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Friday, June 13, 2008

 10:58 PM 

Delegates OK with Obama's absence

Although Barack Obama stopped just 80 miles away yesterday in Kaukauna, Dem delegates aren't too broken up that their presumptive nominee didn't stick around for the convention.

Several delegates said that his time was better spent elsewhere, since convention-goers seem to be largely unified behind the Illinois senator's candidacy. Obama spent Friday in Ohio.

"At the end of the night, this is the Democratic state convention," said an Eau Claire County delegate. "I'm some sense, I'm glad he didn't show up."

He added he would probably have a chance to see Obama later in the campaign.

A Washington County delegate argued that Republicans were driving the perception of a divided Democratic party, and possibly drove Clinton's extended stay in the Dem race through crossover voting. He said Obama needed to focus on independents rather than the base.

"He needs to mend fences," he said.

Another delegate was more blunt in assessing the perception of a divided Democratic Party.

"It's the press," she said.

Obama did appear via video in the convention hall and thanked Wisconsinites for their support.


-- By Andy Szal

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