September 25th, 2007
06:35 PM ET
11 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. Lance in Monrovia CA

    Its senseless for Obama to keep showing up for what are essentially "photo ops" with six other candidates. Nothing of note ever gets said or said differently than it already has. Obama is about taking the vote to the streets and actually meeting and interacting with people. In comparison, every other candidate seems out of touch.

    He garnished more senior votes by going to Wall Street and telling the robber barrons that he would eliminate taxes for seniors making less than 50 grand a year, than he could ever get by standing at a podium and giving stock 30 second replies about nothing.

    If all Hilary Clinton can do is stand there and look presidential in an Armani pink pants suit with beads, then she's gonna have to seriously worry come caucus day.

    If I was her, I'd hit the streets like Obama is doing as well. She's spending a little too much time saying not enough in my opinion.

    September 25, 2007 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. Jared

    He's missing a BBQ?


    How is this news CNN?

    September 25, 2007 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. Henry Tucker, Ga

    Of course Obama is skipping another Iowa event. There are still Katrina victims and Jena-6 marchers to pander.

    September 25, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  4. Beth, Bremerton WA

    If he's already announced that he's not going to attend every possible event, why is this news? Other candidates skip events, too. Maybe all these shock-horror reactions come from the crashing realization that these debates and candidate showcases are going to be dull as dishwater without him.

    September 25, 2007 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  5. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Nice picture.

    September 25, 2007 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  6. S. Lee - Houston Texas

    More reasons to vote for Hillary!

    September 25, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  7. Renee St.Louis

    Obama will be in Iowa the following day.

    September 25, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. enock kebati, Rosemount, Minnessota

    Obama you are loosing. Hillary is running away with everything. This woman and Bill are just real politicians.

    September 25, 2007 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  9. Terri, Plantation, FL

    Obama has stated long ago he would only stick to the confirmed venues. He takes his message straight to the people. That's where he talks to them face to face, gets asked the tough questions and answers them without sound bites and rehearsed speeches. You can look at the huge number of people supporting and donating to his campaign to see he's got the right idea.

    This isn't news, it's another reason to bash Obama for CNN, and part what needs changing in this country.

    September 25, 2007 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  10. New York

    Those debates are meaningless. He or she that is wire correctly like Hillary Clinton will do best. I know she has her headphones on now listening to the talking points and sound bites in preparation for tomorrows debate. She is just an empty suite who has risen to national stage because of the enequities of the husband. However, Pres Bill Clinton was and is one of the greatest presidents in modern History. Hillary is not that. Only empty heads will vote for her because of her last name. By the way have you realised that most Americans are really dump. Half the country can't locate the east or west. Half don't know who is the Speaker of the House. Voting for Hillary will be a continuation of Bush.

    September 25, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  11. lavelle Rochester,ny

    LOL AND????????

    September 25, 2007 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  12. Maria, Houston

    ...yeah, let's debate...and debate....and debate...and debate some more... until we memorize all soundbites and get brainwashed by a candidate with the most catchy slogans...
    ...and after The Debate pundits will invite other pundits and debate... and debate...and debate... and tell us who won and whom shall we vote for. And now, let's chastise those who don't want to play the debate game!

    Barack, you are the most sensible of them all.

    September 25, 2007 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  13. Kaseam, Philly PA

    People act like skipping an event is a drastic move. No politician can attend all events. It's stupid! Obama has prior engagements to commit to. Similarly, Tiger Woods takes heat for not playing every golf tournament, but the guy always wins and makes the most money.

    September 25, 2007 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  14. Patrick, New york, NY

    Go Hillary!! She'll be there!!

    September 25, 2007 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  15. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    I remember "Obama slips again" on the headline before. Now he realized he can't say anything he wants. I think he is scared of mistakes. He can talk at speech by the advisor's coach but at debate, he has to answer by himself, he has no idea what kind of questions come up to him because he has no experiences. He has enough mistakes so far. He even has no crue about Social Security, medicare and medicaid also his campaign team picked up Health Care Plan from previous plans but Obama has no way to compete with Hillary's new plan and other's, so he skipped AARP Debate. There's no any excuse to skip debate if he wants to be the President. Obama said he is ready for the White House, he should show people his readiness. I am sure he is naive, inexperienced and scared.

    September 25, 2007 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  16. Christian, Tampa FL

    I think it's good for candidates to skip some Iowa events. Someone needs to show those guys that they're not THAT important.

    September 25, 2007 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  17. anon, SF, CA

    Obama is trying to avoid making speech mistakes in public forums. The less he (and his wife) talks, the better.

    The Bush admin says Obama has "intellectual laziness", I would say he is just lazy. His wife confirmed that he is a lazy and messy person at home.

    Ask him what other public events he attended while the other candidates showed up in those events.

    To me, he is a half white guy (white mother) who has benefited a lot from identifying himself as black, whether it be to Havard or to get into the senate. If he was white, there would be a dime a dozen and he might not make it as a senator.

    Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton said Obama talks like a white guy, and he does not speak the black values. To many, Obama is a muslim in hiding.

    Honestly, I do not like Banana Hussey Obama at all.

    September 25, 2007 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  18. loyda, wdc


    second time the chickenhawk stand you up......

    hope you will soon let him know that you care that he does not care.....

    September 25, 2007 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  19. Mel, OH

    Why is this a bad thing? What is so wrong with getting face-to-face time with voters?

    September 25, 2007 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  20. SB

    How about the story of Hillary Clinton telling George Stephanopoulis that she will make no promises about withdrawing troops from Iraq? Sounds like she's actually taking George Bush's advice. A lot more significant than a barbeque in a State that Barack has made more appearances than you can count.

    September 25, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  21. Robert, Shelton CT

    Is he conceeding Iowa already, holy moses the race has barely started, maybe he is shifting operations to South Carolina and Nevada with hopes of winning there.

    September 25, 2007 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  22. Sharon, Baltimore, MD

    David Yepsen from The Des Moines Register: Barack Obama has spent a tremendous amount of time in your State and is working very hard so that the people of Iowa can get to know him. He has obviously demonstrated his dedication there and will continue to do so. With that said, there are 49 other States who would like to have a little bit of his time to get to know him. I think it is unfair for you to criticize him.

    September 25, 2007 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  23. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

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

    September 25, 2007 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |




    OBAMA '08

    September 25, 2007 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  25. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Even if they don't have many "colored poeple" in Iowa, if he's half the man he tells us he is, he'd be there to play the game he can't win.

    September 25, 2007 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
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