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Obama warns backers not to be cocky as victory looms. Remember New Hampshire, he says.

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Barack Obama, widening his lead over John McCain, told donors at a New York $30,800 per-person fund-raising breakfast on Thursday not to get too cocky or giddy with the prospect of his winning the White House. He delivered the caution because he's been there before--Obama and his crew back in January thought he was going to win New Hampshire--all the polls pointed that way--except that he lost. He also for one of the first times also talked about staffing up the administration, suggesting among his elite donors some of them may want to come to Washington.

"For those of who you are feeling giddy and a little cocky and think, you know, this is all set, I just have one word, I guess it's two words for you: New Hampshire," Obama said.

From the pool report......

"But, you know, one of the things that I think we have to remember is that we are now 19 days, not from the end, but from the beginning. The amount of work that will be involved for the next President is going to be extraordinary. And what we want to do in these 19 days is show the same passion for Americans that are struggling out there, show the same dedication, show the same stick-to-it-ness, to show the same steadiness that's going to be required in guiding this country past some very difficult times. And, you know, whenever I get tired, I start thinking about the families, the people that I meet all across the country."

Obama talked about the people he encounters on the trail, recounting how they believe "the American dream might be slipping away."

"That's what erases the weariness. That's what keeps us focused on the job ahead. So,we've got 19 days. We are going to have to work absolutely as hard as we've ever worked in our lives in order to just get to the start of what is going to be a very difficult, a very challenging (four years."

"I'm going to need all of you in that process, not just for campaign support, financial support," he said, stressing he would need the "extraordinary expertise" of the talents of the people in this room.

"Who knows, there might be some of you who decide that you want to spend a little time in government," he said. "We're going to need people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and make sure that Washington and Wall Street and the country as a whole are working in ways that leave a better future for our children."

"I'm grateful to all of you for your support. For those of who you are feeling giddy and a little cocky and think, you know, this is all set, I just have one word, I guess it's two words for you: New Hampshire. You know, I've been in these positions before where we were favored and the press starts getting carried away and we end up getting spanked. And, so, that's another good lesson that Hillary Clinton taught me. So, we want to make sure that we are closing strong, running through the tape."

At the end of his remarks, Obama began chatting individually with members of the crowd. The pool was, then, quickly escorted from the room.

Members of the crowd included a bevy of power brokers, including Steve Rattner, Marc Lasry and Jim Wolfensohn.

The event took place at the Metropolitan Club, an exclusive spot at the corner of 5th Avenue and 60th St. The breakfast itself was in an ornate room with burgundy drapes and fancy-schmancy chandeliers. There were about a dozen tables, seating 10 people each. The contribution was $30,800 per person.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 16, 2008 6:46 PM.

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