"We seek him here,we seek him there, Those pollsters seek him everywhere!
Is he in heaven? Is he in hell? that damn elusive pimpernel ..."
Barack Obama, as he introduces himself to the broader voting public, is emphasizing centrist -- even conservative -- positions on hot-button issues.
In recent weeks, he toughened his stance on Iran and backed an expansion of the government's wiretapping powers. On Wednesday, he said states should be allowed to execute child rapists.
When the Supreme Court the next day struck down the District of Columbia's ban on handguns, he did not complain.
These views would fit many Republican candidates, but they are the recent profile adopted by a man who has been called the most liberal Democrat in the Senate.
In the primary season, candidates' chief goal is usually to win their party's most ideologically driven voters; afterward the candidates often adjust their policy stances. John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, has also changed tack on an array of issues. But Obama has drawn attention for the number of issues on which he has taken a moderate stance in recent days.
"I've been struck by the speed and decisiveness of his move to the center," said Will Marshall, president of the centrist Progressive Policy Institute.