Obama reschedules visit for Oct. 6

Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., is greeted as he campaigns in Portland, Maine, on Tuesday.
Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., is greeted as he campaigns in Portland, Maine, on Tuesday.

Barack Obama followed through with his promise to reschedule a visit to Rock Hill, announcing Wednesday that he'll stop here Oct. 6 during a swing through South Carolina.

This time, it's unclear whether the Illinois senator will hold a town hall-style meeting or a rally. A time and location also haven't been determined, though the Freedom Center -- where Obama's original visit was scheduled -- is out as an option because church members are holding a celebration that day.

Because the visit falls on a Saturday, when fewer people are at work, the campaign may book a bigger venue to accommodate more supporters.

A logical choice would be the 6,100-seat Winthrop Coliseum, but Obama spokesman Kevin Griffis declined to comment because he said the trip still is being organized. Tickets from the first event still will be valid.

"Obviously, it was disappointing for the campaign to have to reschedule," Griffis said. "As soon as we knew there was a date, we wanted to let folks know."

Obama's decision to cancel last week became one of the most talked-about nonvisits in the history of York County politics.

Obama was supposed to host a town hall-style meeting at the Freedom Center, but at 10:30 p.m. the night before, his campaign canceled the trip. Obama said he needed to be in Washington to take part in important Senate votes on Iraq.

Staffers thought the Iraq votes would be taken earlier in the day -- allowing the candidate to fly here on time. But the schedule didn't work out that way.

On Oct. 6, members of Freedom Temple Ministries will celebrate their church's seventh anniversary at Northside Park. The church campus won't be available for events, said Willie Lyles III, executive director of the Freedom Center.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden is coming to town Monday to talk with local Democrats at 11 a.m. at the York County Democratic Party headquarters, 339 East Main St.

Biden's son, Beau, visited with Democrats last Saturday at Thi's Place on Main.

The elder Biden is having a busy week. The Senate voted Wednesday to support his plan for dividing Iraq into three states as a way to reduce sectarian violence. A limited central government would be responsible for protecting Iraq's borders and distributing its oil revenues.