Published Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008 | 9:02 a.m.
Updated Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008 | 11:15 a.m.
The crowd has cleared out.
Obama’s summing-up speech, a mix of emotional appeal and bread-and-butter policy, fired up a crowd that was set to canvass later. It was strikingly similar to the one Nevadans first heard last winter, as Obama began his campaign.
The core policy points: cutting taxes for 95 percent of working families (he would raise them for those making more than $250,000 a year), giving tax credits to companies that create American jobs, investing $15 billion a year in renewable energy, providing near universal health care, investing in early childhood education and ending the war in Iraq.
Obama added he would “finish the fight with bin Laden and the al Qaeda terrorists who attacked us on 9/11.”
Though he said the campaign had a “righteous wind” at its back, he implored the audience to make phone calls and knock on doors.
“Don’t believe for a second this election is over. Don’t think for a minute that power concedes,” he said. “We have to work like our future depends on it in these last few days, because it does.”
Many in the crowd had come from California to volunteer for the weekend, and for those faithful the speech served as simple inspiration.
“I already heard everything he said,” said Dishawn Irwin, a 33-year-old radiation therapist who drove from Riverside, Calif. “I probably could repeat (the speech) verbatim at this point. It just made everything more real.”
Obama just finished, giving a fiery 25-minute speech and the crowd loved it, chanting his name.
The audience booed at the mention of John McCain's name.
"You don’t need to boo," Obama said. "You just need to vote."
The Democratic nominee is focusing on the themes he hit on at the beginning of his campaign. The core argument: He'll provide a new kind of politics and unite the country. And he told the crowd to expect more "slash and burn" campaigning from McCain in the final three days of the race.
On the economy in particular, Obama said he was the best candidate. McCain, he said, is offering the same policies of President Bush.
"That’s why he’s spending these last weeks calling me every name but a child of god," Obama said. "Because that's how you play the game in Washington. You make a big election about small things."
More to come.
Obama has arrived.
Nevada Sen. Harry Reid just gave an introductory speech.
"Every four years it’s the most important election of our lifetime," Reid said. "But you know, this time it’s true. Because America needs change more than ever. After eight long years of lost jobs, lower wages, after eight years of incompetence and neglect, after … the most significant foreign policy mistakes in the history of our great nation, we’re really all in this together."
"There’s only one candidate in this election who’s been someone who's been making the argument for change since the early days of the election."
Obama gave shout outs to Shelley Berkley, Dina Titus and Democratic state Senate canidate Shirley Breeden. Also special attention to D. Taylor and the Culinary Union.
Traveling press just arrived, which means the candidate is here. Waiting, listening to Brooks and Dunn’s “Only in America.”
Thousands have turned out to see Barack Obama in Henderson on his last visit to Nevada before Tuesday’s presidential election.
They’ve gathered at Coronado High School’s Cougar Stadium and parking came at a premium this morning. The parking lots of adjacent shopping centers and office parks filled to capacity, and supporters faced a roughly 20-minute walk around 8:30 a.m.
The campaign of state Sen. Dina Titus had a big street presence, complete with signs and volunteers. Street vendors galore too (Obama t-shirts are $10. Sample slogan: “Mission Possible,” on a black and pink baby doll tank-top.) A sharply dressed Sway Calloway, of MTV News, is also here.
Crowd numbers in the thousands but officials have cordoned off a large section of the football field. Campaign workers asked the crowd to canvass after today’s event. Waiting on Obama.