April 17, 2008

Obama responds, Clinton doesn't

Opinion:  By now candidates should be clear on Native issuesWhen I started making calls to Obama campaign organizers about his Native policy agenda, I was quickly invited to interview attorney Keith Harper, a Native policy adviser who has been with the Obama camp for the past 14 months of the 15-month-old campaign.

Campaign organizers also arranged for an interview with Obama’s chief of staff, Pete Rouse.

Finally, an interview was scheduled with Obama himself when he spoke in Missoula.

But when I contacted Clinton organizers about her Native policy platform, the reaction was slow.

I asked if she had a senior policy adviser. I was told yes--but no name was offered.

It seemed a great secret. I asked several people, including some of Clinton’s staunchest Native allies in Montana. No one knew if she had a Native policy adviser.

Finally, a spokesman told me to expect a call from Arlan Melendez, chairman of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony in Nevada. The call arrived two hours before my deadline.

No comments: