Don’t let calm exterior fool you, Obama feels barb stings
He may appear calm, cool and collected in public. But a year after taking office, President Barack Obama confesses that words sometimes do hurt him.
On the eve of Martin Luther King Day, Obama paid homage to the civil rights leader and reflected on his own faith in an address at a Baptist church in Washington.
“You know, folks ask me sometimes why I look so calm,” Obama said before a largely African-American congregation.
“They say, all this stuff coming at you, how come you just seem calm? And I have a confession to make here. There are times where I’m not so calm,” Obama said.
“There are times when progress seems too slow. There are times when the words that are spoken about me hurt. There are times when the barbs sting,” he said.
“There are times when it feels like all these efforts are for naught, and change is so painfully slow in coming, and I have to confront my own doubts,” Obama said. “But let me tell you, during those times it’s faith that keeps me calm.”
The president has been dealing with a struggling economy, a fight for healthcare reform, questions about his toughness on national security, and a decline in public approval ratings in opinion polls.
Obama paid tribute to those in past generations who fought for civil rights.
“We’ve inherited the progress of unjust laws that are now overturned … We enjoy the fruits of prejudice and bigotry being lifted … from human hearts,” Obama said.
“It’s that progress that made it possible for me to be here today, for the good people of this country to elect an African American the 44th President of the United States of America.”
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Photo credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas (Obama at Vermont Avenue Baptist church)