Quietly but systematically, Hillary Clinton is building a firewall in
As a result, say Democrats with long experience in state politics,
The latest poll of likely Democratic primary voters, released on Thursday by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, found
Obama's rock star quality may actually be getting in his way. Gray Chynoweth, an attorney who is president of the state's Young Democrats -- and is, like Arnesen, neutral in the contest -- said he admires Obama and was "excited to be part of his first visit to the state."
But, Chynoweth adds: "There's a risk -- partly because he's always surrounded by Secret Service guys -- that some people feel that Obama might think of himself as too cool for school." But Secret Service protection, which
Obama's charisma causes him other problems. Arnesen said that while
Cinde Warmington, who chairs the Democratic Party in the town of
Chynoweth said Obama tries hard to fight this perception. "He always says that 'I'm just a vehicle for this message,'" Chynoweth said. "But in a weird way, when he's saying it's not about him, that makes people think it's still about him. It's a tough box to be in."
Jim Demers, who co-chairs Obama's campaign here, believes Obama will perform far better in the
But Demers points to a fascinating dynamic which -- although he doesn't say so -- may also be helping
And Ray Buckley, the Democratic state chair who is being so studiously neutral that he says he'll write in Jimmy Carter's name on primary day, argued that the strong reception Obama received here last December pushed Clinton "to get in much earlier" and organize the state more intensively. Several Democrats also said
The paradox for Obama is that catching up may require him to make
(c) 2007, Washington Post Writers Group
By E.J. Dionne, Jr