Obama optimistic after second place finish

James Heggen

Nashua, N.H.-Sen. Barack Obama followed up his victory in the Iowa Caucuses with a second place finish in the New Hampshire Primaries Tuesday.

Obama made his post-primary speech at Nashua South High School shortly after the Associated Press projected Clinton would win the primary.

About 1,600 supporters filled the high school’s gymnasium, which was at fire code. While waiting for the senator, those in attendance cheered when the numbers were flashed across the screen.

Former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C. and former Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., finished third and fourth respectively.

The tone of Obama’s speech, which lasted about 13 minutes, was optimistic, despite his loss to Clinton in New Hampshire.

“I am still fired up and ready to go,” he said.

Obama told his supporters they had “stood up for change.”

“With your voices, and your votes, you made it clear that at this moment, in this election, there is something happening in America,” he said.

Obama cited young people’s participation, people voting not for the party they belong to but for the “hopes they have in common.”

“Change is what’s happening in America,” he said.

In addition to his “change” message, Obama touched on some of his other prominent campaign issues: health care reform, climate change, ending foreign oil dependence, tax for the middle class and education were all mentioned.

“When I am president, we will end this war in Iraq and bring our troops home,” he said.

In the last three minutes of his speech, Obama used the phrase “yes we can.”

Scott Cross, a legislative aid from South Brunswick, New Jersey, attended the Obama rally Tuesday night, although he is a Richardson supporter. Cross, a self-described “political junkie” was surprised by the results.

“It mystifies me,” he said.

Tom Quisenberry, a resident from Kentucky, drove from his home state to see Obama in Nashua.

“I just think he’s kind of the right man at the right time,” he said. “He could change the way people in the rest of the world perceive Americans.”