (with pictures): Obama in northern Nevada - Presidential candidate stirs crowd with first Reno visit

“I am confident in my capacity to lead this country,” Obama said. “I am confident in your desire to turn the page, but I can’t do it on my own. I can only do it with all of you. I can only do it because you decide that this campaign is a vehicle for your hopes and your dreams.”

Obama’s speech left many confident in his ability to lead this country as well.

“He’s saying what everybody’s feeling in the country,” Mark Hankins said. “He has the 21st century degree of courage that Martin Luther King had in the 60s. I’ve always been for hope and that’s what Barack Obama offers.”

BJ Olson, of Reno, shared similar sentiments and said she supports Obama because he’s for the working class.

“He’s young and fresh and wasn’t born with a silver spoon,” Olson said. “Everything he promised, he’s going to work for just as he’s been doing his whole life.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Presidential Politics: Obama campaigns in Reno

Obama said his would be a grass-roots campaign that would get people excited to participate.

"My campaign is bringing in new people," he said. "It's galvanizing a new generation of voters, and we have the capacity to break out of the political gridlock we've been involved in for a long time."

Some of those new people might not be old enough to vote. Thirteen-year-old Ryan Dhindsa has had fundraisers at his Reno school for the cause to end the genocide in Sudan's Darfur region.

Dhindsa and a friend were impressed that Obama mentioned Darfur, if only in passing. Dhindsa brought his mother, Shilpa Dhindsa, 42, and she liked what she heard, too.

"I hadn't listened to him at all before," she said of Obama. Her biggest priority, she said, is "putting an end to the war. That's the most important thing to me."


Do you live in Nevada and are a supporter of Barack Obama? Then join the Nevada for Barack Obama group at the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder social networking site.

No comments: