One goal of President Obama’s tour through New York City last night was to re-invigorate the legion of young supporters who helped propel a junior senator from Illinois into the White House.
But at his final event last night, at a concert venue near Times Square, Obama did more than acknowledge the disenchantment some of his supporters have been feeling lately. “I see your comments,” he said at one point. With a mixture of mockery and re-interpretation, he gave his version of what happened when he went from long-shot candidate to presidential nominee.
From the pool report:
THE PRESIDENT: I know there are times where some of you felt frustrated, where we haven’t gotten everything done that we wanted to get done. I know you guys. (Laughter.) Why did health care take so long? And we didn’t get our public option — (laughter) — you know, it’s like, you know, what are we doing about this energy thing? It’s not happening fast enough. And, look, small business — you know. (Laughter.)
I know all of you — I’ve got a couple thousand political consultants here. (Laughter.) And sometimes — how come Obama is not communicating properly? And it’s like we’re — and their narrative, and we have to — you know, I see your comments. (Laughter.) And you look wistfully at the poster — (laughter) — remember that day in Iowa? (Laughter.) I know. (Laughter.) Then your friends come and talk to you and, oh, Obama has changed. (Laughter.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I love you, Mr. President! (Applause.)
THE PRESIDENT: But what I’m saying — we know this wasn’t going to be easy, though. A journey like this one, we knew there were going to be setbacks and detours and times when we stumbled. People act like — sometimes I read folks talking about, wow, his campaign was so brilliant and so smooth. These people weren’t on the campaign. (Laughter.) I remember us screwing up all the time during the campaign.