In a new video released by his campaign, President Barack Obama wipes away tears as he thanks members of his campaign staff and volunteers.
Obama’s campaign released a five-minute video of the president’s address Wednesday to members of his staff at his Chicago headquarters. The short speech came a day after he won re-election.
He began by recalling how he “grew up” during his time as a community organizer in Chicago, saying the work “changed me much more than I changed the communities.”
Obama becomes emotional when he says that even before the election results, he felt the work he had done “had come full circle.” He tells staff members that he is proud of the work they did, then pauses to wipe away tears.
“I became a man during that process. And so when I come here and when I look at all of you, what comes to mind is not that you guys actually remind me of myself, it’s the fact that you are so much better than I was, in so many ways,” Obama said.
His voice cracked with emotion as he continued.
“I’m absolutely confident that all of you are going to do just amazing things in your lives,” he said. “What Bobby Kennedy called the ripples of hope that come out when you throw a stone in a lake — that’s going to be all of you.
“That’s why even before last night’s results I felt that the work that I had done in running for office had come full circle, because what you guys have done means that the work that I’m doing is important. And I’m really proud of that. I’m really proud of all of you.”
As the gathered campaign team applauded and attempted to buck up the commander in chief, he wiped away tears from his eyes.
“Whatever good we do over the next four years will pale in comparison to what you guys end up accomplishing for years and years to come,” he said. “And that’s been my source of hope. That’s why when people over the last four years when people ask me about how do you put up with this or that and the frustration of Washington, I just think about you.”
Throughout his reelection effort, Obama spoke reflectively of how this would be his final campaign. And the video released Thursday evening was the latest example of how the weight of that fact struck seemingly struck the president in the final week.
A widely circulated photograph taken during his final campaign event in Iowa appeared to show evidence of a tear that rolled down his face. And after delivering his victory speech early in the morning Wednesday, he lingered on stage for an extended time, at one point reversing course as he was about to exit to acknowledge longtime supporters in the crowd.
After another day out of the public eye Thursday, though, Obama is set to deliver his first official statement Friday afternoon from the White House since his victory, on the state of the economy.