Obama offers “closing argument” to Ohio (Video)

Fresh off the trail from hitting western states like Colorado and Nevada, Sen. Barack Obama is now heading to Ohio for a “closing argument” in favor his campaign and asking voters to reject McCain’s style of politics. Ohio will be important since the polls give Obama a slight lead, though it’s been back and forth as of recent. Also, Sen. Obama lost the Ohio primary to Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Report from Yahoo News:

CHICAGO – Looking ahead to closing his case against John McCain in Ohio, Barack Obama argues that voters there have a chance to reject “politics that would divide a nation just to win an election.”

Fresh off rollicking rallies in Colorado, Obama faced a more sober reality on Monday in Ohio. Polls show a tight race in the state that sealed President Bush’s 2004 re-election.

Obama is giving what his campaign calls the “closing argument” of his presidential bid in Ohio, where he already lost once this year, to fellow Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“In one week, you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation just to win an election; that tries to pit region against region, city against town, Republican against Democrat; that asks us to fear at a time when we need hope,” Obama said in prepared comments released in advance early Monday by his campaign.

The longest presidential contest in history is down to just eight days, with Obama and Republican McCain dueling for the electoral riches of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Obama’s struggles to connect with white working-class voters in Ohio helped fuel his defeat in that state during the primaries. Economic concerns are even worse now with the country in a financial crisis, and perhaps headed for deep recession, with growing numbers of people out of work.

And as Ohio goes, often goes history. No Democratic contender for the presidency has won without Ohio’s support in nearly 50 years — since John F. Kennedy in 1960.

So it is a strategic choice that Obama will deliver his next speech in the industrial northeast Ohio city of Canton. His campaign touts it as his closing case, although there will presumably be other final arguments during the final, frenetic days of the campaign.

Obama is sticking to his theme of linking McCain to President Bush, the unpopular leader of his party.

McCain’s campaign says that’s false.

Unlike in other key states, Obama has struggled to sustain a big lead in Ohio despite pounding McCain with TV ads and building a strong get-out-the-vote operation.

Meanwhile, Sen. Biden is attacking the attacks on Obama by comparing them to attacks on past presidents, story from Yahoo News:

GREENVILLE, N.C. – Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden is comparing the criticism of his running mate to the attacks directed at past Presidents Jefferson, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Kennedy.

Biden said new leaders are almost always confronted with new negative attacks. He compared what Barack Obama has faced to challenges to Thomas Jefferson’s Christianity, Abraham Lincoln’s commitment to individual rights, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s change and whether it was safe to pick John F. Kennedy.

The Delaware senator repeatedly asked the crowd at East Carolina University whether those attacks sounded familiar.

Biden returned to campaign in North Carolina just four days after appearing here on a three-city bus tour.

Ohio has been back and forth this entire season, it will come down to the wire. Some polls have Obama up by 10 points, though others have McCain up by 2. The RCP average is sitting at +6 Obama though I think that’s inflated a bit, and obviously the Obama campaign does as well.


Video of Obama’s “closing argument” to Ohio, via MSNBC:

What do you think? Is he convincing enough to win Ohio?

  • JD

    I think he will take Ohio and Penn. but not because of his closing speech. People are ready for something different.

    I believe McCain has let his campaign be his own undoing. This last month or so was not the John McCain campaign of 2000 or the campaign earlier this season.

    Still, Palin has set herself up for a 2012 presidential run.

  • Pats

    Barack is an academician and that equips him with the to cut across any challenge. He was nutured to win. The acquisition of experience is secondary to knowledge. If McCain was as knowledgeable as Obama, he would not be running for presidency today. He would have done that when he was the age of Obama. He would not have enlisted in the army.
    Throughout this campaign Obama’s knowledge stood up tall and clear but we did not see McCain display his experience. In fact presidency is more about knowledge and sound judgement than experience. This is just the beginning, I know he still has more to reveal.

  • dale

    I don’t really think it’s fair to say if McCain was smart, he would have run earlier instead of joining the army. For starters, he has run before, and second, it’s not fair to question intelligence because of military service.

