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To warn backers against overconfidence, Barack Obama spotlights two words

October 16, 2008 |  8:52 am

Like most politicians, Barack Obama is not often the soul of brevity (he might have been better served, for instance, by ending his chat with the now-famous Joe the Plumber before uttering that "spread the wealth" line).

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Today, though, Obama had a snappy reminder for supporters with short memories.

Appearing before more than 100 major contributors at a fundraising breakfast in Manhattan, the front-runner in the presidential race said: “For those of you who are feeling giddy or cocky or think this is all set, I just have two words for you: New Hampshire.”

Obama was referencing his campaign's jolt-of-reality setback last January in the Granite State. Hot on the heels of his triumph in Iowa, an Obama win in New Hampshire's primary might have effectively ended the Democratic race. Polls showed him solidly ahead. But when the votes were counted, he lost by a couple of percentage points to Hillary Clinton.

“I’ve been in these positions before when we were favored and the press starts getting carried away and we end up getting spanked,” he continued this morning. “That’s another good lesson that Hillary Clinton taught me, so we want to make sure that we are closing strong, running through the tape.”

That said, Obama could not resist looking ahead, beyond the Nov. 4 election.

“One of the things that I think we have to remember is that we are now 19 days, not from the end, but from the beginning," he said. "The amount of work that will be involved for the next president is going to be extraordinary.”

Hard to argue with that.

-- Don Frederick

Photo credit: Associated Press

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