CONCORD, N.H. -- President Obama will end his last day of campaigningMonday in the state where his presidential drive began: Iowa.
Obamahosts a rally the eve of Election Day in Des Moines exactly four years,10 months and two days after his victory in the 2008 Iowa Democraticcaucuses propelled him to his party's nomination, and on to the WhiteHouse.
"I started my presidential journey right here," Obama saidduring a Saturday re-election rally in another frequently visited Iowacity, Dubuque.
Before Iowa, Obama also headlines last-day ralliesin Wisconsin and Ohio. Right around midnight, Obama is scheduled totravel back to his home in Chicago, where he is scheduled to spendElection Day itself.
The Des Moines event caps a frantic stretchin which the incumbent president has focused on eight swing states thatwill likely decide his race against Republican challenger Mitt Romney:Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia, Florida, Colorado, Nevada and NewHampshire.
On Sunday, from the blustery winds here in Concord tothe sunny skies of Hollywood, Fla., Obama echoed a "final argument"stump speech in which he said his domestic policies are reviving aneconomy near collapse in 2008, and that his foreign policies are forginga safer world.
Duringan outdoor rally at the old state courthouse in chilly Concord, Obamatold 14,000 supporters that "we have made real progress," citing jobincreases, the health care law, new financial regulations and educationand energy programs. He promoted the end of the war in Iraq, thewinding down of the war in Afghanistan and the 2010 raid that killedterrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
Obama also sought to revive warmmemories of the economic boom of the 1990s, saying his policies arebasically the same as those of Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton. Theformer president joined Obama on the stump in New Hampshire, as well asduring a Saturday event at a music pavilion in Northern Virginia.
Meanwhile,Obama sought to link Romney with Republican George W. Bush. Obama saidthat, like Bush, Romney would cut taxes for the rich and reduceregulations on business, and again cripple the economy. Tuesday'selection is a choice "between a return to the top-down policies thatcrashed our economy, and an economy that's built from the middle out andthe bottom up and creates a strong, growing middle class," Obama saidin New Hampshire.
In his final weekend dash, Obama said he iscreating change, while Romney wants to return to a discreditedRepublican past. "We know what change looks like, and what he's sellingain't it," Obama said of Romney during his stop in Hollywood, Fla.
Thefinal day begins with a rally in Madison. While Wisconsin has been aDemocratic state in recent presidential elections, Obama is trying tofend off a late charge by Romney and running mate Paul Ryan, a BadgerState native. The president plays the celebrity card in Madison;singer/songwriter Bruce Springsteen is scheduled to perform there.
Heand his entourage then journey to what may be the biggest state of all:Ohio. A rally at Nationwide Arena in Columbus will also featureSpringsteen, as well as musician Jay-Z.
The president then takesthe sentimental journey to Iowa. First lady Michelle Obama willintroduce her husband at the rally in the historic Des Moines commercialand residential area known as East Village.
Obama has oftenexpressed his fondness for the Hawkeye State. His 2008 win thereestablished him as a formidable national candidate. He rode thatmomentum all the way to the White House.
Obama campaign spokesmanBen LaBolt said Iowa is a place of "special importance" for thepresident and his supporters. "That's where we proved in 2008 thatpeople coming together to organize their communities was still the mostpowerful force in American politics and the way to bring change," hesaid.