Talk about pumping up the team:
President Barack Obama, who came up as a community organizer in Chicago, addressed some of his re-election campaign’s volunteers and staffers in Chicago following his victory this week — and he saw, in the crowd, some young people who reminded him of himself.
They got him to thinking, and nearly crying. (See it below, read it here:)
“I had this vague inkling about making a difference — I didn’t really know how to do it,” Obama said of himself, at 25, in Chicago. “I came to Chicago knowing that, somehow, I wanted to make sure that my life attached itself to helping kids getting a great education or helping people living in poverty to get decent jobs, to be able to work and have dignity.”
“I ended up being a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago,” he said. “I didn’t know at all what I was doing.”
The work he did, he said, changed him more than it changed the community.
“It taught me the hopes and aspirations, and the grit and the resilience of ordinary people,” he said. “I grew up. I became a man during that process.”
“It’s not that you guys actually remind me of myself — it’s the fact that you are so much better than I was,” he told his crew, with longtime political adviser David Axelrod standing behind him. “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.”
This is when the president’s eyes started watering.
“What you guys have done means that the work that I’m doing is important, and I’m really proud of that,” he said, choked up and wiping back a few tears.
“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.”