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Obama Puts Early Focus on Michigan

It would be hard for anyone to forget the famous 2000 recount that put President Bush in the White House. Of course, this primary season, Michigan had its own election mishap. The Democratic Party initially stripped Michigan of its delegates.

Obama took his name off the ballot and did not campaign there for the state's primary.

He returned to Michigan on Monday night with former Vice President Al Gore, who urged voters to support Obama.

The campaign was clearly trying to capitalize on the large rally, which was open to the public. The campaign urged people to RSVP by e-mail, meaning scores of new addresses to add to the campaign lists.

This could be especially important in Detroit, where the city's black mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, may not be of much help to Obama. Kilpatrick is embroiled in a legal scandal and is fighting charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

But Obama's appearance with Gore in Michigan was also risky. The state's struggling automakers have, in the past, been uneasy about Gore's battle to fight climate change. Obama himself has said he will be tough on the automakers when it comes to improving fuel efficiency.

Aside from his rally with Gore, Obama held mostly smaller events. He visited employees during a shift change at an auto plant in Flint and sat in a small courtyard on Tuesday to chat with students at Wayne County Community College.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

David Greene
David Greene is an award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author. He is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most listened-to radio news program in the United States, and also of NPR's popular morning news podcast, Up First.