Obama reaches out to HRC supporters in Minnesota

One of the underreported stories about Barack Obama's visit to Minnesota on Tuesday night is what happened afterwards: in a private room in the Xcel Center, Barack and Michelle Obama held a reception for prominent local supporters of Hillary Clinton.

As usual, the story is found only in MinnPost.com, which is quickly becoming the premier source for Minnesota politics, scooping both of the local pulp-printed newspapers.

The list of local Clinton supporters was long and stellar: Buck Humphrey (Hubert's grandson), former Secretary of State Joan Growe, Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson, superdelegate Jackie Stevenson, and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (no relation to Senator Norm Coleman).


Obama did not just leave the arena. Nor did he head to the nearest television camera or the nearest fat cat.

Instead, he went to a room where the Clinton supporters had been gathered and one by one, shook the hands of the 25 people, stopping to chat with each of them.

"Chris (Coleman) walked around the room with him,'' said Stevenson, "and introduced each one of us.''

It was really pretty extraordinary.

"He shook my hand and said, 'Thank you for being here; I'm sure it's not easy,' '' said Stevenson of her meeting with Obama.  "I thanked him and said that everyone involved in his campaign had been so gracious. I didn't know what to say, so I mentioned that my daughter works for a federal health clinic. And he knew right away which program I was talking about. He said, 'Oh that's wonderful.' ''

Stevenson, a feminist and Clinton supporter, had to admit this: "He's very impressive.''

I met Mayor Coleman while standing in line for the event. He was working the line with a couple of staffers in Rice Park, and stopped to chat for a few moments. I complemented him on Rice Park (one of the nicest places in St. Paul) and its  ground-level statue of St. Paul literary lion F. Scott Fitzgerald. I had never met Coleman before, but he struck me as a class act, very personable and friendly, and obviously someone who understands what's happening in this country, and with this campaign.

The whole evening had been filled with similar graciousness and kindness, Stevenson said. She had arrived at the building with Humphrey, and as they were taken to their seats, people kept stopping to hug them and thank them for being there. Laughing, she spoke of how she decided she needed to make a trip to the restroom before Obama's speech. Again, people kept stopping her to shake her hand. "Finally, I just had to wave and leave or I would have missed the speech,'' she said.

With continuing efforts like this one in St. Paul, Obama will be able to unify this party for the election in November. Once again, Obama shows why he is such a formidible candidate and the best person for the job.

Cross-posted at Daily Kos (where it made the rec list).

Tags: Barack Obama, Barbara Johnson, Buck Humphrey, Chris Coleman, Jackie Stevenson, MinnPost.com (all tags)

Comments

51 Comments

Funny I just read this

in MinnPost.  Great piece.

by Student Guy 2008-06-05 05:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama reaches out to HRC supporters in Minneso

Well done.

by Strummerson 2008-06-05 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama reaches out to HRC supporters in Minneso

I am beginning to hope with a bit of luck and good-will the 'unification' of the party will be a less traumatic problem than the narrative which has been created about it would lead us to believe.  We'll see, but this is the kind of thing which makes that hope seem reasonable.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-06-05 06:00AM | 0 recs
I think people will come together

more easily than the MSM would have us believe, and certainly more easily than one would expect judging by the hyper-partisan atmosphere on the blogs. The Harriett Christians of the world may not come around in a timely manner, but the vast majority of people will.

by sricki 2008-06-05 07:06AM | 0 recs
Re: I think people will come together

I concur.  You've been a very positive influence here, I might add, for quite some time.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-06-05 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama reaches out to HRC supporters in Minneso

but is it really so great that he shook hands with 25 hand-picked Hillary supporters?  i mean is that it's going to take....really?  he has over 18 million more hands to shake in that case.

by jentwisl 2008-06-05 09:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama reaches out to HRC supporters in Minneso

If anyone can do it, he can.

Cheers

by Purple with Green Stipes and Pink Polka Dots Dem 2008-06-05 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama reaches out to HRC supporters in Minneso

25 down 17,999,975 to go.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-06-05 01:42PM | 0 recs
Neat

I didn't know that happened.

