When Barack Obama announced last month that he would no longer accept invitations to speak at candidate forums or debates that were not sanctioned by the DNC, his rationale made plenty of sense, at least in principle. As campaign manager David Plouffe noted in his memo at the time:
Unfortunately, we simply cannot run the kind of campaign we want and need to, engaging with voters in the early states and February 5, if our schedule is dictated by dozens of forums and debates. Ultimately, the one group left out of the current schedule is the voters and they are the ones who ask the toughest questions and most deserve to have those questions answered face to face.
So tonight, Obama will not be among the five candidates onstage at the AARP forum in Davenport–though the Quad City Times notes the organizers are keeping extra lighting and a podium handy, you know, just in case.
That’s not likely: Obama is scheduled to be in Atlanta, at a big fundraiser, where he will share the stage with recording star Usher.
Smart politics? With the September 30 quarterly reporting deadline looming, this could help Obama turn in another eye-popping fundraising total. But given that 64% of those who attended the Iowa Democratic caucuses in 2004 were over the age of 50 … well, maybe not.
Obama’s campaign notes that Iowans will have a chance to ask him questions directly at a town hall forum on senior issues in Ames tomorrow.