An Obama traffic jam: The Swamp
 
The Swamp
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Posted January 5, 2008 2:01 PM
The Swamp

Nashua%20crowd%20for%20Obama%20small
A line in Nashua, N.H. for a Sen. Barack Obama rally at Nashua High School North on Saturday, January 5, 2008. (Chicago Tribune photo by Zbigniew Bzdak)

by John McCormick

NASHUA, N.H. – The traffic was much worse here than it ever was in Iowa.

It took 20 minutes to crawl along the final mile leading up to the Nashua High School, where a rally was held this morning for Sen. Barack Obama, attracting a crowd his campaign said totaled more than 2,500.

Once in the parking lot, a line stretched roughly a quarter mile, as supporters and curiosity seekers waited in the cold – many for up to an hour -- to get into a field house and then a gym that served as an overflow room.

"There must be a hockey game going on somewhere," Obama said, starting behind schedule because it took longer than expected to get everyone into the building. "What an incredible crowd."

The Illinois Democrat talked a great deal about Iowa, where he finished a commanding first in the Iowa caucuses. It is a delicate balance between trying to build on momentum and turning off New Hampshire voters, who don't like to be told what to think by voters in other states.

"New Hampshire, a few days ago, something special happened in the Midwest," Obama said. "A few days ago, the people of Iowa decided to set aside their fear and cynicism and reach for what was possible. And New Hampshire, in three days time, it is your turn to bring about change in America."

Obama tried to reassure voters that his Iowa win was not just a "fluke."

"You saw on the TV screen, you saw it on Iowa, you're seeing it here today," he said. "Look at this crowd. This has to do with you, saying to yourselves, we can do something different. We can do better."

He warned against skeptics.

"As we enter in the real fever pitch of the campaign, there are folks who are looking at what's happening and they're saying, you know what, this is a one-time thing," Obama said. "They will keep on saying, you know what, despite the evidence of your eyes and your ears, despite what you feel in your gut, don't trust it. Particularly because Obama, you know, he may be inspiring. He may have great ideas. He may have put together a great organization, but he hasn't been in Washington long enough…It would be a roll of the dice to cast that vote. We need to season and stew him a little bit more, make sure we boil all the hope out of him."

Seeking to capitalize on the historic nature of his campaign, Obama said a win in New Hampshire would be a chance to "say to America that we can do something that has not been done before."

Obama said his competitors were "terrific candidates who bring a lot a talent," but he made the case that only he offers a game-changing candidacy.

"It's easy to be against something, but what the American people want is to be for something," he said. "They want some affirmation that we can still do big things in this country."

Lisa Kulis, a real estate agent from Hudson, N.H., who considers herself an independent voter, said she left the Obama event convinced of her support for him.

"I think he's amazing," she said. "He's not the same-old, same-old. We can't do another Bush-Clinton, Bush-Clinton."

Steve Lear, a Nashua resident who does information technology work for an insurance company, said he remains undecided, but is leaning toward Obama.

Lear denied any suggestion that the results in Iowa might influence him, but said he was impressed that Obama could do so well in the Midwest and that false Internet rumors about his being a Muslim were not damaging.

"In the heart of the Midwest, it was good to see that did not have an effect," he said. "Nobody was able to spin him into a radical Islamist."

As Obama's campaign awaits a fresh New Hampshire poll this evening, Obama communications director Robert Gibbs said his candidate continues to draw people who have not typically participated in politics.

"That's what's important," Gibbs said, "to grow this electorate."

Gibbs said he is skeptical that any new polls out this weekend will have fully captured the momentum from Iowa.

"That won't fully capture the post-Iowa period," he said. "But if we were obsessed about polling, we wouldn't have gotten past April."

After the event, Obama lingered at the school longer than expected, even shooting a few baskets, as the campaign held its position to allow traffic outside to thin out.

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Comments

Wow. Just wow. The guy is truly amazing. And great PR move on the campaign's part to hang out and let the people move along first.

The guy sure seems to run a class-act organization. Amazing what they've done in such a relatively short time - up against Clinton and Edwards, both of whom had an infrastructure for years. (Although, Obama has been scheming since kindergarten!)


When was the last time there was ever a traffic jam to see HRC? Oh, that's right, never. This is sooooooo over. President Obama. Has a nice ring to it, no?


I heard Obama's keynote speech at the Democratic Convention in 2004. And I've been actively keeping my eye on him for the past 13 months.

