Obama seeks to rekindle enthusiasm of 2008 campaign, holding a large open-air rally in Ohio to help struggling Democratic candidates in the Midwestern state. Amid voter anger over the sluggish economy and 9.6 percent unemployment, Obama’s Democrats are fighting to avoid steep losses in the Congress and in state governors’ races in the November 2 elections. “Everybody said ‘No, you can’t’ and in 2008 you showed them, ‘Yes, we can,'” Obama told a cheering crowd of 35,000 people at Ohio State University in Columbus. “Let’s be honest: This is a difficult election,” Obama said.
Joining Obama on the campaign trail for the first time since his presidential race two years ago was his wife, Michelle. Obama told the Ohio rally that voters faced a choice in the upcoming election between moving forward or returning to Republican policies that he said caused the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Obama did not mention his predecessor, President George W. Bush by name, but he reminded voters of the dire economy he inherited when he took office in January 2009. The joint appearance by both Obamas and the large size of the crowd, which included many young people, recalled the energy of Obama’s presidential campaign. “Can we do this?” Michelle Obama asked the crowd. “Are you fired up and ready to go?” “Yes we can,” the crowded chanted.