Barack Obama, Sam Brownback Appear Likely to Make Presidential Bids

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 27, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Barack Obama, Sam Brownback Appear Likely to Make Presidential Bids Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 27
, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Two lawmakers from opposite sides of the abortion debate appear more likely to run for president in 2008. Barack Obama is building a campaign network in Iowa that makes it appear he’s running while Sam Brownback looked like a candidate during a weekend interview.

Obama, a pro-abortion Illinois senator, has become the media darling of the Democratic Party, with glowing news articles about grassroots activists gushing over the first-term African-American lawmaker.

But whether the inexperienced legislator with a light record of accomplishments can attract enough support to capture the party’s nomination for president in 2008 is another question.

Obama appears to know the kind of advice he’ll need to win as he’s seeking input from former high-ranking advisors of John Kerry and Al Gore, the last two Democrats to seek the presidency. That leads top political observers to conclude he’s probably running.

He said last month he was considering a presidential bid and, since then, Obama has surrounded himself with key Iowa strategists.

The Des Moines Register reports that, shortly after this month’s Congressional elections, Obama called John Norris, who ran John Kerry’s winning campaign in Iowa.

"He basically called to talk about the lay of the land in Iowa," Norris told the newspaper. He added that appeared Obama was genuinely undecided about running.

Obama did not ask Norris to be an official advisor but several leading state activists are reportedly already informally on board his campaign, including a former media aide to Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who is running for president, and a former media consultant for 2004 presidential candidate and eventual vice-presidential nominee John Edwards.

Robert Gibbs, who was Kerry’s national spokesman during part of the 2004 presidential campaign, is with Obama as well.

"Obviously, should he choose to run, he’ll have a team that’s very talented with good knowledge of the state," Gibbs told the Iowa newspaper.

Meanwhile, pro-life Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas told ABC’s "This Week” television news program that he is "very close" to making a final decision about running, though he appeared like someone who’s already made up his mind.

"We’re very close with announcements," Brownback explained.

"My wife and I and our family have spent a lot of time thinking about this, praying about it, and really considering whether we could bring a message to the country that needs to be discussed,” Brownback said

Moderator George Stephanopoulos joked that Brownback talked as if he was already a presidential candidate.

"Well, I can tell from that smile that ‘you’re in,’ " Stephanopoulos said. "That’s not very coy at all."

"We’ll see," Brownback responded.

Brownback has made several trips to Iowa, New Hampshire, and other states holding early primary and caucus elections.