Monday, June 2, 2008

Sizemore Speaks

Lexington Herald-Leader [KY]
25 May 2008

Will Obama fight for rural votes?

By Linda B. Blackford

[...] Polling before and after Kentucky's May 20 primary showed that Obama's race was a big issue for voters in Kentucky. In a Herald-Leader/WKYT Election Poll, more than one of five said it would make him less electable; an exit poll by the Associated Press found a similar response. Of those respondents, only a third said they'd vote for Obama in a general election. Nearly half of white voters said Wright's comments were important or very important to them.

The race issue is complicated by false, but rampant, rumors that Obama is Muslim. In Leslie County, a Republican county where Obama won 5 percent of the Democratic vote, the county judge-executive doesn't hesitate before mischaracterizing Obama's religion.

"I think one of the big problems for him is he's Muslim," said Jimmy Sizemore, the highest elected official in the county. "It's his religion, plus when his pastor came out and started talking, that was a problem, but that's just my opinion.

"I don't think it's because he's black, what everybody says is he is a Muslim."

When asked if he had ever researched the fact that Obama -- and the Rev. Wright -- are Christians, Sizemore said: "I don't care about finding out because I'm a Republican." [...]