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Obama's choice? Energy or Oprah

The latest dilemma facing Democrat Barack Obama? Energy or Oprah.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The latest dilemma facing Democrat Barack Obama? Energy or Oprah.

The Illinois senator and presidential hopeful has scheduled two highly anticipated rallies in Iowa on Saturday with talk show host Oprah Winfrey. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday he may have to schedule a procedural vote Saturday on a major energy bill, one that would sharply increase the production of ethanol and biodiesel - an important industry in Iowa.

Iowa holds its leadoff presidential caucuses on Jan. 3, and polls indicate a tight three-way contest there between Sens. Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

All the Democratic senators running for president were rearranging their schedules to accommodate possible weekend votes.

Chris Dodd canceled campaign appearances in Iowa on Friday and Saturday to be available to vote on the energy bill and a farm bill set to come up Friday. Joe Biden also will be in Washington for votes on Friday but hadn't yet decided whether to rearrange campaign events on Saturday.

Clinton's campaign had not disclosed her plans as of late Thursday. She was scheduled to campaign in Iowa both Friday and Saturday.

Obama was to hold a campaign event in Chicago on Friday night before heading to Iowa for Saturday's events.

Reid's office told reporters Thursday that if votes were scheduled Saturday, they would happen midmorning. That would give Obama time to fly from Washington to Des Moines, where he was to appear with Oprah in the afternoon.