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Barack Obama: Mt. Rushmore too small for my ears

May 31, 2008 | 12:02 am

Just in time for family vacation season, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have done their parts to spur traffic at South Dakota's prime (only?) tourist attraction, high gasoline prices notwithstanding.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama vists Mount Rushmore in South Dakota Clinton, at the onset of a campaign swing through the state earlier this week, added an impromptu stop at Mt. Rushmore on Wednesday morning. (For her trouble, the cover of the next day's New York Post featured a picture of her at the monument with the headline: "Rock Bottom.")

Not to be one-upped in the hearts and minds of South Dakotans who will cast primary ballots next Tuesday, Obama took an unscheduled nighttime trip to the sculpture (which already attracts about 2 million visitors annually) on Friday.

"There's something about seeing it at night," Obama said after gazing several minutes at the landmark, aglow in floodlights.

Clinton, during her visit with reporters in tow, was asked a couple of dumb questions and provided a rather snappish (but, to us, perfectly understandable) rejoinder.

Obama got asked the same dumb question -- Could he picture himself up there? -- and offered a joking response, according to The Times' Michael Finnegan:

"I don't think my ears would fit," Obama said. "There's just only so much rock up there."

-- Don Frederick

Photo: Associated Press