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Rallying the Democratic troops -- and enlisting wider support -- was the object during visits to Toledo on Saturday by the chairman of the Democratic National Committee and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio).
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) stopped by Obama for America field offices in Sylvania and downtown Toledo to encourage volunteers before they took to the streets for door-to-door campaigning on behalf of the President's re-election.
But she also gave a pep talk for other leading Democrats on the Nov. 6 ballot. In prepared remarks, she said voters would re-elect Senator Brown and elect Democrats up and down the ticket -- "Democrats like my phenomenal colleague in the House, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur," she said.
Ms. Wasserman Schultz said the hard work of volunteers -- about 50 were at each event -- would create "the largest, most dynamic, grass-roots campaign that Ohio has ever seen." There are 32 such offices across the state and more are planned, she said.
The Obama campaign is planning a two-day swing through Pennsylvania and Ohio starting Thursday, but has announced few details.
Ms. Wasserman Schultz also hit what are sure to become familiar campaign themes, including the economy and the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act.
"While there's still more to do, we are moving forward under President Obama, and the last thing we can afford to do is go back to the policies that got us into this mess in the first place," Ms. Wasserman Schultz said. "But that's exactly where Mitt Romney and the GOP want to take us."
Senator Brown officially opened his Toledo campaign by speaking to about 125 volunteers and supporters in West Toledo.
Afterward, those supporters fanned out to talk with voters. The senator also rallied supporters Saturday in Defiance. The events were among 30 similar Brown campaign launches taking place across the state.
Jon Stainbrook, chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party, said he welcomed the visits by Ms. Wasserman Schultz and the President because "they get to finally see what the voters of Ohio are actually thinking, because Mrs. Schultz and the President are out of touch.
"When Barack Obama said the private sector is doing fine, he's out of touch," he said.
Mr. Stainbrook also pointed to overwhelming voter approval last year for a state constitutional amendment that in general prohibits government from forcing Ohioans to take part in a health-care system -- such as the law the President championed -- as evidence that the visitors Saturday and Mr. Obama "don't have a clue what the people are thinking. They need to get in touch. Obama and his presidency have been a failure."