ABC’s Sunlen Miller reports: Sen. Barack Obama spent the day campaigning with his family this 4th of July in a red state that he’s vying to flip to blue in the general election.
“Montanans I’m proud to be with you on the 4th of July,” Obama exclaimed the Democrat in Butte, Montana.
On his forth visit to the state, the Illinois Senator trudged out his wife Michelle, and two daughter’s Malia and Sasha. Obama’s half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng and her family also joined the Obama’s on the campaign trail. It is his eldest daughter, Malia Obama’s birthday today as well.
“She is now 10 years old which means that I finally told her the truth that all the fireworks and stuff are not just for her,” Obama joked to the crowd gathered for the town’s annual parade.
At a picnic later, the Senator thanked the state for voting for him in the Democratic primary, and outlined how he hopes the general election will play out.
“I promise you that just about 4 months from now, just about 4 months from now we will have won Montana, we will have won the general election, and you and I together we are gonna change this country and we are gonna change the world,” Obama said.
The Senator’s remarks at a 4th of July parade and picnic were largely devoid of anything too policy oriented or political in nature.
But at the intersection where Obama’s family were sitting and watching the parade, also came another ironic intersection of sorts, on a day where Obama made no attacks or mention of his Republican opponent.
Midway through the parade route a long flat bed truck rolled by representing the Republican party of Montana – with signs promoting local politicians along the sides of the truck, as well as signs for Republican presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain. A small child walked around the picnic area wearing a sandwich board sign flanked on either side with two large McCain posters.
The presumptive Democratic nominee smiled and waved at the truck driver, as he did for every other parade float, as the vehicle moved by slowly. The crowd, in unison chanted Obama’s campaign slogan, “Yes We Can.”
Although the state has a large number of Republicans, the city of Butte has a high union presence, and thus is an area where Obama has significant Democratic support.
Obama expressed some regret that because of safety concerns he couldn’t march in the parade.
“This is the first parade where I haven’t walked. But the problem is if we started walking, Secret Service is going to have to have everybody put their hands up and we decided that wasn’t going to be much fun for everybody.”