Just a few blocks from his home in Chicago, Sen. Barack Obama will trigger a highly orchestrated publicity engine for his new book Tuesday at the venerable 57th Street Books in Hyde Park.
He will hit Michigan Avenue and the Loop for other events in the afternoon.
In tandem with the book blitz, Obama will be stumping and fund-raising nationwide for a select set of Democratic candidates between today and the Nov. 7 election.
The hype the Obama publicity mill has been whipping up for The Audacity of Hope since spring -- Obama has been talking to profile writers for months, including during his Africa trip -- triggers only more hype about Obama's presidential ambition.
As part of the public relations rollout, Obama is on the cover of the new issue of Time magazine -- headlined "The Next President."
Veteran political writer Joe Klein asks Obama about a White House run. Obama replies he will "think about" how he can be "most useful" after the November elections. Obama adds, "I haven't completely decided or unraveled that puzzle yet."
Even closer to a yes?
It's an answer Klein analyzes as "even closer to a yes -- or, perhaps, it's just a clever strategy to gin up some publicity at the launch of his book tour."
Klein continues, "The current Obama mania is reminiscent of the Colin Powell mania of September 1995, when the general -- another political rainbow -- leveraged speculation that he might run for president into book sales of 2.6 million copies for his memoir, My American Journey.''
As part of the barnstorming, Obama taped an interview with Oprah.
NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday was already touting its Obama "get" next week as an "exclusive," though with all the press Obama has been and will be doing, it's hard to make the exclusive claim stick.
Today, along with Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the boss of the House Democratic political operation, Obama is in Indianapolis to raise money for three Indiana House hopefuls whose seats may be key to Democrats winning control of the House.
Obama hits 57th Street Books at 8:30 a.m., Borders at 830 N. Michigan at noon and an event sponsored by the Book Stall at 77 W. Washington at 5 p.m. Tickets are required.