President Barack Obama delivered his last solo campaign rally of the 2016 election Monday by delivering a healthy dose of nostalgia and getting emotional speaking about his past presidential bids.
Stumping for Hillary Clinton, Obama spoke to a fired-up crowd in New Hampshire and got emotional almost immediately as the crowd chanted and cheered for him. As he did at a rally earlier in the day, he extended his gratitude to campaign volunteers and reminisced on his past campaigns.
“I have to say, because this is going to be my last big event. Yes. I mean, we have one in Philly, but Michelle is talking there and I will not get any attention. I want to take some time to thank some very special people who put everything they’ve got into this campaign across America, all of the grassroots organizers who work every single day,” said an emotional Obama. “They do not get a lot of attention. Some of them started on my first campaign. They pick up the phones. They hit the streets. They live and breathe the hard work of change. I could not be prouder of them. They are the best organizers on the planet and I could not be more proud of you.”
Obama also waxed nostalgic about how his relationship with Clinton has changed, from primary rivals in 2008 to allies today.
“I know about Hillary,” he said. “I have ran against Hillary. She worked for me. This is somebody who has dedicated her life to making the country better.”
The President also took time to pick apart one of his most iconic rallying cries: “Fired up! Ready to go!”
Obama explained the origin of that cry, which famously came from South Carolina politician Edith Childs. He explained how one day during his first bid for President, he visited the Palmetto State on a rainy day and was tired and in a bad mood. Before arriving at a meeting, he heard Childs doing that iconic cry and it stuck so much that he made it a cornerstone of his campaign.
“The thing is, she keeps on doing it. Everybody does. The interesting thing is, after a while, I’m starting to get kind of fired up,” Obama said. “I am starting to feel like I am ready to go. All of the sudden I am ready to go. All of those negative thoughts drifted away and we had a great meeting. They all said they would support me and that they would go out and work. We left Greenwood and I saw my staff and I said, ‘Are you fired up?’ They would say, ‘I am fired up, boss.’ It just goes to show you how a voice can change a room.”