Fw: In town travel pool #4 -- Remarks at dinner

From: Shear, Michael [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 23, 2015 06:11 PM
To: Velz, Peter
Subject: In town travel pool #4 -- Remarks at dinner

POTUS spoke for about 10 minutes to the gathering of OFA volunteers, etc.

Here are some quotes, though please check against the full transcript to come later.

He talked about having had a busy year since he'd last spoken to the group, mentioning the bad (losing the midterms) and the good (executive action on immigration, an Iran nuclear deal, extending children's health programs, confirming Lynch.)

He said his inspiration is people like Jennifer Contreras, the activist from Arizona, who introduced him.

"I just have to tell all of you that the reason I am so energized and excited and wake up every morning ready to tackle all of the problems that are in my inbox... is that all across the country there are folks like Jennifer."

He said that "I always feel confidence about what this country can accomplish" but added that "I've now been at this long enough to know that you are going to have some ups and you're going to have some downs."

He said that "there are going to be some times when the pundits have written you off" but said that as long as you keep to your north star, "I don't worry about the future."

He said he was proud of what OFA has been able to accomplish. He said that "now its not about reelecting me" and then quickly caught himself, saying that it "never technically was" about electing him.

But he said it was inspiring that OFA had local chapters all over the country which are working on a range of issues to get things done even when things are gridlocked in Congress. He mentioned minimum wage and early childhood as examples.

"Congress wasn't prepared to do a comprehensive early childhood bill? Let's find a governor who's willing to do it. We'll work with them."

He said that he is especially inspired by young leaders, and noted how odd it feels to have Malia going to college next fall.

"We are seeing, and I see it every day, just this successive wave of young leadership that just keeps coming up."

He added "We've got more work to do. iI hope you guys feel as inspired as I do" and later added: "Despite the gray hair, I've got a lot more energy."

The pool was then ushered out of the room so that POTUS could do a Q & A with the group. That part is off the record.


Michael D. Shear
White House Correspondent
The New York Times

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