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Obama, Clinton rally Concord crowd of 14,000 as Election Day nears

  • Barack Obama rallies a crowd of 14,000 in downtown Concord; Saturday, November 4, 2012. The President and former President Bill Clinton spoke on a stage set up in North State Street  two days before the general election.<br/><br/>(ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)

    Barack Obama rallies a crowd of 14,000 in downtown Concord; Saturday, November 4, 2012. The President and former President Bill Clinton spoke on a stage set up in North State Street two days before the general election.

    (ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • The crowd for the rally, tallied at 14,000 by the fire marshall, started lining up for the morning rally before daylight. President Obama visits Concord with President Clinton, November 4, 2012. Rally in downtown Concord. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)

    The crowd for the rally, tallied at 14,000 by the fire marshall, started lining up for the morning rally before daylight. President Obama visits Concord with President Clinton, November 4, 2012. Rally in downtown Concord.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • President Obama visits Concord with President Clinton, November 4, 2012. Rally in downtown Concord. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)

    President Obama visits Concord with President Clinton, November 4, 2012. Rally in downtown Concord.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Supporters cheer during President Obama's speech at his rally in downtown Concord on November 4, 2012. About 14,000 people attended the event that filled North State Street and happened two days before the general election. The President is spending the last few days before this election campaigning in swing states across the country with guests. Former president Bill Clinton joined President Obama for his Concord stop. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)

    Supporters cheer during President Obama's speech at his rally in downtown Concord on November 4, 2012. About 14,000 people attended the event that filled North State Street and happened two days before the general election. The President is spending the last few days before this election campaigning in swing states across the country with guests. Former president Bill Clinton joined President Obama for his Concord stop.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Former president Bill Clinton, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Governor John Lynch and President Barack Obama wave at the crowd of nearly 14,000 people that came out for the rally in downtown Concord on November 4, 2012.  The President is spending the last few days before this election campaigning in swing states across the country with guests. Former president Bill Clinton joined President Obama for his Concord stop. <br/><br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)

    Former president Bill Clinton, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Governor John Lynch and President Barack Obama wave at the crowd of nearly 14,000 people that came out for the rally in downtown Concord on November 4, 2012. The President is spending the last few days before this election campaigning in swing states across the country with guests. Former president Bill Clinton joined President Obama for his Concord stop.


    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Lines for President Obama's rally in downtown Concord ran the length of Main Street a few times and started before sunrise on November 4, 2012. The President is spending the last few days before this election campaigning in swing states across the country with guests. Former president Bill Clinton joined President Obama for his Concord stop. <br/><br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)

    Lines for President Obama's rally in downtown Concord ran the length of Main Street a few times and started before sunrise on November 4, 2012. The President is spending the last few days before this election campaigning in swing states across the country with guests. Former president Bill Clinton joined President Obama for his Concord stop.


    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • People hand James Greenlow of Concord their cell phones to get photos of the stage from his perch in a sycamore tree on North State Street as Barack Obama rallies a crowd of thousands in downtown Concord; Sunday, November 4, 2012. The President and former President Bill Clinton spoke on a stage set up in North State Street  two days before the general election.<br/><br/>(ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)

    People hand James Greenlow of Concord their cell phones to get photos of the stage from his perch in a sycamore tree on North State Street as Barack Obama rallies a crowd of thousands in downtown Concord; Sunday, November 4, 2012. The President and former President Bill Clinton spoke on a stage set up in North State Street two days before the general election.

    (ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • The crowd for the rally, tallied at 14,000 by the fire marshall, started lining up for the morning rally before daylight. President Obama visits Concord with President Clinton, November 4, 2012. Rally in downtown Concord. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)

    The crowd for the rally, tallied at 14,000 by the fire marshall, started lining up for the morning rally before daylight. President Obama visits Concord with President Clinton, November 4, 2012. Rally in downtown Concord.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • President Barack Obama greets the crowd of 14,000 people as he walks on stage during a rally on North State Street on November 4, 2012, two days before the general election. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)

    President Barack Obama greets the crowd of 14,000 people as he walks on stage during a rally on North State Street on November 4, 2012, two days before the general election.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Fatimah Bah, of Methuen, Mass., whispers at her son Usher Diallo while they get their photograph taken by an international correspondent before President Obama's rally in downtown Concord on November 4, 2012.  The President is spending the last few days before this election campaigning in swing states across the country with guests. Former president Bill Clinton joined President Obama for his Concord stop. <br/><br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)

    Fatimah Bah, of Methuen, Mass., whispers at her son Usher Diallo while they get their photograph taken by an international correspondent before President Obama's rally in downtown Concord on November 4, 2012. The President is spending the last few days before this election campaigning in swing states across the country with guests. Former president Bill Clinton joined President Obama for his Concord stop.


