Senator Barack Obama orders food during an impromptu stop at The Little Dooey restaurant in Columbus, Miss. today. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Barack Obama dropped by The Little Dooey restaurant in Columbus, Miss. today, an off-the-schedule stop during a campaign swing through Mississippi, whose primary he is expected to win tomorrow. After ordering some chicken and brisket for an aide, catfish tenders, hushpuppies, and a few other items, according to a media pool report, Obama took a few questions from reporters on New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, on apparently being on Hillary Clinton's short list for running mate, and on a comment US Representative Steve King made last week that terrorists would be "dancing in the streets" if Obama won the presidency.
On Spitzer's alleged links to a prostitution ring, Obama didn't say much. "I really havenít seen the details of it, so I donít know whatís going on," he said. "Iím a little in the dark."
On King, Obama said the Iowa Republican had it "backwards." "The fact that the continuation of a presence in Iraq as Senator McCain has suggested is exactly what, I think, will fan the flames of anti-American sentiment and make it more difficult for us to create a long-term and sustainable peace in the world," he said. "But I have to say that Mr. King and individuals like him thrive on offensive or controversial statements as a way to get in the papers, so I donít take it too seriously. I would hope Senator McCain would want to distance himself from that kind of inflammatory and offensive remarks.Ē
Asked why he felt the need to address the vice presidential speculation today, Obama said, "The Clintons have spent all weekend talking about it, so I wanted to make sure there wasnít any ambiguity about it."
Would he rule out being her running mate? "I am not running for vice president and don't intend to be vice president," he said. "My argument throughout this campaign is that we need to change how business is done in Washington. I donít think Senator Clinton represents the kind of change that's needed. This has not been an empty exercise. I profoundly believe we have to shift Washington. And I believe Iím the best person to do that job."