With All Due Humility

President Obama spoke to a crowd of college students at the University of North Carolina today, and he related to the students in attendance in a way that Mitt Romney simply cannot.

Not because the president is a better speaker, which he without a doubt is, but because the president has actually experienced what the average college student must endure, and Mitt Romney hasn't.

Check this out, all right. I'm the president of the United States. We only finished paying off our student loans off about eight years ago. That wasn't that long ago. And that wasn't easy--especially because when we had Malia and Sasha, we're supposed to be saving up for their college educations, and we're still paying off our college educations.

I didn't just read about this. I didn't just get some talking points about this. I didn't just get a policy briefing on this.

We didn't come from wealthy families. When we graduated from college and law school we had a mountain of debt. When we married, we got poor together. We added up our assets and there were no assets. And we added up our liabilities and there were lot of liabilities—basically in the form of student loans.

"We added up our assets and there were no assets."

When the president says he and his wife added up their assets and there were no assets, he may as well be speaking a foreign language to a man like Mitt Romney went to college on his assets which were handed to him. And while that's fine for anyone who has been afforded that luxury in life, the idea that Romney can in any way relate to the average American is absurd.

To have a sitting president level with his audience and, with all due humility, relate directly to his constituents in this way is something President Obama is uniquely capable of doing. Because he's been there. Because he knows the value of humility.

No bumper-sticker, television commercial, radio ad, or phony slogan can match this relation in its appeal.

President Obama isn't someone you wish you could have a beer with, he's someone you did have a beer with.

  • ArrogantDemon

    I know I can have a beer with President Obama, because Mitt Romney doesnt drink beer, or coffee for that matter. Romney must have a diet of tapioca and milk, yeah, exciting and releatable

    This guy who had student loans is more of an elitist than the guy who hid in France to avoid ‘Nam, speak fluent French, opines about vacationing in France, has his money hidden in those European capitols he claims Obama takes his cues from, and turns his nose to cookies, this guy is something else

    • MarshallLucky

      Not that I disagree with the substance of the post, but do we really need to start that French shit again?

  • Sabreen60

    Yet Mitt calls President Obama an elitist, which is straight out the Rovian playbook.

    • villemar

      Freudian projection ad infinitum. You know there are few if any diehard Freudians left, because psychology as evolved exponentially over time and most rational adults don’t fit into a simplistic, reductionist Freudian model. But oddly enough most diehard conservatives do. Fancy that.

  • D_C_Wilson

    RomneyBot can’t relate to college students because he didn’t go to school. He just had a software upgrade.

  • jaywillie

    There’s one self-made man in this race whose biography epitomizes the American Dream. And his name isn’t Mitt Romney.

  • muselet

    Jake Tapper—ABC Chief White House Correspondent and distinguished graduate of the Steve Doocey School of Making Crap Up—called the line about paying off student loans an attack on Mitt Romney, despite Barack Obama having spoken of paying off student loans during the last presidential campaign.

    Better reporters, please.


  • agrazingmoose

    I love Obama because of times like these.

  • rikyrah

    they paid off their loans when the books sold. that is the way they paid off their loans.

    • agrazingmoose

      Good for them.

  • Brutlyhonest

    He’s living the American dream. At least he would be if he wasn’t a secret Kenyan/muslim/marxist usurper.

  • Scopedog

    Great post, JM. The simple truth is that President Obama does have more in common with “the average American” than does Mitt Romney.

    ….And yet, I still read in some places how there’s no real difference between the two. Jesus wept.

  • LynnVeraLynn

    nicely done Ashby :)

    • nicole

      Ditto that.