    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • The crowd for the rally, tallied at 14,000 by the fire marshall, started lining up for the morning rally before daylight. President Obama visits Concord with President Clinton, November 4, 2012. Rally in downtown Concord. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)

    The crowd for the rally, tallied at 14,000 by the fire marshall, started lining up for the morning rally before daylight. President Obama visits Concord with President Clinton, November 4, 2012. Rally in downtown Concord.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • A spectator hands James Greenlow of Concord his cell phones to get photos of the stage from Greenlow's perch in a sycamore tree on North State Street as Barack Obama rallies a crowd of thousands in downtown Concord; Saturday, November 4, 2012. The President and former President Bill Clinton spoke on a stage set up in North State Street  two days before the general election.<br/><br/>(ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)

    A spectator hands James Greenlow of Concord his cell phones to get photos of the stage from Greenlow's perch in a sycamore tree on North State Street as Barack Obama rallies a crowd of thousands in downtown Concord; Saturday, November 4, 2012. The President and former President Bill Clinton spoke on a stage set up in North State Street two days before the general election.

    (ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • A spectator hands James Greenlow of Concord his cell phones to get photos of the stage from Greenlow's perch in a sycamore tree on North State Street as Barack Obama rallies a crowd of thousands in downtown Concord; Saturday, November 4, 2012. The President and former President Bill Clinton spoke on a stage set up in North State Street  two days before the general election.<br/><br/>(ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)

    A spectator hands James Greenlow of Concord his cell phones to get photos of the stage from Greenlow's perch in a sycamore tree on North State Street as Barack Obama rallies a crowd of thousands in downtown Concord; Saturday, November 4, 2012. The President and former President Bill Clinton spoke on a stage set up in North State Street two days before the general election.

    (ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Barack Obama greets former president Bill Clinton at an election rally in downtown Concord; Saturday, November 4, 2012. The President and former President Clinton spoke on a stage set up in North State Street  two days before the general election.<br/><br/>(ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)

    Barack Obama greets former president Bill Clinton at an election rally in downtown Concord; Saturday, November 4, 2012. The President and former President Clinton spoke on a stage set up in North State Street two days before the general election.

    (ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Ally Duval, 5, Hopkinton

    Ally Duval, 5, Hopkinton Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • President Obama visits Concord with President Clinton, November 4, 2012. Rally in downtown Concord. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)

    President Obama visits Concord with President Clinton, November 4, 2012. Rally in downtown Concord.

