Obama talking to reporters on his charter plane from Iowa to New Hampshire; communications chief Robert Gibbs behind him. (photo by Lynn Sweet)
PORTSMOUTH, N.H.—Independents play a critical role in the Jan. 8 New Hampshire primary, and White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) hours after his decisive Iowa caucus win, said people ought to demand “straight talk” from elected officials, echoeing a signature phrase of Sen. John McCain (R-Az.).
Obama spoke briefly to reporters on his campaign’s chartered jet to New Hampshire from Des Moines—standing in the aisle-- about how he “independents and Republicans would be voting Democratic in a caucus -- caucusing in a Democratic caucus – that we would see the kind of boost in turnout that we had anticipated.”
The Obama campaign is counting on GOP and Independent voters to cross-over and vote for Obama in the Jan. 8 party primary. McCain is also courting the Independent vote, running agtain in 2008—as he did in 2000—as the candidate of ‘straight talk,” naming his campaign bus the “Straight Talk Express.”
Obama, who seized the “change’ message, said his Iowa victory means ”the country is interested in, not just change in the abstract, but a very specific kind of change which involves them getting involved, paying attention, holding their elected officials accountable, um, demanding straight talk, ah, wanting us to solve problems, and so, you know, so, so, that was reflected,”
Over on the Clinton campaign plane flying to New Hampshire, Time Magazine’s Karen Tumulty reportts that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who came in third, close behind former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) is weighing how tough to get against Obama.
Obama loosened his tie as he talked to reporters (photo by Lynn Sweet) David Axelrod, Obama's senior strategist said Obama will take Independents away from McCain --a supporter of President Bush on the Iraq war--because they "are not partisans of the Iraq war" and will will not "a continuation" of Bush's policies.
And speaking of change...Obama was asked if he was going to change anything in his campaign.
Said Obama, "No. It's not broken. Why fix it?"