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Gary Younge
Biden cancels visit to Roanoke

The curse of Roanoke has once again struck. During the primaries visits by both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were cancelled after a freak storm shut the town down. On Saturday came news that vice presidential candidate Joe Biden will not in fact come to Roanoke on Monday. He has to cancel because his mother-in-law is in a critical condition.

Yesterday morning there were long queues at the Obama campaign office waiting for tickets which had sold out by 11am. Indiana senator, Evan Bayh, will take his place. "Nobody here really knows who he is," a local volunteer told me. But few probably knew who Biden was either before he was picked as the vice-presidential candidate. So maybe nobody will notice.

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Stranger in a Strange Land – Encounters in the Disunited States
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'It often takes an outsider to look inside. This is especially true of the United States.'
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