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Obama turns up the heat

From NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan
Burlington, Iowa -- His voice raspy and strained, Obama turned up the heat in his own stump speech in Burlington this morning, shouting into the microphone that no other Democrat besides him had a chance to defeat a Republican in the general election.

"Those of you who are still undecided I know what you're asking is, who can win in November?" he said. "Cause you don't want to just elect a nominee, you want to elect a president. So I think you should take a look and see what the polls have said. Most recent polls, I am the only candidate who beats every single one of the Republican candidates. I beat Giuliani, I beat McCain, I beat Romney, I beat Thompson, I beat Huckabee, I beat 'em all. I beat them all," he shouted into the microphone.

Contrasting himself with his rivals, he said, "John Edwards doesn't beat them all. Hillary Clinton doesn't beat 'em all. And part of the reason I [would] because I am able to reach out and get the support of Independents and get the support of some Republicans who are tired of seeing their country waste away. And that is how we're going to win in November, and that is how we are going to govern 4 years from now and 8 years from now that is why I am running for president of the United States.   I am running to win this election and bring about real change."

Obama also poked fun at Clinton's latest message change in Iowa "Real Problems, Real Solutions – It's Time to Pick a President."

"They seem to have a new slogan every week," he said. "I can't keep up with them."

Normally mild mannered on the stump, Obama has toughened his rhetoric and his tone in recent days, not afraid to shout and raise his voice on the stump.  Audiences appear to be responding but the effect is having it's toll. Obama joked with the crowd when he took the stage, "As you can tell, I'm feeling great, but my voice is just starting to go a little bit. So I'm gonna - I'm still going to shout and holler, but it may not always reach the back rows so I'll try to keep the mic close."

Of course Obama's stump speech is now more than 50 minutes long, and that doesn't include the "fired up" story, so keeping it shorter may help the senator's voice as well.

Obama was also joined by Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts on the campaign trail today who told the crowd that it wasn't about "whose turn it is" to run for president, it was about "whose time it is."

"When you close your eyes and imagine the kind of leadership you know the image that comes to mind is Barack Obama. Then you open your eyes and the pundits and the pollsters try to tell us once again why we cant have what we know we want," Patrick said.

He went on, "That's the same thing they said when I ran for governor that it wasn't my turn that I didn't know my way around thee inside of Massachusetts state politics, I kept saying to the people of Massachusetts as I say to the people of Iowa it's not about whose turn it is its about whose time it is."

Obama also greeted his oldest Iowan supporter, Doc Patterson, who is 101 years old.

"See, we have supporters from every demographic. I'm going to follow him around to see what he's eating so I look that good when I'm 101," he joked.