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OBAMA 02-09

Obama’s uphill climb

After formally announcing his presidential quest in Springfield, Ill., today, Sen. Barack Obama will embark on a grueling, nationwide quest that will test the depth and endurance of his instant celebrity.

During a three-day, six-stop campaign swing after Springfield that will take him to Iowa, Chicago and on to New Hampshire, Obama likely will begin facing questions about his scant experience, his inconsistent message and the legitimacy of his claim to be an "outsider."

He also might have to get used to manure on his shoes. "Not too many politicians know what it’s like to get up in the morning after sleeping in a small-town motel in Iowa, it’s ten below zero and you have to be in somebody’s barn at 7:30 a.m.," said Bill Carrick, who managed former Rep. Richard Gephardt’s campaigns for the Democratic nomination in 1988 and 2004. "If you don’t have discipline and can’t hit the ‘on’ button fast, you’re in trouble,"

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