CHICAGO—The day after an expected loss in West Virginia, likely Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Wednesday starts his first general election travel—to the key states of Michigan and Florida.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is expected to win the Tuesday West Virginia primary—Obama just about conceded on Monday. After an anticipated bad night tomorrow, Obama will try to rebound—and bring the story line back to his November race against Sen. John McMain (R-Az.) by stops Wednesday in Grand Rapids and Macomb County in Michigan with Florida the next week.
Democrats still have to resolve how to seat disputed Michigan and Florida delegates. The Democratic National Committee stripped those states as punishment for holding early primaries. Obama and Clinton never stumped in Michigan and Florida, so the Obama visit will be quite a to do.
The DNC rules and bylaws committee meets at the end of the month, with the goal some kind of a deal that satisfy the Obama and Clinton camps. Easier said than done.
Clinton, campaigning in West Virginia, noted that John F. Kennedy did not have the number of delegates he needed when he went to the convention.
The Republican National Committee shot out this react to the Obama travel plan: “Barack Obama can travel wherever he wants, but it won’t make his calls for higher taxes, restricted gun rights, and proposed meetings with state sponsors of terrorism any more appealing," said RNC spokesman Alex Conant.
"Wherever Obama takes his flawed message, voters will learn more about the weak leadership he has demonstrated on important issues confronting the nation. Obama’s punitive tax plan shows he doesn’t understand the American economy or how to rejuvenate it – and that’s no different in Michigan, Florida or the other the states on his itinerary," Conant said.