He's betting that voters will rally behind his motivational style and personal appeal despite his relatively thin national credentials, that they'll choose him as a clean slate for the future rather than restore a Clinton political dynasty and they'll embrace his idealistic if vague vision of a unified, post-racial America. [...]
Bridge-builder. Transformer. A new leader for a new era. That's his pitch.
The voters who came to see Obama — at an elementary school in Keokuk, a coffeehouse in Oskaloosa, a backyard in Pella, a July Fourth picnic in a Des Moines park — covered the spectrum: Democrats, independents, past Bush supporters who regret the war. Most were white. [...]
Obama's energy feeds off the crowds. [...]
The bigger the audience, the louder and more instinctive his speech becomes. [...]
He also can be disarmingly goofy.
In the middle of one speech outdoors, he started coughing uncontrollably, then admitted, laughing, that he'd just swallowed a gnat. He tried to continue but the coughing overtook him.
"Don't film that!' he pleaded to a camera crew, as the audience chuckled. "That's all right. I hadn't had lunch yet — protein." [...]
"I like Hillary Clinton, but I still have to get over some of the votes she made on the war," Malloy said.
With Obama, who opposed the war from the start, [Fairfield, Iowa Mayor Ed] Malloy said, "I came away very, very impressed. I think he's got a natural capacity to inspire. On an inspiration, gut feeling right now, I'd say I'm closer to Senator Obama."
What do you think? Need more than that? I know I do, but some people won't.