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Barack Obama may campaign at a NASCAR event

As Barack Obama continues his focus on states that usually vote Republican in presidential elections, word comes that he may campaign at a NASCAR event. Why? Well, to paraphrase a supposed Willie Sutton line that he robbed banks because that's where the money is, if Obama needs white working-class voters in the fall, there are few better places to find them than at a NASCAR event.Barack_obama_may_campaign_at_a_nasc

Roll Call has the news, but it's behind their subscription wall. Briefly, they quote Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki as saying a campaign appearance was a possibility but no dates or firm confirmations were offered. "We would love to make it to a NASCAR race if the schedule permits," she said.

Roll Call noted that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hits the Chicagoland Speedway next weekend then later in the month races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Bill Clinton tried that tack in September 1992, campaigning at the Southern 500 Stock Car race in Darlington, S.C., but drew jeers and catcalls and insults about his lack of Vietnam War service. That was the year Richard Petty was retiring, and the staunch Republican and racing icon told track officials he wouldn't drive the pace car -- part of his retirement-year sendoff -- if Clinton was in the parade.

Clinton lost South Carolina by 8 points. And more recently George W. Bush actively courted NASCAR fans -- getting a much better reception.

-- Scott Martelle

Photo by Ben Margot/Associated Press

 
Comments () | Archives (20)

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Look if you think NASCAR is hillbilly redneck working stiff BS I suggest you come on out to Fontana on Labor day and smell the money.
220$ for tickets,7$ beer, Nobody is broke,we are all rich folks at these events,otherwise you don't get in.
Bob

Obama will show up at a NASCAR event if he wants to ply the race card. The story is already written. Obama didn't get a good reception at the NASCAR event because those whitey rednecks are racists. Poor Obama, trying to bridge the divide between racists and himself and they were just plain mean to him.

Oh God. Is it costume time? Cowboy hats or a racing helmet? What PR nightmare will it be.

Keep the cell phone cams handy kids!

pander, pander, pander. When was the last time he was at a nascar race? He probably couldnt tell you what nascar means.

Although I mostly agree with the critical / cynical comments at the top (i.e., that Obama might find it useful to show, in "purple states," footage of him being booed by the Evil Rednecks),

a fair response might be, "Well, if Obama completely AVOIDS such events, he'll be criticized for THAT, too." GOP campaigns could sneer, "He'll visit Getty's mansion in FRISCO, right, but not a NASCAR race. I guess FRISCO has better Chardonnay!"

"Obama didn't get a good reception at the NASCAR event because those whitey rednecks are racists. Poor Obama, trying to bridge the divide between racists and himself and they were just plain mean to him."

I'm sorry, is this not a racist comment? You just proved what an uneducated bigot you are.(Oh and just in case you don't know what a bigot is, here is the definition: A bigot is a person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles, or identities differing from his own.) It frightens mean that morons like yourself are actually given voting rights and have a say in how this country should be run...maybe you are the reason America is completely lacking in common sense...

Is this another NBC Stunt Muslim trick?

If you don't vote for Obama, you're a racist.
If you comment about his lack of qualifications, you're a racist.
If you disagree with him on his take on issues, you're a racist.
If you comment about how Obama flip flops on issues, you're a racist.
If you believe that anyone who sits in a church that preaches black theology and has an anti-American racist minister, agrees with what the church promotes, you're a racist.
If Michelle Obama's comments about America being a mean country and her lack of pride in the USA disturbing for a potential First Lady, you're a racist.
If you were offended by Obama's comments about clinging to religion and guns, you're a racist.
If a NASCAR fan is for McCain and boos Obama, they are a racist.
Basically, if you don't swallow the Obama messiah propaganda, you're a racist.
Does that about cover the race card crap?

I find that anyone calling NASCAR fans racist as ignorant.. So calling them "Whitey Red Neck Racists" is an insult to a very patriotic group of fans of the Sport.

Obama wouldn't know the difference between a COT car or a GO CART. He is no fan of Nascar. He can't bowl, can't play basketball. What Sport does he like?

But I do know he will be booed at a Nascar race. So he might as well stay home and hone his knowledge of who races where and what's their names.

NASCAR fans are courteous but will certainly punish anyone they know is phony. While the spectacle would undoubtedly prove entertaining, Barry O should sit this one out.

Well will Obama get his shots before going???? The last time Democrats were sent to a NASCAR race...the aides were told to get shots first.

Last time...Kerry was touring a NASCAR race...the drivers drew names....Kyle Bush lost....he had to show Kerry around....ha ha ha ha ha...wonder who is lose this time?

Barack is going to NASCAR? Does he realize what a huge carbon footprint this sport has? Is he going to pander for votes, or is he going to enlighten them as to their evil ways? Isn't it hypocritical to be so in the tank for alleged global warming, and go to such an event to pander?

And just think - the drivers and their organizations are made up of the evil rich people who make more than $250,000 year, and will be over-taxed under BO's plan to redistribute wealth. Never mind the fact that vendors, hotel employees, ticket takers, etc. earn money because a NASCAR event comes to their town. You can take it even further to the t-shirts made in China, Mexico, VietNam or wherever...isn't it part of BO's plan to also use U.S. taxpayer money to distribute wealth to other nations? But, I guess he means to give it wherever HE thinks it should go. And, I'm sure he has no ideas on how to attract manufacturing back to the U.S., either.
The man and his organization are geniuses at propaganda. Its reality where he falls short. This would be true, if he were purple or green.

Can we say PANDER.... The man really doesn't even acknowledge his white side (except in the ad they are showing here in Va) but I guess he wants us to know he is half white and will show at the race..And I don't care what race, religion or gender you are if you are a race fan I love you for it but stay away if you aren't... Just leave us race fans alone... And yes if McCain came he would get a better reception He's Republican not a Democrat.....

Todays average nascar fan is not ignorant enough to buy into this idiots BS, much less vote for him. This guy would probably like to get rid of NASCAR because of the global warming scam. Besides, arent NASCAR fans a little to close to that other crowd that cling to thier guns and religion for the messia's taste?

Sarah j.(Oh and just in case you don't know what a bigot is, here is the definition: A bigot is a person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles, or identities differing from his own.) It frightens mean that morons like yourself are actually given voting rights)

It's funny how you spout off about someone being a moron but you have no idea what the US Constitution says about voting. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT IN THE CONSTITUTION TO VOTE FOR THE POTUS. Period. You cannot be denied the ability to vote based on certain qualifications i.e. Race, Gender. But if your state does not hold an election for president, TOO BAD FOR YOU You don't vote. No one does. It's the law sweetie. Read the Document. Voting is not a federal right. It is a state right. Our founding fathers wanted it this way. They should strip your ability to vote Moron!!

Make sure he doesn't push back the start of the race. I think Clinton did that and got booed.

Many NASCAR fans tend to be conservative, regardless of their economic background. These days, you're just as likely to be tailgating next to lawyers and accountants as you are mechanics and construction workers. And while the fan base IS overwhelmingly white, I see more and more non-whites at the races each year. Maybe it's wrong to do this, but I pay attention to that because I think the increasing diversity, as it is natural and not government imposed, is a great thing.

If Obama gets booed at NASCAR, it will be because the fans disagree with most of his policies, and they will know that he is there to pander. Will some of it be directed at his race? Yes. But, put enough people in a crowd, there will always be a handful that are racists and bigots.

If he chooses to attend, he should at least be honest and admit he's there to check it out, instead of pretending to be a fan.

You have got to be kidding. What a pandering phony.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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