by Kevin Flynn - Sunday October 19 2008 10:20:17 AM
From the Kansas City Star:
The message from Barack Obama on Saturday night might have been John McCain’s: It’s not over till it’s over.
... on a sun-splashed October day [Obama] spoke at the Liberty Memorial to a crowd estimated at perhaps 75,000 by a Kansas City parks official. Under the Arch in St. Louis, it had been even better — 80,000 to 100,000.
...“We are 17 days away from changing this country,” Obama said as the darkness of evening descended in Kansas City. “Seventeen days. But we can’t get overconfident. We can’t be cocky. This election is too important to take anything for granted.”
Obama’s message Saturday was all taxes and economy. Casting the tax debate as a “values” issue, Obama said his Republican opponent is “out of touch” for equating welfare with the Illinois senator’s plan to cut taxes for middle-class families.
“It comes down to values — in America, do we simply value wealth, or do we value the work that creates it?” Obama said in Kansas City.
“That’s right, Missouri — John McCain is so out of touch with the struggles you are facing that he must be the first politician in history to call a tax cut for working people ‘welfare.’ ”
...“The only ‘welfare’ in this campaign is John McCain’s plan to give another $200 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest corporations.”
Among the tax cuts Obama proposes is a tax credit of as much as $500, depending on income. As part of his plan, millions of individuals and families who do not make enough money to pay income taxes would receive their cut in the form of a government check, known as a refundable tax credit.
He repeated his call for a tax cut that will impact 95 percent of all workers, listing the firefighter, the nurse, the teacher, the waitress, the janitor and “yes, the plumber.”
...The St. Louis crowd may have been his biggest since he began his run two years ago, perhaps topping the 80,000-plus who packed the football stadium in Denver to hear Obama’s acceptance speech.
His speech in Kansas City was the same as in St. Louis and was wide-ranging, even touching on child rearing and tire inflation.
But he mostly addressed the uncertain economic times.
“We can do this because we have done it before. We have parents and grandparents who have faced tougher times.”
As he has for months, he emphasized that the country cannot afford another four years like the last eight.
...“Well, Missouri, here’s what my opponent doesn’t seem to understand,” Obama said. “With the economy in turmoil and the American dream at risk, the American people don’t want to hear politicians attack each other. You want to hear about how we’re going to attack the challenges facing middle-class families every day.”
From the Miami Herlad:
An estimated 100,000 people showed up in St. Louis Saturday morning to hear Obama speak at the Gateway Arch - the largest crowd ever to hear Obama in the United States.
Saturday evening, a crowd estimated at more than 75,000 thronged the Liberty Memorial near downtown Kansas City for an Obama rally.
With just 17 days to go before the election, campaign aides said they hope to turn out comparable crowds in other battleground states.
"This is the home stretch and our primary goal is to capture the excitement and energy that's surrounded this race," said Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki. To turn out large crowds, the campaign is choosing outdoor venues with virtually unlimited capacity.
Good weather - like Saturday's in Missouri - helps. Meanwhile, volunteers in dozens of Obama field offices in each of the battleground states are tapping phone and email lists to urge his supporters to turn out for the weekend rallies.
...Obama adopted new rhetoric, saying McCain's plans to continue President Bush's tax cuts amounted to corporate welfare and reflected his values.
"It comes down to values," Obama said. "In America, do we simply value wealth, or do we value the work that creates it?"
From the Associated Press:
Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden says he's optimistic that Barack Obama will be elected president, but he cautioned supporters on Saturday not to be too confident.
The Delaware senator noted that Democrats Al Gore and John Kerry were also well ahead in polls just weeks before Election Day in 2000 and 2004, but both lost their presidential contests to President Bush.
"We've been here before. We've been poised to win the presidential election," Biden said. "The last two times we underestimated how successful virulent attacks are."
...The vice presidential candidate warned supporters that the campaign will get "ugly" over the next 17 days, noting that Republican John McCain's campaign has started making automated telephone calls "sending in the most scurrilous stuff you've heard."
...Biden said if they're elected, he and Obama would assemble "one of the finest economic teams in the history of this country" to ensure that the United States remains a leader in the 21st century. He said "the underlying elements of this economy are in real trouble."
From ABC KSPR-TV:
"I'm counting on all of you in Missouri to break a record on November 4th, and turn this state blue," said Dr. Jill Biden.
With just more than two weeks remaining until the general election, a visit to Springfield from the wife of vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden was all about rallying the troops.
"This is a moment that comes once in a generation. This is Barrack's and Joe's moment. This is your moment. So, thank you. Thank you for all you're doing," said Biden.
Saturday dozens of democratic party volunteers gathered at Ozark Technical Community College for some last minute training and their chance to see the doctor in person.
"It's making history for my life, and I would just like to be an example for other people," said Sheila Taylor, who was among those in attendance says it's time for change.
"We are faithful and committed to doing things like going to our jobs. Well, if we don't get Obama in office, ya'll won't have no job. So, we need to stay faithful and committed to getting him in office," said Taylor.
..."We're going to make the difference in women's lives, whether it's healthcare, education, or energy policies. These are the things women care about for their families, and I think they are going to make the right choice," said Biden.
She is also the mother of a son serving in Iraq, and notes that while she supports the troops, she strongly favors ending the war.
Biden also says she is surprised the battle for the White House has also grown with so much attention on the second in command.
"It was just amazing. I mean, it was just amazing for me and Joe to be a part of this historic election. It's important for the voters too, to be a part of this historic election," said Biden.
Biden went on to say that the country can't endure four more years of the same policies, ans says she feels strongly that Americans will vote for change come November 4th.
Before his event here [in Kansas City] Saturday evening, Obama stopped by his campaign headquarters, where he surprised a group of volunteers who were phone banking.
The senator spoke to about two dozen people the volunteers reached on the phone, including an elderly woman who said she believed she may have worked with his grandmother on a bomber assembly line.
He thanked people who said they were already voting for him and spoke with one person about his health-care plan, with another about electronic medical records and told a mother with a son serving in Iraq to thank him for his service.
...As often happens, some of the callers could not quite believe it was really Obama on the phone. At one point, he sparked laughter when he said: "Well, I'm calling because we're hoping that you're gonna go to the polls and vote for me. Well, yeah I'm sure it's Barack. I've been Barack all my life."
...Before leaving, Obama encouraged the volunteers to work "tirelessly" in these final days to help him win Missouri.