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A Victorious Obama Sweeps into New Hampshire
By: Monroe Anderson
Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspapers
Originally posted 1/4/2008

PORTSMOUTH, N.H – Just hours after his unprecedented victory in the Iowa caucuses, a hoarse Barack Obama Friday addressed an enthusiastic rally of nearly 500 volunteers here who he hopes will help him make history again in New Hampshire.

''How's it going New Hampshire?'' the freshman Illinois senator asked, his voice scratchy and strained. ''My throat is still a little sore, but my spirits are high.''

Sore throat or not, it was obvious that Obama's quest to become the nation's first African American president was alive and well as he arrived in New Hampshire. In an Iowa contest that virtually all polls and pundits said up until the final hours was too close to call, Obama blew away his rivals with 38 percent of the votes. Challengers former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton received 29 percent each.

A record number of young voters showed up at the Iowa caucuses in response to Obama's battle cry for change. In one caucus, more than 200 voters showed up as compared with only 85 four years earlier.

Obama landed in New Hampshire to campaign for the New England state's January 8 primary election, continuing his call for change as the core for his campaign, with hope as its driving force.

''In four days, New Hampshire, you can have a chance to change America,'' he told the crowd.

Brushing aside Clinton’s campaign message that stresses the importance of experience, Obama said he was running for president because of what the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. called ''the fierce urgency of now.''

His campaign message Friday was that change in America is needed now and that he is the one to make it happen.

''There are those who say Obama should not be running for president, because he hasn't been in Washington long enough,'' he said to the excited throng. ''They say I need to be seasoned and stewed, so they can boil all the hope out of me.''

As Obama spoke, the enthusiastic crowd applauded and waved signs with “Change” in bold print.

Kwame Boadi, a John Hopkins University graduate student, was in that crowd.

''I'm just up to help through the primaries,'' Boadi, 25, said.

Boadi said he made the trip to Portsmouth from D.C. to volunteer for the Obama campaign because he relates to the candidate with a Kenyan father and Kansas mother on a personal level. Although he was raised in D.C., Boadi was born in Uganda and is studying international affairs.

Boadi said what excites him about Obama that he represents change. Boadi said that while he holds no ill will towards Hillary, ''she's more of a status quo candidate. That's not what I want.''

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