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Monday, November 7, 2016

Obama's last campaign was lit

With a nostalgic feeling, Barack Obama surveyed a sopping crowd huddled in the Osceola County Stadium Sunday, taking in another 11,000 people willing to wait in torrential downpours to catch a glimpse of the change president. He had been in the stadium before. It was October 29, 2008, and the Democratic nominee was making his first appearance on the campaign trail with Bill Clinton, the husband of the candidate he'd been savaging months earlier. 

In the stadium this year, as he urgently championed Hillary Clinton as the custodian of his presidential legacy, Obama levied a new barb at a candidate he's said must not replace him. 

"Apparently his campaign has taken away his Twitter," Obama scoffed, issuing an attack line on Donald Trump that would barely have made sense during his first stop there eight years earlier. "They had so little confidence in his self-control they said we're just going to take away your Twitter. If somebody can't handle a Twitter account, they can't handle the nuclear codes."

There's little this election season that resembles Obama's past campaigns. In 12 years he's gone from a US Senate candidate, riding shotgun in an aide's sedan through small-town Illinois, to a President landing on Air Force One in three states in one day to campaign for someone else.

Unprecedented in its rigor, Obama's final week on the trail is a final act for a President whose vision of hope and change has always been best administered in front of rapt and rowdy crowds gathered in America's electoral battlegrounds.

"I'm feeling a little sentimental," Obama admitted during a rally in Michigan Monday -- the first stop on a frantic one day, three-state swing. "This will probably be my last day of campaigning for a while." Obama remains a draw for massive crowds of African-Americans and young people, many of whom were never old enough to cast ballots for him. And the aide who drove him through Illinois, now his deputy chief of staff, was still in the car this week, albeit not behind the steering wheel.

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