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Monday
Apr042011

Candidate Obama to Supporters: 'I'm Fired Up, I Don't Know About Everyone Else'

Pete Souza/The White House(WASHINGTON) -- This was not a conference call you’d have heard in the 2008 presidential campaign.

There was talk of hope. But this time the talk of hope was that of President Obama’s hoping that his supporters from 2008 will still support him organize in 2012, after admittedly a rough few years.

President Obama opened up the call with grassroots supporters across the country Monday evening, after officially launching his re-election bid earlier in the day, by saying, “I’m fired up, I don’t know about everyone else.”

The president admitted that “we may not have the exact same newness in 2008” because there was something “so dramatic” about that process. He noted that the last two years have also taken a toll on him.

“I’m gray, and I’ve got bags under my eyes. You know, I’ve got a few dings and cuts from some of the fights we’ve had in Washington,” he said. But the “core spirit” of 2008, he said, is still there.

“And I hope that you know even though we’re a little older and a little wiser now than we were in 2007, 2008," he said. "I hope everyone is ready to run that race one more time.”

The president took a few questions from supporters who will be put to work mobilizing across the country. The first question was from an organizer who wondered how they should defend him against disillusioned voters who felt that he could have done more for the country.

“I think the first thing is to provide people with what we have accomplished,” Obama said referring to health care reform, financial regulatory reform, the repeal of "don’t ask, don’t tell" and getting the country out of the threat of a depression.

The president added, though, that he also has a year and a half as president left in his first term – so he can tackle things like immigration reform and energy independence.

The president was clear that the campaign, although formally launched with the filing of his papers to the FEC Monday morning, will not yet start formally for him, as he will be “tied up pretty good” being president for the next several months.

“For you the campaign starts now. It’s not going to start for me now, because it turns out that my inbox is pretty full down here in Washington," he said. "And we’re going to have to manage the incredible things that are taking place in the Middle East, we’re going to have to manage our budget process that’s fair and keeps the economy growing, continues to grow jobs."

The president called on his supporters to put in the time and effort now for him.

“I hope you guys are up to it,” Obama concluded the call, “because I know I am.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

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