From NBC/NJ's Athena Jones
WASHINGTON, DC -- Obama met for about an hour with a small group of superdelegates at a townhouse near the Democratic National Committee this morning.
Among the people believed to be in attendance -- all of them House members -- were the following uncommitted supers: Mike McIntyre (of North Carolina), Zack Space (Ohio), Gabrielle Giffords (Arizona), Jim Costa (California) and Charlie Melancon (Louisiana), as well as several who have already endorsed Obama, including Sanford Bishop (Georgia), Earl Pomeroy (North Dakota), John Barrow (Georgia), and Melissa Bean (Illinois).
Yesterday, after he won big in North Carolina and lost narrowly in Indiana Tuesday night, Team Obama called on the superdelegates who could ultimately pick the nominee to announce their preferences and begin to bring this process to a close. The candidate -- who leads in the popular vote, in states won, and in pledged delegates -- is meeting with some of those supers today in a bid to get them to side with him. Clinton met with several yesterday.
After the meeting, Obama walked with the group about four blocks to the Capitol, as a small band of TV cameras, political reporters, and even representatives from a Japanese network chased after him for comment.
Asked how the meeting went, Obama said: "It's not finished we're still meeting."
Asked whether he had picked up any endorsements. He said: "Patience, guys. How about letting us just walk to the House? I'm sure I will make myself amply available over the next couple of days, so..." Then he turned to people he was walking with and said, "Welcome to my world."
Having provided no juicy quotes with which to send the press rushing off to file, Obama was forced to measure his pace as he chatted with supers and headed up the hill. Camerographers tried hard not to stumble over themselves or each other as they walked backwards, lenses trained on the candidate, microphones hoping to pick up a telling bit of conversation.
At one point, Obama was confronted by a noisy protestor who appeared to be from the anti-war group Code Pink, with whom he had a brief exchange.
"Don't vote for the supplemental," the woman chanted repeatedly as she walked along the edge of the entourage. "Don't vote for the supplemental. Stop the next war now. Bring the troops home."
Woman: "Use that money to bring our troops home, sir."
Obama: "We're working on it."
Woman: "I know you are. Work harder. That's why we need change."
Obama: "That's why I'm running for president."
Woman: "The change we need is to bring the troops home now. That's the change we need."
By this point, Obama had turned his attention back to his companions, even as the fuchsia-clad woman continued to shout, "We don't want this war, we can't afford it."
He made his way up the steps of the Capitol with the Secret Service cutting a path through a mob of shrieking teenagers -- and a few adults -- and spoke briefly outside as a woman in the crowd repeatedly shouted for him to "turn around and wave to the kids, future voters." He turned and waved before disappearing inside.
The woman in pink had made her way to the front of the mob, still shouting "Bring the troops home, peace is cheaper than war."
Staking out Obama
The day began some two hours earlier outside the doors of the DNC. Posted and waiting, the reporters following Obama like me chatted about politics, laughed at the horoscopes in The Onion, and generally bided our time while keeping our eyes peeled for the senator. Sometime after 9:00 am ET, we spotted a police car at the end of the block. Moments later a woman walking toward the front door told us that if we were looking for the senator, she had just seen him walking down the street. We ran up the block to find Secret Service agents, who would not confirm Obama had gone into the building and directed us to stand by a tree, where we waited for him to emerge.
Later, after his stroll to the Capitol, with rumors of another meeting here later, the cameraman and I returned to the car, where I listened to the conference call announcing the senator had received the endorsement of John Edwards' former campaign manager David Bonior.
It's now been six hours since we arrived on the scene and we continue to watch and wait -- as I mourn the slow drain of battery power on my laptop and blackberry -- hoping for another spotting of the man running to be president.
It's another day in the life of a campaign reporter.