Two days after his triumphant victory over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, President Obama thanked his campaign staff for their help in getting him reelected. In a spartan room decorated only with campaign posters, cork boards with post-it notes, and computers, he delivered perhaps his most heartfelt speech yet.
As he looked out at a room filled with young, energetic supporters, he told them they reminded him of himself as a young man. When he first moved to Chicago, he said, Reagan had just been reelected to his second term. He knew he wanted to help the community, and help the kids get the kind of education and opportunities he'd benefited from.
The president described how, during his years as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, he grew up, became a man. The community, he said, had done more for him than he could ever repay. It was through learning how people had common dreams, common hopes, and as he looked out over his own community organizers, he said, "...you are going to do just amazing things in your lives, and you'll be what Bobby Kennedy called the ripples of hope that come out when you throw a stone in a lake."
As President Obama spoke, quiet tears rolled down his face, and his voice, normally stoic and strong, broke with emotion as he told them, "I'm really proud of all of you." He wiped them away several times, pausing briefly to gather his thoughts. It was obvious that his campaign workers felt the same way. The entire room was filled with a sense of joyous, but cautious hope. Unlike four years ago, when supporters believed he could help change Washington, this time, it was a sense of relief mixed with resolve that progress must march on, and America can't afford to return to 1950s values. It was a sense that his entire campaign, and the last four years, were validated, and the future can, and will be, much brighter than today.
You can view the video here below. A transcript will be provided in the first comment section for those who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Photo credit: Barack O./Twitter