Right when you think you’re tired of this endless campaign, Obama kicks you in the gut. Hey, wake up. This just got real. Do you want this guy as your president, or the cold vulture capitalist who wants to harvest America for profit?
Last night’s rally wasn’t just any rally. It was the last Obama rally. It was an emotional night in Des Moines, Iowa as the President gave his last speech at a campaign rally for himself, ever.
Watch here (Obama starts around 11 minutes):
Iowa is where it all started for Obama with his 2008 caucus victory, and Monday evening he ended his campaign there. Back in 2008, no one even knew how to pronounce his name.
An estimated 20,000 of the President’s supporters turned out in fired up droves Monday night, braving the cold. The rally was held just yards from from his 2008 campaign headquarters. The sense of having come full circle permeated his remarks. Obama set the tone, asking, “I came back to ask you to help us finish what we’ve started, because this is where our movement for change began.”
The President, appearing confident and a bit sentimental, wiped away a tear or two while talking about those who have supported his campaign. He said, “It’s out of my hands now. It’s in your hands.” He spoke of the journey and all that’s been accomplished, and how grateful he’s been to serve Americans. He spent time on a story about the origins of “fired up, ready to go”, which started with a Greenville, South Carolina woman named Edith Childs. He ended the story saying that he had called Ms. Childs to ask if she wanted to come to Monday’s rally and she said she’d love to, but she has work to do for his campaign in North Carolina.
Obama called his 2008 victory in Iowa “a movement that spread across the country.”
The President urged everyone to vote, saying, “From the granite of New Hampshire to the Rockies of Colorado, from the coast lines of Florida to Virginia’s rolling hills, from the valleys of Ohio to these Iowa fields, we will keep America moving forward.”
There was no mention of his opponent, Mitt Romney. The speech was pure 2008 Obama, lyrical and uplifting though newly nostalgic. When he told the crowd, “I’ve come back to Iowa one more time to ask for your vote” it really hit home that this is the last time he will be campaigning for elected office.
It also hit home that even though Nate Silver had Obama up to around 314 at this point, he might not win. Suddenly all of the “disappointments” and frustrations seemed to fall away and there was just this man who clearly cares about all Americans, standing there with a tear on his cheek, telling us how grateful he was to have had a chance to serve us.
The idea of Mitt Romney filling his shoes is unthinkable.
A supporter told the Omaha that the President had done well in his first four years, noting that while the economic recovery was slow there were global forces at work and competition from other countries. She said, “With all the obstruction and name calling and pettiness, I think he did pretty well. He never lost his cool.”
No. He never did, not even when Joe Wilson yelled, “You lie!” No drama, Obama.
Bruce Springsteen played “We Take Care of Our Own” before Michelle Obama took the stage with a heartfelt speech. Michelle pointed out that this was the last campaign event of her husband’s career, saying, “So this is the last time that he and I will be on stage together at a campaign rally.” She focused on how well they’ve been treated by Americans for the last four years, and what an honor it was to serve us. Not a word about this being “hard”.
The Obamas will spend Tuesday in Chicago, having dinner at home after a day of interviews, followed by an election watch party with supporters.
If you love this country or even just like it a little bit, vote.
Image credit: REUTERS/Jason Reed