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Obama Draws Throng in Jersey City

By Keith B. Richburg
JERSEY CITY, New Jersey - In his first campaign rally since his second-place showing in New Hampshire, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) spoke Wednesday afternoon to an boisterous overflow crowd at a college gymnasium, and said his loss Tuesday was a sober reminder that his message of change will be met by fierce resistance.

"One of the useful things...about yesterday was it reminds us that change isn't easy," Obama told the crowd. "Change is hard. Change is always met by resistance from the status quo." Someone in the crowd shouted back "Hillary is the status quo!"

In a veiled reference to Clinton, without mentioning her name, Obama also said that while he lost New Hampshire, even his rivals had now picked up on his theme of changing America. "We started this campaign talking about change," he said. "We talked about it while we were down, and we talked about it while we were up. Now almost everybody is talking about change."

The question, he added, was "Who will actually deliver change?"

New Jersey does not hold its presidential primary until Feb. 5, "Super Tuesday," but the crowd, at Saint Peter's College in Jersey City, was one of the largest Obama has addressed in the campaign. Organizers said some 3,000 people - not including the hundreds of journalists - were packed inside, and Obama said an additional 2,000 people were not allowed in because of concerns that the gym was too crowded. Obama apologized for an entry almost an hour after the scheduled starting time by explaining he had to greet those outside. "All across America, we're seeing crowds like this today," he said. "We couldn't let in 2,000 folks. That's why I'm a little late."

"There's something going on out there, people," Obama said. "There's something in the wind. There's something stirring all across America." He said he saw it in Iowa, which he won convincingly, and also in New Hampshire, where, "My turnout was a little short."

Showing just a bit of the strain of the nearly non-stop campaigning, Obama apologized for his hoarse voice. "My voice is a little hoarse. My eyes are a little bleary. My back is a little sore. But my spirit is strong," he told the crowd.

Obama had kind words for his most prominent New Jersey supporter, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, whom he called "The up and coming rising superstar."

New Jersey politicians are largely split among Clinton, Obama and former North Carolina Senator John Edwards.

Obama headed to New York after the rally for a sold-out fundraising dinner at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in midtown, coming directly into Hillary Clinton's home turf.

Most of New York's Democratic Party establishment, including black leaders, have lined up behind Clinton as a favorite son, but Obama has about 15 or so prominent supporters who expect Obama to wage a targeted guerilla campaign in key, heavily black congressional districts in an effort to pick up a few delegates.

Obama's New York supporters today attempted to paint the New Hampshire result as short of a loss. "He has prevailed and is in a very competitive position," said State Sen. Bill Perkins, the first local black official to endorse Obama. "His two percent difference in the New Hampshire primary is a remarkable testament to his ability to turn out and create some excitement."

Bronx Assemblyman Michael Benjamin, who is planning to travel to South Carolina with his wife to campaign for Obama, said "It's early in a long race. ...Those Super Tuesday states are a greater cross-section of America."

By Post Editor  |  January 9, 2008; 8:42 PM ET
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Next: McCain Looking for a Lucky Streak


Nell proprio auto modena essere.

Posted by: Diana | April 14, 2008 5:45 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Polly | April 9, 2008 6:18 AM | Report abuse

If HRC gets the nomination, the past will come back to haunt us. The GOP is waiting to bring out the Impeachment, Whitewater, Ken Starr, Monica, the whole mess. Many of you forget how devisive she was. Do you really think she's going to be able to bring people together? It's going to be more of the same. The same old favors to repay etc., I could go on and on.... Her 35 years of expierence stems from a career based in dishonesty.

Posted by: lvbuc31 | January 12, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

If HRC gets the nomination, the past will come back to haunt us. The GOP is waiting to bring out the Impeachment, Whitewater, Ken Starr, Monica, the whole mess. Many of you forget how devisive she was. Do you really think she's going to be able to bring people together? It's going to be more of the same. The same old favors to repay etc., I could go on and on.... Her 35 years of expierence stems from a career based in dishonesty.