    (ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Barack Obama rallies a crowd of 14,000 in downtown Concord; Saturday, November 4, 2012. The President and former President Bill Clinton spoke on a stage set up in North State Street  two days before the general election.<br/><br/>(ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)
  • The crowd for the rally, tallied at 14,000 by the fire marshall, started lining up for the morning rally before daylight. President Obama visits Concord with President Clinton, November 4, 2012. Rally in downtown Concord. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)
  • President Obama visits Concord with President Clinton, November 4, 2012. Rally in downtown Concord. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)
  • Supporters cheer during President Obama's speech at his rally in downtown Concord on November 4, 2012. About 14,000 people attended the event that filled North State Street and happened two days before the general election. The President is spending the last few days before this election campaigning in swing states across the country with guests. Former president Bill Clinton joined President Obama for his Concord stop. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)
  • Former president Bill Clinton, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Governor John Lynch and President Barack Obama wave at the crowd of nearly 14,000 people that came out for the rally in downtown Concord on November 4, 2012.  The President is spending the last few days before this election campaigning in swing states across the country with guests. Former president Bill Clinton joined President Obama for his Concord stop. <br/><br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)
  • Lines for President Obama's rally in downtown Concord ran the length of Main Street a few times and started before sunrise on November 4, 2012. The President is spending the last few days before this election campaigning in swing states across the country with guests. Former president Bill Clinton joined President Obama for his Concord stop. <br/><br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)
  • People hand James Greenlow of Concord their cell phones to get photos of the stage from his perch in a sycamore tree on North State Street as Barack Obama rallies a crowd of thousands in downtown Concord; Sunday, November 4, 2012. The President and former President Bill Clinton spoke on a stage set up in North State Street  two days before the general election.<br/><br/>(ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)
  • The crowd for the rally, tallied at 14,000 by the fire marshall, started lining up for the morning rally before daylight. President Obama visits Concord with President Clinton, November 4, 2012. Rally in downtown Concord. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)
  • President Barack Obama greets the crowd of 14,000 people as he walks on stage during a rally on North State Street on November 4, 2012, two days before the general election. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)
  • Fatimah Bah, of Methuen, Mass., whispers at her son Usher Diallo while they get their photograph taken by an international correspondent before President Obama's rally in downtown Concord on November 4, 2012.  The President is spending the last few days before this election campaigning in swing states across the country with guests. Former president Bill Clinton joined President Obama for his Concord stop. <br/><br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)
  • The crowd for the rally, tallied at 14,000 by the fire marshall, started lining up for the morning rally before daylight. President Obama visits Concord with President Clinton, November 4, 2012. Rally in downtown Concord. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)
  • A spectator hands James Greenlow of Concord his cell phones to get photos of the stage from Greenlow's perch in a sycamore tree on North State Street as Barack Obama rallies a crowd of thousands in downtown Concord; Saturday, November 4, 2012. The President and former President Bill Clinton spoke on a stage set up in North State Street  two days before the general election.<br/><br/>(ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)
  • A spectator hands James Greenlow of Concord his cell phones to get photos of the stage from Greenlow's perch in a sycamore tree on North State Street as Barack Obama rallies a crowd of thousands in downtown Concord; Saturday, November 4, 2012. The President and former President Bill Clinton spoke on a stage set up in North State Street  two days before the general election.<br/><br/>(ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)
  • Barack Obama greets former president Bill Clinton at an election rally in downtown Concord; Saturday, November 4, 2012. The President and former President Clinton spoke on a stage set up in North State Street  two days before the general election.<br/><br/>(ALEXANDER COHN / Monitor staff)
  • Ally Duval, 5, Hopkinton
  • President Obama visits Concord with President Clinton, November 4, 2012. Rally in downtown Concord. <br/><br/>(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor Staff)

President Obama and former president Bill Clinton yesterday rallied an estimated 14,000 people packed into two blocks of downtown Concord, asking them to help give Obama four more years to continue the work of his first term.

“We’ve made real progress these past four years,” Obama said, but “as long as there’s a single American who wants a job but can’t find one, our work is not yet done. As long as there are families who are working harder and harder but still falling behind, our work is not yet done. As long as there is a child anywhere in New Hampshire, anywhere in this country, who’s languishing in poverty and barred from opportunity, our fight has to go on.”

Obama’s Concord rally came as he and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney jet across the country making last-minute campaign stops ahead of tomorrow’s election.

The men are locked in a close race nationally as well as for New Hampshire’s four electoral votes, with a University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll out Saturday showing a dead tie, 47 percent to 47 percent. (The poll, taken last Wednesday through Friday, had a 4.4 percent margin of error.)

Romney was in the state Saturday for a rally on the Seacoast and will return tonight for an election-eve rally at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester. The event is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m., 21∕2 hours before midnight voting begins in the North Country communities of Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location.

Musician Kid Rock is set to join Romney tonight in Manchester, prompting a quip from Democratic Gov. John Lynch at yesterday’s rally: “I ask you, New Hampshire, would you rather see Kid Rock, or the Comeback Kid?”

Clinton has been a familiar face in the Granite State since his second-place finish in the 1992 presidential primary earned him the “Comeback Kid” nickname and helped launch him to the Democratic nomination and two terms as president.

His wife, now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, defeated Obama in the 2008 primary here, though Obama won the state that fall over Republican John McCain.

“Twenty years and nine months ago, New Hampshire began the chance for me to become president,” Clinton said, his voice hoarse. “It’s no secret that I never tire of coming here, that I never forget anything that happened here . . . and it is a very good thing that, in the closing days of this campaign, you have a chance to send the president back where he belongs. That’s four more years in the White House.”

