Presidential Hopeful Obama Hits South Florida For Fundraisers

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The Iraq war is diminishing
America's standing in the world and diverting millions of dollars
that should be spent on health care, education and alternative
energy research in the United States, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama
said Sunday.

"We have to recognize that if we don't make some fundamental
changes right now that we could be the first generation in a very
long time that leaves an America behind that is a little poorer and
a little meaner than the one we inherited from our parents, and
that's unacceptable," Obama told a crowd of about 600 supporters
at a fundraiser in West Palm Beach.

The Democratic presidential hopeful said all Americans should
have universal health care, vehicles should be getting up to 60
miles per gallon, workers should get wage increases and education
should be fully funded so the next generation can compete in the
world market.

"But here's the thing, we can't initiate all these creative
ideas to solve our domestic challenges if we don't bring this war
in Iraq to a close," Obama said.

Several public opinion polls show Obama trailing Sen. Hillary
Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., in the race for the Democratic presidential
nomination, with former vice president Al Gore in third, even
though Gore has said he has no plans to run.

Obama lashed out at the Bush administration for an energy policy
that gives money "to some of the most hostile nations on Earth,"
while unchecked greenhouse gas emissions threaten the world's

He also said Americans have lost faith in their government
because of partisan politics, and called restoring that confidence
"the most difficult task that confronts us, even harder than
dealing with Iraq."

"We have a sense that special interests and big money sets the
agenda," Obama said. "So there's a reason for cynicism, but
there's also a reason for hope."

Obama was set to attend four fundraisers in South Florida on
Sunday before heading to Atlanta on Monday.