Obama and McCain hurtle into final 48 hours

CLEVELAND, November 2, 2008 (AFP) – White House front-runner Barack Obama Sunday hurtled into the last 48 hours of his epic campaign against Republican John McCain pledging to remake America as he presented a loving tableau of his youthful family.

On the home stretch before Tuesday’s election, the Democrat bidding to be America’s first black president appeared before 80,000 supporters here with his wife Michelle and their two daughters aged seven and 10.

The would-be first family were introduced by a rousing set from fabled rocker Bruce Springsteen, who brought many in the vast crowd to tears with “The Rising,” which is played just before Obama takes the stage at all his rallies.

“A rising is coming,” Obama said after Springsteen exclaimed to deafening cheers: “I want my country back, I want my dream back, I want my America back!”

McCain, following his own two-day bus odyssey around rust-belt Ohio, was also stepping up the pace with his first midnight rally of the campaign, in Florida, following events in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire.

“We are two days away from changing America, and it’s going to start right here in the great state of Ohio,” said the 47-year-old Obama, whose rival McCain, at 72, would be the oldest presid