A few more surrogates have been brought into the mainstream campaign to help Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain in a few key battleground states. Former Vice President Al Gore is now closing for Obama in Florida while California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger stopped in Ohio on McCain’s behalf.
Story on Gore from The Trail:
SARASOTA, Fla. — Al Gore, who lost his 2000 race for the White House when he fell 537 votes short in Florida, will headline a pair of rallies for Barack Obama on Friday in the land of the butterfly ballot and the hanging chad.
Gore will campaign in vote-rich Broward and Palm Beach counties, the site of some of the most extraordinary scenes of the post-election battle for Florida and the presidency — a battle ended by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision with 1.6 million votes never recounted.
“Nobody knows better that every single vote counties — especially in Florida — than Vice President Al Gore,” Obama state director Steve Schale said in a written statement. Gore will be urging people to vote early “so no amount of chads, butterflies or undervotes can stand between Floridians and the change we need.”
Gore is part of a stronger-than-expected Obama push in Florida. The Illinois Democrat has held three rallies in less than 24 hours, with 35,000 people showing up on an unseasonably cold night in Kissimmee on Wednesday to see him campaign with former president Bill Clinton.
Polls show a close race in a state where a victory would likely seal Obama’s capture of the White House eight years after Gore fell agonizingly short.
Video of Gore campaigning for Obama, reminding Democrats where they were 8 years ago:
Report from the LA Times on Schwarzenegger and McCain:
Reporting from Columbus, Ohio — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, known here for his annual bodybuilding competition, the Arnold Classic, lent his celebrity Friday to fellow Republican John McCain, predicting a comeback for the Arizona senator in this must-win state.
It was night of elaborate stagecraft as the former movie star and the presidential candidate rolled into the Nationwide Arena on McCain’s bus and spoke in front of a set made to look like a red barn with wooden crates of apples piled strategically for the cameras.
“You all look terrific. You look all pumped; you look ready to elect John McCain president of the United States,” said Schwarzenegger, who offered a new twist on McCain’s military service and the 5 1/2 years he spent in a North Vietnamese prison after being shot down in the war.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, “I only play an action hero in my movies, but John McCain is a real action hero.”
McCain, who likes to joke that he and Schwarzenegger have “many similar attributes,” watched with a wide grin what amounted to an opening comedy act, before giving a noticeably pumped-up rendition of his stump speech, vowing to win Ohio and the White House.
“Arnold said it best,” McCain said. ” ‘The Mac is back.’ ”
It was the second time Schwarzenegger had sought to rescue a presidential candidate in the arena. The governor, whose political clout in Ohio comes from his bodybuilding days in the state, where he won the Mr. World title, also performed a star turn four years ago, almost to the day, for President Bush.
Video report on the Schwarzenegger/McCain event from Sky News:
Rolling out the surrogates always creates a bit of press, however, does it sway voters?