Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama returned to Iowa for an evening rally to mark a milestone in the campaign. "Tonight, Iowa – in the fullness of spring, with the help of those who stood up from Portland to Louisville, we have returned to Iowa with a majority of delegates elected by the American people and you have put us within reach of the Democratic nomination for president of the United States of America," Obama said.
Hundreds of chanting supporters stood in a Des Moines street as Obama climbed onto a stage in an intersection just two blocks away from the Iowa capitol. "How’s it going, Iowa?" Obama questioned the crowd as he took the microphone. "It is good to be back in Iowa." It was Obama’s first appearance in Iowa since his victory speech here January 3rd after he won Iowa’s Caucuses.
"There are too many good friends and people who worked tirelessly on my behalf to thank…I just want to say thank you, to all of you, for the great work you did in kicking off this campaign," Obama said.
Forty-year-old Joy Esposito of Des Moines is ready for Obama’s race with Hillary Clinton to be over. "But you know, I think as Senator Obama continues to say there’s a lot of work to do," Esposito says. "Senator McCain is right there around the corner waiting and, you know, I think we’re all waiting for that as well."
Sixty-one-year-old Dennis Bone of Cedar Rapids didn’t go to the Caucuses, but he was in Des Moines last night and he’s ready to work to get Obama elected in November. "We need to move ahead as a combined effort, rallied around one person," Bone says, "sooner rather than later."
Iowa First Lady Mari Culver was in the crowd last night. She publicly endorsed John Edwards before the Iowa Caucuses. Her husband, Governor Chet Culver, endorsed Obama in early February.