Lynn Sweet of the Sun Times painted a desperate picture of the Obama rally for Giannoulis and other Illinois Democrats this past weekend. Saying he came home to rally support for candidates in hopes of salvaging the election, Sweet and the Sun Times sounded genuinely worried about the outcome of the Illinois midterms (Sun Times officially endorsed Giannoulias for Senate). Labeling it “nostalgic”, Sweet said Obama came home to push Giannoulias “over the finish line”. Sweet gave special prominence to this rally (even though Obama rallied in other locations) because she said it would say a lot about the Democratic prospects if Democrats in Illinois don’t dominate a stronghold state. Sweet quoted Obama reminding the crowd of a similar rally two years ago. She said he was “trying to recreate the excitement of the 2008 campaign”. Statements like these made the whole effort and the presidential involvement in the race in general seem like damage control. The DNC estimated attendance at 35,000. However, a commenter on Sweet’s article said he was at the rally and there couldn’t have been more than 15,000.