President Barack Obama wiped away tears as he spoke of his early career as a young community organizer in Chicago, as shown in a video of his speech to campaign workers there the day after he won a second term.
The video, e-mailed to the president’s supporters last night by his campaign, shows Obama encouraging the young people who worked for his re-election to carry on in their lives.
“It’s not that you guys actually remind me of myself -- it’s the fact that you are so much better than I was,” the president told staffers and volunteers, with longtime political adviser David Axelrod standing off to the side. “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 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 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.”
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