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On visit to N.H., Obama noncommittal on ‘08 bid

Mon., Dec. 11, 2006

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Sen. Barack Obama sparked a frenzy Sunday during his initial visit to the nation’s first presidential primary state, but he said he still hasn’t decided whether to run and questioned whether all the hype was just part of his “15 minutes of fame.”

The Illinois senator said he is still “running things through the traps” as he considers whether to join a field of Democrats that’s expected to include front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton and several other more experienced political hands.

At every turn in New Hampshire, Obama got encouragement to enter the race. Gov. John Lynch joked that the Rolling Stones were originally the headliners at a state party fundraiser where the $25 tickets quickly sold out. “But we canceled them when we realized Senator Obama would sell more tickets,” Lynch said.

He drew 1,500 Democrats to the fundraiser and several hundred more at a book signing in Portsmouth. Organizers of both events had to turn away many others who wanted to get in.

“I am suspicious of hype,” Obama said. “The fact that my 15 minutes of fame has extended a little longer than 15 minutes is somewhat surprising to me and completely baffling to my wife.”


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