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Obama's Smiley Face

Lebanon, New Hampshire

Yesterday Obama tweaked his stump speech to address Hillary’s charge that he was selling “false hope.” Today he added a riff to rebut Edwards’s argument that Obama isn’t angry enough.

Speaking to an overflow crowd at the Opera House here, Obama said:

I know there are some of my worthy opponents who will say, "Well, Obama’s right about change but we need the anger and hotter rhetoric and not negotiating . . . you can’t compromise with these folks. We can just beat them."

Listen, I understand the source of anger. The insurance companies, the drug companies, they do not want to relinquish their power. Oil companies, they’re happy with the status quo. Folks in Washington, the insiders, they don’t want the outsiders, of course they’re going to resist change.

But when I talk about reaching out to people, it’s based on this understanding: that if you know who you are, if you know what you believe, if you know what you care about, if you know who you’re fighting for, those are principles that cannot be compromised. And you can afford to reach out across the aisle. . . .

And some folks won’t listen and some folks won’t want to cooperate . . . but here’s the thing. If you start off with an agreeable attitude, then you might be able to pick off some folks, you might be able to recruit the independents into the fold. . . . That’s how you get a working majority for change. . . . That’s the politics of addition, not the politics of division.

And if you’ve got a working majority, if the American people are behind you, then you can fear no man. You can walk into a room with a sunny disposition, you can smile and say “Yes sir,” “No sir,” “Yes maam,” and “No maam,” and if they don’t agree with you, you’ve got the votes, and you will beat them. And you can do it with a smile on your face. . . . We are happy warriors for change.

I know a lot of people have already compared Obama to Eugene McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy. But maybe Hubert Humphrey is more apt. More on Obama later. Right now I need to get to a Romney event. . . . 

--Jason Zengerle