US Election Diary: Obama takes a leaf from Dubya's book

 

Barack Obama's final speech contained a veiled nod to his predecessor. "You know me," he said. "You may not agree with every decision I've made. But you know what I believe. You know where I stand." Eight years ago, one President George W Bush declared in his final speech: "Americans have seen how I do my job. Even when you might not agree with me, you know what I believe, you know where I stand." Political soothsayers are now wondering if the "Dubya" quote represents an end-of-term prank by Obama's speechwriters, or a deliberate ploy. Bush, after all, was a two-term president.

Romney no sell-out

At Mitt Romney's final speech, at an ice-hockey rink in New Hampshire, he gave a "shout out" to the thousands of supporters who he claimed were locked outside the 10,000-capacity arena because of the staggering turnout. One problem: no one was locked out. In fact, The Independent had seen the final attendees ushered across the threshold half an hour earlier. Romney should have known this: from the podium, he'll have been able to see the vacant seats.

A message to the heavies

Pity the manager of Raygun, a T-shirt emporium in Des Moines, Iowa. Tired of having to close his premises during the endless security "sweeps" that precede campaign rallies, he now has a large poster in his shop window. "SECRET SERVICE," it reads. "We do not consent to our store being searched. It's not that there's anything illegal in here. We just employ several Colombian prostitutes and don't want to tempt you guys."

Rapper's risqué Mitt quip

Also cracking risqué jokes: the singer Jay-Z. At an Obama gig in Ohio on Monday, he sang a specially reworked version of his hit "99 problems". The chorus went: "I've got 99 problems, but a Mitt ain't one." The original goes: "I've got 99 problems, but a bitch ain't one."

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