ANALYSIS: Obama Fires Up Base with Weekend Campaign Blitz

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  • To fire up the electorate, the Obama campaign marked 100 days until Election Day by hosting more than 4,700 grassroots events in all 50 states across the country.

    In barber shops, restaurants, churches and local field offices, the Obama campaign blitz focused this weekend on "Barbecues for Barack," voter registration, recruiting new volunteers, and rallying supporters in a race where Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney are deadlocked. In one recent poll, more than two-thirds of voters said they already had all the information they needed to make their choice and Obama campaign strategists say the November election could be one of the closest presidential contests in history.

    Volunteers came from 6,734 different zip codes, 3,518 different cities and 952 different counties — and they all believe that every single vote will count.

    The weekend efforts were part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s new grassroots organizing initiative called “It Takes One,” “which asks everyone to commit to taking at least one action to help reelect Obama – from registering one more voter to recruiting one more volunteer to bringing one more friend to a campaign event to anything else that helps the larger effort to move America forward,” according to the website. The First Lady personally made calls to recruit volunteers this weekend when she visited a campaign office in Dayton, Ohio. Celebrities including Don Cheadle, Justin Long, Blythe Danner, Octavia Spencer and Alfre Woodard participated in Obama campaign events this weekend.

    Polls show that although the race is extremely tight, voters seem to find Obama “more likable,” but a significant number of Americans say Romney is better equipped to help improve the economy and the Romney campaign is taking advantage of the voter surveys.

    “As black Americans, we all take pride in Barack Obama's historic election – but unfortunately his performance as president has not matched that enthusiasm,” Tara Wall, a spokeswoman for Romney, told BlackAmericaWeb.com .

    “He's disappointed black small business owners, failed to address rising black unemployment – which now stands near 15 percent, and is double that among our youth – and failed to address the widening economic disparity gap,” Wall said. “There is a reason that poll after poll shows black Americans are emotionally invested in President Obama but disappointed in the job he's done. He tried, but he failed.”

    Although African Americans will support Obama overwhelmingly in November, Romney is still trying to appeal to black voters. In fact, the Romney campaign recently released a new web video promoting his speech to the NAACP earlier this month.

    But here’s the problem: The video is misleading. It features African Americans praising Romney over footage of Romney speaking at the NAACP convention. The video gives the impression that Romney was warmly received when in fact he was roundly booed during several portions of his speech to the civil rights organization.

    NAACP officials claim that Romney’s campaign planted black supporters in the audience "to actually provide cheering for him." The Romney campaign’s video shows shots of black members in the audience standing and clapping during his speech.

    "Quite frankly, the campaign actually gave me a list of African-American VIPs that they brought into the NAACP meeting," Hilary Shelton, the NAACP's Washington, D.C. director, said during an appearance on MSNBC. "So we were aware that they had people brought in specifically for the campaign. So I'm sure those were the ones they sat down with, because quite frankly none of the rank-and-file NAACPers met with him."

    The Romney campaign denied the NAACP's allegations.

    Meanwhile, Obama plans to travel to Ohio, Florida and Virginia this week to lay out his vision to rebuild the economy.

    “Ever since I first ran for this office, I’ve said it’s going to take more than one year or one term or maybe even one president to restore the dream that built this country,” Obama said during a recent campaign stop in Florida.“There are no easy fixes, no quick solutions to the challenges we face, but there is no doubt in my mind that we have the capacity to meet them and we will meet them. No matter what the naysayers tell us, there is not a country on Earth that would not happily trade places with the United States of America.”
     

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