U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during his election night victory rally in Chicago, November 7, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)
After an exhausting campaign and a resounding Electoral College victory, President Obama let a bit of his guard down in front of campaign workers.
In a short and informal address to staff members at his Chicago office on Wednesday, Obama teared up, moisture visibly streaking his cheeks as he thanked everyone for their hard work in a video released afterward by the campaign.
"Even before last night's results, I felt that the work that I had done in running for office had come full circle. Because what you guys have done means that the work that I'm doing is important. And I'm really proud of that. I'm really proud of all of you," said Obama, his voice quavering during the last few sentences.
The president reminisced about himself as a young man, moving to Chicago to be a community organizer in the wake of the Reagan Revolution, and insisted that his staff was far more talented and promising than he was at their age.
"You're all going to do just amazing things in your lives," said Obama.
The video is a rare candid moment for the president. He approaches the microphone chewing gum, perhaps Nicorette, and seems to speak off the cuff, making long pauses while searching for the right words.
"Whatever good we do over the next for years will pale in comparison to what you guys end up accomplishing for years and years to come," he said.
This was the second time Obama has shed tears in public this week. The first was during his last rally in Iowa on Monday night, in his final address before Election Day, though perhaps the chill wind just made his eyes water.
But politicians in general are becoming more comfortable with showing emotion, like Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Russian President Vladimir Putin.