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Barack Obama, realist

December 29, 2007 |  1:33 pm

He's promoted the "politics of hope." He pressed Americans to "turn the page" and embrace a new, less-partisan approach to grappling with the nation's problems. And, of course, Barack Obama has offered himself as just the guy with the unifying skills to make this happen.

He stresses, as he seeks the Democratic presidential nomination, that he does not want to "pit red America against blue America. I want to be president of the United States of America."

Outreach has its limits, however. And The Times Maria La Ganga was at an Obama rally today in Fort Madison, Iowa, when the candidate provided a reality check.

"I'm not trying to persuade Rush Limbaugh that I'm going to be a good president," he cautioned his listeners.

We doubt that even his most ardent backers thought that was in the realm of possibility.

-- Don Frederick