Obama offers closing argument, pledging to restore prosperity, purpose

CANTON, Ohio (AP) -- Barack Obama is closing his case for the presidency with a promise to restore economic prosperity and a sense of "higher purpose" to the nation.

Displaying the confidence of a contender nearing victory, he told a raucous crowd in Canton, Ohio: "We are one week away from changing America." He said a vote for him on Election Day would be a vote for "hope over fear, unity over division" and "the promise of change over the power of the status quo."

Obama made a strategic choice to deliver the speech in Ohio. Polls show the race between him and John McCain very close in the Buckeye State. And during the Democratic primary, he struggled to connect with the state's working-class voters, losing to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Obama spoke not only of the economic concerns that have dominated the campaign, but also spelled out his foreign policy agenda, declaring he would end the war in Iraq and restore America's moral standing around the globe.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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