BALTIMORE—Barack Obama has just completed a 45-minute speech here to a capacity crowd at a huge downtown arena.
He used a little wry humor to mock those who suggest he is not tough enough to withstand what he called "the Republican attack machine."
"I have to explain to people: I’m skinny but I’m tough," Obama said. "I’m wiry! Don’t mess with me. Let them bring it on. Who they got—John McCain?"
As laughter spread through the arena, Obama took a rhetorical step backwards.
"Listen, I respect John McCain. He is a genuine war hero, he has gone through things that most of us can’t even imagine. And he deserves our applause."
To building cheers, Obama then added: "But he is on the wrong side of history right now. We are the party of tomorrow, he’s the party of yesterday."