Scranton caught a glimpse of Sen Obama last night. That’s it, just a glimpse. Obama arrived in town and ducked in the back door of a local eatery with a quick wave of his hand to supporters outside. Once inside he taped a round-table discussion for MTV with Iraq war veterans. It will air later, no doubt when they promote their new movie Stop Loss. Then on to the Radison in Scranton. Sen Obama gave a 10 minute speech to about 500 people about his Irishness(?) and the history of the Irish in Scranton and America. Again he sidestepped the supporters outside presumably to avoid the scattered protesters also outside. Then he was gone.
What can you say about his visit other than it was a waste of time? News coverage of the event is taking a backseat to the opening of a new newsroom in Stroudsburg. Talk radio is trying to defend, with little conviction, his not talking or shaking hands with supporters at the airport or at the events. And people were generally nice when interviewed, saying it was nice of him to come and give a little speech.
Sen Obama did not gain any votes, and may have cost himself some, with his visit to Scranton yesterday. The die hard fans of the rock star are scratching their heads today wondering why the man in the stylish, but not very Irish, green tie didn’t even come to say hello. Some have even called local talk radio hosts to say that they were offended by Obama yesterday. Ultimately Mr Obama’s campaign will focus on Philly and Pittsburgh so I do not expect he will treat NEPA with any sense of urgency. After yesterday it is clear he thinks he has lost here already. That’s the first thought Sen Obama and I can come to an agreement on.
Next Up, President Bill Clinton in Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday!