by Kevin Flynn - Monday October 13 2008 08:16:34 AM
From the Toledo Blade:
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama arrived in Toledo yesterday for the start of three days of intensive preparation for Wednesday's final presidential debate, but he first made an unscheduled stop in a Springfield Township neighborhood to canvass for votes.
The candidate surprised residents of the working-class Lincoln Green neighborhood off McCord Road when his motorcade made the unannounced stop on the way in from Toledo Express Airport.
Wearing a white shirt, suit trousers, and no tie, Mr. Obama chatted, joked, hugged, posed, and debated for 45 minutes with the folks of Shrewsbury Street who came out of their homes to meet him.
...Tom Puhl, 63, a retired electrical designer, said he had made up his mind in favor of Senator Obama early. He said the neighborhood has a lot of empty, foreclosed homes.
'He came off completely genuine and that's what impresses me,' Mr. Puhl said.
In his appeal to middle-class voters, especially since the onset of the current financial meltdown, Mr. Obama has focused on the right of people to have jobs.
...He vowed to focus on bringing jobs back to Ohio and America, rebuilding and strengthening the middle class.
'Toledo is at the cutting edge of this effort, with some of the leading manufacturers of solar panels in the country, fueled by a strong research program at the University of Toledo,' he said.
Mr. Obama said America's promise includes access to a job that 'lets you live out your dreams for your family'; 'the guarantee of health care you can afford and education that helps your kids compete,' and 'if you serve in the uniform of this great country, you receive the care and benefits you deserve.'
...On the street in Springfield Township, Mr. Obama talked sports with several young men, discussed the price of gas and milk, described Congress's $700 billion economic rescue, and shook many hands. Obama chatted with Mike Klear, 36, a truck driver who hauls steel for automakers, and who told Mr. Obama he had been hard hit by skyrocketing gas prices.
Mr. Klear said he supported Hillary Clinton in her victory over Mr. Obama in the state's March 4 Democratic primary, but now he's backing Mr. Obama.
...As Mr. Obama left, he said, 'I've got to go prepare for this debate, but that was pretty good practice.'
From the Toledo Blade:
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland praised Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama last night and compared the senator's vision for America to that of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt by likening the difficulties faced by the nation in the 1930s to those of today.
..."We have gone from a time when jobs were being created and unemployment was going down, when more of our people were being lifted out of poverty, when health care was being made available to more of our people, especially our children," he said. "We are finding that more of our people are losing their jobs and losing their health care, and losing their pensions and too many Ohioans and Americans are losing hope."
Mr. Strickland told the crowd of more than 350 people that he recently had read President Roosevelt's first inaugural address - a speech made famous by the phrase: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
"You look at this inaugural address and it could have been written yesterday because, as you know, FDR came to the office of the presidency at a time when our country was suffering, people were losing homes, credit was short, bankruptcies were all over the place, and it was a dark time," he said before quoting passages from the speech.
"FDR told the truth but also gave people hope, and FDR provided the leadership as I believe Barack Obama will provide leadership to get us out of the condition we are in and to move us forward," Mr. Strickland said.
The governor proclaimed: "Those are the words of FDR in 1933. They ought to be the words of our national leaders today in 2008. We must put our people to work, we must consider what is right for the common good of all of us, and I am convinced Barack Obama is the man to do that."
From the Washington Post:
"It took a Democratic president to clean up after the last President Bush; it's going to take a Democratic president to clean up after this president," Clinton said Sunday at a loud rally here, where she appeared with vice presidential nominee Biden.
...Many in the crowd wore "Hillary Sent Me" buttons, and the senator received a louder reception than did the former president. She was unsparing in her praise of both men on the Democratic ticket.
"Barack Obama and Joe Biden are for you, and that's why I am for Barack Obama and Joe Biden," Clinton said. "My friends, this is an all-hands-on-deck moment for America. We've got to work hard, and we've got to work together. This is a fight for the future, and it is a fight we must win."
