Saturday, July 05, 2008

"Obama Celebrates a Small-Town Fourth"

The Trail (WaPo political blog):
BUTTE, Mont. -- With John McCain taking July Fourth off, Barack Obama had the campaign trail to himself for Independence Day, taking in a small-town July Fourth parade here and inviting his family and a thousand of his closest friends to a picnic in the Rockies.
Today was the last leg of the Illinois senator's week-long values tour of largely Republican territory. And after hitting the themes of patriotism in Missouri, faith in Appalachian Ohio, service in Colorado, and veterans care in North Dakota, the Fourth was given over to family.

Malia, his elder daughter, turned 10 today. With her in the grandstands at the beginning of the parade route were wife Michelle and seven-year-old daughter Sasha, as well as half sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, her husband Konrad Ng, and their four-year-old daughter Suhaila.

Obama kicked off the parade, telling the crowd that with Malia turning 10 on July 4, he "finally told her the truth, that all the fireworks and stuff are not just for her."

The standard holiday trappings of patriotism stood in pointed echo of his week's message. The Obama family all waved small American flags. Sasha and Malia wore the pink cowboy hats that Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) gave them for Malia's birthday.

And a day after he stirred controversy by suggesting he may be willing to slow a withdrawal from Iraq following consultations with field commanders, the closest Obama got to the war issue was the Shriners' Bagdad Burikka Patrol.

"What makes this country great is not the size of our military, not the size of the economy, not the big buildings we have," Obama said. "What makes this country great is its people."
Howie P.S.: The dead tree edition has this story on his Montana 4th: "In Montana on the Fourth, a Barometer of Obama's Chances." The Jed Report offers its own take on the Montana scene. If you're into Belway fun and games, check out "Who Won The Week (Or Lost It Less)?" (with video) to win an "official Fix t-shirt" from Chris Cillizza. You better hurry though, contest ends @ 2pm (Pacific) on Saturday July 5th.

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