Monday, Aug. 18, 2008 | 11:24 a.m.
Sun Expanded Coverage
(The Sun has gone on the road to listen to voters and talk to political leaders around the West. Reporters will examine the economic, cultural and demographic forces re-shaping the region as they drive to Denver for the first of the two major party conventions the Sun will cover.)
ALBUQUERQUE -- Illinois Sen. Barack Obama just addressed an intimate crowd of mostly women at a library here, focusing on equal pay for equal work. He recalled injustice experienced by his mother and grandmother. He criticized his opponent, Sen. John McCain, for not supporting legislation that would have made it easier for women who are discriminated against to sue their employers. The legislation follows a recent Supreme Court ruling that made it more difficult to sue.
"It’s because of that experience," he said about his mother and grandmother, "that when I hear women are being treated unfairly in the workplace, there’s injustice and the principle of equal pay for equal work isn’t being upheld, I get angry."
Obama also ran through the rest of his kitchen-table domestic agenda, including a plan to cut middle class taxes, expand access to health care, add to family and medical leave, and reform the No Child Left Behind education law to give teachers and schools more flexibilty and more money. He said much of his agenda would be paid for by withdrawing troops from Iraq over 16 months. Obama is at a rally later today with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. Obama's opponent, Arizona Sen. John McCain, is in Las Cruces, N.M., later this week.
The Obama-McCain presidential race has tightened, according to some daily tracking polls. The most recent Gallup poll has both candidates at 45 percent. Some Obama supporters have become nervous -- as Democrats are wont to do -- by the recent trend.
The Obama appearance today, filled with wonky detail, may be a response to Democrats saying Obama needs to be more specific and less hopey in his rhetoric. See this New York Times story.
Other Democrats don't understand why Obama hasn't pummeled McCain. Here, for instance, widely read blogger Josh Marshall:
"The lack of any consistent lines of attack against McCain is becoming palpable."
We'll blog the next stop and have a story in tomorrow's Sun.
A programming note: Obama was here the same day we are by chance, not design.