The word from Obama: 'Courage'
Updated 7:30 p.m.
By Peter Slevin
STRONGSVILLE, Ohio - President Obama knows a good line when he hears it.
During the presidential primary, he grabbed a South Carolina supporter's call of "Fired up! Ready to go!" and made it a mantra. On Monday, talking health-care reform, it happened again.
Obama was pivoting from a promise to strengthen Medicare to a call for Congress to vote when a woman shouted from the audience at his rally, "We need courage!"
The crowd cheered, and Obama paused in his prepared remarks to repeat the phrase.
"We need courage," he said. "Did you hear what somebody just said? That's what we need. That's why I came here today. We need courage."
"We need courage," Obama said again, then returned to the words scrolling through his twin teleprompters.
But the word, and the sentiment, stuck with him. As he charged into the crescendo of his 30-minute speech, he returned to it.
"The American people want to know if it's still possible for Washington to look out for these interests, for their future," Obama said. "So what they're looking for is some courage. They're waiting for us to act."
By the end, in a scene reminiscent of the height of his campaign-year popularity in 2008, Obama's words were swamped by crowd's cheers. Sleeves rolled up, his voice rising to a shout, he declared, "I'm calling on Congress to pass these reforms, and I'm going to sign them into law.
"I want some courage. I want us to do the right thing, Ohio. And with your help, we're going to make it happen."
March 15, 2010; 3:07 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama , Health Care
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