DES MOINES, IOWA -- Change and urgency were the key themes in Barack Obama's closing argument address delivered at a Scottish Rite Temple in Des Moines this morning. He reminded the crowd six times that the Iowa caucuses are seven days away.
Obama highlighted key themes such as health care, Iraq, and global warming, and said the issues must be resolved now. He called on the American people to be "agents of change" and praised Iowans for their role in the presidential elections.
"You've come out in the blistering heat and the bitter cold not just to cheer, but to challenge – to ask the tough questions; to lift the hood and kick the tires; to serve as one place in America where someone who hasn't spent their life in the Washington spotlight can get a fair hearing."
Obama did not shy away from making a veiled critique of his opponent Hillary Clinton saying, "You can't fall in line behind the conventional thinking on issues as profound as war and offer yourself as the leader who is best prepared to chart a new and better course for America."
As he has done in recent days, Obama quoted Bill Clinton when addressing the issue of his own experience. "The truth is, you can have the right kind of experience and the wrong kind of experience. Mine is rooted in the real lives of real people and it will bring real results if we have the courage to change. I believe deeply in those words. But they are not mine. They were Bill Clinton's in 1992, when Washington insiders questioned his readiness to lead."
Obama went on to say that his experience is rooted in the lives of people who he worked for as a community organizer and a lawyer.
He also addressed critics who said that he is not confrontational enough to defeat his opponents. Obama sternly said, "I don't need any lectures on how to bring about change, because I haven't just talked about it on the campaign trail. I've fought for change all my life."
Obama continues campaigning through Iowa today and will remain in the state through the caucuses on January 3rd.