Rochelle Riley highlights the Obama/Kwame problem in today's Free Press.
WANTED: Surrogate mayor to stand with Sen. Barack Obama when he campaigns in Detroit. Must not own two-way pager. Must not have been in jail.
With three months left in the presidential campaign, party leaders must replace Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in helping Obama woo voters in a state Democrats need and in a city on which the election could turn.
When Kilpatrick one day counts his regrets, among them should be losing a chance to campaign with the nation's first African-American presidential nominee. And he will have to regret it; Republicans already are trying to link him with Obama, with a Tennessee GOP ad featuring old video of Obama and Kilpatrick greeting each other months before the text message scandal broke in January. It recites the mayor's problems and implies that Obama would offer the same.
Well, no, that's not exactly what the ad suggests. Here it is:
What is implied is that 1) Obama has poor judgement (hello Rezko?).
Regardless, this leaves O! in a trickbag. He needs Michigan to go blue, but who is going to hold his hand and parade him around the state?
But, Liz Kerr, spokeswoman for the Michigan Democratic Party, said the campaign already is set.
"We have a number of people who can stand with Sen. Obama as a surrogate," she said. "We have good local leadership."
She cited state Sens. Buzz Thomas and Tupac Hunter, cochairs of the campaign, and U.S. Rep. John Conyers as stand-ins. She also said the campaign has signed up an unprecedented 1,500 volunteers.
John Conyers? As in Monica's husband? The city council member being investigated by the FBI? Perhaps they should keep looking ...