President Obama speaks during a campaign event at McArthur High School in Hollywood, Fla. on Sunday.(Photo: Terry Renna, AP)
CONCORD, N.H. -- President Obama will end his last day of campaigning
Monday in the state where his presidential drive began: Iowa.
hosts 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 Democratic
caucuses propelled him to his party's nomination, and on to the White
MORE: Romney makes late pushes in battleground states
"I started my presidential journey right here," Obama said
during a Saturday re-election rally in another frequently visited Iowa
Before Iowa, Obama also headlines last-day rallies
in Wisconsin and Ohio. Right around midnight, Obama is scheduled to
travel back to his home in Chicago, where he is scheduled to spend
Election Day itself.
The Des Moines event caps a frantic stretch
in which the incumbent president has focused on eight swing states that
will likely decide his race against Republican challenger Mitt Romney:
Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia, Florida, Colorado, Nevada and New
MORE: Final Swing States Poll: Fired-up voters split, 48%-48%
On Sunday, from the blustery winds here in Concord to
the sunny skies of Hollywood, Fla., Obama echoed a "final argument"
stump speech in which he said his domestic policies are reviving an
economy near collapse in 2008, and that his foreign policies are forging
a safer world.
an outdoor rally at the old state courthouse in chilly Concord, Obama
told 14,000 supporters that "we have made real progress," citing job
increases, the health care law, new financial regulations and education
and energy programs. He promoted the end of the war in Iraq, the
winding down of the war in Afghanistan and the 2010 raid that killed
terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
MORE: Obama's early-voting leader smaller than in 2008
Obama also sought to revive warm
memories of the economic boom of the 1990s, saying his policies are
basically the same as those of Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton. The
former president joined Obama on the stump in New Hampshire, as well as
during a Saturday event at a music pavilion in Northern Virginia.
Obama sought to link Romney with Republican George W. Bush. Obama said
that, like Bush, Romney would cut taxes for the rich and reduce
regulations on business, and again cripple the economy. Tuesday's
election is a choice "between a return to the top-down policies that
crashed our economy, and an economy that's built from the middle out and
the bottom up and creates a strong, growing middle class," Obama said
in New Hampshire.
MORE: Election Day countdown: what voters need to now
In his final weekend dash, Obama said he is
creating change, while Romney wants to return to a discredited
Republican past. "We know what change looks like, and what he's selling
ain't it," Obama said of Romney during his stop in Hollywood, Fla.
final day begins with a rally in Madison. While Wisconsin has been a
Democratic state in recent presidential elections, Obama is trying to
fend off a late charge by Romney and running mate Paul Ryan, a Badger
State native. The president plays the celebrity card in Madison;
singer/songwriter Bruce Springsteen is scheduled to perform there.
and his entourage then journey to what may be the biggest state of all:
Ohio. A rally at Nationwide Arena in Columbus will also feature
Springsteen, as well as musician Jay-Z.
The president then takes
the sentimental journey to Iowa. First lady Michelle Obama will
introduce her husband at the rally in the historic Des Moines commercial
and residential area known as East Village.
Obama has often
expressed his fondness for the Hawkeye State. His 2008 win there
established him as a formidable national candidate. He rode that
momentum all the way to the White House.
Obama campaign spokesman
Ben LaBolt said Iowa is a place of "special importance" for the
president and his supporters. "That's where we proved in 2008 that
people coming together to organize their communities was still the most
powerful force in American politics and the way to bring change," he