“Virginia, we are here tonight not only to listen to Dave Matthews, not only to hear the master Bill Clinton break things down for us, but we are also here because we have more work to do,” President Obama explained to a crowd of Virginia voters gathered in the chilly night air at a pavilion in Bristow.
But even the president admitted that while he was waiting backstage for Clinton to finish his speech, he almost missed his cue to go on stage.
“I was enjoying listening to President Clinton so much I had to run up to get my cue,” Obama said. “I was just sitting there soaking it all in.”
Former President Bill Clinton spun a lengthy 22 minute speech that captured the crowd who had just finished listening to an acoustic performance by Virginia musician Dave Matthews.
“As you can see I have given my voice in the service of my president,” a coughing Clinton said, his voice tired and hoarse.
But in spite of his handicap, Clinton thrilled the crowd as he pointed out why he was supporting Obama instead of Mitt Romney.
Clinton spent several minutes of his speech building partisan outrage over Romney’s position on the auto bailout and his campaign ad about Jeep and the auto industry, which the Obama campaign has seized on as the latest evidence of Romney’s dishonesty.
“He’s tied himself into so many knots over this automobile deal, he could be hired as the chief contortionist for Cirque du Soleil,” Clinton said as the crowd roared with laughter and cheers.
After explaining to the crowd that both General Motors and Chrysler denounced Mitt Romney’s claim, Clinton shared a childhood anecdote.
“You know, even when I was as a kid and I got my hand caught in the cookie jar, my face sorta turned red, and I took my hand out of the cookie jar,” Clinton said. “Not Governor Romney. He’s just digging for more cookies.”
When Clinton was finished, President Obama bounded onto the stage and thanked the former president for his assistance.
“The only Clinton working harder than him, is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” he joked.
Afterwards President Obama admitted to voters at a rally in Bristow, Virginia that his role in the campaign was diminishing.
“I was back stage with David Plouffe, as some of you know, he is sort of a mastermind in campaign organization, we were talking about how as the campaign goes on, we’ve become less relevant,” Obama joked. “I’m sort of a prop in the campaign.”
“The power is not with us anymore,” Obama reminded his cheering supporters. “The planning, everything we do doesn’t matter because now it's up to you.”
But as Obama was speaking, many people took their cue and began making their way to the exits to beat the parking lot traffic on the way out.