and more efficient at helping families. But don’t underestimate the power for people to pull together and to accomplish amazing things.”
Speaking of more than 5,000 volunteer organizations getting involved in the National Day of Service, Obama said “the Internet is an amazing tool to organize people. We saw that in the campaign, but we don’t want to use it just in elections. We want to use it to rebuild America.” Obama harnessed the power of the Internet during his campaign, connecting to millions via social networking sites.
Moving back to a less serious mode, he said, “I do hope they’re watching my technique.” He conceded “it’s not rocket science. You take the pole and the roller, then you roll. But you do need to apply some elbow grease -– like everything we do.”
He quoted Dr. King again, saying if you sweep floors for a living, make sure you are the best floor sweeper in the world.
Unlike Obama, Martin Luther King III didn’t bring work clothes and was still his suit.
“When I heard the president-elect was changing his clothes, I knew I was in trouble,” King said.
At the shelter, Obama ditched his jacket, rolled up his sleeves and helped with painting the walls a bright blue. Of his painting skills, Obama said: “I think I’ve got this wall covered,” he said, according to the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, Michelle Obama was in RFK Stadium volunteering with Operation Gratitude, an organization that assembles and sends packages to U.S. troops overseas.
Later today the Obamas will have lunch with community service volunteers.
This evening, Obama will participate in separate ceremonies to honor Gen. Colin L. Powell, Sen. John McCain, and Vice President-elect Joe Biden, men whose history of public service has been enhanced by bipartisan spirit.