Having a Meal with the President

Uploaded by BarackObamadotcom on 26.06.2012

[Jim Heath] You guys excited?
[Janet Jones] Yeah, we're very excited.
[Jim Heath] Should we make our way up?
[All] Yeah.
[Jim Heath] Let's go.
You can't get more grassroots than me. I'm just a normal person in America and here I
am having lunch with the President.
I think it's gonna go by so fast.
[Janet Jones] It's gonna go by too quickly.
[Paula Matyas] I want to hear what the President has to say and I just expect to learn a great
deal just from being with him.
[Wyndi Austin] A once in lifetime experience.
When you press the send button to donate the money you never think in a million years that
your name will be picked.
[Jim Heath] Even after I won it I never thought.
[Janet Jones] You never understood the reality of it.
[Jim Heath] Right. It's real.
[Janet Jones] The vibe in this room right now is an overwhelming sense of excitement.
[Jim Heath] This is crazy.
[Wyndi Austin] Everyone was waiting for his arrival and then -
[Barack Obama] Hey guys!
[Barack Obama] How are you?
[Janet Jones] I'm fine, thank you.
[Barack Obama] Janet, so nice to see you. Give me a hug.
[Janet Jones] That is the sweetest thing.
He acknowledged me by name and it was just overwhelming. You know, for him to take that
time to know who we are.
[Barack Obama] Jim.
[Jim Heath] Mr. President, how are you?
[Barack Obama] Good to see you, thank you so much for coming.
Jim Heath] Good to see you.
[Paula Matyas] Hi Mr. President.
[Barack Obama] How are you?
[Paula Matyas] Good.
It was immediately like being with an old friend.
[Barack Obama] How are you?
[Wyndi Austin] Hi Mr. President.
[Barack Obama] Good to see you.
[Wyndi Austin] You too.
[Barack Obama] Nice to see you. Everybody have a seat, have a seat.
Now Jim, did you grow up in Ohio?
[Jim Heath] Yup.
[Barack Obama] Did you always know you wanted to be a firefighter?
[Jim Heath] I did.
[Barack Obama] We all said we were going to be firefighters.
[Wyndi Austin] He's doing it.
[Jim Heath] I had a picture as a little boy.
[Barack Obama] You had a truck and everything? The helmet and all that?
How many guys in the station?
[Jim Heath] We used to have about fifteen to sixteen and now we're down to about twelve.
[Barack Obama] Is that right? That many cutbacks?
[Jim Heath] At nighttime, yeah.
[Barack Obama] You know, it's tough. The first two years I came in right when the recession
hit, you know, the Recovery Act provided money to states to keep folks on. The needs are
still there it's not like suddenly there are fewer fires.
[Jim Heath] Fire doesn't go away.
[Barack Obama] It's not like there are fewer kids to teach.
[Jim Heath] He was genuinely interested in what I do, interested in the issues, and wanted
to talk to me about it.
One of the questions I was going to ask you being a father, how do you balance your time?
I know how much time the kids need.
[Barack Obama] Yeah, my commute is a one minute walk upstairs. So what that means is whenever
I'm in town, at 6:30 we eat together and, you know, so I've got like an hour, hour and
a half where I'm just talking to the girls finding out what their days had set up. You
know, the truth is at this age that's about as much as they can take of me.
[Wyndi Austin] He's just really down to earth. He wants to know what's happening in our communities.
He wants to know what's happening in our family's lives.
[Barack Obama] You are from Arizona.
[Wyndi Austin] I am.
We have some interesting conversations over the dinner table since some are Republican.
[Barack Obama] You tell all your Republican family members that I said hi. They may not
agree with my politics, but I'm sure that if I was sitting down with them we'd get along
just fine.
[Wyndi Austin] My dad, to be honest with you, is on the fence. I think that hi just pushed
[Barack Obama] See, there you go.
[Paula Matyas] I think the fact that the President took time out of his day to spend time with
us it speaks volumes about his real interest in average citizens.
[Barack Obama] This is just such a honor to be able to do this work and everyday I meet
folks like you guys who really just remind me of why I'm optimistic about the country.
You know, I think the country is really full of good people. Our political system is just,
everybody's yelling and hollering all the time and that happens sometimes when times
are tough and hopefully as we get through this, you know, we'll get back to where everybody
reminds ourselves we're not Democrats or Republicans first we're Americans first.
[Jim Heath] That's what we need.
This just reaffirms to me having a conversation with him that I'm doing the right thing, I'm
fighting for the right guy, and I'm on the right side.
[Barack Obama] Do we have lettuce in our teeth?
[Jim Heath] Probably.
[Wyndi Austin] We knew that it would go quickly but it just instilled memories that will always
be there. So it was a great, great afternoon.
[Barack Obama] Maybe I'll see you guys out on the trail.
[Paula Matyas] I'm calling my family. I'm calling my friends. I'm letting people know
of my personal experience with the President. He is a valuable person and a valuable leader
and we need him to continue to finish what he's started.
[Barack Obama] Thank you so much for the support. It means a lot.
[All] Thank you so much.
[Barack Obama] Alright, see you.
[All] Bye.
[Barack Obama] Thanks.
[Paula Matyas] How great was that?
[Wyndi Austin] That was wonderful.
[Paula Matyas] I'll remember this the rest of my life.