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After a Win, No Time to Lose

The day after he won in Iowa, a weary, raspy-voiced Barack Obama was campaigning in New Hampshire. He spoke to a full house in the Concord High gym.
The day after he won in Iowa, a weary, raspy-voiced Barack Obama was campaigning in New Hampshire. He spoke to a full house in the Concord High gym. (By Linda Davidson -- The Washington Post)
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By Dana Milbank
Saturday, January 5, 2008

CONCORD, N.H., Jan. 4

Hillary Clinton may have lost to Barack Obama in the race for Iowa, but she exacted her revenge in the race out of Iowa.

In the wee hours of Friday morning, Clinton's police-escorted motorcade, zipping along the dark roads between downtown Des Moines and the airport, arrived mere seconds before Obama's police-escorted motorcade at the Signature Aviation terminal. The cars in Clinton's motorcade then fanned out on the tarmac as she boarded her plane, making it impossible for Obama's motorcade to get to his airplane.

"We're being blocked by another candidate's motorcade," an Obama aide said into his radio, as Secret Service agents tried to negotiate an end to the standoff. "We're trying to go around, but it doesn't look good."

No, it doesn't.

Just four days separate the Iowa caucuses from the New Hampshire primary, causing an accelerated sprint from one state to the next, and the candidates and staffs -- already exhausted because of Iowa -- are in for a grueling weekend.

When Obama finally made it past the Clinton blockade at the Des Moines airport, the new front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination climbed aboard his campaign plane, a lumbering, old DC-9 with the dubious name "USA Jet" on it. For a man who had just pulled off a stunning victory in Iowa, he looked neither fired up nor ready to go; mostly, he looked as if he needed to see his pillow.

"My throat is hoarse, but my spirits are good," the tired candidate announced to reporters on the plane.

Senator, how is the race different now?

"Um," said the usually loquacious leader, "we won the first caucus."

Any changes to the campaign planned?


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© 2008 The Washington Post Company

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