October is winding down and President Obama is employing his best plays as he makes his final drive towards his goal of a second term.
Whether it's because he's no longer carrying the weight of looming debates on his shoulders or because he simply got his mojo back, we're starting to see the energized Obama of 2008 in October of 2012.
Remember six months ago when there was speculation that the president had lost his luster among African American, Hispanic, and young voters? Well, an enthusiasm gap remains for sure, but Obama is working overtime to bring them back into the fold.
Let's look at it by the numbers. In a 48 hour period, this past week the president took a whirlwind tour to several swing states and held conference calls with at least:
- 17,000 campaign volunteers
- 9,000 undecided voters
- 50 African American disc jockeys in swing states
- 15 Latino disc jockeys in swing states
He also appeared on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" where he took free shots at Romney and earned cool points with late night viewers. And Friday the president did a live interview from the White House with Sway Calloway of MTV.
Thursday the president traveled to Chicago to vote early, becoming the first president ever to do so and he's encouraging voters who have the same option to follow his lead. His team believes he can win the early vote, which will give him a cushion on election night.
One thing we know for sure: Team Obama has a powerful grassroots, get-out-the-vote machine. We saw it mobilize in 2008 and since then it's only grown. Republicans marvel at it and some sources who've witnessed the Romney ground machine in action worry it's not as organized as it needs to be to battle Obama.
From the start, both candidates have said this race will be razor close and, boy, they weren't kidding. Every campaign appearance, every interview, every handshake, every phone call, every wink, every shout out counts.
With just days remaining until the end of the race we're seeing "Obama the Rock Star" of 2008 re-emerge. He has a spring in his step that was lacking earlier in the campaign. During the debates it was clear there was no love lost between the candidates and now Obama is sharpening his tone.
Politico's Mike Allen got this first look at an interview President Obama did with Douglas Brinkley for Rolling Stone. Here's an excerpt:
"We arrived at the Oval Office for our 45-minute interview … on the morning of October 11th. … As we left the Oval Office, executive editor Eric Bates told Obama that he had asked his six-year-old if there was anything she wanted him to say to the president. ... [S]he said, 'Tell him: You can do it.’ Obama grinned. … ‘You know, kids have good instincts,’ Obama offered. ‘They look at the other guy and say, “Well, that’s a bull----r, I can tell.”’