Obama tearful at last rally

2012-11-06 08:15

Des Moines - An emotional President Barack Obama ended his final campaign on Monday in Iowa, the place that launched his first White House bid and that could hold the key to his political future.

After two days of nearly round-the-clock travel to the battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Colorado, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, Obama ended his tour in Des Moines with a speech that harkened back to his 2008 campaign.

"I've come back to Iowa one more time to ask for your vote. I came back to ask you to help us finish what we've started, because this is where our movement for change began," he told a crowd of some 20 000 people.

Obama's voice broke and he wiped away tears from his eyes as he reflected on those who had helped his campaign.

The night rally was the last one of Obama's 2012 re-election effort. Unlike Republican rival Mitt Romney, who has stops planned in Pennsylvania and Ohio on Election Day, Obama is scheduled to spend all of Tuesday in his hometown of Chicago.

Swing state

In 2008 Iowa propelled Obama to the Democratic presidential nomination when it backed him during its caucuses, the country's first presidential nominating contest. Obama beat then rival Hillary Clinton for their party's nomination and went on to best Republican Senator John McCain for the White House.

This year Iowa is another swing state with six electoral votes that could give him the edge in the race against Romney, the former Massachusetts governor.

Obama has talked wistfully about this being his final campaign in recent months, but his show of emotion was rare. Obama grew teary at the end of his 2008 campaign as well when his grandmother died shortly before Election Day.

Obama reminisced about that campaign and repeated a promise that he has not dwelled on this year: the inspirational pledge to change the world.

Obama told the story of the woman who coined the chant "Fired up, ready to go," a phrase that came to symbolise his 2008 campaign.

"That shows you what one voice can do. One voice can change a room. And if it can change a room, it can change a city. And if it can change a city, it can change a state. And if it can change a state, it can change a nation. And if it can change a nation, it can change the world," he said.

"Iowa, in 2008 your voice changed the world."

First lady Michelle Obama, who has crisscrossed the United States headlining political events for her husband, joined the president for the rally.

"Truly, this is where it all began - right here," she said to cheers from the crowd.

Obama has travelled to Iowa 12 times this year, according to his campaign.

  • sachasea - 2012-11-06 08:38

    Crocodile tears no doubt.

      sachasea - 2012-11-06 09:11

      Truth hurts

  • tom.guy.37669528 - 2012-11-06 08:45

    Been polishing up your drama skills Obama? Or maybe your just crying about all your broken promises..

  • stephen.j.dickson.3 - 2012-11-06 08:47

    Cry Baby. Just like Cry Baby Kenneth Kaunda, he with the table cloths for handkerchiefs.........bottom line.

  • kobus.hattingh.5 - 2012-11-06 08:51

    I would also cry if I was him. No more white house, private jet and a world to tell all his pipe dreams :)

  • justin.frittelli - 2012-11-06 09:11

    If you loose today Barack we will give you instant citizenship to South africa, oh how we could do with someone like you as our President!

      sachasea - 2012-11-06 09:29

      Not on my watch. Speak for yourself Justin. Maybe the Kenyans will take him though.

      dmitri.dumas.9 - 2012-11-06 09:29

      Zuma or Obama - sheesh. Well I suppose he could help SA also go into 16 Trillion debt. Ok, now I wait for the thumbs down :)

      lesvokli.pitsiladi - 2012-11-06 12:45

      dmitri - Its Bush's wars in the middle east and having to bail out his corrupt banker buddies that has given future American tax payers a tax bill of $16 trillion.

  • stephen.j.dickson.3 - 2012-11-06 11:13

    Makes one ask the question. Why is Obama black? Is he sick??????

  • auntie.lebo - 2012-11-06 11:30

    Obama is a good guy but not a great leader he's a people pleaser.

  • chantel.strydom.127 - 2012-11-06 13:17

    Team Obama!!

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