Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Obama targets Kansas & Sebelius is momentarily silent

By Diane Silver

Kansas politicos got the biggest shock of the presidential season months ago when Barack Obama opened an office in Lawrence. Obama reportedly has 16 paid staffers in the office. Hillary Clinton recently opened an office with 2 staffers.

At first, I thought this was a routine part of Obama's 50-state campaign exuberance, but now it seems that Obama is truly targeting Kansas. For a state where voters never ever see a Democratic presidential candidate (and rarely even see Republican candidate), this is heady news indeed.

The Washington Post reports:

The Obama campaign's heavy emphasis on grass-roots organizing, which served it so well in Iowa, has led it to target the six states that will hold caucuses rather than primaries on Feb. 5. These are typically lightly attended affairs, but they could deliver big returns if Obama can follow his Iowa model of identifying a pool of supporters, including nontraditional participants such as college students and independents, and methodically turning them out.

The big three in that category are Colorado, Kansas and Minnesota.

Meanwhile, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' press secretary says "with 100 percent certainty" that the popular Democratic governor won't endorse any presidential candidate until after she gives the State of the Union response.

That has to count as one of the most non-significant promises ever made. Waiting that, ah, "long" still gives Sebelius six days to make her presidential choice known and to influence the Feb. 5 Kansas caucuses.

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