Barker joining Obama's NH team

Larkin Barker, press secretary for Elizabeth Roberts, sends word that she's joining Barack Obama's campaign in New Hampshire next month as deputy communications director for that state.

Barker aided press secretary Alex Swartsel during Sheldon Whitehouse's successful Senate run in 2006, and she is national committewoman for the RI Young Dems.

Barker was aware of only one other staffer with RI connections who is joining Obama's NH drive for the White House -- Mindy Myers, chief of staff for Whitehouse, who will be state director in the Granite State. Another Roberts's aide, Eli Zupnick, worked for Obama prior to the RI primary earlier this year. 

The latest moves comes as the Obama team, flush with cash and rejecting public financing, plans a 50-state campaign, a development covered yesterday by the New York Times.

Aides and advisers to Mr. Obama said they did not believe he necessarily had a serious chance of winning in many of the traditionally Republican states. They said he could at least draw Mr. McCain into spending time and money in those places while swelling Democratic enrollment and supporting other Democrats on the ballot.

Mr. Obama’s strategists are studying data from focus groups, magazine subscription lists and census studies, the first steps toward an intensive door-to-door drive, using volunteers overseen by a growing staff of organizers.

Their aim is to reach voters with messages tailored to their interests through mail, e-mail and word of mouth.

Free from the constraints of public financing, Mr. Obama’s budget for the rest of the year could exceed $300 million, campaign and party officials have said. But his fund-raising slowed in May, when the campaign raised about $22 million — almost $10 million less than in April and a large decline from the record amounts he was taking in earlier this year. The decline was evidence that he might have to invest substantial time at fund-raising to match the levels he set in the first quarter this year.

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