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Bringing Chicago Campaign Smarts to Iowa

A former South Sider helped turn out the crowd for an Iowa campaign rally yesterday starring two well-known Chicagoans. Dale Todd grew up near Woodlawn. These days he sells playground equipment in Cedar Rapids, where the joint appearance of media giant Oprah Winfrey and presidential candidate Barack Obama was highly anticipated.

Todd says his favorite moment was being able to pass on hard-to-get tickets. "It was at my son's elementary school. There were five women who work in the cafeteria, and couldn't get out of work, and didn't have a car to go over to the campaign office to get tickets. so I went over and got five of the last tickets to give to these women and you would have thought I won the lottery. Todd, an Obama supporter, says Iowans are typically skeptical of celebrities.

But he says the campaign staff was right to think they needed the 10,000-seat U.S. Cellular Center for the Winfrey-Obama event. The only better venue, he says, would have been some place like Jimmy's Woodlawn Tap on Chicago's South Side.

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