In a close election everything is important

Barack Obama at a campaign rally in Lima, Ohio 2 November 2012

The hangar-like fairground site was not the most inspiring venue - chilly and bare - but US President Barack Obama has certainly warmed up.

He bounced on to the stage, grinning broadly, grabbing hands and hugging supporters with something like joy.

It is amazing what a few days of crisis management can do. Or maybe it is improving opinion polls.

President Obama's new zeal is reflected in a new speech. The man who wrote it stood by the side silently mouthing the words as the president spoke.

Friday's jobs figures got a passing mention.

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"This morning, we learned that companies hired more workers in October than at any time in the last eight months," President Obama said.

But his message was more general.

"As long as there's a single American who wants a job and can't find one; as long as there are families working harder but falling behind; as long as there's a child anywhere in this country who's languishing in poverty, and barred from opportunity, our fight goes on. We've got more work to do."

'Real change'?

The president's voice is slightly hoarse, but he is now pounding his message, the repetitive rhythm familiar to many from Sunday services, roaring with a preacher's passion.

"I'm not ready to give up on the fight. I'm not ready to give up on the fight to make sure that the middle class is growing. I'm not ready to give up on the fight to make sure every child has opportunity."

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who held a big rally in Ohio tonight, does not scale these rhetorical heights, nor does he seem to have the same confidence that he had a week earlier.

He makes a point that he is not about words but deeds. He tells his audience that President Obama has clearly failed.

"He said that the unemployment rate would now be 5.2%. Today we learned that it is 7.9% - it is 9 million jobs short of what he promised," Mr Romney says. "Unemployment is higher today than when Barack Obama took office."

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And Mr Romney says he is the man to make a difference: "This is why I am running for president. I know how to change the course the nation is on, how to get us to a balanced budget and how to build jobs and rising take-home pay.

"Accomplishing real change is not something I just talk about - it is something I have done. And it is what I will do when I am president of the United States."

Although pundits and politicians pore over the monthly jobs figures, I am not sure how much impact they make. Most people are likely to look to their own experience.

Friday's statistics indicate what we all know: there is a recovery, but it is very slow.

But this close to such a tight election, everything is important. If one of the candidates' multiplication of figures by rhetoric adds up to just a handful of votes, that could equal victory.

The BBC will be providing full online live results of the US presidential election on 6 November. More details here

Mark Mardell Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell Presenter, The World This Weekend

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US Presidential Election 2012


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  • rate this

    Comment number 514.

    All for All (v),

    "This is...
    foolish nonsense"

    Then why post? …”

    I don’t know why margaret howard posted such foolish nonsense @489.
    Perhaps if you ask her she will tell you why.
    But I doubt it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 513.

    "Tens of thousands of people displaced by storm Sandy could soon need housing as cold weather closes in, New York's political leaders have warned.
    Homes without heat would become uninhabitable as temperatures fell, state Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

    Residents who had so far refused to leave their homes would have no other option." (BBC)

    Figures: Oh, that disastrous GW Bush and his FEMA.

  • rate this

    Comment number 512.

    "Strange when asked by pollsters the people involved identify themselves as Hispanic"

    Even stranger when some others (a a clear majority) have to identify themselves as 'Caucasians' (since not given any other option) although they are definitely not from Caucasus.

  • rate this

    Comment number 511.

    Obama should move to Europe, where they love him and hold his views on govt.'s role in people's lives

    Considering a real bankruptcy of Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and an imminent of Italy (the latter's bailout cost being ca 2 TRILLION euros] not many takers.

    Statist/wefare state model being clearly unsustainable.

    Though EU Commi-ssars refuse to admit it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 510.

    ok.. .every thing is important but that does not mean that a candidate as Romney shoudl be allowed to lie and promise what he cannot deliver so he can get in ... when we know he cannot deliver on promises... the only change he promises and will deliver is to change his mind.. Lets support truth, justice and the American way to a bright future vote Obama !


Comments 5 of 514



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