In his first post-debate speech, Barack Obama sought today to continue tying John McCain to the unpopular presidency of George W. Bush and to the economic meltdown.
"John McCain and I each had the chance to make the case for change -- to talk about what we would do differently from the last eight years when it comes to lifting our middle class, and growing our economy, and restoring our prosperity," Obama told voters in Indiana. "But all we heard from Senator McCain was more of the same Bush economics that led us into this mess in the first place."
The Democrat went on to criticize McCain's proposals on healthcare, tax cuts, and the economy -- and only vaguely referred to the series of character assaults McCain's campaign is making against him, saying that McCain and Palin "are out there saying all kinds of stuff."
"I can take four more weeks of John McCainís attacks, but the American people canít take four more years of John McCainís Bush policies," Obama said.
He said the global economic crisis is serious, but that it can be resolved.
"Iím here today to tell you that there are better days ahead. I know these are tough times. I know that many of you are anxious about the future. But this isnít a time for fear or for panic. This is time for resolve and steady leadership. I know that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis. Because thatís who we are. Because this is the United States of America."
He added, "It will take a new direction. It's going to take new leadership in Washington. It will take a real change in the policies and politics of the last eight years."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.