MANCHESTER, N.H., 11:20 a.m. — Senator Barack Obama really, really likes change.

Obama uttered that very word 12 times during last night’s debate, but that was nothing compared to this morning’s rally.

On stage, a massive, blue and white banner declared, “Change we can believe in.” Behind the podium, a diverse crowd of 40 supporters stood holding red and white placards that carried either that same message or, “Stand for change.”

But no, that wasn’t enough to drive the message home. “It’s time for change in America,” Obama implored in his speech to hundreds of supporters here. “This is our moment, this is our time.”

About his unexpectedly strong win in Iowa, he said, “Folks did not realize how hungry you are for change.”

In total, Obama said “change” or one of its variants a total of 19 times during his speech, according to our rough tabulation.

We will keep track of how many times Senator Hillary Clinton LAW ’73 uses the word at her rally in Hampton, N.H., later today.

Perhaps we should not be surprised that the candidates have embraced this word. Change, in New Hampshire, at least, is a valuable commodity. There seem to be tollbooths everywhere on the local highways.

— Thomas Kaplan


Maybe this whole “change” thing is working. The line stretched for blocks outside of the Palace Theater this morning before the rally began.