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By Scott Smith in News on Jan 16, 2007 4:17PM

2007_01_obamaman.jpgAfter careful thought and consideration about whether he will run for President in 2008, Senator Barack Obama announced today that he will begin even more serious thought and consideration today.

In a statement (view it here), Obama said he “didn't expect to find myself in this position a year ago,” which is funny because pretty much everyone else did. The rest of the statement touches on the issues that Obama has covered before including health care, working people, oil, Iraq and the need to set aside partisan politics. Finally, Obama said that he will announce his decision on Saturday, February 10, just in time to hit all the Sunday morning talk shows.

The non-announcement announcement and its accompanying Web site shouldn’t be any surprise as Obama’s chief adviser David Axelrod said earielr that the first step in the process of decision would be the formation of an exploratory committee. This piece from NPR explains that exploratory committees allow candidates to shield themselves from full financial disclosure. Speaking of Axelrod, the Trib profiled his inner circle over the weekend.

We’re still not sure which way the Obama pendulum will swing, but either way, we’re marveling at his command of the news cycle. In the past several months, he’s been used by everyone from the MSM to his fellow Illinois senator Dick Durbin to draw attention to one issue or another. Whether he officially declares as a candidate or not, Obama’s shrewd manipulations will steer the debate in ’08.