From NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan
Winterset, IA -- Obama was serenaded at a town hall in Winterset, Iowa yesterday, but it wasn't with Christmas carols.
Jerry Triplet, 73, took the microphone to ask a question about the rationale for building a $550 million embassy in Baghdad. But before Obama answered, Triplet said he had a song to sing for Obama "Of course!" Obama replied. "Don't we all want to hear a song -- is it a Christmas song? How long is it?"
That was all the permission Triplett needed. In a rich baritone, Triplett burst into "God Bless Barack Obama," retooling the lyrics from the Irving Berlin classic to cater to the senator from Illinois.
Wildly gesticulating while he sang Triplett warbled the lyrics:
God Bless Barack Obama
He's a fellow we all love
Stand beside him and guide him
Through the night with the light from above...
And so on...
Obama roared with laughter during the refrain, and burst into applause along with the rest of the audience when Triplett finished with a grand bow. "Wow! That's what I'm talkin' about!" Obama shouted. "I just want you to know he is not a plant!" The senator added that Triplett's song would be the "highlight" of his day.
According to local newspaper reporters, Triplett has burst into song before. The last time was at a Romney event.
Obama's stop yesterday in Winterset was one of six campaign events on a snowy day in Iowa. With snow blowing wildly and cutting visibility down, Obama joked that the town was aptly named as he took the stage.