MIDTERM MADNESS

Obama Leads Final Charge from Chicago

For better or for worse, Barack Obama’s mad month on the road is drawing to a close, though it looks increasingly likely that it was all for naught. "He said, 'I'm going on the campaign trail for the next month, and I told my scheduler to ignore me when I say I'm tired,'" Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin remembered Obama saying. But with the Republicans set to seize control of Congress, Obama found himself having to urge his hometown crowds in Chicago to vote for Democrats—in stark contrast to the scenes in Grant Park two years ago, when Obama seemed to have a nation behind him. That crowd of 35,000, he said, had the chance to "set the direction of this state and this country for years to come." But in private, Obama has been prepared for the worst. Senior Democratic officials have told him that the House is “gone” and that control of the Senate could meet the same fate if incumbents like Harry Reid and Patty Murray collapse.