September 25th, 2007
06:35 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama to skip another Iowa event

Obama declines another Iowa event.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Criticized last week for not attending a candidate forum in Iowa, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, will also be absent from another upcoming Hawkeye State political event, the annual Johnson County Democrats' Fall Barbeque on October 6, his office confirmed Tuesday.

The event, held in the traditionally Democratic-leaning Johnson County, will include Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, and Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut.

Calls to Obama's Iowa office relating to the decision were not immediately returned, but the campaign has previously stated that the Democratic presidential candidate will limit his appearances at forums and debates not sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee in order to spend more time engaging directly with voters. However, the Johnson County barbeque isn't being billed as any type of debate or forum.

The decision to miss the event comes at a time when the Illinois Democrat is already taking some heat for skipping other events in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

Most recently, Obama opted out of Thursday's AARP candidate forum in Davenport, broadcast by Iowa Public Television to a national PBS audience. Five presidential candidates were present: Clinton, Edwards, Richardson, Dodd, and Sen. Joe Biden, D-Delaware.

The Des Moines Register's David Yepsen wrote in a column the next morning that while there was no clear winner of the forum, "the clear loser was Barack Obama for declining to attend."

Obama also skipped the Lance Armstrong Presidential Cancer Forum August 27 in Cedar Rapids, which was attended by the rest of the top-tier Democrats. A campaign spokesman told CNN at the time that the senator did not attend that event in order to spend "some private time with his family."

He also opted out of state Rep. Polly Bukta's annual Corn Boil fundraiser in Clinton on August 18 and the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame Dinner June 2 in Cedar Rapids. Both events incuded Obama's top-tier Democratic opponents, Clinton and Edwards, among others.

– CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Related: The Register's Yepsen: Obama hurts himself by skipping Iowa debate
Related: Armstrong disappointed in no-shows


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Juanito, Washington, DC

    CNN....Obama already announced he would limit his participation in forums and debates. He did so over a month ago, so why is this a news story???

    Jesus Christ!

    September 25, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    This is ridiculous.

    Why don't you put up a post of all the events every single other candidate has missed?
    Give him a break.

    September 26, 2007 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  3. RAFAEL TUCSON AZ

    YOU KNOW I AM SICK AND TIRED OF PEOPLE ALWAYS GETTING ON BARACK OBAMA FOR DOINT THE SAME THINGS THAT HIS POLITICAL RIVALS DO THIS IS SO SILLY. I FEEL BAD FOR BARACK OBAMA I WAS READING A STORY AND THE MEDIA WAS COMMENTING ON HOW CLINTON IS AHEAD IN IOWA AND NH OF COURSE SHE IS OVER 85 PERCENT OF BOTH OF THOSE STATES ARE WHITE AMERICANS. AS LONG AS THE DNC USE NH, IOWA, AND OTHER PREDOMINATELY WHITE STATES TO PICK THIER NOMINEE THERE WILL NEVER BE A BLACK PRESIDENT EVEN THOUGH HE IS MORE THAN QUALIFIED AND IS THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB.

    September 26, 2007 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  4. r.james

    Obama is definately an Idiot......no doubt......

    September 26, 2007 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  5. Don'care in Iowa

    What else is new....?

    September 26, 2007 04:22 am at 4:22 am |
  6. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Just more evidence that Obama is an arrogant windbag.

    September 26, 2007 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  7. Chalmers Dubuqe, IA

    More reasons to vote for Bill Richardson!

    September 26, 2007 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  8. Rodney Dallas TX

    He want's to be president but yet he can't show up where he needs to be. Sounds like a loser there. Put him in office and he'll never show up for work. Vote Hillary!

    September 26, 2007 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  9. Devin Jacksonville,Florida

    These people in Texas that want to vote for Hilary are the same people that put bush into office as Govenor, along as president, twice. Good going morons, your opinions do NOT matter.

