MILWAUKEE - After thousands of ads, hundreds of stump speeches and a record war chest of campaign cash, President Obama is banking on a final burst of star power to boost his get-out-the-vote effort in the final 72 hours of the 2012 presidential campaign.
As Obama and his top surrogates - Vice President Joe Biden, first lady Michelle Obama and former President Clinton - barnstorm the battlegrounds this weekend, they will have a cast of Hollywood stars and music icons at their sides.
The pairings are aimed at driving turnout, particularly among young and minority voters, while bolstering enthusiasm in a handful of key states where polls show the presidential race very close.
Here in Wisconsin, Obama will be joined by multi-platinum singer Katy Perry, who appeared with the president at a midnight rally in Las Vegas last week wearing a white "ballot" dress. Later in Dubuque, Iowa, rocker John Mellencamp will perform, and actress Kate Walsh of ABC's "Private Practice" and "Grey's Anatomy" will address the crowd.
Dave Matthews will open for Obama at a late-night rally in Bristow, Va., where the president will also unite for the first time on the 2012 campaign trail with Bill Clinton.
The celebrity tour continues Sunday with Latino rapper Pitbull joining Obama in Hollywood, Fla.; soul legend Stevie Wonder performing at a rally in Cincinnati; and Dave Matthews making a second appearance with the president in Aurora, Colo.
Biden will tour Ohio on Sunday with pop singer Jason Mraz, stopping in Lakewood, Fremont and Lancaster. Michelle Obama will stump in Orlando, Fla., Monday with Ricky Martin.
"The president and first lady, the vice president and Dr. Biden, President Clinton, and countless surrogates are not going to rest in the next 72 hours, because neither are our supporters," said an Obama campaign aide. "Across the country, volunteers are knocking on doors, making calls and voting early. From now until Election Day, volunteer leaders are running 5,117 local staging locations with more than 660,000 volunteer shifts already scheduled."
On Election Day eve, the president and first lady will seek to tap into some of the nostalgia from 2008 with Bruce Springsteen joining them at all stops on a final swing of their last campaign. Four years ago, Obama famously closed out his historic campaign with Springsteen by his side; the rallies drew tens of thousands at each stop.
The president will spend his final day campaigning in Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa.