A front porch decorated with American flags and some red, white, and blue bunting served as the stage for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign appearance today in Pella.
Obama’s family came along for the 4th of July campaign swing through Iowa. Obama’s wife, Michelle, introduced her husband to the crowd gathered in Pella. "You know, this hope thing is real," Michelle Obama said.
Obama then joked about his wife’s influence. "She is too smart to want to run for president. She just wants to tell the president what to do," Obama said, as some in the audience clapped and laughed. "There will be a ‘honey do’ list in the White House with Michelle there."
Obama recently disclosed his fundraising totals for the second quarter of this year and he raised more money than any rival, including Hillary Clinton. During an interview earlier this afternoon with Radio Iowa, Obama said his fundraising prowess won’t change the tone of the campaign. "What’s been interesting is how we’ve raised that money — without taking federal lobbyists’ money, without taking PAC money. Ninety percent of our donations are $100 or less. We’ve got 250,000 people giving us money, which is unprecedented," Obama said during an interview with Radio Iowa. "What it signals is the fact that when ordinary people participate, they can take on the special interests."
Obama suggests his challenge is "channeling" the energy of his supporters, many of whom donated on-line. "And that’s what we’re trying to do during the course of this campaign," Obama said.
While Obama was campaigning with his wife in Iowa today, rival Hillary Clinton was on a third day of campaigning in Iowa with her husband, the former president, at her side.
During his remarks to the crowd in Pella, Obama did not single out Clinton for comparison. Instead, Obama mentioned John Edwards, the candidate who is leading in many polls of likely Iowa Caucus-goers.
"Folks in Iowa, you guys are pretty discriminating shoppers of presidential candidates," Obama told the crowd. "You like to kind of lift the hood and kick the tires and take us for a test drive (saying) ‘Yea, I like that one but I haven’t tried out the Edwards model. I’m gonna sort of check that out’ but I want you to know number one, I would love all of you to Caucus for me."