Page last updated at 17:12 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

Obama 'makes chief-of-staff move'

Rahm Emanuel

A Democratic congressman has reportedly been approached by US presidential hopeful Barack Obama to be his chief-of-staff.

Rahm Emanuel was named by Democratic sources as a contender for the job.

The Illinois congressman is considered a highly partisan politician who served in Bill Clinton's White House.

The BBC's Justin Webb says the McCain campaign say this is an example of the real face of an Obama administration - governed from the left.

Mr Obama refused to be drawn on reports he had approached Mr Emanuel about becoming his chief-of-staff.

"I'm trying to win an election," he told reporters when asked the question as he stepped off a flight in Missouri.

"Plouffe is my chief-of-staff," he added, referring to campaign manager David Plouffe.

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An aide to Mr Emanuel told the AP "he has not been contacted to take a job in an administration that does not yet exist".

Mr Emanuel, 48, was a senior adviser to President Clinton and has made a rapid rise up the House of Representatives ladder since his election to Congress.

He was chairman of the Democratic campaign committee two years ago when the party won a majority in Congress for the first time in more than a decade.

Final stretch

Republican presidential candidate John McCain made an eleventh hour plea for donations on Thursday in an effort to pull off a surprise victory in next week's election.

Matthew Price
McCain has no wiggle room - one failure and he's done for
The BBC's Matthew Price, in Mentor, Ohio

His plea to supporters came less than a day after Mr Obama spent an estimated $5m (3.1m) on a 30-minute primetime "infomercial" aired on US TV networks.

Mr McCain spent Thursday campaigning in Ohio, which is seen as a must-win state if he is to have any chance of overall victory.

The latest national poll by CBS and the New York Times puts him 13% behind his Democratic rival, Barack Obama.

Mr Obama held rallies in Virginia, Florida and Missouri on Thursday on a final dash around swing states.

Polls in battleground states suggest the differences between the two candidates are much slimmer.

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