    I do agree that Obama is probably significantly more intelligent. Just a note about intelligence. IQ tests actually scale based on age, the older you get, the less questions you have to be able to answer to get the same score. The implication being of course, that as you get older, you get dumber. Add to it the fact that McCain can’t use a computer, and of course his somewhat fast changing, almost erratic policy changes when the financial crisis hit. It’s a bit of a questionable combination.

    A word on academics though. Many of them end up there for fear of entering the real world. Many academics I dealt with at uni were morons, not academically of course, but in every other conceivable way. Head of the Harvard Law Review is pretty tough to mess with of course.

  • Mike A

    Ditto on the derisive military comment from Pats. It makes no sense first of all. It has nothing to add as a criticism of Mccain. Secondly, does nothing to prop up Obama. Also on the remark about academia. More importantly than professors acting like social dunces is how they use their knowledge and experience, regardless of age or status or charm. Obama has taken his exceptional education and “limited” experience and has shook the world with his campaign. I think that’s a pretty impressive goal to set out on and meet, whether you love him OR hate him. I wonder how certain people, after hearing a speech like this, whether they are voting for him or not, could question his Patriotism of all things.

  • Mike A

    Also, there is a longer version of the speech on youtube. There is much more to hear.

  • Pats

    Dale, I won’t dispute with you. My point here is the loud questions that have been echoed about Obama’s experience without applouding his academic records.We can’t keep on digging for negative things and ignore the positive ones. Throughout his campaign he has been matured, cool headed and his speeches have thought provoking.
    We have seen many flaws on the very experience McCain campaign trail. This experience has been the object of support for John McCain. Can anyone show where he has demonstrated this experience in terms of judgement and authority in this campaign?
    Yes I agree that IQ drops with age. This is why drawing an old man’s experience parallel with a young man is flaw. People also disregard individual differences when they draw comparison. The two candidates’ backgrounds, endowments and positions within their respective families and society at large should have been considered.
    On a nutshell, Obama has given another touching speech. Like Mike A said, whether one likes him or not, his patriotism cannot be questioned now. McCain did the same but put the two speeches parallel and pick which speech denotes experience.

  • Pats

    Oh! I forgot to point out the most eminent fact. Did we see how Obama echoed the importance he bestows in educating the young? He time and time again emphasized the need to make college affordable to enable America produce the much needed scientists, technicians, engineers, economists that will not only pivote the economy but sustain and maintain it. This shows the value he nestows in KNOWLEDGE as the driver of power. I don’t think you doubt this because he has it and can give it. He’s a lecturer my friends!

  • dale

    Questioning patriotism is an approach that only appeals to ignorance, why on earth would you go through the harrowing task of trying to be the most powerful visible leader in the world I not for the love of country? It’s absurd.

    I never doubted Obama’s intelligence or ability to communicate and apply it. Indeed it has been incredibly impressive to see how quickly he has adapted and compensated for his lack of experience. That is of course a huge testament to his intelligence and his ability to lead and inspire a very impressive campaign. Who would have thought 18 months ago anyone would beat Hillary for the nomination? I certainly didn’t.

    I was only really playing devil’s advocate, but I stand by my opinion that many academics are gits. I don’t really mean to imply that Obama is in that category, merely that academia alone is no recommendation, as Military service alone also isn’t.

  • Pats

    Wholeheartedly right! I have no qualm about your you opinion! Like you said academic or military achievement is no recommendation. I was merely saying to all those who were wailing that Obama has no experience and therefore is not qualified to be president, not acknowledging his academic record. The very people paid respect to McCain’s experience without lamenting on his lack of academic acheivement.

  • Babs

    “Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach.” I believe Obama was the teacher in this scenerio. You insult millions of Americans with your elitist and less than intelligent argument of academia vs. experience.

    I actually sat through the live version of Obama’s speech, and for all his eloquent and “academically superior” words, it was the music they cranked up after his last word that showed the audacity of Obama.

