His main goal? To try to propel Governor Ted Strickland to a come-from-behind victory over Republican challenger John Kasich.
Kasich has had a lead in the polls all along, but seen a double-digit margin shrink since September.
"We've got to get Cleveland out to vote. We've got to get Ohio out to vote," the President urged.
The crowd consisted of the Democratic base the President hopes to energize.
He especially wants to keep Democrat Strickland in the Governor's job because of Ohio's importance to his 2012 re-election bid.
Rap artist Common performed, connecting with college students and other young people in the crowd.
The President said, "The journey we started two years ago was not just about putting a President in the White House. It was creating a movement for change," he said.
He claimed Governor Strickland's policies on new energy jobs, education and research have Ohio on the track to a brighter future. He said they share the same goals.
"I don't want those jobs to go to other countries. I want them in Ohio and in Cleveland," he said.
Governor Strickland predicted victory.
"John Kasich and Mary Taylor may have won the election in August. But Ted Strickland and Yvette McGee Brown will win the one in November, " he said.
A new Columbus Dispatch poll has Strickland trailing Kasich by just two points.
The event drew a crowd of 8,000. Cleveland State's Wolstein Center holds 14,000. There were contingency plans in place for a possible second event at Krenzler Field to handle an overflow crowd that never materialized.
Cuyahoga County's Democratic turnout may tell the tale for Governor Strickland. Experts say he needs at least a 140,000- vote margin here to have a shot at winning.
Afterwards, a large crowd of people organized by the Ohio Democratic Party marched to the Board of Elections to early vote.