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tt www. planetictexas..coin GROWNUP GIFTS FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES NORTH SOUTH RESEARCH E. RIVERSIDE STASSNEY 832-8544 443-2292 502-9323 441-5555 707-9069 NEW STORE!! 392-4596 SAN ANTONIO NEW STORE EAST CENTRAL EVERS MILITARY WEST AVE 654-8536 822-7767 521-5213 333-3043 525-0708 _ oxtputt sUIT HAPPIN ESS NEW STORM IN AUSTIN CESAR CHAVEZ ICESARCHAVET \(Ead Nome Of 247-2222 John McCain Enters St. Paul in Triumph podium, where Todd Campbell, Obama For America Rural Vote director, proselytized about the importance of outreach to rural voters. Democrats once dominated rural areas all through the South, the Midwest, and Texas. Those days are long gone, though you can still occasionally find unreconstructed Yellow Dog Democrats wandering the floor of state and national conventions. Democrats have talked for years about trying to win in rural areas. They opine about how their populist message should play well. \(At the caucus in Denver, there was a lot of talk about John McCain’s voting history. He has consistently voted against farm bills, starting in 1985, when he was still a member of the U.S. House. He voted against farm bills twice more in the Senate in 1996 and 2002, and was a no-show for Democrats have largely ceded rural areas to Republicans, especially in national and statewide races. The modern Democratic Party is, for the most part, an urban one. That’s not a bad thing. As rural America loses population, its political influence dissipates as well. The decline of the farmer was never more evident when, at the end of the caucus, the council opened the floor to questions. David Harper, a row cropper and pasture farmer from Hartsville, Tennessee, stood up to ask if Barack Obama had bothered to engage the Farm. Bureau, principally an insur ante company that markets products to rural consumers. Campbell’s roundabout answer was that the Obama campaign intends to reach out to as many rural organizations as possible. Hartman then turned to the audience and asked, holding his hand up, “Are there any farm owners here?” One other hand crept up, belonging to an elderly woman with gaunt, weathered skin stretched across her cheekbones. Hartman turned back to Campbell at the podium and said, “That’s rural America … and I’m real concerned about that.” If party leaders are serious about winning in rural America, where Obama didn’t fare particularly well even in the primaries, it will take a lot more than voting for pork-loaded farm SEPTEMBER 5, 2008 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5