October 22nd, 2007
02:19 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama calls himself 'an underdog'

Obama says he's making strides in New Hampshire.

CONCORD, New Hampshire (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama sought to portray himself as an underdog in the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination Monday, but he did declare his campaign is making strides with informed voters.

"We actually are further ahead than I expected to be," Obama responded when asked about his standing in national and New Hampshire polls. The Illinois Democrat made the remarks after he filed his paperwork for the state primary.

"When we started this campaign, here's one thing I was certain of, that a 46-year-old African American named Barack Obama would be an underdog in a presidential race. But as people got to know me and my ideas, they would be confidant that I would be fighting for them."

Obama reiterated that among voters "paying careful attention," his campaign was doing "extremely well." However, he noted that "For the casual voter, many of them are still going to be parking their vote with Sen. Clinton because that's a familiar brand name."

Clinton, a New York Democrat, is the frontrunner for her party's nomination with Obama coming in second, polling shows.

Obama later added, "But when they start paying attention, I think that will only be to our advantage."

- CNN New Hampshire producer Sareena Dalla

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Karen,nj

    I still agree with Al Sharpton on this one. I do not trust this man.

    October 22, 2007 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Scott,Tupelo.MS

    Please support Ron Paul the only candidate who can straighten out the mess our country is in.

    October 22, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |


    October 22, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  4. Chris, Middletown, CT

    The cartoon character? The would make Hillary Marxistatron (the little known Transformer character)

    October 22, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  5. Malory, Laconia, New Hampshire

    * 2003: In August 2003, Joe Lieberman led the national polls, in September, Howard Dean led, in October, Wesley Clark led, and in December – one month before the Iowa Caucuses – a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll showed John Kerry, the eventual nominee, in fifth place trailing among others Joe Lieberman and Dick Gephardt. Yet after winning Iowa and New Hampshire, Kerry vaulted to 49% in national polls before the end of January, This has been true in nearly every previous Democratic nomination contest:

    * 1992: According to a November 1991 Los Angeles Times poll, Bill Clinton was in 3rd place with less than half the support of the then-frontrunner, Jerry Brown.

    * 1988: A January 1988 New York Times/CBS Poll showed Michael Dukakis in fourth place with 6 percent.

    * 1980: An August 1979 poll showed President Carter trailing Senator Ted Kennedy by 36 points

    October 22, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  6. LinnieFB, Corona,CA

    Good terminology: people "parking their votes" with Clinton. When they're ready to drive, hopefully they'll look to the "straighter road" and go with Obama!

    October 22, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  7. Q. Christian Atlanta GA

    "For the casual voter, many of them are still going to be parking their vote with Sen. Clinton because that's a familiar brand name." - Barack Obama

    This is a GREAT LINE coming from someone whose job it is to make themselves more familiar with the nation when they are running for President. The more Obama makes statements like that, the more we all see he is not ready for the big time.

    It has always been my judgment that the more people try to say they are different the more similarities they really share. Senator Obama wants to tell us he has great judgment, yet when it was time for him to show his judgment and vote for or against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard resolution he chose to keep campaigning. I don't want to hear that it was a conspiracy crafted by the malevolent Harry Reid to keep him from casting his vote. He has a private jet, he could have gotten there if he wanted to.

    Senator Obama wants to also tell you he doesn't take money from Washington lobbyists or special interest groups. He certainly has no problem taking this money from local lobbyists or local special interest groups. Is this hypocritical or what? He wants to jump on Hillary because she is being transparent about where her money is coming from, yet he tries to blur the distinction between federal and state lobbyists. That to be is flat out dishonest and deceitful.

    Let's do a little third grade word association.

    ________ Lobbyist.

    ________ Lobbyist.

    Fill in the blanks with Washington or State and what do they both have in common. THE WORD LOBBYIST. If you have problems with lobbyists you should not take money from any lobbyists at all.

    I really would like to know what Obama's supporters will say when he gets in office and HAS to continue the war. He is already on record as saying he won't be able to guarantee pulling all the troops out. If Obama becomes president his supporters will give him a pass and say it was George Bushes problem and he is simply trying to fix it. If it were Hillary–she just wants to flat out continue the war. No pass will be given to her but one would be given to Obama.

    Obama supporters really need to understand what they are getting. Some things really are too good to be true.

    HILLARY 2008

    October 22, 2007 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. ronnie knoxville tn

    he's still going around the country saying anything BUT what his qualifications are. Maybe that's because he doesn't have any executive experience, so he's pulling the wool over voters' eyes.

    October 22, 2007 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  9. David (Chapel Hill, NC)

    I like to consider myself an informed, independently-thinking democratic.

    I also happen to agree with the message of this article.

    Senator Obama has my support.


    I heard someone say that if Senator Obama would, first, become a governor, that they'd would then vote for him. That's the managerial aspect this particular person was looking for.

    I didn't disagree with the idea but tried to explain my support in terms of the history of our nation with names like George Washington, JFK, etc.

    This person had never seriously thought of the Senator this way. In the end, I gave her plenty to consider, which I believe opened her eyes to all that Senator Obama represents.

    October 22, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  10. LaAngeloMysterioso

    What Obama and most democrats don't know is if Iraq is abandoned in its current state, an Iranian backed Iraqi theocracy would result after a protracted civil war with Syria and Saudi Arabia backing the Sunni whom will be killed. If the Shia vs Sunni rift can't be solved, we will be there forever. Deny food to areas whose politicians won't compromise to get the Iraqi gov't moving towards peace. Divide Iraq into 5 states with each receiving an equal share of money and resources. No compromise, no food.

    October 22, 2007 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  11. pam Eugene OR

    By the time HRC gets off her high horse and realises she is not the only one running Barack will be too far ahead for her to stop him
    No more Clinton
    Mo more Bush
    No more corruption
    Obama 08 We need the change!

    October 22, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  12. Jim Bremer

    Interesting omission : His name is Barack Hussein Obama.

    Funny how he tries to hide that.

    October 22, 2007 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  13. a voter

    Obama restores my faith in America's ability to lead the world.
    You can do it, Obama!
    Keep drawing the distinctions between you and Hillary without being negative.
    Let's change the world!
    Obama 08!

    October 22, 2007 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  14. Michael James - Illinois

    Obama may not lead in the biased national polls, but he's leading in everything that can be measured with any degree of accuracy. He's raised the most money, has the most donors, turns out the biggest crowds, has the most offices in Iowa, etc.

    He's got the leadership skills, judgment, character and integrity to be a great President and he's ready now.

    Vote Obama!!!

    October 22, 2007 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  15. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    "Informed Americans" stay as far away from Obama as they can get. He has nothing going for him but arrogance.

    October 23, 2007 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  16. jan, sweden

    It’s a new paradigm, meaning a new way to relating to the world this is what the Hillary supporters don’t understand. This is a new "world" it has to be if a black man is serious contender for the highest office in the land. Those who are wise would recognize that for Obama to be voted in he has to change how we thinking about politics and politicians

    October 23, 2007 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |