On The Trail: Obama On Those National Polls

While I was busy chasing down Obama parking lot lurkers, the Senator and his entourage had a pretty full day.

In between appearances, Obama sat down with the AP's Iowa political correspondent, Mike Glover, which produced this gem of a story:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama paid homage to former President Clinton Wednesday, but said voters want more than "the same old thing."

"I admire Bill Clinton. I think he did a lot of fine things as president and he's a terrific political strategist," the Illinois senator said in an interview with The Associated Press. "What we're more interested in is in looking forward, not in looking backward. I think the American people feel the same way. What they are looking for is a way to break out of the harsh partisanship and the old arguments - and to solve problems."

At a press conference a little later, we tried in vain to get Obama to repeat these comments before television cameras -- ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS were all there -- but he demurred.

He did take some time to explain his theory of the race right now. The national polls -- including those that show him 25 points behind Sen. Clinton and not picking up his pace -- "go up and down," he said. "The notion that they're opening up this wide lead across the country is just sort of the ups and down of national polling at this point."

Obama finds himself at a national disadvantage because he is less well-known, he says. "One of the things we're going to do here in Iowa and the rest of the country is get better known."

In between events, Obama played Uno with his eldest daughter Malia, who is celebrating her 9th birthday today. His family enjoyed a long quiet lunch, depriving Obama of the opportunity to run into Sen. Sam Brownback, who was campaigning at Pella's Independence Day celebration nearby.

Off now to Des Moines for our final two stops of the tour.