Barack Obama plays Tampa

04/16/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

New figures released yesterday show that Illinois Senator Barack Obama raised more than $5 million dollars more than Hillary Clinton in fundraising for the Democratic nomination for president in the first quarter of this year.


However, the New York Senator raised more money than Obama overall,  when combining fundraising for the primary and general election .


Nevertheless, Obama’s campaign appears to be on a roll.  The NY Times reported today that among the biggest fund-raisers for him appear to be people long associated with Hillary Clinton or her husband.   And no candidate from either side of the aisle has had more contributors send money to his campaign than Barack Obama.


Yesterday Obama traveled to Tampa, for a private fundraiser where he accepted the maximum contribution of $2,300 for his primary campaign.  Then he traveled to Ybor City, where he was greeted by more than 2,000 people packed in the open air Cuban Club.


Local Businessman Frank Sanchez did the honors of introducing Obama

(roll tape#1 o.q.” cheers”)


Standing behind Obama as he reached the stage were Tampa City Council members Mary Mulhern and Gwen Miller, Miller’s husband, former State Senator Les Miller, and community activist Chloe Coney.  Earlier in the day, the event looked like it might not be pulled off, as foul weather went thru the Tampa Bay Area earlier in the day, as Senator Obama mentioned (roll tape#2 o.q.”            cheers”)


In his half hour address, Obama began by giving up some biographical information, including his beginnings as a community organizer. 


He then segued into the one of his signature themes.  That though for many politics has become a cynical exercise, for him it still carries the possibilities of enacting real change

(roll tape#3 o.q. “a little bit poorer”)


Regarding health care, Obama supports a universal health care system.  He has been criticized in some quarters for his lack of specifics on how he would accomplish that –as opposed to one of his Democratic party rivals, John Edwards.   (roll tape#4 o.q.”we can do that”)


Barack Obama has only been in the US Senate since 2004.  But when he was still in the Illinois Legislature, in 2002, he spoke out strongly against the then looming war in Iraq.

Many political analysts say this helps him with much of the Democratic base compared to

Hillary Clinton, who supported giving authorization to President Bush regarding Iraq


Just in case anyone wasn’t certain, Obama reminded them of that opposition (roll tape#5 o.q.”its time for something new”)

Unfortunately for Senator Barack, as he was going into the climax of his speech,

The sound was for whatever reason cut off, and he was left to silently mouth his final words


After the speech, Tampa City Councilwoman Linda Saul Sena said she was mightily impressed – though she remains uncommitted on who to support for the Democratic nomination (roll tape#7 o.q.”spoke to my heart”)


The gates at the Cuban Club opened 90 minutes before the main event was to begin. Supporters entered immediately….


Lance from St. Petersburg says he admires and respects Obama for selling hope, and not divisiveness (roll tape#7 o.q. getting along together”)


Wilmer Sadecki said he’s already supporting Obama, but wanted to check him out in person.   He said he believes America is ready for their first Black President
(roll tape#8 o.q.”in the past”)


Patrick Cannon is strongly in support of Barack Obama.  (roll tape#9 o.q.”long overdue in this country”)


Members of the Obama campaign expect him to return to Florida, and probably to Tampa, many times this year before next January’s first contest, the Iowa Caucus.

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