Riding the rails with Sen. Obama in Pennsylvania.

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
April 19 2008 2:26 PM

Barack Track

Riding the rails with Sen. Obama in Pennsylvania.

Read Part 2 of John Dickerson's travels with Sen. Barack Obama over the weekend.

(Continued from Page 1)

At his first stop in Wynnewood, Obama was still basking in the glow of his event the night before in Philadelphia, where 35,000 people had come to see him. A few thousand stood in the bright sunshine by the train platform in the suburban hamlet as Obama took the stage in shirtsleeves.

The speech was similar to the one he's been giving for the last 15 months. He railed against "tit-for-tat politics" and promised to change it. "You do have a choice in this election," he said, painting Clinton as a typical Washington-style politician willing to say and do anything. She "changes positions to suit the politics of the moment," said Obama. Behind me, a man yelled, "Go ahead, Barack."


He alluded only briefly to the debate Wednesday night. "I'm not interested in having debates about flag pins," he said, referring to a question that had touched on his refusal to wear one. "I'm interested in having debates about how we're going to send our kids to college and get our troops home from Iraq."

Obama talked repeatedly about his penchant for truth-telling as a way to contrast himself with his opponent. He was going to tell people what they needed to hear and not what they wanted to hear. This also has been a standard part of the Obama campaign speech, and it's still true that after so many months of promising hard truths, Obama doesn't really force people to accept any. (With the blistering heat, it would have been a great time, say, to tell the truth about the hard choices we're all going to have to make to combat global warming.)

The crowd didn't mind that Obama wasn't actually telling any hard truths. They roared approvingly throughout his remarks. One 12-year-old girl, Kabira Arnold, ran from the crowd that swarmed around Obama after the speech and screamed, "He hugged me." Her friends collapsed around her as she twirled and danced. After the hug, she told Obama, "You are the best person ever."

Posted Saturday, April 19, at 2:26 p.m.


War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The NFL Has No Business Punishing Players for Off-Field Conduct. Leave That to the Teams.

Meet the Allies the U.S. Won’t Admit It Needs in Its Fight Against ISIS

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Medical Examiner

How to Stop Ebola

Survivors might be immune. Let’s recruit them to care for the infected.


America in Africa

The tragic, misunderstood history of Liberia—and why the United States has a special obligation to help it fight the Ebola epidemic.

New GOP Claim: Hillary Clinton’s Wealth and Celebrity Are Tricks to Disguise Her Socialism

Why the Byzantine Hiring Process at Universities Drives Academics Batty

Sept. 23 2014 3:29 PM The Fascinating Origins of Savannah, Georgia’s Distinctive Typeface
  News & Politics
Sept. 23 2014 6:06 PM Nothing to See Here The one national holiday Republicans want you to forget.
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Sept. 23 2014 1:38 PM Why Is Fall Red in America but Yellow in Europe? A possible explanation, 35 million years in the making.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.