An energetic President Obama took the stage in Philadelphia on Tuesday with an enthusiastic pitch for Hillary Clinton.
“I am really into electing Hillary Clinton,” he declared to the crowd. Recent political history isn’t exactly teeming with examples of presidents so enthusiastic about the candidates running to succeed him — Mr. Obama differs in that regard. “This not me going through the motions. I really, really, really want to elect Hillary Clinton.”
He praised Clinton at length, in the same terms he’s used as the past, reiterating his assertion that “there has never been a man or a woman who has been more qualified to serve as our president,” and praising her work ethic and her judgment.
But one of the main arguments for Clinton is the argument for Mr. Obama’s own legacy, and Clinton is the clear choice for him to see it carried on. “By so many measures, America is stronger and more prosperous than when we started out,” he told the adoring crowd.
“We fought our way back from the worst recession in 80 years,” he said, listing his administration’s accomplishments. “We turned around a declining economy…our businesses created 15 million new jobs.”
He went on to point out “we made marriage equality a reality in all 50 states. We brought more of our troops home to their families. We delivered justice to Osama bin Laden. Through diplomacy rather than war, we shut down Iran’s nuclear program,” and he mentioned normalized relations with Cuba and the climate change deal reached in Paris. “That’s what we’ve done,” he said.
The president took some satisfaction from a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau. “Across every age, every race in America, incomes rose and the poverty rate fell,” he bragged. “In fact, the typical household income of Americans rose by $2,800, which is the single biggest one-year increase on record.”
Still, he noted that there are families who have not yet “felt progress,” and “we’ve got more work to do.” The “very meaning of America,” he said, is at stake, and voters will “determine the direction of this country for a long time.”
Donald Trump, the president said, offers a “dark, pessimistic vision,” where we turn away from the world, the president said. “This isn’t Abraham Lincoln’s Republican party,” he opined. The president accused Trump of fanning resentment and hate.