Obama reaching out to key state leaders

Nov. 29, 2006 at 8:18 PM
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CHICAGO, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., pondering a U.S. presidential bid, is reaching out to potential supporters in key states in the nominating process.

Obama is scheduled to headline a Dec. 10 rally to celebrate Democratic Party victories in New Hampshire, home of the nation's first presidential primary.

The senator also discussed a potential campaign with Democratic activists in Iowa, which holds the influential caucus kicking off the presidential primary season in early 2008, the Chicago Tribune said. An Obama campaign spokesman said the senator spoke with the former Iowa campaign managers for 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry and 2000 Democratic nominee Al Gore.

Obama has already made several visits to Iowa, including a keynote appearance in September at one of the premier events for the state's Democrats, an annual fish-fry hosted by the Iowa's Democratic senator, Tom Harkin.

Also, fellow Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin has started an online petition asking Obama to enter the presidential race.

Spokesman Robert Gibbs said an announcement of Obama's presidential intentions is "several weeks away."

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