Obama To Skip Nevada

Thursday, February 8th 2007, 2:27 pm
By: News On 6

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Sen. Barack Obama is skipping a forum for Democratic presidential candidates in Nevada this month _ his first opportunity to share a platform with his rivals for the 2008 nomination.

Seven other announced or expected Democratic candidates, including front-runner Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, have told organizers they will participate in the Feb. 21 forum in Carson City, Nev. It's the first such candidates forum of the 2008 presidential campaign.

Obama, who is scheduled to be in southern Nevada the same week, couldn't work the Nevada forum into his itinerary, campaign spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said.

``It was a difficult decision. He very much wants to spend time getting to know the people of Nevada, talking about how we move the country forward, but there are only so many days in the calendar,'' Pfeiffer said. ``He has a vigorous Senate schedule, it makes it very difficult to do all things he wants to do.''

Pfeiffer said Obama will campaign in the Las Vegas area on Feb. 18, but did not release details on the senator's schedule. Obama is scheduled to formally announce his candidacy Saturday in Springfield, Ill.

The Senate is not in session the week of the Carson City forum, which is sponsored by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Nevada Democratic Party.

``We're disappointed that Senator Obama chose not to attend the AFSCME forum, it will be a great opportunity for candidates to begin a dialogue with Nevada voters,'' said party spokeswoman Kirsten Searer.

Besides Clinton, a senator from New York, other Democrats who have confirmed their participation are: Former vice presidential candidate John Edwards, Sens. Joe Biden of Delaware and Chris Dodd of Connecticut, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel.