McCain, Obama woo Ohio

CANTON, Ohio — Closing his case for the presidency, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama presented himself Monday as a unifier for an embattled country, promising to deliver days of “hope over fear.”

Meanwhile, his rival, Republican Sen. John McCain, promised to pivot from President Bush’s economic policies and impose strict controls on government spending that would spur investor confidence and the stock market’s recovery.

“I will protect your savings and retirement accounts and get this stock market rising again,” McCain said.

Obama’s bid for a knockout blow, delivered in the vitally competitive state of Ohio, was not bare-knuckled. Rather, buoyed by front-runner status and frenetic crowds, Obama used the moment to position himself as a statesman-in-waiting.

“In one week, we can choose hope over fear, unity over division, the promise of change over the power of the status quo,” Obama said. “In one week, we can come together as one nation, and one people, and once more choose our better history. That’s what’s at stake.”

Obama and McCain both spent Monday mining for support in Ohio and neighboring Pennsylvania. Either state could swing the election.

McCain held his own campaign event in Ohio. In Cleveland, he told voters his economic plan would generate jobs, recharge the stock market and help people keep their homes.

The Republican candidate also ridiculed Obama’s argument that his tax plan was based on fairness. “There’s nothing fair about driving our economy into the ground — and we all suffer when that happens,” said McCain.

McCain’s most dramatic claim was a pledge to turn around a plunging stock market. Most of the progress he promised would come from the economic stimulus sparked by big tax cuts he’s pushing, McCain said.

“I will create millions of jobs through tax cuts that spur economic growth,” McCain said.

Republican vice presidential candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told a Leesburg, Va., crowd that Democrats would raise taxes and “punish hard work” if Virginia voters break a 44-year preference for GOP presidents and help send Obama to the White House. Palin also met with Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden was in Greenville, N.C., on Monday, likening attacks against his running mate to criticisms lobbed against Thomas Jefferson’s Christianity, Abraham Lincoln’s commitment to individual rights and John F. Kennedy, for being a “dangerous choice in difficult times.”

“Sound familiar?” Biden asked the rally crowd. “The defenders of the status quo have always tried to tear down those who would change our nation for the better.”

Washington state lawsuit on Obama is thrown out

A King County judge has thrown out a lawsuit challenging Obama’s qualifications to be president, the Washington Secretary of State’s Office said. Superior Court Judge John Erlick dismissed the lawsuit Monday.

It claimed Obama’s U.S. citizenship was in question, saying that could make him ineligible for the presidency. The plaintiff, Steven Marquis of Fall City, claimed Obama may have been a citizen of his father’s native Kenya, or became a citizen of Indonesia when he lived there as a boy.

Obama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father. After his parents divorced, Obama’s mother married an Indonesian.

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