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Obama Gets Personal


From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

WILMINGTON, N.C. -- Barack Obama returned to North Carolina today where he received a loud and enthusiastic welcome at a local coliseum here. He changed up his stump speech a bit, making it more personal, with less emphasis on attacking Hillary Clinton. He ended his stump for the first time with a story about his family's modest beginnings because he said his opponents have been focusing on his background to much.

"Lately my opponents are trying to make this election about me instead of about you," Obama told this crowd of over 5,000. "They've been trying to say 'we don't know him that well, we don't know what he believes, we don't know about his values,' despite the fact I wrote two books, it's all there."

Although he has spoken about his family on the campaign trail and given frequent interviews about his mother, this is the first time that Obama ended a speech with a personal family story. He spoke about his mother's struggles as a single woman, often on food stamps, and his grandfather's service during World War II. "When people ask me about why I'm doing this, what my values are, I try to explain to them, it's about that history in my own family, how I've seen this country open up opportunity for people who are willing to work hard," he said. "They don't expect government to solve their problems. All they hope is that there's a handle there."

Obama also told voters that the political infighting during the primary season has not helpful to voters, but admitted that his campaign has not been immune to it. "I noticed over the last several weeks, I told this to my team, we are starting to sound like other folks, starting to run the same negative stuff," he said. "It shows that none of us are immune from this kind of politics."

"But the problem is, it doesn't help you," he continued. "Having politicians bickering back and forth doesn't help you. Having them worry about superdelegates doesn't help you. This election is not about me, it's not about Sen. Clinton, it's not about John McCain, it's about you."

During the question and answer session, an 82-year-old woman encouraged Obama not to attack his opponents. "Don't hit on Hillary, bring us all back, let her do that stuff," said Jean Weiss, a Wilmington resident. "Leave her alone, you don't need to do that, you are higher than that. Bring us up higher than that."

"Will you be my running mate?" Obama asked as the crowd cheered. "That's my running mate there, she got me fired up!"

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