Posted by: lvbuc31 | January 12, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

Change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change, change...

Insert "change" for "blah" and you get the summation of Obama's campaign. God forbid him from actually talking specifics...

Posted by: bdm155 | January 11, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Obama has failed to rise to leadership on a single major issue in the Senate," he had a habit of ducking major issues, voting 'present' on bills important to many Democratic interest groups, like abortion-rights and gun-control advocates. Obama is calculating ,For someone who talks about a new, positive style of politics and pledges to be true to his word, Mr. Obama too often practices the old style of politics, saying one thing and doing another.Special interests? Obama is a champion of the Davis-Bacon Act, an egregious gift to Big Labor that makes every federal public-works project more costly. He not only vows to defend it, but proposes extending it to artificially raise wages for any guest worker program.
On Iraq, of course he denigrates the surge. That's required of Democratic candidates. But he further claims that the Sunnis turned against al-Qaeda and joined us -- get this -- because of the Democratic victory in the 2006 midterm elections.
Obama has yet to have it pointed out to him by a mainstream interviewer that the Anbar Salvation Council was founded by Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Risha two months earlier. Obama has yet to be asked why any Sunni would choose to join up with the American invaders at precisely the time when Democrats would have them leaving -- and be left like the pro-American Vietnamese or the pro-French Algerians to be hunted and killed when their patrons were gone. That's suicide. The New Hampshire surprise has at least temporarily broken the spell. Maybe now someone will lift the curtain and subject our newest man from hope to the scrutiny that every candidate deserves.

Posted by: dyck21005 | January 11, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

well i guess its a good thing for obama that Edwards will never drop out of this race; or obama wouldn't know what to say next!

read this article again and think back to the NH debate.......those words are stolen from non other than JOHN EDWARDS!!


Posted by: disapointedwithobama | January 11, 2008 3:34 AM | Report abuse

JakeD - fact check on delegate status. Obama is up by one delegate in delegates won. The idea the HRC is up on delegates comes from a premature assumption that she has most of the superdelegates in her back pocket. Perhaps she did at one point, but things change - just as we've see today with who's endorsing Obama rather than Clinton. She has a few delegates who've stood for her in VA while Obama has the current and former Governor of VA plus a few other higher ranking VA politicians, NJ is evenly split between the three democratic candidates, he's got major backing in NV and even in NY he's gaining ground. Don't spend those superdelegates on HRC as they aren't hers yet and may well be won over by Obama's campaign of hope, honesty and the courage to fight for true change!!

Fired Up and Ready to Go!!

Posted by: kitnkids | January 10, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Fired up?

Posted by: sheridan1 | January 10, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

sheridan1 --

A-MEN !!!

Barack Obama 2008 !!!

Posted by: nationaljoe | January 10, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

There's a great article by Gary Hart today in Huffington Post. He quotes Kennedy's "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country". And the thing he points out this -
Hillary is telling us what she will do for our country
Obama is telling us what WE can do for our country.

Throngs because we are inspired!
Throngs because we are fired up!
Throngs because it's darn f-g time!

We are not lemmings and we are not all young or black or male or whatever. GO to one of Obama's events and look at the diversity of the crowd. It will inspire even the most cynical of you. And I'm not talking about only what a great orator and statesman he is; I'm talking about how the crowd is SILENT when he speaks, and the how he LISTENS when they speak. You can feel the connection tangibly.

We are all colors, genders, races and mixes of races - that's what makes the United States a great country. Obama is a combination of THE BEST of all that we are.

Posted by: sheridan1 | January 10, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Yet *another* huge Obama event portending the end of the Bush/Clinton era. Voters everywhere are beginning to learn what kind of "experience" Clinton has as both a polarizer and panderer. America will not elect a consummate politician this time around. T-minus twelve months to the end of the Bush/Clinton dynasty. Even the obnoxious attacks of the Clinton war machine can not stop this train!

