Joe Biden summons Obama’s star power in final push for votes

Joe Biden has summoned up the Motown star power of Stevie Wonder and political heft of Barack Obama in a glitzy rally in Detroit as the US presidential campaign entered its final stages.

Obama appeared alongside his former vice-president for the first time in this year’s race for the White House, at two drive-in rallies in the crucial swing state of Michigan.

And, in a performance of his classic hit Superstition, Wonder adapted the lyrics to urge the crowd that “Biden-Harris is the way”.

Barack Obama speaks at a campaign drive-in, mobilization event for Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden
Image:Former US president Barack Obama also spoke at the campaign event in Detroit

Biden has repeatedly invoked his eight years working alongside America’s 44th president as part of his sales pitch to the American people to become its 46th.

In Michigan, Obama continued to mock his successor Donald Trump, especially for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said Trump had “completely screwed it up.”

“Trump cares about feeding his ego,” Obama said. “Joe cares about keeping you safe and your family safe, and getting country moving again. That’s why you’ve got to vote.”

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Obama joins Biden on campaign trail

In the state that prides itself as the capital of America’s car industry, there was something apt about Biden’s drive-in rallies. Some sat on the bonnets and roofs of their cars, others popped their heads up through the sunroof into the near-zero temperatures.

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Even four years after he left office, it is clear Obama still has the energy and zeal for campaigning. No one needs reminding though of the muted impact his efforts for Hillary Clinton had in 2016.

Biden has also been hammering Trump’s record but, like Obama, is focused on driving turnout on Tuesday to send a message to the president that “it is time to pack up and go home”.

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Podcast: Will it be Biden or Trump?

“In three days, we can put an end to a presidency that has divided this nation. In three days, we can put an end to a presidency that has failed to protect this nation. In three days, we can put an end to a presidency that has fanned the flames of hate all across this nation,” he said.

Four years ago, Democrats neglected Michigan in the last days of the campaign and paid the price when Trump won it by 10,000 votes. Supporters of the president believe a repeat is possible this time.

Sky News US election coverage
Image:Sky News US election coverage

At the Halloween drive-through trick-or-treat in Flint, while the minds of children were on the games and candy, the adults pondered what is at stake. The voters we spoke to were evenly divided politically.

In his “I Love Jesus” cap, Lee Williams said: “Trump has been out for himself. He has done what he was going to do, and he will have to face God in the end.”

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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