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Dan and Barack, Sittin' In a Tree

By Matt Wood in News on Sep 15, 2006 11:08AM

chicagoist_2006_09_obamaprez.jpgLook, Barack Obama knows that people are clamoring for him to run for president in 2008. We're sure that was evident the second he stepped off the podium after his goosebump-inducing 2004 Democratic Convention speech. But just in case the Big O (is it too early to make a nickname for him?) doesn't get it, one of his former Illinois senatorial opponents, Dan Hynes, held a press conference yesterday to beat the drum again. "We are a nation divided like at almost no other time in our history," Hynes said. "I believe Barack Obama can change this, that he, and he alone can restore the hope and optimism that has made this country great."

Hynes, who is kicking off his re-election campaign for State Comptroller, hosted his news conference just days before Obama heads to Iowa to give a keynote speech at Iowa Senator Tom Harkin's annual steak fry. Hynes' Republican opponent in the comptroller's race, state Sen. Carole Pankau, says he's just touting Obama because he wants to run for his vacated Senate seat again. Of course, any time a politician with even a whiff of presidential pedigree sets foot in Iowa, it sets off speculation about when he or she will run. Not doing anything to quell speculation, apparently Obama's new book, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, basically reads like a potential campaign platform. But Obama has denied from day one that he wants to run for president in '08. If you're that anxious though, you can already buy some T-shirts and bumper stickers to get the campaign rolling. But patience we must have. If Chicagoist were a betting man, we'd say Obama will make his run in 2012, when a certain former First Lady wasn't hell-bent on getting out from her husband's shadow.