- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A group of several dozen supporters of Sen. Barack Obama laid in wait this morning in and around the Dunkin’ Donuts at Eighth and D Streets in Southeast, where the Democratic presidential candidate was expected to pay a visit.

Mr. Obama hopped out of a black sport utility vehicle at about 9 a.m. with D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and more than a half dozen Secret Service agents in tow. The entourage was immediately swarmed with outstretched hands and camera phones.

The security detail briskly and firmly cleared a path into the store, and Mr. Obama eventually made it to the counter. The crowd briefly calmed to hear the senator order coffee and doughnuts, but Mr. Fenty stirred them seconds later.

“All of D.C. is excited for Obama — am I right everyone?” Mr. Fenty asked, promptly receiving a cheer from the crowd.

While he waited for his order, Mr. Obama shook hands, signed autographs and posed in pictures.

“Make sure you tell your friends to vote for me,” Mr. Obama said to the crowd before he exited and walked to the Eastern Market Metro station nearby.

Mr. Fenty said today that he hoped for higher voter turnout this year than in previous years because the District’s votes will make a difference in deciding the nominee.

At the last two presidential primaries in 2000 and 2004, voter turnout was about 13 and 14 percent respectively, according to records from the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.

That translated to 44,357 of registered voters who turned out in 2004, with the overwhelming majority of them Democrats.

In the general election that year, about 60 percent of the District’s 384,000 registered voters turned out.

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