staring. I didn’t have any doubt after that why the hell I took this job, why I was running. Sounds corny, but I mean it. Because you and I know every single major decision on Barack’s plate if left unattended will get worse. That has never happened before that I can think of — if left unattended will get worse.
So take some real decisions here. And that’s what you campaigned for. Remember, and when you begin to doubt, when you wonder, when you’re getting heat from your friends of a similar circumstance, remember — remember what you said: We weren’t just talking, we mean it.
So, ladies and gentlemen, I have absolute confidence — absolute confidence in the American people. I have absolute confidence that if we stay the course and are tough enough — tough enough to make unpopular decisions, then, in fact, we will leave and I will know that I, in fact, did exactly what I thought I was sent here to do.
Folks, I’ll end where I began. Barack Obama says frequently, and I repeat and echo independently: The measure of the success of this administration will be not whether or not you are all able to keep your portfolios — which is important; and I’m not being facetious, it’s important — it’s whether or not at the end of the day we can look back and there is proof positive, there is hard, traceable evidence that the middle class actually grew. Because we are convinced that economic recovery will come, but this time when it occurs it must be laid on a foundation that can last several decades and must, in fact, raise the standard of living for middle class Americans. That’s what we are going to do. I promise you we will succeed with your help.
I love you for all you’ve done. Thank you very, very much. (Applause.)
(Source: White House)