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Obama's Triumphant Iowa Return

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By Shailagh Murray
DES MOINES -- Sen. Barack Obama returned here Tuesday night to give full credit to Iowa for the dividends he has reaped from his improbable win in the Jan. 3 caucuses.

Speaking at a downtown rally, Obama paid tribute to Sen. Hillary Clinton as "one of the most formidable candidates to ever run for this office," and took care not to claim that his battle against her was over. "You have put us within reach of the Democratic nomination for president of the United States," he said. "It is good to be back in Iowa."

For the most part Obama ignored his lopsided loss to Clinton in Kentucky and instead focused on Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee. "This year's Republican primary was a contest to see which candidate could out-Bush the other, and that is the contest John McCain won," Obama said.

The Illinois senator went on to win 31 contests, but none carried the weight of Iowa, Obama's second home for the first 11 months of his presidential campaign. Beating former senator John Edwards and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton there altered the course of the race, establishing Obama as Clinton's chief rival -- the only candidate with the message, organizational muscle and financial resources to challenge her front-runner status.

"Fifteen months ago, in the depths of winter, it was in this great state where we took the first steps of an unlikely journey to change America," Obama told the Des Moines crowd.

"The skeptics predicted we wouldn't get very far. The cynics dismissed us as a lot of hype and a little too much hope. And by the fall, the pundits in Washington had all but counted us out. But the people of Iowa had a different idea."

The campaign chose to return to Iowa to commemorate Obama's first and most important victory, in the state's caucuses in January, on the night that he secured a majority of pledged delegates.

The benchmark is important but symbolic, representing the Obama campaign's view that he has a secured a virtual lock on the nomination.

"We knew this was likely to be the night," said David Axelrod, Obama's chief political adviser. "What better place to mark it than the place it all began?"

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 20, 2008; 11:17 PM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Hillary Rodham Clinton , Primaries  
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Next: Obama Wins Oregon


america needs an experienced , capable president who is ready on day one...not one based on media blitz surrounding himselp with advisers...

hillary clinton is able and tested for her love of america,she is capable to lead this country and the world based on tested credentials... God Bless America.

Posted by: allan beltran | May 21, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Congrats to Barack HUSSEIN Obama for winning Oregon by 94,668 votes (and for his "triumphant" return to Iowa). However, Hillary DIANE Clinton won Kentucky by 249,224 votes yesterday. That means she retains the lead in TOTAL POPULAR VOTES. If Florida and Michigan are counted, she has a lead of 181,523 actual votes cast and certified. Even if you make an educated "estimate" the 4 caucus States w/o certified totals (IA, NV, ME, WA), she still has a lead of 71,301.

In addition, all the Electoral College polling shows her beating McCain while McCain beats Obama head-to-head:

So why, exactly, should she get out before the Convention floor vote?

P.S. to Shirley -- have you heard that Michelle Obama wasn't "really proud" of America until her husband ran for President -- also, don't you think Laura Bush has "class"?

Posted by: JakeD | May 21, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama is like a breath of fresh air.
He will make a great president. We haven't
seen such honesty, integrity, intelligence,warmth and personality since John Kennedy. Miichelle Obama is perfect for first lady. She is a fantastic lady who shares the qualitys of her husband and handles rude obnoxious inquires with style, grace and CLASS. CLASS is something we rarely see in DC. Hopefully we will be smart enough to vote him in and start taking our country back fron the slime that has infiltered it on all levels.

Posted by: | May 21, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Now let's see if the SuperDelegates will exercise the power granted them to unite this party following the established rules agreed to by the candidates. It sickens me to hear The Clintons, Ferraro, McCauliffe, and Wolfson attempt to contort the facts to suit their failed campaign. It's time to end the charade and unite behind Obama!

Posted by: Paul Peete | May 21, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

John wrote tis from your country, Hope you don't mind John but a s a white Canadian your comment touched my heart. Be Blessed sir, fro an older man to older man.

I live in America, I am 50 years old and a veteran, and no matter how we look at the problem, the answer does not change. I live in a racist, bigoted and ignorant country. The worst part is that this is a land of cowards that prefer it that way. Few people in america can look someone in the eye and say: "you are different from me and I fear you, my fear will not let me give you a fair chance."
What experience does Sen. Clinton or Sen. McCain have that Sen. Obama does not? Knowledge of how to spin the truth? Knowing when to have plausable deniability? Selective memory of the facts that make up your own life?
Pres. Bush had eight years (20 if you count the years in his fathers shadow) to show what you need for the job of President is a reality check, and the good common sense to use it sometimes. Honesty would be a good trait too, but too much to hope for.
Unfortunately what the majority of americans will settle for is white male. We need to get past that before this countru can make any true progress

Posted by: justadad55+ | May 20, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

waiting for you Jake.....

Posted by: jakeD's shadow | May 20, 2008 11:26 PM | Report abuse

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