–updated–

Politico’s report that Clinton and Obama won’t
be
at the Carson City forum is half wrong as of this post. Senator Clinton
will be in Carson City. So will I. American Federation of State, County and
Municipal Employees, AFSCME, is a co-sponsor of the event, with George Stephanopolous of “This Week” moderating. AFSCME is also sponsoring my coverage of the event next week. I’ll also be taking my radio show on the road, with a little twist.

After the forum, which is from 12:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. or so, I will do a live
radio call-in show to talk about the forum and my impressions, as well as take your calls. I won’t be taking my own radio equipment this trip, so I’m going to utilize
BlogTalkRadio on the road. The tentative time for the show is 7:00 10:00 p.m. eastern – 4:00 7:00 p.m. pacific, February 21, next Wednesday. You can listen
right from this blog. Also, you can sign
up to get an email reminder about my show from after the Carson City forum.

As readers and listeners of my radio show know, I moved to Nevada to launch my radio show. However, I still consider home California. But with the early Nevada primary, I now get to know this state in a way I hadn’t before. Covering national issues, foreign policy and military issues, I never cover state issues. Of course, I do know what a rotten governor Nevada has, but then again, so does the F.B.I. Anyway, as with my SEIU nurse lock-out coverage, going up to Carson City will be fun, because it gives me a chance to cover how Nevadans feel about the ’08 race and get to know the state a little. Thanks goes out to my friend at Americablog who suggested me for the gig. Thanks, Joe, next time I’m in D.C. dinner is on me.

The ’08 Democratic hopefuls who’ll be in Carson City include: Sens. Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Chris
Dodd, former senator John Edwards, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, former New
Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel.

John Edwards will be in Las Vegas this weekend, but I’ve received no
invitation from his team to cover the event. Oh well, their loss, because they could
use the coverage after the last couple of weeks they’ve had.

The only big name to snub the Nevada event is Senator Obama, who has chosen to skip Carson City, the first big idea challenge for the ’08 contenders. I wonder if the senator from the great state of Illinois has already decided to forfeit Nevada.

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois will not be among the Democratic presidential
candidates participating in a Feb. 21 forum in Carson City, although organizers
are holding out hope he will change his mind.

“I know we would really like him to participate,” said Tiffany
Ricci, public affairs specialist with the American Federation of State, County
and Municipal Employees, which is co-sponsoring the event with the Nevada
Democratic Party.

Obama, who plans to formally announce his candidacy Saturday in Springfield,
Ill., is planning to campaign in the Las Vegas area on Feb. 18, but is planning
to be in Iowa at the time of the Carson City forum, his campaign spokesman
Dan Pfeiffer said.

“It was a difficult decision,” Pfeiffer said. “He very much
wants to spend time getting to know the people of Nevada, talking about how
we move the country forward, but there are only so many days in the calendar.
He has a vigorous Senate schedule, it makes it very difficult to do all things
he wants to do.” …

Obama
declines Carson forum

Excuse me, but if Obama is in Las Vegas on Sunday, February 18th, there’s no
reason he can’t toodle on up to Carson City for the Wednesday event, then go to Iowa. It’s hard not
to take away the obvious conclusion, which is that Obama and his people simply
want to keep him away from the substance side of campaigning right now. They
want soft press for the time being, especially considering there’s such a long
stretch before the primaries. The big guns will be in Carson City sharing their ideas and plans for America. Maybe Senator Obama doesn’t have any plans laid out yet. We sure won’t find out next Wednesday.