(USA Today) -- President Obama wrapped up a four-state, four-rally day in blustery Bristow, Va., late Saturday night by wrapping himself in the mantle of Bill Clinton.
After holding events in Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa earlier in the day, Obama completed a 15-hour day by promising about 24,000 frigid Virginians he would be their "champion" in the White House during a second term.
"I'll work with anybody of any party to move this country forward," Obama said, lauding "leaders who will put people first and put the election aside for a moment."
But he wasn't putting the election aside, not when Virginia looms as one of the closest states in the nation. With polls showing the president and Republican Mitt Romney virtually tied nationally and in Virginia, Obama was making his last visit to the state before Election Day.
Clinton, who headlined two other events for Obama in Virginia earlier Saturday and will travel with him to New Hampshire Sunday morning, was hoarse during an emotional, 15-minute introduction. "I have given my voice in the service of my president," he said, coughing and clearing his throat.
Obama was clearly thrilled to have his mentor by his side, calling Clinton "the master" and likening his own policies to those that produced 23 million jobs and a balanced budget in the 1990s.
Romney, the president recalled, opposed Clinton's economic policies during his failed 1994 Senate campaign in Massachusetts. "It turns out his math was just as bad back then as it is today," Obama said.
At the end of the day - just three days from the end of his last political campaign - Obama recalled a conversation with his 2008 campaign manager and current White House adviser David Plouffe.
"As the campaign goes on, we've become less relevant. I'm sort of a prop in the campaign," the president said. "The power's not with us anymore ... now it's all up to you.
"That's how democracy's supposed to be. It's up to you. You've got the power."
Story by: Richard Wolf, USA TODAY