For crying out loud, we love you, Obama!

A tearful clip of the president goes viral — and briefly thaws our cold, cynical hearts VIDEO

Topics: 2012 Elections, Going Viral, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Bill Clinton, 2012 Presidential Elections, ,

For crying out loud, we love you, Obama! (Credit: AP)

Jeez, isn’t it enough you won a reelection; you had to go viral on us too, Barack? On Thursday, after defeating Mitt Romney and making white people all across this no-longer-”traditional” great nation of ours go all sad face and hilariously Twitter-rampaging, Barack Obama and his team decided to put a little icing on the victory cake. They released a video of an emotional president thanking his campaign team — and becoming visibly tearful near the end. Cue widespread epidemic of blurry monitors.

Yes, it was a prepared speech. And yes, the same morons who found it distasteful earlier this week when the president got choked up are even unhappier now that this – and I’m quoting a Chicago Tribune commenter here – “frickin’ crybaby” is staying put in the White House. But plenty of others – like apparently every human being on my Twitter feed right now – saw that video as an affirmation of exactly whom we were voting for on Tuesday. It’s a video of a leader with a heart.

In his speech, Obama recalled his early days as a community organizer in Chicago, how he “became a man during that process,” and how he felt his work “had come full circle.” And although his message was similar to the one he told the nation Tuesday night, when he said, “It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try,” the tone was exponentially more subdued, more humbled and awestruck.

“I’m absolutely confident that all of you are going to do just amazing things in your lives,” he said. “What Bobby Kennedy called the ripples of hope that come out when you throw a stone in a lake — that’s going to be you.”

You Might Also Like

What makes the clip so striking is how stunningly unique it is. In eight years, George W. Bush never had a moment of such unabashed emotion. Even Bill Clinton, for all his folksy appeal and charisma, could never quite shake off the whiff of performance in his attempts at sincere connection. And just try for a hot second to imagine President Mitt Romney making a similar speech to his campaign workers after winning the election. It’s not that Bush or Clinton or Romney could never have been the guys to pull off such a dewy-eyed delivery that makes Obama’s so endearing to his supporters. It’s that it’s an almost unprecedented display of vulnerability, one that suits both the president and the mood of the nation he leads right now.

On Piers Morgan’s show Thursday, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick observed: “To see a president of the United States being that raw, that emotional with his campaign volunteers and to see Barack Obama openly weeping at one stage, very unusual, very moving.” And former CBS anchor Dan Rather told CNN of the clip, “I’m not sure there has ever been any American president, perhaps no world leader that I know of in my lifetime, who has come out with that raw emotion in a very attractive way.” Or, as a friend put it simply, “I am so happy that our president is such a mensch!”

We have been living of late in cynical times. That cynicism and that mistrust and that culture of snark weren’t wiped out on election night, and they weren’t blown away in a hurricane. But after so much that’s happened in just the past few days, and with so many unfathomable struggles yet to come, a whole lot of us need to believe we’re in the hands of a guy who can feel something. Who can speak, right now, about what he’s learned of “the hopes and aspirations and grit and resilience” of people. And who can tell us all, with tears in his eyes, “I’m really proud of you.”

Mary Elizabeth Williams
Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream." Follow her on Twitter: @embeedub.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.


    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>