Chicago, IL – In 2008 Barack Obama took to a stage in Grant Park to address thousands of Chicagoans. Last night, he was reelected. President Obama’s victory speech was delivered in front of supporters, and the nation, from his campaign headquarters in Chicago, IL.
In 2008 President Obama celebrated the victory of the campaign of hope and change. He said that the Democratic Party had won, “but we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.” He went on to highlight America’s opportunity to put people back to work, to restore prosperity, and promote the “cause of peace.”
Times have changed. The job market has turned around, in a slow recovery out of the biggest recession since the Great Depression, but Americans have become weary with the message of hope and have had a decreasing faith in his ability to solve our nation’s biggest problems. For four years we have seen a Congress that has passed fewer laws than ever before, while becoming a roadblock for many policy changes the president had hoped to implement.
For several months we watched President Obama campaign against Gov. Romney concluding with an overwhelming victory in the Electoral College last night.
President Obama took the stage to after his re-election had been announced and Gov. Romney had time to address his supporters and the country beforehand.
Obama opened his speech in 2012 similar to his 2008 speech, stating “Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its destiny, the task of perfecting our perfect union moves forward.”
A portion of Obama’s view of a more perfect union includes collective progress toward our goals and success as a country, not just individually. Under his leadership the president will push forward but emphasized the role of every American in progress.
“It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family, and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.”
The campaign has been particularly divisive as both candidates bought hundreds of millions of dollars of attack ads against one another. Regardless of the division that exists at the end of a campaign cycle, President Obama remarked:
“And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. (Cheers, applause.) I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope.”
As a rebuttal to those who have grown tired of his message of hope for the future. Obama said:
“I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the road blocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.”
To close his speech for the night and take his first steps through his second term as President of the United States, he told us:
“America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunities and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founding, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love (ph). It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight. (Cheers, applause.) You can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.”
Full speech below: