The Trail Wears Thin

By Ed O'Keefe

Apr 2, 2008 2:02pm

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller Reports: He’s been running for president for 13 months and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., may be showing some of the wear and tear of the campaign trail.

One particularly aggressive person — who, according to the campaign, may be a professional autograph seeker/seller who needed ‘proof’ that he actually been with the candidate in order to sell the Senator’s autograph(s) online — seemed to fray Obama’s nerves as the Senator made an unadvertised stop an Italian market in Philly on Wednesday.

Watch the VIDEO HERE.

In three separate acts — perhaps entitled "The Irritation of Obama" — the normally calm and collected candidate grew increasingly agitated:

Run in #1:
Outside the first shop, on the way in
Man: "Senator, can I have a quick picture with you?"
(Obama has his arm on the guys arm in a very nice way, like he does when he shakes a hand but refuses to take a picture and walks away)
Man: "It will take you two seconds. Don’t cram me, I’m not doing anything to anybody. Jesus."

Run in #2:
After the first shop
Man: "Senator, can I get a picture with you?"
Obama: (slightly annoyed) "You are wearing me out brother."
Man: "I got one with Hillary Clinton, and I got one with McCain. Come on Senator, that’s not right."

Run in #3
In the street
Man: "Senator, can I please, a quick one?"
Obama: (very annoyed) "No, you know what, no."
Man: "Can I just say something to you real fast?"
Obama: "Yea, you can."
Man: "I had one with Hillary Clinton and I had one with Senator McCain."
Obama: "I am sure you do. Because when I was trying to talk to some kids –- and, I know, look…
Man: "No, my wife is a school teacher and she was there. She had to go back and that wasn’t right. What, won’t you just take a picture with me? I’m not asking you for a autograph; it’s for my family.
Obama: "Yeah, well, whatever. Just take it. I won’t be smiling. Because you’re wearing me out. . . No no, you’ve been really rude about it. Just take a shot."

Obama and the man did not take a shot. The man was still arguing with the Senator when Secret Service stepped in (non confrontationally) to provide the denouement.

Secret Service: (putting a hand between Obama and the man) "That’s it."
Man: "No, I’m good. All I want is a picture. That’s it."

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