On this day in 1980, Ronald Reagan, during his debate with President Jimmy Carter, suggested to the American people that they should ask themselves a series of questions before voting: “Are you better off than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment than there was four years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was?” And on and on.

It was a devastating line of attack against an incumbent President. And Reagan, of course, went on to unseat Carter the following Tuesday.

Yesterday, in Canton, Ohio, Barack Obama rolled out his closing argument, highlights of which can be seen below. If you stick around until the 1:45 mark, you’ll hear Obama re-frame Reagan’s central question.

We’ve heard much of this before, but it’s still great stuff. Obama is, to my mind, the best campaigner I’ve ever seen. He has a gift: not just for rhetoric but also for organization, for tactics, for strategy. Should he win [throws salt over shoulder, spits twice, knocks wood, makes odd hand gestures to ward off the evil eye], I have no idea how he’s going to govern — as a cautious centrist, a bipartisan conciliator, a progressive firebrand, or none of the above — because events, more than anything else, will determine that future. In the meantime, though, I’m going to appreciate his gifts for persuasion and hope for the best.