I'm bookmarking MinnPost now.  Didn't know anything about it before.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-05 06:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Neat

So Draco, you going to the convention this weekend?  I was on a cruise for my 30th bday during the senate level ones so I didn't sign up to be a delegate this year.

If you are can I ask if you are backing Al or Jack?

by kasjogren 2008-06-05 07:33AM | 0 recs
I hadn't considered it

I have a lot to do this weekend, so I hadn't considered going.

That said, I kinda hope Franken fights through the smears; we've had amateur comedians in politics for a long time and it'd nice to see a professional for a change.

If he can't, I'm fine with Cirisi or Nelson-Pallmeyer.

The thing I'm watching is whether Ventura throws his hat in the ring.  If he does that, all bets are off.  If it's him, Franken, and Coleman, the debates are going to be gold.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-05 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: I hadn't considered it

Oh I hadn't thought about how classic the debates would be with those three in it.  Good call.

by kasjogren 2008-06-05 08:42AM | 0 recs
Coleman wouldn't get out alive

As much as Ventura dislikes Franken's liberal policies, he hates chickenhawks like Coleman a lot more.  Add to that his distinct anti-establishment bent, and you'll get quite the pile-on.

Quite honestly, I would not be put out by a Senator Ventura.  It's not what I'd want for Wellstone's seat, but I know Jesse would at least be honest with us.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-05 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Coleman wouldn't get out alive

You know, his first two years he was a pretty good Guv.  Then he went bat shit crazy, blamed the media for everything, and accomplished nothing.

I blame his kid for throwing the mansion parties.

by kasjogren 2008-06-05 09:00AM | 0 recs
It was state legislature, I think

He had no backing in the legislature.  After a honeymoon period ended, he couldn't do much.

I love him for getting our light rail finally implemented.  That will never ever change.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-05 09:17AM | 0 recs
most of these people also had reserved seating...

for the event.  coleman had a quite a few seats...

by bored now 2008-06-05 06:22AM | 0 recs
Not for nothing

I'm only a slightly-disgrunted MinMon alumnus, but let's be fair:  Minnesota Monitor had a piece on this topic as well.  http://www.minnesotamonitor.com/showDiar y.do?diaryId=4195

by MN Campaign Report 2008-06-05 06:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Not for nothing

Thanks for the tip, I was unaware of MinnMon. I have also since heard that Minnesota Public Radio had the story, too.

by KeithPickering 2008-06-05 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama reaches out to HRC supporters in Minneso

Now work that charm on blue collars creaming off the top is easy.

by superetendar 2008-06-05 06:52AM | 0 recs
Watch yourself.

McCain is looking like a sane, quiet, steady alternative by the day. This liberal takeover  has a slightly menacing feel to it. Almost Taliban-like in its reverence for form and manners over governance. Burkas of shame and derision are being placed on  anyone (especially women) who does not offer sufficient praise for Obama This is madness. The country is being turned into one large giant Trinity Church with Obama supporters flinging insults with mad glee at anyone who is not dancing in the aisles. Talk about irrational exuberance. Can't wait for this bubble to burst. And its only day one.

You're on notice.  I've already asked the admins for your banning, not that they listen to me.  Take some time off and go away.

by McNasty 2008-06-05 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Watch yourself. No you Watch Yourself

"You're on notice."--McNasty

LOL. Oh boy, a good old Chicago knee capping is promised. And what, my dear McNasty is the infraction hmm?  What offence against My Direct Democracy have I committed? Merely stating a point of view? Is this what the American blogosphere has now become? Are you not ashamed at your zeal for uniform ideas and enforced happiness. Is your aim to file every finger nail of dissent until all is rendered harmoniously bland? Orwell beckons. The bad omens keep piling up.

Oh and by the way. Don't you dare threaten to silence me for exercising my right to free speech, its rude and rather thuggish.

by superetendar 2008-06-05 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama reaches out to HRC supporters in Minneso

You've been at this for a loong time.  It's time to fish or cut bait.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-06-05 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama reaches out to HRC supporters in Minneso

"It's time to fish or cut bait."--Shaun Appleby

Oh boy, I'm having such a hard time deciding? Fish or cut bait? Argh, this is sooo hard to answer.

