Austin Hill

Did you see President Obama’s recent speech at the University Of Wisconsin?

It made me want to ask him “how’s this ‘hope’ and ‘change’ thing workin’ out for you, Mr. President? And how, exactly do you define ‘progress’, anyway?”

Delivering a speech in the university’s outdoor “library mall” last Tuesday in what was billed as a rally for the “under 30 crowd,” President Obama drew an estimated 10,000 people. It was a sizeable audience, for sure, but smaller than the estimated 17,000 that gathered at the same venue to see candidate Obama two years ago.

As for the mood of the audience, Jake Tapper of ABC News observed that enthusiasm was a bit “dampened” this time around, noting politely that “the crowd is happy to be here, but they do seem to be able to contain their excitement…”

Yet at one crucial point in his speech, President Obama delivered an impassioned diatribe about the struggle for human “progress,” and used that as a backdrop to deliver a special “please don’t abandon me” request. You owe it to yourself to watch the video, but a direct transcript of these remarks reads like this:

“…In every instance, progress took time… in every instance, progress took sacrifice… progress took faith…ya know…the slaves sittin’ around the fire….singin’ freedom songs…they weren’t sure when slavery would end but they understood it was gonna….when women were out there marchin’ for the right to vote…they weren’t sure when it was gonna happen but they kept on goin’….when workers were organizing for the right to organize, and were bein’ intimidated, they weren’t sure when change was gonna come, but they knew it was gonna come, and I am tellin’ you Wisconsin… we are bringin’ about change, and progress is gonna come…but you gotta stick with me, ya can’t lose heart…”

That big chunk of rhetoric drew thunderous applause, and for several reasons it is worthy of careful consideration.

For one, the President could not have conveyed his and his party’s desperation more clearly. “Listen, kiddos,” Mr. Obama might just as well have said. “I really, really, REALLY need ya to go out and vote for my party and my agenda in November, cuz this time around yer momma and daddy aren’t gonna…”


Austin Hill

Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.