Obama Shifts Blue-Collar Strategy

Visits church, b-ball court amid town-hall stumping
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 28, 2008 7:18 AM CDT
Barack Obama passes a collection basket during a church service at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis, Sunday, April 27, 2008.    (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – Moving to beef up his appeal to blue-collar voters in Indiana, Barack Obama is changing the tone of his campaign there, trading big rallies for more intimate town-hall sessions; the weekend included stops at a Methodist church and a basketball court, the New York Times reports. “I’ve got to be more present,” Obama said on Fox News. “I’ve got to be knocking on more doors.”

In Q&A sessions, Obama talks with voters instead of at them; his advisers are pushing him to highlight his modest upbringing and work as a community organizer. And he has toned down attacks on Hillary Clinton, keeping his message positive after a sharper style in Pennsylvania. With subtle shifts, he hopes to quell Democratic worry over his general-election potential—as well as win a close contest in Indiana.