“For those of you who are feeling giddy or cocky or think this is all set, I just have two words for you: New Hampshire,” Obama told top contributors over breakfast at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan. “I’ve been in these positions before when we were favored and the press starts getting carried away and we end up getting spanked.”
Obama’s Grantie State loss surprised even the candidate, who had been lulled by the huge crowds he was drawing. It very likely prolonged his primary battle with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. But although it was stinging at the time, the defeat came to be viewed as a blessing in disguise for the relatively green senator from Illinois, by toughening him up over a long and difficult nomination fight.