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After decades of broken politics in Washington, eight years of failed policies from George Bush and twenty-one months of a campaign that has taken us from the rocky coast of Maine to the sunshine of California and everywhere in between, we are one week away from changing America. (Cheers, applause.)
In one week, you can turn the page on policies that have put greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks right here in Canton, folks right on Main Street. (Cheers, applause.)
In one week, you can choose. You can choose policies that invest in our middle-class and create new jobs and grow this economy from the bottom-up, so that everyone has a chance to succeed, from the CEO to the secretary and the janitor, from the factory owner to the men and women on the factory floor. In one week. (Cheers, applause.)
In one week, you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation, just to win an election; that tries to pit region against region and city against town, Republican against Democrat; that asks us to fear at a time when we need hope. In one week, at this defining moment in history, you can give this country the change we need. You can do that. (Cheers, applause.)
You know, we began this journey in the depths of winter, nearly two years ago, on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, the place where Abraham Lincoln served for so many years.
You know, back then, we didn't have much money and we didn't have many endorsements. We weren't given much of a chance by the polls or the pundits. And we knew how steep our climb would be.
But I also knew this. I knew that the size of our challenges had outgrown the smallness of our politics. I believed that Democrats and Republicans and Americans of every political stripe were hungry for new ideas and new leadership and a new kind of politics, one that favors common sense over ideology, one that focuses on those values and ideals we hold in common as Americans. (Cheers, applause.)
Most of all, I believed in you. I believed in your ability to make change happen. I knew that the American people were a decent, generous people who are willing to work hard and sacrifice for future generations. (Cheers, applause.)
And I was absolutely convinced that when we come together, our voices are more powerful than the most entrenched lobbyists or the most vicious political attacks -- (cheers) -- or the full force of a status quo in Washington that wants to keep things just the way they are. (Cheers, applause.)
And Canton, 21 months later, my faith in the American people has been vindicated. That's how we've come so far, how we've come so close -- because of you. That's how we'll change this country -- with your help. That's why we cannot afford to slow down or sit back. We cannot let up for one day, or one minute, or one second in this last week. (Cheers, applause.) Not now, not when there's so much is at stake. One week. (Cheers, applause.)
We are in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. I don't have to tell you, Ohio; 760,000 workers have lost their jobs so far this year. Businesses and families can't get credit. Home values are falling. Pensions are disappearing. Wages are lower than they've been in a decade, at a time when the cost of everything from health care to college have never been higher. It's getting harder and harder to make the mortgage, or fill up your gas tank, or even keep the electricity on at the end of the month.