Romney Picks Ryan, Goes For The 1% Vote

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Is it really any surprise that one of the wealthiest men to be nominated by the GOP has chosen the poster boy for his elite financial class as his running ma…
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Romney, Obama refine themes for campaign’s last days

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“I will lead America to a better place, where confidence in the future is assured, not questioned,” the GOP challenger told an ebullient crowd at the Wisconsin state fairgrounds here. “This is not a time for America to settle. We’re four days away from a fresh start, four days away from the first day of a new beginning.”

From the start, the two campaigns have had different theories of the race — Romney’s being that it would be a referendum on Obama; Obama’s that it would be a comparative choice between the two candidates. But in the final days, both sides appear to have realized that this election is both. The challenger seeking to unseat an incumbent must make a case for himself. The incumbent seeking to hold onto his office must not only convince voters that the alternative would be worse, but also that he has earned the right to another term.

So Obama found himself heading into Election Day in the traditional posture for an incumbent under siege — the fighter, not the conciliator, wiser for the experience.

“I’m a very nice guy, people will tell you. I really am,” Obama said.

But if “the price of peace in Washington” means cutting deals to slash student financial aid or give health insurance companies more power, “I’m not going to make that deal,” the president said at a high school gym in Springfield, Ohio, at the second of three rallies Friday in that crucial state.

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And he pledged, “I am a long ways away from giving up on this fight. I got a lot of fight left in me. I don’t get tired. I don’t grow weary. I hope you aren’t tired either, Ohio.”

Though the polls show the race to be close, it is not because the voters lack a contrast, and both candidates are using their last hours of frenzied campaigning to highlight that choice.

Romney ended the day in West Chester, a suburb of Cincinnati, where he reunited with his wife, Ann, their five sons and nearly 100 top surrogates for a huge rally kicking off the three-day sprint to Election Day.

From there, Romney set off on a swing from New Hampshire to Iowa to Colorado and, on Sunday, to Pennsylvania. Romney is making an eleventh-hour gamble to contest the Keystone State, which leans Democratic but, with 20 electoral votes, could give him an alternate path to victory. Meanwhile, he is dispatching his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), to Minnesota, another leaning-Democratic state that Romney is trying to snatch away from Obama.

Obama is setting off on a whirlwind tour of his own, with plans to stump Saturday in Iowa, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin and in a slew of other states Sunday. At various stops, he will be joined by former President Bill Clinton and singers Katy Perry, Dave Matthews and John Mellencamp.

Adding punctuation to the two candidates’ rhetoric was a fresh monthly jobs report — one that each candidate seized upon to underscore his argument.

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