Obama Hopes Kansas Roots Will Yield Votes

Red state's blue governor greets hopeful with endorsement
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2008 12:04 PM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., campaigns during a rally in Kansas City, Mo., Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama has been hitting the pavement in staunchly Republican Kansas, the Los Angeles Times reports, returning to the town where his maternal grandparents lived during the Great Depression. The Democratic presidential candidate also picked up an endorsement yesterday from Democratic governor Kathleen Sebelius—something that might help the Illinois senator more than his local roots.

"Barack Obama has Midwestern values," Sibelius said. "He understands how to bring people together across party lines." And she knows a little about crossing party lines, twice winning the GOP-majority state by appealing to moderate Republicans and independents. At least one Republican has actually switched parties to vote for Obama in next Tuesday's caucus: his grandmother's first cousin, Margaret McCurry Wolf.