Obama, Clinton to campaign in Chicago

October 21, 2010 (WASHINGTON) President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton have scheduled campaign stops to try to help top Democrats in tight races.

Clinton visits Chicago next Tuesday, Oct. 26th, and Obama is scheduled to campaign the following weekend, on Oct. 30th.

Republicans say the campaign stops show Democrats in the Chicago area have big problems.

Is it star power or desperation? The answer seems to depend on which party you support.

However, it is clear that Illinois races are still in play with less than two weeks before Election Day.

President Obama was in the area earlier this month raising money for U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias, who is battling Republican Mark Kirk for the president's old seat.

Obama's visit the weekend before Election Day will be different - more like a rally he headlined with the first lady in Columbus, Ohio last weekend that drew 35,000 people.

He will also be pushing for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Pat Quinn, who is in a tight race with Republican Bill Brady.

Political analyst Don Rose says the Democratic Party is in trouble and that they need to close the so-called "enthusiasm gap."

"They are bringing every big name they can for two reasons: first of all, to raise money; second of all, to rally the base," said Rose.

Obama has been on the road pushing Democratic candidates from coast to coast.

"We don't want what you're sellin', because we tried it before and we didn't like it because it didn't work," said Obama at a campaign stop.

Former President Bill Clinton has been called in to stump for the Democrats, too. On Thursday, he was in Baltimore, Maryland.

"None of these races would look like they do if tomorrow's America, the America that showed up in 2008, would just show up in 2010," said Clinton.

In a statement Thursday night, Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady says that "if the two top fundraisers for the Democratic Party come to Chicago this close to an election in a state that is traditionally blue like Illinois, they have big problems with their base."

Brady also says that when Obama comes to town, it "does nothing but motivate our base".

President Bush was in town Thursday speaking at a conference, but he did not stump for any Republican candidates

President Obama is planning to be in the White House the day before the election and on Election Day.

Copyright © 2024 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.