The day before the New Hampshire primary Barack Obama reminds a youthful audience at the gym in Stevens High School in Claremont, N.H. to vote on Tuesday. "One more day," he says. (photo by Lynn Sweet)
CLAREMONT, N.H.--At the start of a long campaign day, White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), poised to win the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday and go on to clinch the nomination and presidency, reminds a youthful crowd in a high school that they actually have to vote.
"Do not take this race for granted," Obama said, still hoarse as he has been for several days. "...We have not won anything yet."
He said he consulted a doctor about his throat yesterday and the physicians' prescription was "shut up." Obama said he can't do that.
Obama's campaign day will take him to four New Hampshire cities and it appears he has changed his strategy when it comes to taking questions from audiences. In Iowa, the campaign scheduled what they called town halls where Obama devoted considerable time to taking questions. Chief rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) caught flak for not taking questions.
Now that Clinton is the underdog, in New Hampshire she is taking questions at most stops and Obama, since he arrived here from Iowa in the early morning of Jan. 4 has only taken questions at one stop--about four of them.
Obama, without mentioning Clinton or former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) by name takes on their main critique of the theme that is driving his presidential quest, "hope." He said people have been "scornful" of the word. Edwards argues that Obama wants to negotiate while he will be a fighter. Clinton says that hope is nice but it also takes a lot of hard work and she is a worker.
Obama suggested he is both. "Hope is not misperceiving the world," he said.
Obama has dropped his "fired up ready to go" signature closing. If nothing else, that ender story took a lot of time and by now a lot of peopl have heard it.
The speech started at 8:39 a.m. and he finished at about 9:27 a.m. with bringing up the crowd with an urgent call: "We will once again have an America that all of us can believe again. One more day....Let's go to the polls."