Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama met Tuesday
with majority Democrats in the U.S House of Representatives. VOA's Dan
Robinson reports from Capitol Hill, Senator Obama delivered a pep talk
about the November presidential and congressional election, as his
rival Republican John McCain was on the campaign trail.
Senator Obama appeared with Democratic leaders after meeting for about an hour with House Democrats.
to reporters, Obama said he believes Democrats have a good chance of
strengthening their hold on Congress in November. "If the American
people can feel confident that the institutions here in Washington are
working for them and not on behalf of special interests, then I think
this can be an incredible election, not only to elect a Democratic
president but also to expand our majority in the House and expand our
majority in the Senate," he said.
Obama sounded a note of
bipartisanship, saying he hopes to be able to work with what he called
right-minded Republicans if he is elected president.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi described Democrats as unified in their enthusiasm
about Senator Obama, and their excitement about his ideas. "We had a
wonderful discussion about energy infrastructure, health care,
America's leadership role in the world. We congratulated Senator Obama
for his trip, for presenting that face of America to the world, and for
his ideas to take us into the future," she said.
John Larson, vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, says Obama was
impressive in an hour in which House Democrats asked questions about
his recent overseas trip and U.S. energy policy. "This being a moment
when we have to seize the opportunity to put forward the kind of
comprehensive energy policy that we are going to need to address the
concerns of the country."
Jim Clyburn, the Democratic Majority
Whip, said Obama also reflected on the key points he tried to
communicate to an estimated 200-thousand people who heard him speak in
Germany. "That to me was a seminal moment in his talk today, the fact
that he is symbolic of what people want to see this country do in
reclaiming its moral authority [in the world]."
McCain acknowledged, during an appearance in Nevada, that he sees
himself as the underdog in the presidential race: "I think we have to
assume, despite the fluctuations of the polls up and down, [that] I am
the underdog in this race, and I am going to need every single one of
you to get out there and get out the vote in Nevada and I relish the
underdog role," he said.
With Democratic and Republican
nominating conventions just a few weeks away, speculation is intense
about who Senator Obama and Republican John McCain will choose as their
vice presidential running mates.
As Obama told reporters he is
eager to hit the campaign trail, McCain spent Tuesday continuing to
attack his Democratic rival on a range of issues, from energy and high
gasoline prices to his position on Iran.