I need to know a few things first: Is the fishing restricted to turgid  waters undisturbed by diversity or are we allowed to fish in rivers, streams and oceans? Oh, and also, can we catch any fish, you know, pike, salmon, trout, barracuda etc., or are we only allowed to fish for one type of fish? Oh, and another thing, do we need a license? Is there a national fish board that controls who fishes as well as where and what kinds of fish are caught? Also is there a fisherman's uniform that everyone who fishes in these waters must wear?

by superetendar 2008-06-05 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama reaches out to HRC supporters in Minneso

Sigh.  No offence intended but you have been a pretty dedicated no-holds-barred Hillary supporter for quite some time.  The question is, are you pro-Hillary or just anti-Obama.  There's a big difference now.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-06-05 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama reaches out to HRC supporters in Minneso

Okay Appleby, pax.

Am I pro-Hillary or just anti-Obama?  I don't know, I'm still thinking about it in my own quixotic way. What can I tell you, I'm just slow to arrive at conclusions.

Though you are exempt, I am very disheartened by Obama's irregular Internet army  who roam up and down various diaries setting up impromptu road blocks in order to check everyone's identity papers, in the process, deciding who to wave on or who to force off the Mydd highway. Anyway, I hope Mydd will become a place where Obama's policies and ideas will be scrutinized and critiqued as much as they are praised.

by superetendar 2008-06-06 05:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama reaches out to HRC supporters in Minneso

Inevitably it will.  And peace to you, too.  I can understand it takes a bit of time to adjust after such a hard fought contest.  It seems the task at hand is to unite ourselves for the imminent challenge of the election.  I hope you can share that collective aspiration of Democrats here, as many Hillary supporters apparently do.  

You've been a pungent advocate for Hillary here for quite some time, as I well know.  You would surely be welcome in the work that lies ahead but the anti-Obama stuff just doesn't seem appropriate any more, at least not here.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-06-06 05:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama reaches out to HRC supporters in Minneso

How about giving some credit to the Clinton supporters for their conciliatory efforts toward Obama?

It's harder to be a gracious loser than to be a gracious winner.

by Juno 2008-06-05 06:55AM | 0 recs
Clinton supporters are bigger than me,

I was in your shoes four years ago as a Deaniac, and did not go quietly, although of course in the end I was knocking on doors for Senator Kerry.

I salute all you strong Clinton supporters who have seen the forest for the trees so quickly.  I know it's not easy, and I cannot say how proud I am to be on your side.

by McNasty 2008-06-05 07:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton supporters are bigger than me,

Ditto, almost every word.

by kasjogren 2008-06-05 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Clinton supporters are bigger than me,

Agreed

by AlexScott 2008-06-05 11:21AM | 0 recs
I am really hoping to hear more stories like this.

The contest was long, bitter, and very close.  I do believe there is more need to actively court unity within the party than contests of the past.  

Usually, even if you supported the other candidate, the win was overwhelming and the choice was pretty clear.

Now, the choice is one that almost half the democratic voters did not choose, and that needs to be recognized and respected.  Even though elections are contests, they are much more than some sports championship.  

We are selecting the person that the democrats put forth to try to win the most powerful position on earth.

One thing I really hated about Bush is that they never gave a rats ass about what their opposition might think.  Oh man, when he believed he had his "mandate", he really flipped us the bird.

If he had just listened to us once in a while, and considered our point of view, he would undoubtedly have improved as a leader.

by Al Depansu 2008-06-05 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: I am really hoping to hear more stories like t

I don't disagree that Obama has to work to win over some of you Clinton supporters, but hopefully people like you who will at least come with an open mind will be open to his efforts.  I have no doubts that this will not be one of those "Bush mandates" where Obama doesn't make great efforts to win Clinton supporters.  There is already a strong hint that he is willing to let Hillary lead on healthcare, her signature campaign policy, and I think that you will see strong concessions to what was a very tight race.

by GobBluth 2008-06-05 07:45AM | 0 recs
Hope so

by Al Depansu 2008-06-05 08:50AM | 0 recs
It's time

Ok, I think I need to apologize for all the times I was bitter (and not about guns OR religion) and said stupid mean-spirited things to Hillary supporters.  The emotional primary season really got to me at times and I often acted irresponsibly toward even moderate Hillary supporters.  Not only was that insensitive, it was just plain dumb.  I am surprised that so many (really just about all) of Hillary's supporters on this blog have graciously come out in support of Obama.  For that, I want to say thank you.