    September 26, 2007 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  10. Coach Haughton

    Almost everyone commenting here has the wrong idea. No candidate makes every event. No candidate is required to be at any event. the article is pointing out that it is an unorthodox strategy to miss Iowa events.

    Maybe not a good move for Barack, but the only candidate doing better than him right now is hillary who is Bill Clintons wife. Also the media seems to be behind her just a little. So he's gotta be doing something right.

    I dont think Barack is god's gift to washington but i saw someone call him an idiot. None of the democratic candidates are idiots. You are talking about some of the most successful attorneys in america.
    .............ok mike gravel might be a little over the top.

    September 26, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. RJ, SV, AZ

    Who really gives a rip about Iowa...the only time the rest of the country hears about you guys is during election season. I guess you should just be happy you HAVE events in your state...here in southern Arizona I don't think we've even seen our own senators in years.

    And come on...quit wasting corn on a corn boil that could be wasted on Ethanol! Really...the nerve...

    September 26, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. Randy S. Lawton, OK

    This woman and Bill are just real politicians.

    Posted By enock kebati,

    Enock, You say that like it's supposed to be a complement.
    Let's face it CNN, you've already ordained and anointed Billary, you could at least give the other candidates a fair shake.

    September 26, 2007 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  13. Henry Tucker, Ga

    Henry Tucker…keep the racist comments coming! Show your true Neo Conservative colors –

    Posted By Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL : September 25, 2007 10:27 pm

    Obama is simply going after the left-overs – Hillary was already did the heavy lifting (pandering to Katrina victims & Jena-6 marchers).

    Evan. I'm not a racist – just an equal-opportunity satirist.

    September 26, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Phil Atlanta, Ga

    Perhaps he is just... LAZY

    September 26, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. RuthieM

    I'm so sick and tired of dragging Barack Obama through the mud every time he breaths hard. Why wasn't the media all over Guiliani as he started his 9-11 fundraising parties where everyone sends him $9.11? If that had been Obama, he would have been blown out of the water by now, but Guiliani gets away with it with excuses. And why isn't the media all over the fact that the GOP won't attend black debates, they turn away from the black forums? But you'd rather blast Obama when you know indeed his campaign said a long time ago he would only attend DNC forums. Besides, why should he continue to attend these debates standing next to Hillary Clinton, which only diminishes him standing next to her, and then when the debate is finished, all the focus groups have Obama the clear winner and the next day in the news all you see is media Clintonites saying she won that debate, when she clearly did not. I think that Obama not only needed to ride in the bumper cars in Iowa to prepare for that last debate(which he won) as he said, but I think he should've ridden and must ride in all the bumper cars of America to be prepared for all this Obama bias and Obama bashing!! Good grief!!!

    September 26, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    I have read and re-read this article.

    I find nothing that is blatantly negative towards Senator Obama. It appears to be more a statement of fact, and reiterates what his campaign has said about not appearing at every venue.

    However, can a serious candidate continue to snub critical segments of the electorate on a recurring basis; and still expect their support on election/caucus day? I do not agree with Senator Obama's strategists that apparently believe this is how you win elections.

    For the benefit of Iowa caucus goers, and the rest of the electorate, it has to be a good thing when all candidates appear together and comparisons are made.

    And, a little BBQ never hurt anyone.

    September 26, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    I read these post and I'm amazed how juvenile some of them are. For Christ sake American wake the hell up and have a normal and intelligent dicussion about issues that may affect your life and that of your children.

    September 26, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. Brian Des Moines, IA

    I live in Iowa and have never seen Obama around; I have seen Clinton and others. Though seeing the candidates does not matter to me! Their ideas for the future of this country do matter to me! I believe that Clinton is the best chance for the Democrat to take back the White House. Also with the recent issues with her health care plan...if all the "plans" are essentially the same, does it matter we nominate? Apparently they are all on the same page, but Edwards & Obama don't have the general election numbers Clinton does (which seems to be the only REAL difference)!! I am a register democrat and I will be voting in the Iowa Caucus for Clinton.

    September 26, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
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