Obama in Abington

Student supporters of Barak Obama from Abington High School painted their stomachs with his name.

11:40 a.m.

Obama has arrived, and here's the beginning of his speech, which focuses on the debate and on the new jobs report out today:

"You know, there were a lot of noteworthy moments in that debate, but there’s one that sticks out this morning. It’s when Governor Palin said to Joe Biden that our plan to get our economy out of the ditch was somehow a job killing plan.  

"I wonder if she turned on the news this morning.

"Because it was just reported that America has experienced its ninth straight month of job loss. Just since January, we’ve lost more than 750,000 jobs across America, 7,000 in Pennsylvania alone. This is the economy that John McCain said – just two weeks ago – was fundamentally strong. This is the economy that my opponent said made great progress under the policies of George W. Bush.  And those are the economic policies that he proposes to continue for another four years.

"So when Senator McCain and his running mate talk about job killing, that’s something they know a thing or two about. Because the policies they’re supporting are killing jobs every single day.

"Well, Abington, I am here to tell you that we cannot afford four more years of this. Enough is enough."

11:30 a.m. 

Sen. Bob Casey tells the crowd that the race is "change versus more of the same." This does not qualify as news. But then Gov. Ed Rendell reports that Obama, a big White Sox fan,  "has promised if the White Sox aren't in the World Series, he's going to root for the Phillies." This is news, but it's hard to believe, especially if the Phillies wind up playing the Tampa Bay Rays, who hail from the battleground state of Florida.

10:55 a.m.

Barack Obama hasn't arrived at Schwarzman Stadium in Abington yet. But the program has begun.

As you might expect, there have been more than a few references to what happened in the vice-presidential debate in St. Louis last night, with praise for Joe Biden's performance and a few disparaging comments about how Sarah Palin did. Said Montgomery County Commissioner, Joe Hoeffel, "I want someone who will lead us and inspire us, not someone who winks at us." Asked state Sen. Leanna Washington, referring to Palin, "Did she have on her lipstick?"

This is Obama's first visit to the Philadelphia region since mid-June. It won't be his last, particularly now that John McCain has abandoned Michigan -- one of the blue states he hoped to turn red -- and is pinning much of his hopes on turning Pennsylvania from Democratic to Republican. In fact, Obama will be in Philadelphia next Friday for a fundraiser and plans to spend much of Saturday campaigning in the city. Details to follow.

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