President Obama, resuming his re-election campaign after spending the last several days tending to Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, kicked off his final sprint of the 2012 election making closing argument to voters through three states and three time zones.
Wearing a brown leather bomber jacket in the frigid Wisconsin air — a token of the commander-in-chief’s office — Obama modulated between hitting Republican Mitt Romney and striking a hopeful and optimistic tone that harked back to the tenor of the closing days of the 2008 race when he was the “change” candidate. With Romney closing his campaign telling voters that he’ll bring the change they’re seeking, Obama said his Republican challenger would only institute the same policies that voters sought to change four years ago.
“We know what change looks like, and what the governor is offering sure ain’t change,” Obama said. “After four years as president you know me by now. You may not agree with every decision I’ve made, you may be frustrated at the pace of change but you know what I believe, you know where I stand.”
Obama cast himself as the “champion” for the Middle Class. Saturating his remarks with the words “we” and “change,” he repeatedly told the 2,600 supporters gathered on the airport tarmac that fighting for the needed change would take time and pledged that if they awarded him with another four years in office, he’d continue to work to change the nature of politics.
“Their bet is on cynicism, but Wisconsin my bet is on you,” Obama said. “As long as there’s a single American who wants a job but can’t find one, our work isn’t done.”
“We have everything we need to thrive in this new economy in this new century and there’s not a country on earth that wouldn’t trade places with the United States of America,” Obama said.
Obama began his remarks on a somber yet uplifting note, discussing the ongoing efforts to recover from Sandy’s devastation. He honored the courage of all those affected, saying it demonstrates that people can rise above politics during such a bitterly divisive period, just a few days from the election.
“For the past few days all of us have been focused on one of the worst storms of our lifetimes,” he said in Green Bay, Wisconsin. “We’ve also been inspired these past few days because when disaster strikes we see America at its best. All the petty differences that consume us in normal times all seem to melt away. There are no democrats or republicans during a storm, there are just fellow Americans.”