Saturday, April 07, 2007

2 Years After Big Speech, a Lower Key for Obama

An article from tomorrow's NYT about how Obama is taking a different approach with small groups in Iowa.  A strategy, as the article below makes clear, that's not without risk, but ultimately a smart one I think, as it helps people connect with him and vice-versa...

For most Democrats, Mr. Obama is the Illinois senator who riveted the Democratic National Convention with a keynote speech that marked him as one of the most powerful speakers his party had produced in 50 years. But as Mr. Obama methodically worked his way across swaths of rural northern Iowa — his tall figure and skin color making him stand out at diners and veterans’ homes, at high schools and community colleges — it was clear that he is not presenting himself, stylistically at least, the way he did two years ago when he gripped Democrats at the Fleet Center in Boston.

He is cerebral and easy-going, often talking over any applause that might rise up from his audience, and perhaps consciously trying to present a political style that contrasts with the more charged presences of John Edwards, the former trial lawyer and senator from North Carolina, and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

He rarely mentions President Bush, as he disparages the partisan quarrels of Washington, and is, at most, elliptically critical of Mr. Edwards and Mrs. Clinton when he notes that he had opposed the war in Iraq from the start; the two of them voted to authorize the war in 2002.

April 8, 2007

2 Years After Big Speech, a Lower Key for Obama

COLO, Iowa, April 6 — Senator Barack Obama is not big on what he calls red-meat applause lines when he campaigns in small communities like this one, 45 miles northeast of Des Moines. He does not tell many jokes. He talks in even, measured tones, and at times is so low-key that he lulls his audiences into long, if respectful, silences.

Mr. Obama likes to recount the chapters of his unusual life: growing up in Hawaii, living overseas, community organizing in Chicago, working in the Illinois legislature, though not his years as a United States senator. He talks — more often than not in broad, general strokes — about an Obama White House that would provide health care to all, attack global warming, improve education, fix Social Security and end the war in Iraq. His campaign events end almost as an afterthought, surprising voters used to the big finishes typically served up by the presidential candidates seeking their support.


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