WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hit the campaign trail together Sunday for the first time since the 2008 presidential race during a trip to Ohio.
The Obamas will crisscross Ohio to campaign for Gov. Ted Strickland and raise money for the Democratic National Committee. They'll cap their day in Columbus at a large, nighttime rally on the campus of Ohio State University aimed at firing up the young Democrats and first-time voters who helped Obama carry Ohio on his way to the presidency in 2008.
Obama has been campaigning coast to coast as the Nov. 2 midterm elections fast approach, trying to convince wary voters that his policies have put the nation's economy on a path toward recovery. But even the president has acknowledged Americans are angry and frustrated in the face of 9.6 percent unemployment.
"There is no doubt that this a difficult election. That's because we've been through an incredibly difficult time as a nation," Obama said Saturday at a campaign rally in Boston for Gov. Deval Patrick.
Though the first lady campaigned heavily for her husband during his presidential bid, she's largely stayed out of politics since moving to the White House. Her popularity has stayed high, while the president's has fallen, making her a valuable asset on the campaign trail for Democrats.
Mrs. Obama's campaign message has echoed her husband's — saying he can't make good on the promises he made during the presidential campaign unless voters keep Democrats in control of the House and Senate.
She has urged supporters to summon the same enthusiasm that helped sweep her husband and many congressional Democrats into office last election cycle.
Obama said Saturday he still believes Democrats can retain control Congress, though recent polls suggest Republicans may well retake the House and make major gains in the Senate.
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