CBSN

Obama: Iowa Will Choose the Next President

(CBS)
From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

GUTTENBERG, IOWA -- Barack Obama knows that winning Iowa is critical to his campaign and in the weeks leading to the caucuses, he has not been afraid to ask for support.

Just recently, Obama has started to begin and end every event by holding up supporter cards and asking undecided voters to choose him. He promises the audience that he will dazzle them into caucusing for him.

At an event in Manchester, Iowa today, Obama said, "I know that you Iowa caucus-goers like to lift the hood and kick the tires, but it's getting pretty close. It's only three weeks away."

Later in Guttenberg, Obama told the audience that although he is a proud Democrat, he needs all the votes that he can get. "I want everybody's vote, if there are some Republicans and independents here, I want your vote."

Whereas in the past, Obama began his events by thanking local precinct captains and organizers, he now calls them "the most important person in the room."

"Their whole purpose, their whole reason for being right now is to get people to caucus."

Why the sudden push? Obama believes that he can win the election. "I have to say that although there were some doubters early on, it turns out that we might just win this thing," Obama told the crowd in Manchester.

"You in Iowa have this extraordinary privilege of choosing who the next president of the United States will be. Whoever wins this caucus is likely to win the presidency."

Later on, at a rally in Oelwein with young voters, he was greeted with shouts of "Woo woo woo" from the crowd.

"Who let the dogs out?," Obama shouted back.

Even the youngest voters at the rally were vocal. A baby in the audience repeatedly asked Obama, "Why?," as he spoke.

He said, "We are at a defining moment in our history, we need to get things done." And the baby asked "Why?" Obama went on to say "Think about it, the nation is at war." Again the baby asked "Why?" He turned to the baby and said, "Why? Because the nation is at war! It's a good question."

Another toddler climbed under the rope and onto the floor near Obama. He knelt down by her and said "Cutie, what are you doing here sweetie. What are you eating?"

And who said babies and politicians was just a cliché?