Presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., capped a busy Monday in the state with a low-key dinner with a small handful of supporters at Martha’s Exchange Restaurant and Brewing Co. in Nashua.
The four supporters won the dinner through a random drawing of donors who gave at least $5 to the campaign through Obama’s Web site.
Gabrielle Grossman was the only New Hampshire resident among the quartet, which enjoyed dinner in a private room on the second floor of the Main Street restaurant while Obama’s film crew captured the dinner for a film that will appear on the Web site.
The Exeter resident and former seventh-grade teacher volunteers for the campaign through Obama’s Seacoast group.
“It was so great my face hurts from smiling,” she said when Obama had left.
Grossman said she doesn’t usually get involved in politics, but Obama’s message inspired her to hope that many of the problems facing the country can be solved and to do her part to affect change in government.“I trust him,” she said. “He has integrity, and that’s what government seems to be lacking. We are each responsible to make change. I feel like Senator Obama gives me that confidence. (He’s) just real, a real, smart, powerful man who wants to make a difference.”
The other three diners had similarly glowing reviews of Obama, painting him as a down-to-earth, “real” person.
“He exceeded every expectation. There were no smoke and mirrors,” said Mike Wilson, a registered Republican and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran from Cocoa Beach, Fla.
Los Angeles college student Brittany Washington said it was refreshing to have a candidate sit down and really listen to supporters during a time when most candidates are consumed with raising money.
“It’s reassuring. It gives a taste of what it will be like (if he’s elected),” she said.
The four supporters followed Obama during a hectic spate of appearances in Manchester and greater Nashua on Monday.
They attended a rally at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Manchester and an ice cream social at the Dr. H.O. Smith School in Hudson.
They also marched with him in the Milford Labor Day parade Monday morning, along with fellow Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and Republican poll leader Mitt Romney.
“That was over the top,” Grossman said.
Obama’s last stop in the state is a round table with voters in Manchester today, according to his press secretary, Reid Cherlin.