At first, I admit I was skeptical. Finally convinced that he's for real, in September I committed to Obama - with cash donations and some volunteer work. And I've continued to watch him and listen to him.

Obama is that rare politician who just becomes more inspiring and more energizing the more you hear him. Although it's already thoroughly cliche by now, he really is the most electrifying political force we've seen since Jack Kennedy.

Friends, we are truly witnessing history in the making. Watch closely and remember it well...


AMERICA, YOUR MOMENT IS NOW.


How come all these global warming kool-aid drinkers aren't car pooling?


Terry,

Because Nashua NH doesn't have mass transit, because of conservative transportation policies, fool...


How come all these global warming kool-aid drinkers aren't car pooling?

Posted by: Terry | January 5, 2008 7:06 PM

Their all flush with cash from that Boy George $300 tax cut 6 years ago!!!!


Terrence,

Kesey would piss on your Beamer and then your shoe, you sadist megomaniac.

If you're a Conservative, why aren't you behind conserving the land?
Ken Kesey


obama is corrupt just mainstream has not hit him on it yet. He has firm ties to lobbyist and mayor daley of chicago. Google obama house scandal and you will see how he lets people buy influence.


Lenin Sisters,

Couldn't they have packed four into thier YUgos?

Crazy Duck,

I forgot, these are democrats, they didn't earn enough income pay income taxes in the first place.


Lenin Sisters,

Couldn't they have packed four into thier YUgos?

Crazy Duck,

I forgot, these are democrats, they didn't earn enough income pay income taxes in the first place.

Posted by: Terry | January 5, 2008 10:27 PM

What happened to the Volvo driving latte-liberal Terry?

You need to report immediately back to the RNC re-education center for a message update. Can't have any of the sheep not following the herd, now can we?


What we Iowans particularly liked about Sen. Barack Obama was ... everything. He's the complete package required of a great POTUS - Exceptional orator, nearly spellbinding and outstanding charisma.

Add his outstanding character (actually has no trouble telling the truth! "Yes, I inhaled. Wasn't that the point?" -- Do you ever swear? "Yes, and sometimes I use some real juicy ones". Barack is genuine and knows the definition of common English words.

Very high level of competence in how he makes judgments; his faith informs his life, his actions and his marriage, to which he appears to be loyal and committed.

Michelle would make an awesome first lady -- bright, like Hillary but appears to be able to both stand alone and think quickly on her own two feet. (Might even have the personal integrity to divorce Barack if he was regularly cheating on her).

America, we need a great President once every couple of generations. Senator Barack Obama is that man. He will handily win in November -- Reagan vs. Mondale type results, but in reverse.


CrappyB,

I forgot this was New England, home of the trust fund liberals.


Hey Sisters, Crafty, Raver,
Take it easy on poor Terry. I don't think he even owns a home.

He claims the sub-prime implosion hasn't affected him. Guess he is a renter.

And regarding Yugos or Volvos; These guys get their agitprop crossed up all the time. It's just one thing that keeps me looking at the Swamp.
Hilarious!


CM,

Own a nice home. I did the fixed rate thing. Woulsd you like to have 5 1/4%?


Terry,
I haven't had a mortgage since 1993.
Fixed rate is good.


Hillary appeared at the same venue today (Nashua High School) and outdrew Obama!!


CM,

So what's the crisis on this mortgage issue? The crisis is fools that thought they could get something for nothing and for lenders that thought property values would keep going up.

Folks like us that played the more conventional routes of home ownership shouldn't bailout those that took a high risk gamble.


Terry,

It's hurting the market value of our property, the nonparticipants.

Of course I don't want a bailout myself. I don't think you thought I was saying that. (?)

But the fallout is getting us. When we do our net worth statements for 07 we are going to have to downgrade, substantially the value of our homes.


Terry,

It's hurting the market value of our property, the nonparticipants.

Of course I don't want a bailout myself. I don't think you thought I was saying that. (?)

But the fallout is getting us. When we do our net worth statements for 07 we are going to have to downgrade, substantially the value of our homes.


CM,

Reread my stmt - I was saying folks like us would be bailing out those risky investors - similar to the S & L Crisis of the late 80's.

Yes our net worth stmts may go down because of this (everything else being equal). However, were you complaining in 2006 as you property value went up astronomically due to teh housing bubble. 2006-07 in housing is not much different than 1999-2000 was in dot.com stocks. No body complains when the asset is going-up higher than it should (think EnRon stockholders), but they complain like crazy when it drops.


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