by John McCormick
DALLAS – It's probably safe to say that you have arrived as a politician when your audience applauds when you blow your nose.
Yes, just a day before a debate in Texas, Sen. Barack Obama has a head cold.
And about a half-hour into a speech here, the Illinois Democrat announced that he had to take a quick break. "Gotta blow my nose here for a second," Obama said.
Out came a Kleenex (or perhaps it was a hankie), and he wiped his nose.
The near-capacity audience at the Reunion Arena, which his campaign said totaled 17,000, broke out in a slightly awkward applause.
Despite the cold, Obama's voice seems as strong as ever. He has a light schedule today and some time to rest up before his debate Thursday evening with Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York.