Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Closing Statement of the President

I want to apologize to the American public. There is no justification for my failures in Denver. I was listless, uninspired and ill-prepared. I did not anticipate that Mr. Romney would re-invent himself that night, distancing himself not only from the basic tenets of his party, but from his own long professed positions. But the blame begins and ends with me. My remarks were tepid and my vision for the future of this country was nowhere to be found. I was, in the words of combat, missing in action.

I want to tell you who I really am, and equally as important, who my opponent is not. I am someone who has come from very little. I was able to dream the big dreams, the biggest dreams, because I live in a country that allows these thoughts and permits these dreams the chance to become reality. I understand that there must be a reason to believe, there must be a sense that achievement is possible for each individual to survive the travails and do more with his or her life.

Ours is not a nation of takers, of victims, as Mr. Romney suggested in his unvarnished words to a room full of those who share his beliefs. We are doers, and given the chance, we have endless capacity. Those on welfare, on medicare, on medicaid, those young and old who suffer and struggle each day do not deserve our enmity but our compassion. I know that in each of them lies the same burning desire as is the few who have been able to reach the pinnacle in their chosen field. I do not intend now, or ever, to leave any one of them behind. Each person's equal importance is what makes this nation great. That testament to what we are is embedded within the words of our founding documents and is the bedrock of our society. Mr. Romney frames his tax policy, his health insurance goals and his entire philosophy of governing on rejection of that basic principle. His core belief is that those who have the most are the only driving force of this country, and the rest are disposable commodities. If he keeps the rich happy, then in his mind,  his job would be done, and done well. I find such a position untenable and immoral.

I walked into this office four years ago, determined to lead a country that was desperate and searching. Our financial outlook was dismal, as we were hemorrhaging jobs. I spoke once of turning around a great ship, and that the arc of that effort was slow. It has been, slower than I hoped and slower than all of you need. I know that for all of you who are still in such pain, there appears to be no end in sight. And I know that patience, after all this time, seems too big a request. But I ask you to understand that slow and steady progress is all that I can offer and all that I can achieve. There is no magic. There is the alternative, and that is to reverse our course, and head back directly where the trouble came from. And that is Mr. Romney's vision and plan. He would take away from those with outstretched arms and pain in their eyes and give more to those who don't need assistance in derogation of his solemn obligations.

It is not us against them. I don't resent achievement, I applaud it, and believe that our government should provide whatever reasonable latitude can be given to allow greatness to abound. Without that, our country is stifled and headed for mediocrity. But my job is to make certain that there are boundaries that can not be crossed and that abuses of the rights afforded not go unnoticed and unattended. It is a thankless task to challenge those who believe that any restraint is too much restraint. And Mr. Romney, despite the words uttered in Denver, has a fundamental distrust in regulation. He follows in the belief of his predecessors that any regulation is merely an impediment to greatness. And so we had the Wall Street disaster, and so Mr. Romney would lead us back there.

It is a moment of momentous importance abroad. The world as we know it has undergone an enormous transformation since I took office. It is a work in progress, often ugly and almost always uneven and uncertain. It is a time of great flux, and like our economy, it is one that will evolve slowly, no matter how much we wish or demand finality and clarity right now. It will take a deft touch and a deep understanding to deal with the complexities that arise from moment to moment. I have done the hardest work, and made the most difficult choices when the same were needed. Our role in Libya, with our allies able assist, resulted in the prevention of a genocide of untold proportion. Each problem, and there are many, demands more than Mr. Romney would have to offer in his large and unwieldy pronouncements. I work every day with our close friends in Israel to try to inch closer to resolution. Mr. Romney has suggested that it is a problem without answer. I do not believe that.  Under my watch, we have finished our time in Iraq, and are winding down our involvement in Afghanistan. But there are no straight lines to answers, even there. I understand that we alone do not want and deserve a chance at greatness. There are people throughout our world that search each day for that opportunity and I must be ever aware of that reality in finding solutions.

There are no easy answers to governing. It is fraught with peril and disaster awaits any misstep. For me, it has not been the easiest of paths, certainly harder than I anticipated. My adversaries would see me fail, even at the cost of progress for our country. I have had to work to overcome not only the natural obstacles that I should encounter, but the roadblocks that have been placed before me by those whose only goal is to have my job. I have done great things over the past four years and I am most proud of the fact that we have, in the face of unrelenting opposition, been able to achieve what so many before have not. I embrace "Obamacare" and the fact that 30 million less Americans will have to go to sleep at night fearing they are but one illness away from calamity and that the only medical attention to which they are entitled is found in emergency rooms. They can close their eyes knowing that their children will be protected from harm's way in ways they were not yesterday. Mr. Romney wants to undo all that, and for that there is only shame.

I want the American people to know that I let you down on that stage in Denver. I was not what you have a right to expect and demand of me. But I promise you that I have not let you down the last four years and I will not let you down the next four. I love my job and I love the American people. I believe in you and in your greatness and I ask that you continue to believe in me. Thank you, God Bless you and God Bless the United States of America.


Alexandra Nussbaum said...

I see a future in speech writing, dad.

Anonymous said...

Please, Robert, call the White House right now! Do not wait.
And do you have any ideas for VP Biden for this Thursday night?? He could use your advice, I am sure.

Robert said...

I am trying to get this before the right eyes.

gail said...

I really think the Obama campaign needs YOU to get their message across! If only you could ditch your day job....

Anonymous said...

Great writing and messaging..