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Ireland & the U.S. Presidential Campaign Trail
Abdon M. Pallasch reports from the road.
New Year's Eve: AMES, Iowa
U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Penn., the only Iraq War vet in Congress, is giving the warm-up for Sen. Barack Obama at a New Year's Eve party at Iowa State University and explaining how he won in a Republican district.
"Well, there's another reason I won the race. . . ." Murphy said.
"Because you're Irish!" someone in the crowd shouted.
"Well," he smiled, "I'm Irish, thank you. So is Obama, O-bama."
Murphy was actually going to say that the other reason he won is that his wife is a Republican and he attracts cross-over votes as he believes Obama can.
New Year's Day: DUBUQUE, Iowa
John Walsh, an administrator at Loras University, a Catholic liberal arts college where he also advises the Loras College Democrats, is introducing Senator Obama at a rally two nights before the Iowa caucuses. It's about 11 p.m.
"I'm Irish-American and I'm getting sick and tired of going to Ireland and having people say, 'What in the hell were you thinking of, voting for George W. Bush?' They think we're all crazy,"
Walsh says to cheers from the crowd.
Jan. 5: DERRY, New Hampshire
It's here in this unwalled city that can't really hold a candle to the original in Northern Ireland that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney got probably the toughest Ireland-
related comment of the campaign:
"I feel, Gov. Romney, that you've turned your back on God's creatures."
Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform Vice-Chairman Ciarn Staunton told Romney on January 5, reminding him that there are about 50,000 Irish undocumented in the U.S.