    “oooh, baby. Here I am, signed, sealed, delivered, and I’m yours”. *L* Quite the cocky thing, isn’t he?

    I have a new name for Obama – Barack Dewey Obama.

  • Pats

    ” elitist and less than intelligent argument of academia vs. experience”. What do you mean? If I insult any American, I’m sorry. I was comparing the products of academic and experience, not offending any one. I also thought this is an academic forum where individuals discuss in hard but decent language to make their views known. Grateful if you will tell me how my comparison is elitist and less than intelligent?

  • Babs

    This argument:

    “Barack is an academician and that equips him with the to cut across any challenge. He was nutured to win. The acquisition of experience is secondary to knowledge. If McCain was as knowledgeable as Obama, he would not be running for presidency today. He would have done that when he was the age of Obama. He would not have enlisted in the army.”

    It’s less than intelligent to say that experience is secondary to knowledge, in my opinion, because the way I read your comments you’re insinuating that knowledge is strictly academic, that knowledge is somehow not gained though experience – an opinion that 16 year olds have about their parents most of the time. The most valuable knowledge is generally gained through experience.

    To believe that Obama, as an “academician” is better equipped to handle challenges than a man with decades of experience is elitist, and usually only espoused from those who cling to their academic credentials to compensate for a lack of real world experience. And that’s insulting.

  • Pats

    Babs, I’m sorry if you feel insulted. There’s a gap in our discussion. For whatever reason, we are not communicating. I don’t know how you read my comment that led you to think that I’m insinuating that knowledge is strictly academic. I talked about their difference in age but that did not mean anything to you, which is fine. With the trend things are going, by the time Obama reaches McCain’s age, people will not question his experience, but when will McCain reach Obama’s academic hieght? My entire comparison was to show the imbalance with the criticism that was made against Obama.

  • Babs

    “by the time Obama reaches McCain’s age, people will not question his experience, but when will McCain reach Obama’s academic hieght?”

    Why would you not think that McCain is already an equal to Obama’s “academic height”? Because Obama has an orator’s gift of gab? Do you honestly not believe that McCain is superior to Obama in intelligence virtually by means of those years of experience? You cannot separate the two in the present situation. Obama – no doubt – will become more intelligent if he pays attention in the coming years instead of insisting he already knows it all. And that’s what he does – he insists that his “academic superiority” lends itself to better judgment. Common sense says that’s an ignorant attitude, and common sense doesn’t come with a Harvard Degree. You get it with life experience.

    I’m not particularly insulted by your words, I was speaking of people in general, and I believe I said that. I understand your theory, I just believe it’s flawed.

  • Pats

    This is exactly what i said. The claim that McCain is superior is yet to be manifested. I guess for now I’ll drop this topic till Nov 5th. though victory in this election is not a yard stick to measure supiority.
    Common sense doesn’t come with a Harvard Degree just like experience in killing vietnamese does not make one a good president.

  • Babs

    Well, I think the fact that McCain is superior has already been manifested, that was the point of months of campaigning and listening. Now it will be up to the voters to decide whether they want a definite or a possibility.

    Be careful of your last statement. First, if being a soldier in Vietnam were McCain’s only qualification, I would agree with your analogy. Secondly, if being in Vietnam qualifed one to be President, my brother could be President after 3 tours in Vietnam, don’t you think? The days of spitting on our soldiers returning from Vietnam and labeling them “killers” is hopefully over. Let’s not revive it.

  • Pats

    Ok Babs I agree. I have to go now. Thanks for the discussion.

  • Mike A

    It’s so sad to see rhetorical skill constantly belittled by phrases like the “gift of gab”. Language is our gateway into each others’ minds and hearts, whether verbal or non-verbal. By working with a text-based medium like the internet, you are employing the “gift” to get your point across.

  • Not seeing your point Mike about the phrase “gift of the gab”. It’s a compliment used towards someone who is able to speak in a persuasive and interesting way.

    Perhaps you’re trying too hard to belittle the meaning of the phrase which actually makes you appear to belittling your understanding of it.