A grateful President Barack Obama became emotional Wednesday evening when stopping by his Chicago office to thank young supporters for their role in his re-election victory the evening before.
The video, which was e-mailed to supporters by his campaign, showed the president tearing up a bit as he told the crowd how overwhelmed he was by their level of support and commitment in helping him land a second term in the White House. He told the audience that wherever they end up and whatever they end up doing, he predicted they will “do great things” and said that he felt like what he started when he ran for office four years ago had come full circle.
“It’s not that you guys actually remind me of myself ,” Obama said to staffers and volunteers as longtime political adviser David Axelrod stood off to the side. “It’s the fact that you are so much better than I was. What Bobby Kennedy called the ripples of hope that come out when you throw a stone in a lake, that’s going to be you.”
Obama went on to speak of his own experience as a community organizer in Chicago and how much the experience changed him and allow him to witness the great things that ordinary people can accomplish when they put their differences aside.
He told the crowd of supporters that after watching them for months, they have done so much better than him. Obama predicted good things to come for the individuals in the crowd, and started tearing up a bit when he said that the work they have done for him helped to validate his purpose in continuing to fight for ordinary Americans. The audience applauded as the president wiped a tear from his face.
The president concluded by saying that whenever people ask him about how frustrated he must get on a daily basis, he thinks of his most ardent supporters who helped fight for him to win re-election this year.
Obama spent Election Day in Chicago and visited his campaign office in the city on Nov. 7 to thank staffers and volunteers who helped in his victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The visit was closed to the media, and the video was released after the president returned to Washington.
“What you guys have done means that the work that I’m doing is important, and I’m really proud of that,” Obama said on the video, choked up and brushing away a few tears.
Obama will issue a statement today on his plans for spurring economic growth and reducing the deficit, and early next week he will hold his first news conference since winning re-election, according to administration officials who spoke to Bloomberg News on condition of anonymity before any announcement of the events.
As in 2008, Obama was boosted in this year’s election by the youth vote, winning 60 percent of those ages 18 to 24, according to a national exit poll conducted for television networks and the Associated Press by Edison Research.
“Your journey is just beginning, you’re just starting,” he said, “and whatever good we do over the next four years will pale in comparison to what you guys do for years to come.”