And if Obama deems it a smart move, I am very comfortable with Hillary as VP.  I still prefer Clark, but more because I am nervous about giving conservatives any reason to be impassioned.  Hillary is a fantastic candidate and should be commended.

by ProgressiveDL 2008-06-05 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama reaches out to HRC supporters in Minneso

Also in attendance for Obama's speech: former Republican Senator Dave Durenberger, now a strong opponent of the Iraq war.  

by jdusek 2008-06-05 10:20AM | 0 recs
Nice

I love hearing about former Republicans.

They used to claim to be a party of values.  Now Democrats are the party of values and the remaining Republicans are mostly corporate shills.

by Dracomicron 2008-06-05 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re:

Okay so only prominent supporters matter? That's what this article seems to imply.

I see this as a major flaw of Obama's. He seems to think that if a politican endorses him the voters automatically follow. This isn't the case a lot of times. Voters are going to do their own thing.

by Ga6thDem 2008-06-05 11:25AM | 0 recs
i'm not sure why you think this...

but politicians are good validators, whether they reach everyone or not.  i think you will be very surprised at how the obama campaign reaches out to hillary supporters...

by bored now 2008-06-05 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: i'm not sure why you think this...

No reaching out so far.

by Ga6thDem 2008-06-08 02:49AM | 0 recs
to you personally???

given the prodigious efforts by the obama campaign to reach out not only to all democrats, but all americans, i'm a bit perplexed.  what am i missing?  why do you feel neglected?

by bored now 2008-06-08 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: to you personally???

He doesn't reach out to Hillary supporters much less to all americans. His campaign has called us racist low information voters. Voters that they don't need. He gives a speech and talks about HIS daughters not the voters. It's always about HIM never and how everything effects HIM and HIS FAMILY nothing else. Yammering on about unity for the sake of unity doesn't sound like much of anything to me.

He's run an extremely divisive and elitist campaign. Too much of the party is going to abandon ship for him to win in Nov and those republicans and independents aren't going to vote for him post Wright/Pfleger. Do you really want an apostle of BTL running the country?

by Ga6thDem 2008-06-08 06:50AM | 0 recs
i'm confused...

could you provide a link where "His campaign has called us racist low information voters."  or "Voters that they don't need."  i relatively well-informed on the obama campaign, and i missed those messages.

i do think he needs to move beyond some of the thematic approaches he's used -- but then, i'm watching barack give a speech where he's doing just that.

the polls and focus groups i've seen recently say just the opposite that you state.  but i also stay on top of that.  rev wright isn't even a factor in most people's views.  i hope the republicans stay fixated on that, since it has no real effect on voters.  if that's the best wedge issue republicans have, we are in fine shape...

by bored now 2008-06-09 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama reaches out to HRC supporters in Minneso

Getting the HRC support from party leaders and activists is one thing, getting it from the disrespected, alienated, and disenfranchised 18 million HRC voters is quite another.  A good chunk will leave the party, or will sit this one out, or will simply vote for McCain as a protest vote. That's the reality.

Contrary to what is believed, the decision to NOT vote for Obama is more rational than visceral.  The HRC coalition--which consists of class, gender, ethnic, and generational alliances--is substantial and will not be taken for granted or written off.  Many in this coalition are seasoned voters who are well aware of the power of their vote--and are not afraid to use it.

