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Obama Campaign Downplays W.Va. Loss

DON GONYEA: But even if all 28 had gone to Hillary Clinton, it would just offset the number of superdelegates Obama gained over the past week. So at the town hall meeting the candidate was clearly looking to the fall.

BARACK OBAMA: The Bush/Cheney ticket won't be up for reelection, but Bush/Cheney policies will, because John McCain has decided that he is running for George Bush's third term in office. That's what his campaign has been about.

GONYEA: Obama's focus these days is very much on John McCain. He predicted a united Democratic Party in the general election. Hillary Clinton barely got a mention yesterday and then only because a member of the audience asked.

OBAMA: If you become the president of the United States, Ms. Clinton, what about Ms. Clinton? Is she going to be your vice president?


OBAMA: What are you, a reporter? Or you a...

GONYEA: Then the senator, whose campaign emits an irrepressible victor's vibe these days, offered some words of restraint.

OBAMA: What I've said is I'm not going to talk about vice president this or vice president that until I've actually won. You know, it'd be presumptuous of me to pretend like I've already won and start talking about who my vice president's going to be. I've still got some more work to do, so - but I'll let you know.

GONYEA: The choice to be here in Missouri, in a state that held its primary three months ago, underscores the importance the Obama campaign attaches to the battlegrounds of November. In Cape Gerardo, Obama was in Republican territory in southeast Missouri, the town that produced Rush Limbaugh. It was a chance to repeat his pitch to independents and Republicans. Small business owner Betty Michael is an Obama supporter and a Democrat. But she said it's good that he came to this part of Missouri this early.

BETTY MICHAEL: It's not just for his own special little group that people like to brand him with, I don't think. I think he has a message for everybody. And I'm hoping my friends are listening down here.

GONYEA: Including the Cape Gerardo Republicans.

MICHAEL: Including all of them, yes.

GONYEA: Don Gonyea, NPR News, traveling with the Obama campaign. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

United States & World Morning Edition
You're most likely to find NPR's Don Gonyea on the road, in some battleground state looking for voters to sit with him at the local lunch spot, the VFW or union hall, at a campaign rally, or at their kitchen tables to tell him what's on their minds. Through countless such conversations over the course of the year, he gets a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea is NPR's National Political Correspondent, a position he has held since 2010. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs and at NPR.org. To hear his sound-rich stories is akin to riding in the passenger seat of his rental car, traveling through Iowa or South Carolina or Michigan or wherever, right along with him.