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And now the Obama speech begins

February 24, 2009 |  6:25 pm


6:15 p.m.: President Obama accidentally steps on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's introduction and starts to speak. Oops. He's supposed to wait for her to introduce him. Pelosi smiles, doesn't miss a beat and introduces him. The crowd erupts (again, or rather, still). He mentions "the first lady of the United States" and Michelle Obama gets an ovation too. His first words are first and foremost, a display of empathy:

If you haven’t been personally affected by this recession, you probably know someone who has: a friend, a neighbor, a member of your family.  You don’t need to hear another list of statistics to know that our economy is in crisis, because you live it every day.  It’s the worry you wake up with and the source of sleepless nights.  It’s the job you thought you’d retire from but now have lost; the business you built your dreams upon that’s now hanging by a thread; the college acceptance letter your child had to put back in the envelope.  The impact of this recession is real, and it is everywhere.

He will bring the hammer down momentarily...

--Robin Abcarian

Photo credit: Charles Dharapak / Associated Press