Posted by: stardustziggy936 | January 10, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

one = won

(darn spellchecker ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 10, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Well, sure, once Fitzgerald, Hull and Ryan DROPPED OUT OF THE RACE, it was pretty much a cake walk -- I could have one that race against Keyes -- too bad Mike Ditka couldn't be convinced to run for the GOP ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 10, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse


Well he wasn't much of a "THRONGMAN" then but then he really didn't have to be. After the state GOP imported Alan Keyes from Maryland to run against him it was pretty much a cake walk. People were voting against Keyes more than they were voting for Obama. Some of these endorsements look like they can also be a curse, just ask Romney.

Posted by: sam51 | January 10, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

lol That was me that yelled out Hillary is the status quo, i knew someone would put it in an article.

Posted by: usualsuspect2k | January 10, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse


If that is really the ONLY way that matters, then you will admit that Hillary Clinton has a HUGE lead in total delegate count so far ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 10, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Again with the "Obama lost" stuff. He got 9 delegates to the nominating convention. She got 9 delegates to the nominating convention. Will someone please explain how that was a "loss"; looks like a tie in the only way that matters.

Posted by: 33rdStreet | January 10, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

While Clinton and her people talk about the possibility of having a female president, and NH (female) voters turned out more heavily because they felt Clinton was "Ganged up" on by her two main men opponents, where is Barack and his crying about being Black.

He has not and will not use his race to win the presidency, while the dirty Clinton machine will use tears, attacks, and sex, to squeeze every vote they can.

Who really is the voice of change? Obama said it best, "We are not looking for who can play the same old game better, but we are looking for a whole new game."

Status quo old school staples of American politics, such as Clinton, don't want that to come to be.

She really is nothing more, and nothing less, then a Bush in Clinton clothing. (Or a GOP in DEM clothing for those who would read something sexist into the previous statement)

Posted by: CitizenXX | January 10, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse


The only thing I read about the 2004 Senate race was the theory that if it wasn't for Hull and Ryan's allegations of domestic abuse, and a couple key endorsements, Obama probably would not have won that race either. Was he attracting "THONGS" back then too? Follow-up question: did anyone ever leave while Obama was speaking? You heard Kerry endorsed Obama today, right?

Posted by: JakeD | January 10, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

A clinton admin would keep us on this polarized path where nothing gets passed in congress. America is falling behind the rest of the world because of this. The only way to rid this country of the blustering polarized blowhards in congress is to keep them out of the white house--voting obama into office would clear out those republicans and democrats who vote based on their talks with "god" and the lobbiests.

Posted by: tmcproductions2004 | January 10, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

have you done any reading about Sen. Obama and the 2004 Illinois senate race. i would like to see your comments on it.

Posted by: sam51 | January 10, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

It'll won't be long before the Clinton campaign reminds us why we want off the Bush-Clinton merry go round...

Posted by: maq1 | January 10, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Keep fired up Barack! Change is about to come to NV and SC. Wins there will bring the BigMO back. Hillary cannot cry her way to the WH!

Posted by: zb95 | January 10, 2008 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Senator Clinton proved the "experts" wrong!!! She really has shown that substance, experience, and her "proven" ability for enabling change, along with a lifelong passion and experience in actually helping the majority of Americans, is what the voters care more about when choosing the best leader for this next critical term as president! Voters are not listening to the slanted views of the media "pundits" who care more about drama and a "story", rather than reporting the truth... Americans are smarter than the "sheep" they believe we are! The NH voters proved this!!!...

Thank goodness people are finally waking up and realizing that although Obama is a brilliant orator and nice person, he lacks the actual skill, leadership, experience, and ability to truly make change happen and lead our country... talk is cheap at this point - Look at his record as a State Senator in Illinois and in DC!!! Whenever he is presented with a difficult vote, he doesn't even take a stand - he votes "present"!!! He voted "present," effectively sidestepping issues nearly 130 times as a state senator. On a sex crime bill, Mr. Obama cast the only vote in a 58-to-0 vote!! He barely has any record for doing much as a US Senator in Washington DC, but what is interesting is that he said he would vote against the Patriot Act, yet when he joined the US Senate, he voted for it!! He said he would vote against the Iraq war, and then voted for funding, AND, he SKIPPED a tough vote on Iran, distorted what the bill authorized, and criticized those who voted for it!! This does not show the true leadership that is required for creating the change we desperately need! He's not the "outsider" that his campaign is trying to make him out to be - yes, he has fantastic speeches, but his record shows proves that he is more of the typical "sidestepping" polititian and lawyer that we have seen before, who lacks the "real" leadership to get things done. The Republicans will have a field day with Obama if he ever got lucky enough to win the Democratic ticket!!!

