It’s Puerto Rico day:
The President departs Miami, Florida en route San Juan, Puerto Rico
Miami International Airport
First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver remarks at a Democratic National Committee breakfast in Oakland and luncheon in San Francisco.
The President arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico
The President delivers brief remarks at a welcome event
Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport
The President visits La Fortaleza
Vice President Biden hosts a meeting at with a bipartisan group of Congressional lawmakers to work on a legislative framework for comprehensive deficit reduction.
The President is interviewed by El Nuevo Día and Univision of Puerto Rico
The President attends a DNC event
The President departs San Juan, Puerto Rico
The President arrives at Joint Base Andrews
PBO’s interview with the quite obnoxious Ann Curry is here.
Here’s an extraordinary part from Michelle Obama’s speech at the DNC fundraiser in Pasadena yesterday. You should read the entire remarks, but this just moved me so much, I read it breathless.
Now, let me tell you something about your President. That’s what I see when he returns home after a long day traveling around the country, I mean, doing things you wouldn’t imagine that a single person could do in the span of 24 hours. And he always tells me not about how hard the day was but about the people he’s met along the way.
And I see in those quiet moments late at night, after we’ve put the girls to bed, and he’s hunched over his desk, and he’s reading everything — letters people have sent him. That’s what keeps him motivated. He reads those letters. A letter from the woman dying of cancer whose health insurance wouldn’t cover her care. Those are the letters he’s reading. The letter from the young person with so much promise, but so few opportunities.
And I see the sadness and the worry that’s creasing his face. And I hear the passion and the determination in his voice. He says, “You know, Mich, you won’t believe what these folks are going through.” He says, “It’s not right. Still not right. And we’ve got to fix this. We have to do more.”
And what some of you know, who has spent any time with Barack, is that when it comes to the people he meets and the stories he hears, he has a memory like a steel trap. I mean, it’s a gift. He remembers everything. He can retain so much information, substantively — stories, background, and children. He might not remember your name, but if he’s had a few minutes and a decent conversation, he will never forget your story. It becomes imprinted on his heart. And that is what he carries with him every day –- that collection of hopes, and dreams, and struggles.
That is what your President does. That’s where he gets his passion. And that’s why he works so hard every day. I mean, this man doesn’t take a day off. The President of the United States works every day. There isn’t a problem that faces this world that doesn’t come across his desk, with an expectation of completion.
Starting first thing in the morning and going late into the night, hunched over every briefing, he reads every word of every memo so that he is more prepared than the people briefing him, writing notes, asking questions. That is who your President is. That’s who you elected, because all those wins and losses, trust me, are not wins and losses for him. They’re wins and losses for the folks whose stories he carries with him, the folks he worries about and prays about before he goes to bed at night.
And in the end, for Barack Obama, and for me, and for so many of us here, that is what politics is about. It’s not about one person. (Applause.) It is not about one President. We talked about this. This election was not about Barack Obama. It’s about how we work together to make real changes that make a real difference in people’s lives on the ground. The young person attending college today because she can finally afford it. The mom or dad who can take their child to a doctor today because of health care reform. Those are real changes for people. You may not hear them on the news all the time, but that’s helping folks. The folks who are working on the line today at places like GM, and bringing home a good paycheck to their families.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to finish what we’ve started. We need all of you to be with us on the next phase of our journey. And I’m not going to kid you, it is not going to be easy. And it is going to be long. It was never supposed to be easy for Barack Obama. Did anybody think that? (Laughter.) Was anybody under the impression that this was going to be smooth and easy? Well, I wasn’t. (Laughter.) It’s going to be hard. And there will be plenty of twists and turns along the way.
And I know you all have been riding that roller coaster, rolling — oh, my god, what’s he doing now — and why isn’t he — oh, why did he — why isn’t he saying — boy, it’s — we hear you. (Laughter.)
But here’s the thing about Barack –- and this is something I’d appreciate even if he hadn’t shown the good judgment to marry me. (Laughter and applause.) But even in the toughest moments — and I have seen him every step of the way for every fight, for every decision — when it seems like all is lost, and we’re all wringing our hands, and I’ve done it to him, too — what’s going to happen, are we going to be okay — (laughter) — Barack Obama never loses sight of the end goal. He is always an end-goal game player. He’s not looking right here. He’s looking way down the road. (Applause.) And he never lets himself get distracted by the chatter and the noise. It doesn’t faze him. He just keeps moving forward, step by step. That’s how change happens. (Applause.)
And in those moments when we’re all sweating it, when we’re worried that that bill won’t pass, or the negotiations might fall through, Barack always reminds me that we’re playing a long game here. That’s how he reassures me. It’s not about today. It’s about our future. It’s about these kids. It’s not about us.
He reminds me that change is slow. Nothing worth having happens in an instant. He reminds me that change does not happen all at once. It never does. Never has. But he tells me that if we keep showing up, right, if we keep fighting the good fight, and doing what we know is right, then eventually we will get there, because we always have. When you think about it, we always have gotten to the right place in this country.
And that’s what he needs from you. All of you. That’s why I’m back out here on the campaign trail. He needs you to be in this with him for the long haul, the end game. He needs you to hold fast to our vision and our values and our dreams for our kids and for our country. He needs you to work like you’ve never worked before. Every day.
And that’s what I plan on doing, because I am not doing this just as his wife. I never have. I’m not doing it because I’m the First Lady. I’ll be doing it because I’m a mother. (Applause.) I want to leave a legacy for our girls that I can be proud of. And more than that, I will be doing it as a citizen who knows that we can do great things together to change this country for the better, because the truth is, no matter what happens, my girls will be okay. My girls will have plenty of advantages and opportunities in their lives. And that’s probably true for a lot of families here, for a lot of your kids, as well.
But I think the last four years have shown us the truth of what Barack has always said: That if any child in this country is left behind, then that matters to all of us — (applause) — even if she’s not our son or our daughter. If any family in this country struggles, then we can’t be fully content with our own family’s good fortune. We can’t just sit back and let our neighbors struggle, because that’s not what we do in this country. That’s not who we are.
In the end, we cannot separate our own story from the broader American story. And that, I know. I’ve seen it. Like it or not, we are all in this together. And that’s not so bad. (Applause.)
So I know that if we all put our hearts and our souls into this, if we do what we need to do during the next couple of years, then we can continue to make the change that we believe in. We can. And I know that if we do that, we can build the country that our children deserve.
So I have one last question to ask you. Are you in? (Applause.) I mean, are you ready for this? (Applause.) Because I am in. (Applause.) And I hope that you all are fired up. (Applause.) And I hope that you all are ready to go — (applause) — because it is going to take all of our energy to keep moving towards the future.
I look forward to working with you all hard in the years ahead. Thank you all, God bless, keep praying, keep working. (Applause.) We are so grateful to all of you. Thank you so much.