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Obama said Gore advised him during primary run. Pool report

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New York Times Jeff Zeleny, the Monday pooler reports from Flint, Michigan:

In between handshakes, your pool asked Mr. Obama about Al Gore’s pending endorsement tonight at a rally in Detroit.

“Is Al Gore endorsing me?” Mr. Obama said with a grin. “That’s great. It means a lot obviously.”

Asked whether the former vice president had been helpful in the primaries, Mr. Obama said: “Yes.”

“We’ve had ongoing conversations about a whole host of issues, a lot of them have revolved around issues of climate change and energy and the environment. He’s provided good political advice,” Mr. Obama said. “Obviously, he hasn’t been speaking exclusively to me. He obviously spoke to senators Clinton and Edwards and others. He’s somebody who has been a visionary, not just for the party, but for the country. There are very few people who are more knowledgeable than he is about a whole host of issues and the challenges that are to come.”

Click below for entire pool report..........

t: Pool Report - No. 1

Pool Report – No. 1

June 16, 2008

Flint, Mich.

News: See comments on Gore endorsement below.

A smattering of dark clouds rolled overhead when Senator Barack Obama arrived at the GM Powertrain Flint Engine South plant. It was the afternoon shift change – 3:30 p.m. – and the senator came for a chance to shake a few hands of workers heading home for the day.

The photo opportunity was intended to show Mr. Obama with blue-collar workers here in Flint, the epicenter of the decline of American automobile manufacturing. (In the 1970s, 80,000 people made their living here in Flint in automotive jobs, according to a campaign fact sheet, compared to 12,000 in 2006.)

A few minutes into the impromptu outdoor event, raindrops began to fall. When the precipitation threatened to turn into more than a sprinkle, Mr. Obama walked inside and came out holding a long gray umbrella, with a curved handle.

For the rest of his time on the sidewalk in front of the plant entrance, he shook people’s hands with his right hand, while holding the umbrella with his left. Only a couple of workers had umbrellas, the rest briefly stood under his as they posed for photographs.

“I don’t want you to have to stand out in the rain,” he told people.

It’s unclear if that is the picture – the senator holding an umbrella in a light rain – that the campaign was looking for today.

In between handshakes, your pool asked Mr. Obama about Al Gore’s pending endorsement tonight at a rally in Detroit.

“Is Al Gore endorsing me?” Mr. Obama said with a grin. “That’s great. It means a lot obviously.”

Asked whether the former vice president had been helpful in the primaries, Mr. Obama said: “Yes.”

“We’ve had ongoing conversations about a whole host of issues, a lot of them have revolved around issues of climate change and energy and the environment. He’s provided good political advice,” Mr. Obama said. “Obviously, he hasn’t been speaking exclusively to me. He obviously spoke to senators Clinton and Edwards and others. He’s somebody who has been a visionary, not just for the party, but for the country. There are very few people who are more knowledgeable than he is about a whole host of issues and the challenges that are to come.”

Then, Mr. Obama was asked about Senator John McCain’s assertion that Mr. Obama’s economic plan would raise taxes for Americans.

“He’s got one note on his playbook. The fact of the matter is, every independent study that’s been made says I get three times the tax relief John McCain does,” Mr. Obama said. “One-quarter of his tax relief goes to people making $2.8 million or more. That’s not my analysis, that’s the objective analysis of economists who have compared the two tax plans. He increases the deficit by an extra $600 billion. So he’s pretty hard pressed to be able to make those claims, but they just keep making them without substantiation.”

Mr. Obama conceded that his economic plan would raise taxes for Americans in a higher-income tax bracket, so his programs could be paid for.

“There’s no doubt that we’ve got to pay for it,” Mr. Obama said. “People, if you’re making more than $250,000 a year, you will see your taxes increase modestly. That’s not the majority of the people in Flint. That’s not the majority of people in America. So the question is are we going to make the investments in education, are we going to make the investments in education that are going to keep our economy strong in the long term? I think we do.”

With that, he shook a few more hands. The rain stopped. And he boarded his bus for Detroit.

Jeff Zeleny

New York Times

4 Comments

very few people more knowledgable than al gore on a whole host of things--including how to get elected--than Senator and former First Lady Hilary Clinton.

“Obviously, he hasn’t been speaking exclusively to me. He obviously spoke to senators Clinton and Edwards and others."

He advised anybody and everybody who asked. Where's the story? Why the dramatic headline?

OF COURSE AL GORE HAS SPOKEN TO BARACK OBAMA ABOUT HIS QUEST FOR
WANTING TO BE PRESIDENT!
IF BARACK OBAMA SOUGHT WISDOM FROM JOHN KERRY, YOU KNOW HE WAS
GIVEN WISDOM FROM AL GORE!
THIS ELECTION IS LIKE POETRY IN MOTION, IT'S GREAT TO SEE, AND
AL GORE, MICHIGAN, AND IT'S GOVERNOR ARE GOING TO REAP THE BENEFITS OF A BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENCY!
MICHIGAN SEND MCCAIN INTO PERMANENT RETIREMENT BY VOTING FOR
BARACK OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT, WE NEED A CHANGE, WE NEED NEW IDEAS,
WE NEED SOMEONE WHO HAS AN OPEN MIND!

Praise the Lord! Obama has been after that endorsement for months. And, it was no secret, after Hillary's scene stealing, money-hording Senate run in 2000, that Gore was never going to bless Hillary. I think Big Al timed that graciously, though. Big Al waited until Obama had secured the nomination before he boarded the Obama bandwagon, which was very expedient.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 16, 2008 4:05 PM.

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