We've been through a lot together. But we've known tough times before. What carries us through and helps us endure? What are the qualities so essential to us and the leaders who have occupied this office? He did some things knowing that they wouldn't be popular in the short run that would lay the foundation for recovery.
No other country in the world would give up the capacity to manufacture cars, and so he did what a government's supposed to do in a case like that.
Do not rescue the automobile industry. I mean, it was overwhelming, look at the polling number. A country in the midst of a financial crisis that no one really knew the depths of the challenges that were coming.
I think he had a sense. My grandparents came out of the depression. they knew what it was like for people not to have work. We all understand that work is something more than just a paycheck.
It gives you dignity, it gives you a sense of purpose. He said you guys got to work together and come up and everybody's got to have some skin in the game here.
You've got to have a give-up, you've got to modernize the automobile industry. Everybody said, ah, it's never going to work. but guess what? 80,000 more people working in the care business than we did before the restructuring was passed.
They're middle class jobs. People can raise a family on a decent wage. We've gone from an economy that was shedding jobs to one that's consistently creating jobs at all sectors.
Every night he's up until one, two o'clock in the morning with his big stack of briefing books and he reads the letters he gets from people all over america.
They are, as he put it, some of the most informative pieces of material that he gets, that keeps him grounded. And anyone who has kids knows that no matter what you do, your kids still think that they are the most important people in your world. so we sit around the dinner table and he's the last person to be asked, oh yeah, how was your day dad? You know, I mean really, he's an afterthought.
He never starts a conversation by saying, what's the best political decision here? What'll help us the most? Never. So he wasn't going to back out just because it got hard.
Just because it didn't poll well. That's just never been who he is and that's certainly not how he will ever govern this country.
When my mom got cancer, she wasn't a wealthy woman, and it pretty much drained all of her resources. Watching your mother die of something that could have been prevented, that's a tough thing to deal with.
The reason that he pushed ahead, knowing that there could be horrible political consequences for him, just as there were for me, is that healthcare costs had gone up three times the rate of inflation.
This is a huge economic issue, because we spend 17 and a half percent of our income on healthcare. Anybody who gets medical care, hundreds of thousands of dollars. Imagine a working class mom opening up that kind of bill with somebody sending that to her with a straight face.
That understanding of that kind of reality for millions of americans drove him to make sure that this legislation got passed. It takes a conscious effort to stay connected with what's going on in people's lives.
This was a matter of principle for him. He ran on it, he said he was going to do it and he did it. You hire the president to make the calls when no one else can do it.
He had to decide. That's one thing that george bush said that was right: the president is the decider-in-chief. We were only about 50 percent sure that bin laden was in that compound.
But I had 100 per scent confidence in our navy seals. I sat in that room with him when we were getting feeds on what was going on at the time.
He sat there resolute, concerned, just watching. we got him. Confirm it. Just, boom boom boom. Then came and explained to everybody the next day in the cabinet room what happened.
I mean, this is a guy who, I said, has a backbone like a ramrod. Good evening. Tonight I can report to the american people and to the world. He took the harder and more honorable path, and the one that produced, in my opinion, the best result.
When I saw what had happened, i thought to myself, I hope that's the call I would have made. It was just the right thing to do.
We have a long way to go. But with every new beginning, every homecoming, every step forward, we remember who we are. What's really allowing this economy to heal and get us moving again is the resilience and the strength and the character of the american people.
They don't quit. They don't give up. Partly because of family, partly because a sense of community, patriotism and pride in this country. They keep going.
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