Area Dems choose Obama |

Area Dems choose Obama

garfield county correspondent

David Woodbury and Edna Miller are 65 years apart in age, but they agree on one thing: U.S. Sen. Barack Obama should be the next U.S. president.


Because he’s younger than U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton. And being younger, Obama has newer ideas.

Miller, 87, attended her Democratic precinct caucus at Pomona Elementary School Tuesday night with her husband Glen.

They were among an unprecedented number of Mesa County Democrats who turned out to support their candidates at caucus. With 97 percent of precincts reporting as of 10 p.m., Obama handily won with 1,284 votes, to Clinton’s 831.

At the caucus, Obama was recalled as someone “Young, and he’s smart and his wife’s smart too,” Edna Miller said. “As the world changes, we need younger people. We’re going to live in a world run by young people.”

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At age 12 attending the caucus with his 20-year-old sister and their parents, Pete and Susan, Woodbury was eager to give his opinion.

Obama “Has good ideas, and he can definitely make people listen,” Woodbury said. Other candidates seem “old and grumpy. They seem too old to be running for president. We need new people, different ideas from a different generation … more energy definitely.”

Opinions were definitely split between the U.S. senators at the caucus, held in a standing-room-only cafeteria at Pomona.

At the start, Democratic County Chair Mary Beth Pyle commented, “Oh my gosh. This is fabulous” turnout.

Helping Pyle, Kathy Arentz asked her what she did last time with “all these people,” Pyle said, her voice going hoarse.

“Last time the three of us just sat around one table,” Pyle said, eliciting laughter from the group.

At the caucus, there was no shortage of opinions, many of them about the war in Iraq.

Obama fan Tamara Vliek said she believes Obama’s message of unity will better enable the country to retreat from the war and save face with an international audience. She grew up in a military family, has a 2-year-old son, and has a nephew attending the U.S. Air Force Academy.

“I think about him going off to war … and why?” Vliek said. American money is better spent on Americans, she said.

Sr. Pat Lewter supported Obama because of Clinton’s stance on the war.

“She voted on it, and I don’t trust her to end it,” Lewter said. Further, Obama will “be more apt to listen to people and take their advice.”

It’s been a long time since an election has fired up Gary Lobdell, enthusiasticlaly distributing Obama stickers to people. Lobdell’s son turned him on to Obama.

“The way he would talk about Obama got me excited,” and “From day one, he was against the war in Iraq. That was big.”

Kathy Scheid arrived undecided. To her the issues are health care and the economy.

“I know how they stand on the Iraq war. I’m not sure anyone can wave a magic wand on the Iraq war,” Scheid said.

Reach Marija B. Vader at