Button Down Meets Blue Collar in Iowa

Obama courts votes before Hillary arrives for caucus battle
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2007 7:10 PM CDT
A young supporter shies away from presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., after a town hall meeting at the Warren County Fairgrounds in Indianola, Iowa, on Friday, Oct. 12, 2007. Obama, speaking...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Advantage, Obama: He's already winning blue collar hearts in Iowa before Hillary shows up for her caucus drive. He can also talk agriculture and education with ease because Iowa's troubles resemble Illinois'. And vets he meets there resemble his grandad, a WWII soldier from Kansas. Yet the big city lawmaker still needs reminders of Iowa life: "Hogs matter to Iowans!" is scrawled across an article in his office.

Fighting a three-way battle, Obama uses techniques that helped in Illinois, including humor. He jokes about his alleged inexperience, saying, “It’s because I look young. I got these big ears. I look like Opie.” But not everyone’s laughing: One editor writes that Obama’s liberalism, religion and aura of otherness arouse Iowans' suspicion.