Clinton said she looked forward to "being on the back lawn of the White House, on a beautiful day like this, when President Obama signs into law quality, affordable health care for you and you and you."
On that day, Biden responded, Obama will hand the signing pen to Clinton for her work on the issue. He lavishly praised the senator from New York, saying, "Hillary and I truly, truly are friends."
Biden also delivered a tough speech about his "old friend" McCain, hammering the Republican for his reaction to the financial meltdown. He reminded the audience, in what has become a standard Democratic repetition, that McCain's initial response Sept. 15 to the turmoil on Wall Street was that the fundamentals of the U.S. economy were "sound," followed several hours later by his saying that the economy was in "crisis."
Hillary Clinton is scheduled to campaign Monday in the "collar" suburbs around Philadelphia...
...[Pennsylvania] Gov. Edward G. Rendell, a strong Clinton supporter now working hard for Obama, said he believes the Democrat is in surprisingly good shape.
Obama is "doing as well in central Pennsylvania as any Democrat has done in a long time," said Rendell, who said economic worries have trumped any cultural concerns about Obama.
Democratic voter registration is up about 500,000 since 2004, and there are 1.2 million more Democrats than Republicans in the state.
The recent news has been such that Hillary Clinton felt the need to issue a warning.
"Sure, the polls show Barack and Joe ahead now, and that's good news," she said, but "nobody should be lulled into any false sense of security."
From the Los Angeles Times:
U.S. Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Joe Biden made a triumphant homecoming to this hardscrabble coal-mining city Sunday, where they laid blame for the nation's worsening economic woes at the feet of the Republicans and their nominee John McCain, even as they exhorted their supporters to work hard until election day.
Making a direct appeal to the blue-collar voters who did not support Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama in the state's hard-fought April primary, Clinton, Biden and former President Bill Clinton warned of continued economic hardship for the middle class if McCain captures the White House.
"All across Pennsylvania, folks are trying to figure out what all this tough economic news means for them and their families," said Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee who spent his first 10 years in this city's Green Ridge neighborhood. "For too many American families, the economy didn't start collapsing a year ago . . . it started collapsing eight years ago."
Working families, Biden told a crowd of about 6,000 at an indoor soccer complex here, were asking themselves "questions that are as simple as they are profound" -- whether they'll remain employed and be able to fill their gas tanks, and whether their homes will retain their value.
In each case, Biden argued, "McCain and [running mate] Sarah Palin and this administration have been unwilling or unable to answer."
...The Clintons will campaign in key battleground states in the three weeks before election day. After a brief speech, President Clinton left for a campaign event in Virginia.
Sen. Clinton said she had been "crisscrossing the country" to campaign for Obama and Biden.
"This election is too important to sit on the sidelines," she said. "I haven't spent 35 years fighting in the trenches . . . to see another Republican in the White House squander the promise to our nation."
From the Portsmouth Herald News:
... only a single percentage point separated the winner from the loser in the last two presidential contests in the state.
Democrat Barack Obama's campaign has more than 100 staffers and 17 campaign offices around the state, spokeswoman Sandra Abrevaya said. The campaign also has thousands of volunteers working to get out the vote.
"The organization here on the ground since the primary has grown tremendously through the general election months," said Abrevaya. "As much attention as New Hampshire gets in the primary, the amount of resources and staff attention being invested in this state (during) the general election is unprecedented."
...The Democratic effort includes a program that asks volunteers to contact people they know within their communities. Those involved include Anita Freedman, a former Democratic National Committee member from Portsmouth.
"Most of them are people I know so I can really talk to them one-to-one," said Freedman. "If it's someone who knows me, it makes it easier than if it was a stranger."
Ellen Roy, a 57-year-old volunteer from Manchester, was among hundreds of Democratic volunteers out canvassing last weekend.
"There seems to be a lot of energy in New Hampshire, which I've never seen before," Roy said. "There are a lot of people my age who are getting involved."