ICT Interview: Sen. Obama's Indian vote director
Indian Country Today interviews Wizipan Garriott, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota who serves as First Americans vote director for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois).

"ICT: Has it been difficult to run against Sen. John McCain on Indian issues, given his past service on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee?

Garriott: When Indian country is able to see who Barack is as a person and how they identify with him personally, and also what he plans to do when he becomes president, the choice becomes clear. ... When you look at the record of McCain, yes, he has done some good things for Indian country, but how could you not when you have more than 20 tribes in your state and you sit on the Indian Affairs committee? You’d be forced in many instances to cast the right vote. ... When it’s convenient, John McCain may cast the right vote; but when it’s inconvenient, he’ll tow the party line every time.

ICT: Have you thought at all about the fact that Sen. Obama doesn’t have a whole lot of past experience in terms of a voting record on Indian issues?

Garriott: I think that it comes down to leadership. We’ve seen time and time again where McCain just hasn’t shown leadership. He was chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, but he could not get the Indian Health Care Improvement Act passed in a Republican-controlled Senate, a Republican-controlled House and a Republican president. Where has the leadership been?

Barack has been out on the forefront. Yes, it’s true, there are no federally recognized tribes from his home state [of Illinois], but when he’s talking about what he wants to do as president, he’s offered strong leadership. ... Also, I think just in general, Democrats have been more attuned to and willing to fight for Indians versus Republicans. "

Get the Story:
Obama’s First Americans vote director assesses Election ’08 (Indian Country Today 10/9)

Related Stories:
San Carlos Apache Tribe endorses Sen. Obama (10/9)
Opinion: Sen. Obama's Cherokee ancestry (10/9)
Daschle campaigns for Sen. Obama in New Mexico (10/2)
Navajo leaders endorse Sen. Obama for president (9/30)
NBA star urges Indian voters to choose Sen. Obama (9/26)
Sen. Obama meets tribal leaders in New Mexico (9/19)
Southern Ute chairman praises Sen. Obama in Colorado (9/16)
Jodi Rave: Biden touts Indian Country priorities (09/09)
Great Plains tribes endorse Obama for president (9/8)
ICT interview with David Gipp, following DNC speech (09/03)
Native Democrats drop McCain-Abramoff resolution (08/29)
Blog: Rosebud Sioux leader delivers proud moment (8/28)
White Earth chair works on Indian policy at DNC (8/28)
Arapaho man denied time to deliver votes at DNC (8/28)
Opinion: No one pays attention to Indians at DNC (8/28)
Gipp addresses Indian issues at Democratic convention (8/27)
California tribes a presence at Democratic convention (8/27)
Mike Graham: Sen. Obama fails on Indian issues (8/27)
Jodi Rave: UTTC president to address convention (8/26)
Howard Dean slams McCain for treatment of Cobell (8/26)
Kalyn Free excited to attend Democratic convention (8/26)
Native Democrats tie Abramoff to McCain campaign (8/26)
More than 140 Indian delegates in Denver for DNC (8/25)
UTTC president to speak at Democratic convention (8/22)
Mankiller: Obama an advocate for Indian Country (8/22)
Navajo Code Talkers to present colors for Democrats (8/21)
Rosebud Sioux leader to sing national anthem at DNC (8/21)
North Dakota tribe headed to Democratic convention (8/21)
Alaska Natives rally for Sen. Obama in Fairbanks (8/20)
Sen. Obama set to announce running mate this week (8/19)
Indian women organize for Obama in South Dakota (8/18)
No Native reporters on the presidential trail (8/18)
Sen. Obama opens campaign office on Navajo Nation (8/11)
Native journalists cut from Obama event at UNITY (8/1)
Obama addresses UNITY convention in Chicago (7/28)

This story is tagged under:
Search
Share this Story!

You are enjoying stories from the Indianz.Com Archive, a collection dating back to 2000. Some outgoing links may no longer work due to age.

All stories in the Indianz.Com Archive are available for publishing via Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)