Barack Obama teared up while delivering an emotional speech to his team at campaign headquarters in Chicago the day after he was re-elected as US president. He spoke about how he got into politics and thanked those present for their work.
President Obama made a surprise visit to the campaign office in Chicago yesterday to give a heartfelt thank-you to staff and volunteers.
I wanted to pass this video along, because it's a message every single person who helped build this campaign deserves to see. He wasn't just talking to those of us in the office—he was talking to all of you.
In his speech on Election Night, President Obama gave you all the title you have spent the last year and a half earning: "The best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics."
"You are so much better than I was, in so many ways," he said. "You're smarter, more organised, more effective. I'm absolutely confident that all of you are going to do amazing things."
"Even before last night's results, I felt that the work that I'd begun by running for office had come full circle because the work that you've done means that the work that I'm doing is improved. And I'm really proud of that. I'm really proud of all of you."
"Whatever good we do over the next four years will pale in comparison to what you guys end up accomplishing for years and years to come. And that's my source of hope."
Democratic political advisers, in a conference call with reporters on Thursday, said they would be discussing with his supporters how to move on, but suggested that potential party candidates in future elections could not assume the Obama ground apparatus would automatically be at their disposal.
"You just can't transfer this," said David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser who managed Obama's campaign four years ago.
"People are not going to spend hours away from their families and their jobs, contributing financially when it's hard for them to do it unless they believe in the candidate."
"For candidates who want to try and build a grassroots campaign, it's not going to happen because there is a list or because you have the best technology. That's not how this works," Plouffe said.
"They have to build up that kind of emotional appeal so that people are willing to go out there and spend the time and their resources and provide their talents because they believe in someone and in what you're offering," he said.
"The only reason that all this happened on the ground - whether it was 08 or this time … was because they believed in Barack Obama."