Obama camp trying new approach with heartland tour

This week, Barack Obama’s campaign is sending out an RV packed with information with a mission of collecting stories and concerns from voters across Minnesota. Local DFL leaders will speak on behalf of the campaign on “heartland” issues at each of 24 stops all over the state. Four Range-area towns are on the tour: Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Virginia and Ely.

I think this is an interesting way to get a message out. Barack Obama has been conspicuously absent from Minnesota airwaves, so I get the feeling that the campaign is taking its modest lead in the polls here “out for a spin” to see if they can use grassroots campaigning instead of traditional media. I think it’s interesting and certainly much more interactive, but I’ll still feel better when I see some reinforcement ads up on Minnesota TV. The ones McCain has been running are blowing the dog whistle on those trashy anti-Obama e-mail forwards.

Check out the complete list of towns and themes for the Heartland for Change tour. Here are the northern events:

Wednesday, September 10

THEME: Supporting the Rights and Traditions of Rural Minnesotans

· FOSSTON: Coffee Stop

Location: TBA
Program Begins: 10:45 AM
Speakers: Rep. Brita Sailer and Sen. Rod Skoe

· BEMIDJI: Town Hall with Students

Location: Bemidji State University
Program Begins: 1:00 p.m.
Speakers: Rep. Frank Moe and Sen. Mary Olson

· GRAND RAPIDS Roundtable: Respecting the Rights of Sportsmen

Location: Bixby’s Café
1009 S Pokegama Ave.
Grand Rapids, MN
Program Begins: 4:00 p.m.

Speakers: Rep. Loren Solberg and Sen. Tom Saxhaug

· BRAINERD: Economic Round Table

Last Turn Saloon
214 S. 8th St.
Brainerd, MN
Program Begins: 7:30 p.m.
Speaker: Rep. John Ward

No events on Sept. 11

Friday, September 12
THEME: Fulfilling a Sacred Trust with America’s Veterans

· ELY: Honoring America’s Veterans

Location: TBA
Program Begins: 9:30 AM
Speakers: Rep. David Dill and Sen. Tom Bakk

· VIRGINIA Round Table: Building a 21st Century Department of Veterans Affairs

Location: Obama Campaign for Change Headquarters
327 Chestnut Street
Virginia, MN
Program Begins: 12:00 p.m.
Speakers: Rep. Tom Rukavina and Sen. David Tomassoni

· HIBBING: Sportsmen Round Table

Location: Grandma’s
Program Begins: 2:00 p.m.
Speakers: Rep. Tony Sertich and Sen. David Tomassoni

Saturday, September 13th
THEME: Sustainable Economic Development in Greater Minnesota

· DULUTH: Rally for Change/Canvass Kick Off
Location: TBD
Program Begins: 9:30 a.m.
Speakers: Rep. Mary Murphy and Sen. Tom Bakk

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