Thursday, February 14, 2008

Obama Spats with Tavis Smiley

This isn't a great thing for Obama to do, but it could go either way considering campaigning is fierce in Ohio and Texas over the next couple of weeks. It seems he is in a spat over whether or not Obama will attend Tavis Smiley's State of the Black Union Symposium in New Orleans in one week's time. Smiley has invited all the major candidates and Clinton is the only one to say that she will attend the conference. The African-American vote is very important in this election to both Democratic candidates, let's hope this doesn't sway the vote back to Clinton. Part of the spat is below, the rest is here.

"I will be on the campaign trail everyday in states like Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin talking directly with voters about the causes that are at the heart of my campaign and the State of the Black Union forum such as affordable health care, housing, economic opportunity, civil rights and foreign policy," Obama wrote to Smiley. "I am committed to touching every voter, and working to earn their vote."

Smiley called Obama's decision "a critical miscalculation and a missed opportunity." He accused Obama over the airwaves of not addressing issues affecting African-Americans detailed in Smiley's best-selling book, "The Covenant With Black America."

"This is the next opportunity for him to discuss these issues," Smiley said in an interview with McClatchy Newspapers. "I think as close as this race is, the concerns of African-American people are important. The Clinton campaign has made moves, the appointment of Maggie Williams as campaign manager, to aggressively go after the African-American vote."

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