City Slicker

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Election day in Texas! And that means… cattle?
Obama this morning took a tour of the Future Farmers of America exhibit in Houston, Texas. We’d been promised a rodeo by his handlers and had been wondering: who rides rodeo at 8:30am? Turns out no one. And, alas, Obama didn’t go near any of the prize bulls and cows being groomed by their owners (thus avoiding all kinds of bull jokes).

Instead he spent about 30 minutes greeting dozens of exhibitors, many of them children. “I gotta admit, I’m sort of a city slicker,” Obama told a bunch of 10-year-olds at a booth sponsored by Lil’ Dobbers 4-H club, young farmers-to-be from Limestone County. One enterprising kid handed the Senator his business card in case Obama “ever needs a trailer.”

There was a surprising number of Democrats among the exhibitors. Colby Jenkins, a 21-year-old Simbrah cattle raiser from Waco, said Obama was smart to visit the event. “He’s going to win some votes,” Jenkins said.

Still, many of those posing for pictures were just idly curious. “I think it’s great that he’s here,” Leonard John, an exhibitor from San Antonio, said as he watched Obama, jacketless, with his sleeves rolled up, climb on a trailer. “But, personally, I’m a Bush man. I’d love to see him get a third term.”

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Joe Klein

In the ArenaBy Joe Klein