In a speech teeing up what promises to be the next big fight in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama called for comprehensive immigration reform.
The effect of having a new issue to campaign for appears to have had an effect on the commander in chief, with him reverting to campaign mode mid-speech at the White House.
The audience broke into applause on five separate occasions during the 12-minute speech given in the East Room of the White House. The first time was when the president announced his plan to push for comprehensive immigration reform.
The second time was when the president highlighted that an immigration bill had passed the Democrat-controlled Senate. The third time was after he said “I’m not running for office again, I just believe that this is the right thing to do.”
The fourth time was as the benefits of the bill were listed. The final time, however, the president abandoned the measured professorial tone that he had adopted for the speech.
As he was discussing the difficulties that the bill would likely face Obama turned to Vice President Joe Biden and, referencing the audience, said, “I have to say Joe, as I look out at this room, that these people don’t look like people who are easily deterred.”
The crowd began to laugh and, in an instant, the president’s demeanor and cadence changed.
“They don’t look like folks who are going to give up.” Playing to the audience in the room, Obama declared, “You look fired up to make the next push.”
At this point in the speech, the applause began to die away and the president was caught mid sentence stridently declaring “It is time …” to a now quiet room. Obama quickly wrapped up, saying, “Let’s go get it done. Thank you very much.”