SEABROOK, N.H., 3:41 p.m. — The campaign trail is hopping today. A few items to consider:

  • Senator Barack Obama’s even this morning was scheduled for 9 a.m.; it began at 10:21 a.m. Are rallies supposed to begin fashionably late, or something?
  • Third pseudo-celebrity sighting of the trip: MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, standing in the lobby of the Palace Theater before Obama’s rally.
  • Obama entered to U2’s “City of Blinding Lights” and exited to Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” Neither song contains the word “change” (I checked). I thought candidates were supposed to stay on message!
  • More after the jump, plus photos from the campaign trail.

    • As he did in the Democratic debate last night, Obama promised to give the New Hampshire people “straight talk.” Original.
    • After enduring Obama’s “change” spiel, I’m parking my car in Salem, N.H., for a town hall debate with Senator John McCain. Two middle-aged women walk by me, silently. “You know,” one of them suddenly says to the other, “we really do need change.” Oy.
    • McCain had a special guest at his rally today. His answer to Chuck Norris? Wilford Brimley.
    • I’m not sure why, but the Straight Talk Express is 10 times cooler than any other candidate’s bus.
    • — Thomas Kaplan


      Spotted in Salem: Could this be Chris Dodd’s VW Beetle? Or did someone actually support him?


      An impressive sight from the balcony of the Palace Theater.


      There are about as many media members here in the Granite state as there are actual registered voters, so after every rally, reporters swarm attendees to gather soundbites.