MASON CITY, IOWA -- Two days of rest seem to have done wonders for Barack Obama's confidence level. At his first stop in Mason City, Obama delivered a fresh version of his stump speech and he didn't shy away from going after opponents.
He spoke to a large crowd at a local Catholic high school, urging voters to caucus even if it is not for him.
"Some of you may have decided and you've decided, 'I really love Joe Biden, or Chris Dodd or somebody else.'"
"If you're firm in that decision we still want to be your second choice. Because the most I important thing is to caucus for someone and I hope that if you don't caucus for me still go out and caucus for someone. We would love to be your second choice but we would love to be your first choice first," Obama said.
Obama went on to give voters a detailed explanation of why he is their man. He said he believes that the American people are desperate for change and that he believes he might have the opportunity to bring them that change.
"We felt that we might be able to not just change political parties in the White House but that we might be able to change our politics," Obama said, "That was our bet and now 10 months later that faith has been vindicated, 10 months later what people said couldn't be done, we might do."
During the Q and A session, Obama went after his opponents for "imitating" his message of hope.
"Everybody now is talking about change. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then we're doing pretty good here."
However, Obama warned the crowd against siding with the candidates who he says have consistently changed their message.
"You have to ask yourself, who's talked the talk because that will be the measure of how seriously they take this stuff. If they've been secretive in the past, they'll be secretive as president, if they haven't been all that strong on lobbyists, it doesn't matter what they say in the campaign they won't be that strong about it when they are president."
Obama will be delivering a major speech tomorrow in Des Moines which the campaign is calling Obama's "closing argument." We may have seen a glimmer of that closing argument today.