Obama: 'They talked about me but not about voters'

Barack Obama entered the final stretch of the race for the White House by accusing John McCain of presiding over a convention in St Paul that repeatedly attacked him while offering nothing to address the economic vice that is tightening on most voters.

His criticism came as new figures showed unemployment hitting 6.1 per cent. Those watching the Republicans, Mr Obama told supporters in Duryea, Pennsylvania, "wouldn't know we have the highest unemployment rate in three years because they didn't spend any time talking about the middle class".

The senator, who has still not opened a comfortable lead on Mr McCain in the polls, went on: "They talked about me a lot in less than respectful terms. They spent a lot of time trying to run me down. But what they didn't talk about is you. And what you're going through."

The Democrats were caught on the hop by the surprise selection of Sarah Palin, the Governor of Alaska, as Mr McCain's running mate. But, by yesterday, they had settled on a plan of attack that will avoid all mention of her family issues. Nor do they expect to press the inexperience issue too hard. However, they do see opportunities to criticise her record as governor, for instance on the environment.

The Palin factor will also concentrate the efforts of the Democrats to win over women voters, even though they do not consider it likely that many former supporters of Hillary Clinton will be tempted to support the Republican ticket because of Mrs Palin, whose social views are conservative.

Deploying women to speak on behalf Mr Obama will become a first priority, with Mrs Clinton already scheduled to hit the campaign trail in Florida, a key swing state, on Monday. Senator Clare McCaskill of Missouri was chosen yesterday to pin the blame for the jobless figures on the Republicans. "Their economic policies, John McCain's and George Bush's, have been proven job killers," she said.

Democrats are watching closely how Mrs Palin performs on the campaign trail and before the world's reporters, from whom she has so far been largely protected. They are also looking forward to the vice-presidential debate on 2 October between her and Joe Biden.

Risking the wrath of her viewers, Oprah Winfrey meanwhile made it known she will resist having Mrs Palin on her talk show at least for the time being, apparently for fear it would undermine her favoured candidate, Mr Obama.

There were indications that the impact of Mrs Palin might have been overstated. An ABC poll held encouraging news for Mr Biden, with 66 per cent of respondents saying he would be ready to serve as president. Only 21 per cent thought he was not. In the case of Mrs Palin, only 42 per cent said she was ready.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Investigo: Group Financial Controller

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Investigo: A growing group of top end restaurants l...

Ashdown Group: HR Generalist - 2 week contract - £200pd - Immediate start

£200 per day: Ashdown Group: Working within a business that has a high number ...

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Recruitment Genius: Business / Operations Manager

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well-established and growi...

Day In a Page

In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible