Obama Kicks Off Final Week With "Closing Argument" Speech

(CBS)
From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

(CHICAGO) - In the last eight days of the election, Barack Obama is expected to play it safe and keep his message focused on John McCain and the economy. He will deliver his "closing argument" in Canton, Ohio today which will largely mirror the speeches that he has given for over a month now.

"Consistency is comforting to voters," senior adviser Linda Douglass said last night on the flight from Denver to Chicago.

According to prepared excerpts released this morning, Obama will continue to link John McCain to Bush, arguing that McCain's policies will be an extension of the last eight years.

"After 21 months and three debates, Senator McCain still has not been able to tell the American people a single major thing he'd do differently from George Bush when it comes to the economy."

"Senator McCain says that we can't spend the next four years waiting for our luck to change, but you understand that the biggest gamble we can take is embracing the same old Bush-McCain policies that have failed us for the last eight years."

Both the timing and the location of the speech are significant. The campaign hopes that the speech will dominate coverage for the next two days, and expect that the rally with Bill Clinton on Wednesday as well as the 30-minute primetime ad buy to help them a mid-week push.

Delivering the closing argument speech in Ohio, a key battleground state, sends a signal that the campaign is confident about their chances in the state. According to an average of recent polls on realclearpolitics.com, Obama leads McCain in Ohio by 6%.

Senior adviser Robert Gibbs said that in the final push – they are not taking anything for granted.

"I'd rather be us than them, but I'm still anxious," Gibbs said yesterday.

Obama's schedule will pick up mid-week – with at least 3 events a day, sometimes in different 3 states. He is expected to head out west next weekend.