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Thousands in Portland greet Barack Obama

world Updated: May 19, 2008 13:38 IST
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Democratic front runner for party presidential candidature Barack Obama received a sizzling reception in Portland, one of the major cities of Oregon, with one of the leading newspapers in the state comparing him with a rock star.

"The rock-star candidate was greeted by a rock arena-sized crowd," the Portland Tribune observed.

Tens of thousands of people lined up the route he took and a crowd of an estimated 75,000 supporters repeatedly cheered him even though he gave only his stump speech on Sunday.

The crowd, his Oregon campaign spokesman Nick Shapiro said, broke the record of Philadelphia where some 45,000 had attended one of his rallies.

The loudest cheers were reserved for his pledge to bring back troops from Iraq and change the way Washington works by eliminating the influence of lobbyists and vested interests.

The Americans are fed up with those who want to divide the people, he said and pledged to work to bring together all Americans irrespective of gender, race, age and sexual orientation.

He did not bring up the issue of age of presumptive Republican John McCain, 71, directly but did say that some people had advised not seek the highest office because he is too young.

Obama also told his supporters that the differences between him or Hillary Clinton pale into insignificance compared with the difference they had with the Republican.