Obama Makes His Closing Arguments Sunday is President Obama's last day on the road before Tuesday's midterm elections. His get-out-the-vote effort took him to Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Illinois on Saturday. On Sunday, he'll fire up the base at one last big rally in Ohio.
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Obama Makes His Closing Arguments

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Obama Makes His Closing Arguments

Obama Makes His Closing Arguments

Obama Makes His Closing Arguments

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Sunday is President Obama's last day on the road before Tuesday's midterm elections. His get-out-the-vote effort took him to Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Illinois on Saturday. On Sunday, he'll fire up the base at one last big rally in Ohio.

LIANE HANSEN, Host:

NPR White House correspondent Ari Shapiro is traveling with the president.

ARI SHAPIRO: President Obama last visited Philadelphia just a few weeks ago. On that trip, thousands of supporters cheered him on at a sunny outdoor rally. This visit to Temple University was shorter, the crowd was smaller, and the president cut right to the chase.

SHAPIRO: Now, I am not here to give a long speech because I want everybody out there, not in here.

SHAPIRO: True to his word, he spoke for less than seven minutes. The president stood in front of maps of Philadelphia and urged people to fan out across the city. He said coming to a 20,000-person rally, like the one a few weeks ago, is fun but that's not the hard part.

SHAPIRO: What I need this weekend is 20,000 doors knocked on by all the volunteers who are here today.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

SHAPIRO: After the Temple University rally, President Obama stopped for lunch at the Famous 4th Street Delicatessen. It's a traditional Jewish deli that serves kishka, whitefish salad, and pastrami piled like a skyscraper.

(SOUNDBITE OF CONVERSATIONS)

SHAPIRO: You guys already eaten or are you...

(SOUNDBITE OF CONVERSATIONS)

SHAPIRO: Oh, everybody is in line right now?

U: We're waiting for you.

SHAPIRO: Martin Samshick managed this deli for 12 years. Now his company bakes the cookies that are sold out of the glass cases up front. Samshick says he plans to vote for Democrats on Tuesday, but it won't bother him if Republicans win control of Congress.

M: Well, our economy has gone downhill tremendously. My family for the most part is in the real estate business. And it's - I'm just not happy with the way the country is at this particular point.

SHAPIRO: At an arena downtown, nearly 10,000 supporters cheered the president on.

SHAPIRO: Bridgeport, in three days, you've got the chance to set the direction not just for this state but for this country for years to come.

SHAPIRO: Mr. Obama's final stop last night was personal and political. The Illinois Senate race may be the most symbolic contest of the year. The seat Barack Obama held before he became president could go Republican on Tuesday. Democrat Alexi Giannoulias is virtually tied with Republican Mark Kirk.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

SHAPIRO: So Chicago, I need you to keep on fighting.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

SHAPIRO: Illinois, I need you to keep on believing. I need you to knock on some doors. I need you to talk to your neighbors. I need you to get out and vote in this election.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

SHAPIRO: Ari Shapiro, NPR News, Chicago.

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