WILMINGTON, Del. -- "This is not Iowa, it's not New Hampshire, it's not Nevada, and it's not South Carolina," John Carney, Delaware's lieutenant governor, explained to the giant crowd gathered in a downtown square here to greet Barack Obama. Not that they needed the geography lesson.
But Carney's introduction wasn't a lesson; it was a celebration of Delaware's prominence as one of the states that will help decide the Democratic nominee on Super Tuesday. Obama and Hillary Clinton are battling for the state's 15 delegates.
"We are in the first state," Carney said. "And we earned that title because we were the first to say, 'Yes we can!'''
Nothing against Carney, but there's another Delaware politician Obama would have preferred introduce him: Senator Joe Biden, one-time presidential hopeful, foreign-policy sage, and Democratic senior statesman. Alas, there were no Biden sightings this afternoon, but that didn't stop Obama from singing his praises.
Obama said he was "proud of the campaign that [Biden] ran, the knowledge that he brought to bear, the vision on foreign and domestic policy he applied to every debate. He is an outstanding chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, he was an outstanding candidate for president of the United States, he's a great friend of mine."
Translation: Joe, please, please endorse me.
Obama did pick up one endorsement today, though: Garrison Keillor, Minnesota's favorite public radio star, wrote in a letter to Obama that his candidacy was "full of promise."
"I can't think of a happier prospect for next January than to see you and your wife and children stepping out on the platform in front of the Capitol for the inauguration," he wrote, according to Obama's campaign. "Your campaign is a great tonic for America and that's why so many young people are excited about it. I congratulate you on your awesome achievement so far and pledge my support toward victory in November."
What Obama needs at this point, though, is the classic rock crowd, not more of the "Prairie Home Companion" set.