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Obama says win in NH could lead to presidency

From NBC/NJ's Aswini Anburajan
PORTSMOUTH, NH -- It was a small and packed crowd that greeted the race's new front-runner at an airport hanger in Portsmouth this morning. Obama, fresh off his Iowa win and his voice hoarse and raspy, entered to chants of "We want change! We want change! We want change!"

And he promised to deliver that change, telling the crowd that if they voted for him in the primary just four days from now, he would deliver them the promise of a new government, health care, clean energy, and end the war in Iraq. 

"If you stand with me and work like you you've never worked before ... then I'm absolutely sure we will win in New Hampshire and then Nevada and South Carolina and on February 5th, and we will go on to Denver and unify our party and gather Republicans and Independents and create a new working  majority and we will win in November," he hoarsely shouted.

Obama's look ahead, not just to the primary next Tuesday but to February 5th and the Democratic convention, simply underscores how much weight his campaign placed on winning the Iowa caucuses.  

"Change is coming to New Hampshire in four days time. If you gave me the same chance that Iowa gave me last night, I truly believe I will be the next president of the United States of America," Obama told the crowd.

He also used the tremendous turnout in Iowa last night as evidence that he could deliver on the unity that he had promised. "The pundits are still scratching their heads. They said it couldn't be done. But we won with everybody. We won with Democrats, Republicans, and independents. We won the young vote. We won the old vote. We won the union vote. We won the non union vote. We won man and woman, black and white. We gave thousands who had never participated in politics before a reason to believe."

And though Obama tried to stay above the fray, he did take one swipe at Clinton and her campaign upon immediately taking the stage. "This feels good, just like I imagined it when I talked to my kindergarten teacher," he told the crowd to roars of laughter.

After the rally in Portsmouth, Obama headed to Dover New Hampshire where he stopped at Cafe on the Corner and spent about 40 minutes talking to voters, who clapped as he entered the restaurant.