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“What he should be doing is calling for Cheney’s resignation,” he said. “These guys think they’re above the law.”

Both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama enjoyed lighter moments yesterday, with the New Yorker’s double ice cream stops and the Illinois senator at one point choking on and then swallowing a gnat during his speech and saying it was “protein.”

At one stop, he delivered his remarks from the bed of a red pickup truck with a yellow hood.

“Wow, this is exciting,” raved Jane Watson, who works at the police station in Keokuk. She said few candidates come to this part of the state, across the Mississippi River from Illinois. Mrs. Clinton was a few hours away and generating a lot of attention.

Mr. Obama was well-received at Hawthorne Elementary School for his line: “Wall Street’s never had it so good, but the folks on Main Street are struggling every single day.” It struck a chord for these voters from Keokuk, where the unemployment rate is 7 percent and residents joke that the recently revamped Main Street is “a nice road to leave town on.”

The crowd — much smaller than the thousands who came to larger Obama rallies — mostly waited to get a chance to shake his hand and ask him about the campaign. But not everyone had the patience to wait for Mr. Obama to work his way along the rope line, guarded by the Secret Service.

“Forget it. There’s just too many people,” one woman in Keokuk said as her daughter complained she was hot and hungry.