From: Mufson, Steven [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 05:36 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO
Subject: pool report 7
The speech was open press. A few highlights.
Introduced by Lisa Martin, the English teacher whose home he had just visited, POTUS, dressed in open blue shirt collar and suit, seemed to be feeling loose during a rollicking speech at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s new Baxter Arena. He entered to tumultuous applause. He recalled that he won Nebraska in 2008 and “then four years later I got whooped all across this state. [laughter] It was not pretty. .. but I love Nebraska anyway.” [applause]
He stuck close to the outline of his state of the union address and reprised many of the same themes, with some more umph and sharper edges in places, especially when it came to Republican presidential candidates, and a few bits of humor.
“When you talk about looking meaner, talking tougher or carpet bombing,” he said referring to leading candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, “that’s just hot air. It’s bluster. It’s not serious. It’s not serious. There’s another word for it that starts with ‘B.’” He paused as laughter broke out. “It’s baloney,” he said.
The Baxter Arena opened in October and was festooned with LED banner lights saying “Welcome to Obama” and a large red sign with black letters reading: “Welcome to Omaha President Obama.” Obama joked that it still had that “new arena smell to it.” He spoke at a podium in front of American and Nebraska state flags. People filled the seats, central stadium floor and stairs. Crowd estimte 11,000 according to White House email, though local reporters said it was designed to hold about 8,000 or so in the stands alone.
Other popular lines:
“I didn’t say yes I can. I said yes we can. I didn’t ask you to believe in my ability to bring about change. I asked you to believe in your ability to bring about change.”
He said students should not graduate college loaded with debt and that community college should be free for two years.
Big applause for these lines: “As I said last night families on food stamps did not cause the financial crisis”
and “Immigrants are not the reason wages haven’t gone up.”
POTUS spoke for about 45 to 50 minutes, finished up around 6:15 EST, 5:15 CST and signed autographs and shook hands as he departed to the sounds of Bruce Springsteen’s “This Train” blaring over the PA system.
During the speech one person fell ill and was removed on a stretcher at 5:11 pm CST.