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 North America editor

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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 !

  • rate this

    Comment number 509.

    506. you must be right

    Sorry, humour should not be allowed. Bad hair day.

    Just don't start talking about hair care. We've had enough gratuitous "care" from our compassionate Obama. ;-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 508.

    501. Curt Carpenter

    AndreaNY@387" Maybe put a dollar in the jar..."

    No, it's the "Obama Excuse Jar". It would fill up every hour here. Hide your money. You'd be a top contributor.

  • Comment number 507.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 506.

    467Arthur Daley

    'Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe' Theodore Roosevelt


    And it's so annoying how it keeps getting in your eyes.

    Sorry, humour should not be allowed. Bad hair day.

  • Comment number 505.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 504.

    Sound D

    471:Social Living is the Best

    Careful, too much ganja can Burn the Spear:) I get the ref. So let's not join in with hate. There's too much on both sides. I read 27% of US Americans say the election damaged a personal relationship.

    499:The youths them nowadays can't get no job

    Not if that's a model for their job interview patter:):(

    Love is all we need?? Love your neighbour.

  • Comment number 503.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 502.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 501.

    AndreaNY@387" Maybe put a dollar in the jar..."

    Every time Romney changes his position on an issue?

    Every time an economist tells Romney his numbers don't add up?

    Every time Romney promises to "Get Tough" with another country?

    Every time Romney assures the far right that he really will end Roe v. Wade & the A.C.A.?

    Every time a Republican denies that (s)he ever voted for George Bush?

  • rate this

    Comment number 500.

    Despite the majority of the media being in the tank for Obama it is sad that so many Obama supporters refuse to blame him for anything.

    Gridlock and refusal to work with others, selling out allies, corrupt justice dept, Behngazi, fast and furious, union favortism, bad economy

    you see nothing wrong

  • Comment number 499.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 498.

    "This is...
    foolish nonsense"

    Then why post?

    Perhaps you will explain how much more or less 'democratic' was 1930s Germany before and after each twist of the trail… perhaps by telling of processes, and due authorities, and popular votes, and 'educational' activities

    Wealth-cushioned US & UK may appear 'more democratic' than say emergent Russia, but have a care my anti-equal friend

  • rate this

    Comment number 497.

    Obama "screwed"
    Romney "for all"

    As long as we collectively 'go along with' being pitted against each other, every move - for growth or for relief - will seem & be 'good for some bad for others', all dangerously lacking connection with 'what we produce together'

    The spirit in history of many individuals, businesses, peoples, may inspire

    But to be built upon, with care & reason

  • Comment number 496.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 495.

    margaret howard (489),

    “482 All

    "WHEN has US even heard of REAL democracy"

    Never …”

    That is foolish nonsense to post here near the end of the latest of a routine, day to day process of electing our Local, State, and Federal governments.

    I presume that you also claim that the UK also is not a democracy.


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