Obama’s Numbers

A new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll shows that Hillary Clinton has solidified her lead in three key early states — Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

It’s not just a bit disconcerting for John Edwards, who is staking much of his campaign on Iowa, but for Barack Obama, whose campaign is telling supporters to ignore Clinton’s wide lead nationwide and instead focus on the early states. It’s been thought that Obama would do well in New Hampshire and South Carolina. In the Granite State, Clinton’s numbers are more than Obama’s and Edwards’ combined.

Granted, it’s still early, especially given the propensity of voters to change their minds after the first of the year. But some Obama supporters I talked to over the weekend are, naturally, worried — and wish that their candidate would be “unleashed” and gain more traction on the trail.

One more note: While Oprah Winfrey’s event brought in more than $3 million to the Obama camp, the one big drawback on the whole affair was undoubtedly the security arrangements. After waiting in a traffic jam at the Earl Warren Fairgrounds, donors had to pass through three different security checkpoints, right, including metal detectors and hand-held wands, before being bused to Oprah’s home. Event Architects, which was in charge of planning the event, did dress up the grounds in white lattice work, but it ended up taking some donors more than an hour just to get into Winfrey’s home. As the afternoon went on, things got better, and donors looked relaxed by the time they got on the grounds, but it was a big hassle for some. At the Fairgrounds, I was standing with some other members of the media when one woman got out of her car and started yelling at us. A news producer shouted back at her, “I have nothing to do with this.”

Suffice it to say, the security measures were not on the orders of the Secret Service, but of the Winfrey camp.

In fact, when Obama spoke at Santa Barbara City College, there were no metal detectors, cameras and recording devices were perfectly welcome and you could wear whatever type of clothing you wanted to, whether it be high heels or board shorts (the preferred attire was the latter).

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