DENVER -- Barack Obama will hold a fund-raiser here this morning and despite his criticism of the closed nature of John McCain's fund-raiser with President Bush yesterday, cameras will not be allowed to attend this morning's event. One print reporter will be allowed as a pooled reporter.
Following the fund-raiser, Obama heads to Thornton, Colo., a suburb of Denver, where he will tour the Mapelton Expeditionary School for the Arts, a specialty public school that focuses specifically on art in the classroom. He will be joined by former Colorado Governor Roy Romer.
While Obama touches on his education policy during some of his stump speeches, until today, he has yet to spend a full day dedicated to the issue of education. Following his tour of the 7th through 12th grade public school, Obama will hold a town hall in the school's auditorium. His audience will be the 44 senior class students, all of whom are scheduled to go to college in the fall.
Western states are crucial for the general election where political observers feel Obama can not win without them. This is his first visit to Colorado since February and, according to the campaign, he plans to return a number of times between now and November. Democrats feel they have a a shot at picking up Colorado after making gains in the last two presidential elections: in 2000, Al Gore lost here by nine points while John Kerry lost by five points in 2004.
Later this afternoon, Obama flies home to Chicago to spend Thursday with his family. On Friday, Obama flies west again to Montana and spends the weekend in South Dakota; two states whose primaries are on June 3.