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« House Passes Corporate Bonus Tax | Blog Home Page | Obama's "Special" Mistake(?) »

Obama Asks For Patience, And A Campaign-Like Focus From Californians

President Obama got a bit of a softball toward the end of his town hall meeting in Los Angeles this afternoon, when a supporter asked what he and others could do to help him. His answer: "Patience."

"I'm serious about this, because look. There was a lot of excitement during the campaign, and we were talking about the importance of bringing about change," he said. "We are moving systematically to bring about change. But change is hard. Change doesn't happen overnight."

He said that change has to be pursued with "responsibility," and said his administration is working methodically to address all its challenges, including the economy.

"I understand how mad everybody is about this AIG bonus business. ... As I said before, I'm mad," he said. "Even though I didn't draw up these AIG contracts, [and] my White House didn't, it's my responsibility to fix the system. ... But the fact of the matter is, we have to work through the huge mess that was made in the financial system. It's going to cost some money. It's not going to be pretty. People are going to be frustrated. And we are going to get it done."

Additionally, he said that he needs supporters to focus on the budget debate as closely as the followed the campaign.

"Because, again, we're going to have some tough choices to make," he said. "I can't print money."

On the energy issue, for instance, he said interest groups for "dirty" energy will likely run ads criticizing his agenda. "And you've got to pay attention and educate your coworkers, and educate your friends and your family."

Obama then made a blunt gurantee. "We are not always going to be right. And I don't want everybody disappointed if we make a mistake here or there." What's more important, he said, is that people see his administration working for them.

"That's one thing I can assure you of, is that four years from now you are going to be able to look back and you're going to say, 'A, the guy worked hard on what he said he was going to work hard during the campaign. And he may not have gotten everything perfect but we are moving in the right direction."