Like Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition, HRC's coalition will not go away as some would like. For those of you who were around, Jesse Jackson (whom I voted for in my state's primary at the time) used his delegates as a bargaining chip in the 1988 Dem convention to advance some of his issues and political agenda.  What resulted from this convention was an empowered coalition which had to be considered and heard in the subsequent national elections.  In effect, his Rainbow Coalition (who reached out to disenfranchised, poor whites) not only helped elect Pres Clinton and other Dems, but was a force to contend with for many years on the national scene.  Why do you think he was and is still so hated and vilified by the right?  

HRC's coalition--indeed this new populist movement-- should be respected and given it's due at the convention and in party politics. Obama and his rabid supporters (including party and DNC hacks) make a grave mistake in writing off this new force in national politics.

by trixta 2008-06-05 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama reaches out to HRC

Well done!  Great read.

by Purple with Green Stipes and Pink Polka Dots Dem 2008-06-05 11:33AM | 0 recs
UGGH!

More Judas Iscariots...

by handsomegent 2008-06-05 01:08PM | 0 recs
No phone call

Hillary did not even phone Obama to say she was suspending her campaign and endorsing him Saturday.

She is not happy and does not appear to want to appear with Obama in a phony love-fest. He has not reached his hand out to her in any meaningfull way...yet. He may never.

Mitt Romney's endorsement of McCain was the most cold and uncomfortable endorsement I've ever seen. This is shaping up to be like that one, only worst. They won't even be on the stage together.

I have never seen a candidate treated like Hillary was and still is today. I'm amazed she doesn't switch to Independent. Most people would have switched parties.

I know many Dem's will be switching to Independent based on this election. I hope Obama is smart enough, and more importantly, strong enough to make the right call and put Clinton on the ticket. If not the country is in for a political shake up.

by mmorang 2008-06-05 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: No phone call

Obama has congratulated her both publicly and privately repeatedly after her victories, but I've never once see her do the same. If I'm wrong, and I hope I am, please provide an example.

From Obama's Victory Speech:

I have not just competed with them as rivals. I've learned from them as friends, as public servants, and as patriots who love America and are willing to work tirelessly to make this country better. They are leaders of this party and leaders that America will turn to for years to come.

And that is particularly true for the candidate who has traveled further on this journey than anyone else. Senator Hillary Clinton has made history in this campaign.

(APPLAUSE)

She has made history not just because she's a woman who has done what no woman has done before, but because she is a leader who inspires millions of Americans with her strength, her courage, and her commitment to the causes that brought us here tonight.

I congratulate her on her victory in South Dakota, and I congratulate her on the race that she has run throughout this contest.

(APPLAUSE)

We've certainly had our differences over the last 16 months. But as someone who's shared a stage with her many times, I can tell you that what gets Hillary Clinton up in the morning -- even in the face of tough odds -- is exactly what sent her and Bill Clinton to sign up for their first campaign in Texas all those years ago, what sent her to work at the Children's Defense Fund and made her fight for health care as first lady, what led her to the United States Senate and fueled her barrier-breaking campaign for the presidency: an unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, no matter how difficult the fight may be.

And you can rest assured that when we finally win the battle for universal health care in this country -- and we will win that fight -- she will be central to that victory.

How aweful.

"I know many Dem's will be switching to Independent based on this election."

You may want that, but I doubt it's going to happen on any meaningful scale.

"I hope Obama is smart enough, and more importantly, strong enough to make the right call and put Clinton on the ticket. If not the country is in for a political shake up."

Yes, all is doomed without Clinton. Her importance do the party and to the country not withstanding; Obama does not NEED her in the VP slot.

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-05 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: No phone call

A little empty rhetoric after trashing her and her husband personally is not going to fool too many people

There are plenty of examples where both candidates have called the other to offer congratulations. Look it up if your interested.

by mmorang 2008-06-06 11:15AM | 0 recs
Re: No phone call

How did he trash her personally? Give me a link to an example. All I'm asking for is one.

Also, please give me ONE example during the race that she publicly congratulated Obama after a victory. All I'm asking for is one.

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-06 05:41PM | 0 recs
Off Subject Question:

Which sites work for posting photos on MYDD?

by USArmyParatrooper 2008-06-05 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Off Subject Question:

i can't think of any site you can't use an image source tag with...

by bored now 2008-06-05 03:16PM | 0 recs

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