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Obama campaigns for candidates in tight races

SEATTLE - President Obama tried to light a spark under an enthusiastic crowd in the state of Washington Thursday, hoping to ignite voters to keep Democrats in control of Congress and re-elect Sen. Patty Murray, locked in a tight race.

Speaking at rally in Seattle, part of his swing through the West, Obama stressed how hard his administration has worked to deal with inherited economic woes and urged voters, especially women, to cast the ballots needed to keep Democrats in control of the House and Senate.

"We need you fired up," Obama said. "In just a few days, this election is going to set the direction of this state and this country for years to come."

Many of Obama's comments were tried-and-true campaign themes he has used before as he crisscrossed the country in this midterm election.

He praised his economic policies that he insisted prevented another depression, though there is much still to be done to cope with the fallout from the recession. The president attacked Republicans, misleading political ads and special interests including Wall Street and big business.

Republicans represent a return to policies that have damaged the country, he said, urging people to vote this year for change, completing the job they had begun in 2008 when they elected him president.

"I don't want to relive the past," Obama said.

When Murray first took office in 1993, she "was just a mom in tennis shoes" who wanted to solve problems. "Now she needs our help," Obama said. "Let's get this done," Obama said. "Let's get Patty Murray back in Senate."

Murray faces a close race against Republican Dino Rossi.

Obama's appearance was part of a four-day swing through five states. Earlier, he focused on bringing out the women's vote as he continued to campaign through the West, crucial to Democrats in the midterm elections. - Tribune

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