Farewell candidate Obama: President gives last campaign speech

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrive on stage at the president's final campaign rally in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo: Reuters

His story may only be at its mid-point. Americans may see a great deal more of him over the next four years.

But they will never again hear Barack Obama give a speech as a candidate. He will never seek office again.

His last speech a short time ago was an act of political symmetry. The President returned to Des Moines, Iowa, where his astounding trajectory began in Presidential politics.

It was in Iowa that he won a spectacular victory against Hillary Clinton in January 2008. The man with the strange name and the exotic background was heading all the way to the White House. How improbable was that?

Last night he spoke of having work to finish. The President was nostalgic and misty-eyed. He recalled the old slogans: Fired up! Ready to Go!

Later today he will wait for the results to roll in. Obama will play some basketball and squeeze in last-minute media interviews.

But his campaigning days are over. At his best, the President was mesmerizing. His political journey from obscurity to the Oval Office has been wonderful to watch.

So farewell candidate Obama.

Now let's see if he can pull off one final political achievement: securing re-election. It should be an exciting night.