Rookies are not needed right now to run the country in the most important job in the world.... Remember the last "rookie" who used "likeability" without substance or experience to get elected? Back then, people liked GW Bush, they didn't care that he lacked experience because he talked in generalities and made us feel good. Well guess what, he won the White House and got us into this mess!! - GW Bush ran a very similar campaign as Obama, and his inexperience has been a disaster for our country!!.... Gore and Kerry warned all of us, but we didn't listen. Obama can talk in generalities - anyone can do this, but he has no clear plan, no clear ideas, shows a lack of "true" leadership by avoiding difficult decision-making as proven by his actual voting record, and lacks the "real world" experience to deliver on his unsubstantiated promises and "generalities" for change...Hopefully people won't make the same mistake we made with Bush by believing in another rookie with Obama.

Americans will take this critical vote very seriously for 2008 by choosing the best person who has already proven she can lead with success, has already brought about "real" change, and can truly pull our country together to restore our reputation and our world position as the leaders we were once considered. With former President Bill Clinton by Hillary's side, we will all prosper from such an amazing team that will help bring our country back from the difficulties that we have encountered with the Bush administration... especially with the economic difficulties and international issues we are already facing today and will face over the next few years. No more rookies and false impressions, folks - let's put the best team in the White House!! Senator Clinton is the "real" change Americans need! Go Hillary!!! The country believes in you and your ability to "truly" lead and enable "real" change as our next great President!!!

Posted by: akchonan | January 10, 2008 5:48 AM | Report abuse


I beg your pardon? Hillary Clinton brings change to the White House? A change of clothes maybe, but otherwise she is running the political machinery exactly the same way as the Bush administration did. Don't believe it? Here is something to consider:

Posted by: old_europe | January 10, 2008 3:56 AM | Report abuse

Change? What Will Take Obama 4 Years Just to Figure Out, Hillary Can Implement Starting on Day One.

Obama is a huge gamble, Hillary is a sure bet for real change to happen. Obama will need all 4 years of a first term just to figure out what to do and will make mistakes to slow progress worse yet. Hillary already knows what to do, that is the real difference here, the choice
if you want real change is obvious.

Barack Obama - Dreaming and hoping for change.

Hillary Clinton - Ready for change.

Posted by: Hillary08 | January 10, 2008 3:38 AM | Report abuse

hey bakerr:

get over yourself. and try learning something about colloquial speech while you're at it.

Posted by: nationaljoe | January 10, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Hey Keith:

"Clinton as favorite son" Let's just try not being sexist. Yes it is in fact possible that the next president will be a woman. Get used to it.

Posted by: bakerr | January 9, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it a little Cold to be running around in a throng?

Is it Barack, or Borat?

LOL! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | January 9, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

The crowd of 3,000 (plus 2,000 overflow) is far from the largest crowd Obama has addressed during his campaign. In fact, it's a pretty normal size. He's had over 20,000 a number of times on his own including a rally in NYC of 24,500. With Oprah he had 30,000 in SC. All the other candidates can only dream of drawing the size of crowds that Obama does.

Posted by: knuckleroad | January 9, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Since people lie about their support even when they show up at 5AM at rallies, i don't buy anything more. Is that fine to go get yourself inspired (by Obama) and then go vote for someone else...bizzare. can't trust anybody.

Posted by: christophefiero | January 9, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Again with the THRONG!!!

Posted by: JakeD | January 9, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

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