Back home in Hawaii, where President Obama was born and vacations each Christmas with his family, he warned a group of supporters on Monday that everything they fought for to help him win election and the principles on which America stands are on the line in the 2012 presidential election. And although the change that he promised in 2008 has been slow to come, Obama said, the nation is beginning to see what change looks like.
“Everything we fought for in the last election is now at stake in the next election. The very core of what this country stands for is on the line,” Obama said. “The basic promise that no matter who you are or where you come from, what you look like, that you can make it in America if you try — that vision is on the line.”
Citing the auto industry bailout, health care reform, environmental initiatives and efforts to improve education, Obama told the 250 people who’d paid at least $1,000 to attend the brunch fundraiser, that the changes he’s achieved should make them hopeful, but not satisfied. He compared his agenda to that of Republican lawmakers and presidential hopefuls, and said that they are in a “race to the bottom” that would make America less competitive, more polluted and a place where those with the least are asked to make the greatest sacrifice.
Obama acknowledged that his administration has experienced “setbacks” and “false starts” that may have tempted supporters to lose faith and, as he has in the past, cautioned that real change is hard and takes time.
“It takes more than a single term. It takes more than a single president,” he said. “It takes ordinary citizens who are committed to continuing to fight and to push, to keep inching our country closer and closer to our ideals.”
The president promised that his family would soon be back in Hawaii for their annual winter vacation, but couldn’t promise that he’d be there.
“Let’s see if Washington gets its business done so I can get here as well,” he said.
(Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)