Obama seemed comfortable at the podium, in part, because of the close proximity to his hometown of Chicago.
"This feels familiar to me -- being back in the Midwest," Obama said. "This is about as close as I get to home these days."
On the second day of a three-day bus tour across Indiana, the Illinois Senator took the stage for a town hall meeting at Terre Haute North Vigo High School shortly after 8 p.m.
The crowd of more than 2,000 Wabash Valley residents got a good workout while rising to their feet several times throughout his speech, showing their support and willingness to stand with Obama and his ideas for the future.
"The American people have figured it out -- Washington is not working for the ordinary people," Obama said. "The people are standing up and saying it is time for a change and want to turn a page in American history."
Obama said, while standing at the podium used by John F. Kennedy during his speech to Terre Haute residents in 1960, "I am not running for my own ambition, but for Dr. [Martin Luther] King's idea of a 'fierce urgency of now'."
Obama said his campaign has been successful because of the effort from regular people.
"I have financed my campaign, not from lobbyists money, but because of you and that makes me answerable to you," Obama said. "My campaign has been an opportunity to give regular people a voice."
Obama didn't spend much time talking about his most vocal critics, Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton, Republican John McCain and current President George W. Bush. He did point out that they have similar complaints, but also took a moment to mention a big difference between he and Clinton.
"[Hillary] Clinton is smart, but she doesn't believe that the lobbyists issue is a problem and wants to look back to the nineties as a good time," Obama said. "We must look forwards, not backwards, and I won't let the lobbyists drown out the voice of the American people when I'm president."
He talked about the frustration of the regular citizen over the many issues facing the country.
"The economy is teetering on who knows what. We are learning under Bush's policies that pain trickles up," Obama said. "In the last seven years we have seen wages and incomes not even stay steady, but go down. During that time we have seen the cost for gas, groceries, healthcare and education go through the roof."
Obama emphasized the need to correct corruption in big business and making things fair and right for the ordinary American worker.
"When a CEO of a corporation leaves and gets a golden umbrella and a $1 million bonus and a regular worker who gets laid off loses his pension -- that's not right and something has to change," he said.
During the speech, Obama said he identified with the public's frustration with Washington, particularly with healthcare.
"I want to give you, the American people, just as good healthcare as I have as a member of Congress," Obama said. "You pay my salary, you are my boss."
He said it is his intention to work in the best interest of American citizens, and recognized that everyone, even politicians have faults.
"I am not a perfect man and I won't be a perfect president," Obama said. "We will disagree on some things, but I will spend every day in the White House thinking about you. If you stand up with me, we will make a change."
After his speech, Obama addressed questions from the attendance.
When asked about what qualities he looks for in a vice president, Obama said that is not a priority right now.
"I don't want to take things for granted because I have to win the nomination first," he said. "I've got to win Indiana before I start thinking about a vice president."
However, Obama did say he wants anyone who works for him to have competence, integrity and independence. He said he is definitely not looking for a "yes man."
"I want to emphasize to those who want to work for me that being in public service should be about helping the public," Obama said. "I want people who will argue and tell me when I am wrong. I want them to realize their power is not from the position or the office they are in -- it comes from the American people."
Times Staff Reporter Jason Jacobs contributed to this report.