If the last minute or so of President Barack Obama's speech on stopping the sequester is a sign of things to come, then the White House is preparing for a long battle over the sequester—and they're planning to fight if from the outside.
Here's that final minute of the speech, which was delivered Tuesday afternoon at Virginia's Newport News Shipbuilding:
In order for us to make that happen, I'm going to need you. The one thing about being president is that after four years you get pretty humble. You'd think that maybe you wouldn't, but actually you become more humble. You realize what you don't know. You realize all the mistakes you make.Earlier in the speech, the president made clear that while he expects the impacts of the sequester to be severe, they will take time to develop. That means that barring a political miracle, this will be a long battle. And he seems to understand that it's not a battle he can win by sitting down behind closed doors with congressional Republicans. The only way to win it is from the outside, by having regular Americans force their Congress to act.
But you also realize you can't do things by yourself. That's not how our system works. You've got to have the help and the goodwill of Congress, and what that means is you've got to make sure that constituents of members of congress are putting some pressure on—making sure they're doing the right thing. Putting an end to some of these political games.
So I need you, Virginia, to keep up the pressure. I need you to keep up the effort. I need you to keep up the fight. If you do, Congress will listen. If you stand up and speak out Congress will listen, and together we'll unleash our true potential and we'll remind the world just why it is the United States builds the greatest ships on Earth and is the greatest nation on Earth. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.