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OSTON, July 28 - The next day, Barack Obama owned the town.
Ubiquitous and sought after, he whirled through ballrooms and meeting rooms here and was besieged by Democrats who wanted a moment of the time of the United States Senate candidate from Illinois.
The day before, he had been a state senator from Chicago, bringing promise to Democrats who saw him as a possible vehicle for helping take back the Senate, having no Republican opponent. Then he delivered the keynote address to the Democratic convention, and his compelling personal biography - son of a black Kenyan man and white Kansan woman, reared by white grandparents in Hawaii, educated at Harvard and Columbia, a lawyer and advocate for the poor - and his words of unity and hope brought some to tears and many to loud and long cheers.
Some political consultants said it was the best keynote address they had heard in years.
And suddenly, on Wednesday, Mr. Obama could not walk around town without being swarmed.
He was, at midday, already running 40 minutes late for one of a day-long blitz of appointments - a meeting with political and business power brokers. But then John Kornacki, the chaperone for a youth group, approached him and asked for a minute of his time. Mr. Obama allowed Mr. Kornacki to lead him from a private meeting with the service employees' union at the state Capitol into a chamber of 165 high school student leaders spending the day learning about politics and government.
He needed no introduction. The students erupted, shouting and clicking cameras as the man they obviously viewed as a streaking comet of hope for the Democrats strode to the podium and delivered an impromptu talk, urging them to stay in school and get involved.
"You made their convention," Mr. Kornacki whispered to Mr. Obama.
A spokesman characterized Mr. Obama's day as a drive to "build relationships." He does, after all, still face an election in November. And so he met with potential financiers, party leaders, members of the news media, even Andre 3000 from the hip-hop group Outkast, who scored a sit-down interview with Mr. Obama for a documentary chronicling the singer's political awakening.
Mr. Obama delivered serious messages about ending racial and ethnic divisiveness, creating more jobs and providing health care, but the talks were laced with humor.
To the purple-clad members of the Service Employees International Union, he said: "I wear my S.E.I.U. jacket with pride because I just happen to look good in purple."
To the New York delegation, one of three he addressed Wednesday morning, he said: "A week ago people were calling me Alabama and Yo mama."
As he moved through rooms and hallways, whispers followed: perhaps the man who had just passed would be the first black president of the United States.
"Every baseball team and political party needs a great bench and great rookies to be the Alex Rodriguezes of the future," said Mark Green, the former New York City public advocate, after the New York delegation breakfast. "He is our Alex Rodriguez."
H. Carl McCall, the former New York State comptroller took stock of rising young black leaders and declared Mr. Obama "the new leader for the next generation."
As he made the rounds, shaking hands and signing autographs all along the way - at an evening reception for Congressional groups, some people shouted for him to stand on a chair so they could catch a better look - Mr. Obama rejected as flattering but silly any talk of him as a future president. He said his priority was winning the United States Senate seat. At the same time, he acknowledged his star potential, saying he was using Hillary Rodham Clinton as a model.
"I deeply admire her because she is a workhorse, not a show horse," Mr. Obama said in an interview as he rode in a minivan between events. "People assumed that because of her fame and her position as first lady she was going to come in and spend a lot of time with press conferences. She spent a lot of time doing work, hard work, work that other people don't want to do."
Besides, he said, he believes that, while attention on him right now is at a fever pitch, "I think the fever will break."
Among those with the fever Wednesday were Vernon Jordan, the political patron and friend of Bill Clinton, who served as host for a luncheon reception at the Four Seasons Hotel that included Bob Shrum, a top Kerry campaign strategist; Richard C. Holbrooke, a United States delegate to the United Nations in the Clinton administration; Attorney General Eliot Spitzer of New York; and captains of industry.
As an aide flipped through his schedule, Mr. Obama, who had complained earlier of fatigue, asked to shift course.
"We got to call an audible and skip some of these things," he said. "I got to see my wife."