As we go to the polls today, there is the likely outcome, a significant Republican victory, and there is the possibility of the surprise finish, more muted Republican gains. Times are tough, and people are thus looking for changes in their political representation, but despite this, indeed, because of it, to the end, Obama fought against the apparently inevitable. In the climax of his fight, he explained his position:
“Around the country I’ve been trying to describe it this way. Imagine the American economy as a car. And the Republicans were at the wheel and they drove it into a ditch. And it’s a steep ditch, it’s a deep ditch. And somehow they walked away.
But we had to go down there. So me and all the Democrats, we put on our boots and we repelled down into the ditch. (Laughter.) And it was muddy down there and hot. We’re sweating, pushing on the car. Feet are slipping. Bugs are swarming.
We look up and the Republicans are up there, and we call them down, but they say, no, we’re not going to help. They’re just sipping on a Slurpee — (laughter) — fanning themselves. They’re saying, you’re not pushing hard enough, you’re not pushing the right way. But they won’t come down to help. In fact, they’re kind of kicking dirt down into us, down into the ditch. (Laughter.)
But that’s okay. We know what our job is, and we kept on pushing, we kept on pushing, we kept on pushing until finally we’ve got that car on level ground. (Applause.) Finally we got the car back on the road. (Applause.) Finally we got that car pointing in the right direction. (Applause.)
And suddenly we have this tap on our shoulder, and we look back and who is it?
THE PRESIDENT: It’s the Republicans. And they’re saying, excuse me, we’d like the keys back.
AUDIENCE: No! (link)
D.C. reader, Eric Friedman, reported in a reply to my last post that his son heard these words on the Midway at the University of Chicago and found them to be particularly compelling. We will see today how much of an impact they have had.