Obama and Clinton spoke behind the State House on a bunting-draped stage at the intersection of Park and North State streets, flanked by the Legislative Office Building and the New Hampshire Historical Society, with supporters packing two full blocks down North State Street. The crowd estimate of 14,000 people came from Ken Kiehl, assistant city fire marshal, via the Obama campaign.

It was a chilly morning and many of Obama’s bundled-up supporters began lining up before sunrise, five or more hours before Clinton and Obama took the stage.

“This is an unbelievable crowd,” Obama said. “I am so grateful to all of you. I know that some of you came here pretty early, and it’s getting a little cold. But folks from New Hampshire are tough. They are tough.”

Obama acknowledged that many Americans are still struggling in the wake of the national recession and 2008 financial crash. But, he said, the country is back on the right track and he’s ready to continue what he started four years ago.

“You may not agree with every policy I’ve put forward. . . . You may be frustrated sometimes with the pace of change. I’m frustrated too, sometimes,” Obama said. “But you know where I stand. You know what I believe. You know I tell the truth. And you know that I will fight for you and your families every single day, as hard as I know how, as long as I’ve got the privilege to be your president.”

He added, “After all we’ve been through together, we can’t give up now.”

Clinton, when he introduced the president, told the crowd that Obama “has done a good job with a difficult hand,” making the right decisions on issues like health care reform and helping shepherd the economy to 2½ years of growth in employment.

“Because I want us to grow together, not apart; because he’s a been a good commander-in-chief, a good decider-in-chief, a proven cooperator; because he’s got better plans for the future; because you and your children and our country will be better off: I strongly recommend that we re-elect the next president of the United States, the current president of the United States, our president: Barack Obama,” Clinton said to cheers before welcoming Obama to the stage with a handshake and a hug.

In addition to Clinton and Obama, the crowd heard from Lynch, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Patricia Lee, an Obama campaign field organizer.

State Rep. Candace Bouchard, who also represents Ward 9 on the Concord City Council, led the Pledge of Allegiance, while former Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson offered an opening prayer.

Romney spokesman Michael Levoff said Obama’s Concord rally doesn’t change the fact that unemployment is higher today than when the president took office.

“On Tuesday, Americans will have a clear choice between four more years of stagnation or four years of prosperity and opportunity.
. . . The people of New Hampshire, along with the rest of America, will choose Gov. Romney’s optimistic vision for our country’s future and will vote for real change so he can get our country back on the right track,” Levoff said in a statement.

After departing Concord, Obama continued campaigning yesterday in Florida, Ohio and Colorado, while Clinton made a stop in Dover. Romney campaigned yesterday in Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, while a group of Romney supporters – including McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee – held get-out-the-vote events in Keene, New London, Meredith and Manchester.

(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or bleubsdorf@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)

My understanding is that many in the crowd came in from other states and from all over the state. Speculation is that people came to see Bill Clinton. For all of the distasteful things that Clinton represents, he is more popular than Obama. Go figure!

It was a beautifully organized and inspiring event. THANK YOU SO MUCH to the City of Concord for hosting this event. It reflected so well on the City. I will be back soon. And THANK YOU to the wonderful people who ran the buses and kept the crowd happy and well cared for! All 14,000 people who attended reflected so well on America, they were friendly, humorous, considerate, unflinching, and brave. It made me so proud to be an American and a citizen of the great State of New Hampshire, to be among such wonderful people from all walks of life. Clinton's speech was certainly the best I have heard and his support of President Obama was an inspiration and inspired confidence in me for our future as one nation with liberty and justice for all.

You mean the "cookie jar" comment, that was a gut buster for him to talk about being caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He certainly did not learn his lesson as a young man as he implied. Or are you talking about his heartfelt concern for women and the rights of women. I wonder how Monica feels about that? Or Hillary? Clinton was drawling his words and putting on the performance of his life, all of that after Hillary fell on her sword for Obama and his lies about Benghazi. I hope that you will support President Romney as zealously as he pursues one nation, under GOD, with liberty (a womans choice, health care choice and the right to bear arms) and justice (you reap what you sow) for all. And self respect, self reliance, self determination, etc.

The voting for revenge crowd. Filled with Jerks from Mass, Vermont and Maine. It is so great to live in NH where we are going to carry President-Elect Romney to Victory tomorrow.

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