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Opinion: Well, at least they got the right state

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Presidential campaigns and their candidates -- George W. Bush aside -- are notorious for running late. You plan 60 minutes for one stop and there’s always 16 more people who want their photo taken with the candidate. And who wants to say no to a voter these days? Bill Bradley, Bill Clinton and others could easily be two hours late for a scheduled event.

Barack Obama was an hour late last night for a gathering an Iowa community college gym. Hundreds of potential supporters patiently cooled their heels in an increasingly warm place.

But Obama had an excuse this time. As first reported by ABC News, when he got off the plane for the event, the usual Secret Service motorcade was nowhere in sight.

That’s because the candidate was 130 miles from where he was supposed to be. The private jet flying him in from Chicago had landed in Des Moines. The actual destination was Cedar Rapids. Des Moines. Cedar Rapids. What’s the difference? It’s all corn anyway.

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The Obama camp didn’t acknowledge the error until it became known, rightly fearing it would make an unwelcome metaphor for a campaign some supporters fear is off-track.

‘We just seemed to overshoot the runway by about 150 miles,’ Obama joked today as he entered a dairy bar with The Times’ Janet Hook in Wapello, Iowa.

-- Andrew Malcolm


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