Clinton Joins Obama on Stump in Florida

Obama and Clinton encourage Florida voters to get a head start at polls.

ByABC News
October 20, 2008, 9:21 PM

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 20, 2008— -- For the first time since their Unity, N.H., event in June, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama was joined this evening by his formal rival, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, at a campaign event in Florida.

Clinton was the first to speak, and immediately reminded voters of the election's proximity. The former first lady urged the crowd to hit the streets and make the calls needed to convince Florida's undecideds to vote for Obama.

"Tell them Hillary sent you to vote for Barack Obama," she exclaimed, then asked how many audience members had already voted.

Clinton again reminded supporters of the importance of the election and the impending deadline, encouraging them to keep on moving.

After Clinton concluded her remarks, Obama greeted the crowd with a "Hello, Orlando," then quickly launched into a slightly updated version of his standard stump speech.

Obama asked supporters to believe in themselves, and promised that if they stood with him and voted tomorrow, "We will take the country and change the world."

Both senators ended their day together just as they had started it: apart, rallying supporters to head to the polls on Florida's first day of early voting. The Sunshine State was hit harder by the housing crisis than almost any other state, which has helped make Florida more competitive in the presidential election.

Earlier in the day, Clinton appeared at an Obama rally in Broward County, one of the four counties at the center of the ballot recount debacle in the 2000 presidential election. Clinton urged voters to head to the polls immediately and vote under the state's early voting program.

While shielding herself from an unexpected drizzle, the former presidential candidate pressed supporters to "close the book" on the Bush administration's policies.

"Let's get as many votes banked as possible so we don't have any problems come Nov. 4," she shouted to the crowd from beneath her portfolio.

Clinton advised the audience not to take Obama's recent lead in the polls for granted.

At a baseball field in Tampa today, Obama was introduced by members of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team, who secured the American League Pennant the night before, and urged his supporters to cast their votes before Election Day.

The Democratic nominee didn't mention that, just a few weeks ago in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, he pledged his support for the Philadelphia Phillies, but he made sure to mention that early voting started today in Florida.

"You don't know what might happen on Nov. 4," he said, and then went on to offer a laundry list of potential Election Day mishaps.

In the Republican-leaning state of Missouri Saturday, Obama drew crowds of 75,000 in Kansas City and 100,000 in St. Louis, his biggest campaign crowd ever. The Obama campaign set another record Sunday and announced that it had raised $150 million in the month of September.

The weekend's biggest success, however, was earning the endorsement of Gen. Colin Powell over his old friend John McCain.

The former secretary of state announced his endorsement Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," saying that Obama is a transformational figure and that he "has demonstrated the kind of calm, patient intellectual steady approach to problem-solving that we need in this country."