Illinois Senator Barack, a Democrat, said his trip to New Hampshire this Sunday will weigh “significantly” on his decision of whether or not he will run for president.
In a phone interview with the Globe, Obama said he hopes to “get a read from [New Hampshire activists] as to what I should do”.
“They have been through this process a lot more than I have,” said Obama about New Hampshire voters and the state’s presidential primary.
All indications are that he will get a pretty positive read from his two events in Portsmouth and Manchester. Both events have been sold out for days and he has become the topic of discussion about the state’s political elite this week.
He has said he will not make a decision to run for president until next year.
He said he was “surprised” to hear the reaction and buzz his trip to New Hampshire has received.
“I am somebody who spent 10 years working in total obscurity in the state legislature, as an organizer and as a civil liberties professor,” said Obama. “I think these have been wonderful experiences for me in dealing with the hype because it makes me suspicious and keeps me grounded.”
Obama also defend New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary saying he would campaign in the state even if it moves its election to a date that would violate new Democratic National Committee rules, something the New Hampshire Secretary of State is looking into in order to preserve its important role.
“What I think Iowa and New Hampshire do is provide insight into the character of candidates through retail politics,” said Obama. “They can’t hide behind slick campaign ads, and that is invaluable to voters and the nation.”
Asked whether he visited New Hampshire as a Harvard Law student, Obama said he hadn’t.
“I was in the library the whole time.”