Fort Myers (Florida, US), Feb. 11 (ANI): Three weeks after being sworn in, President Barack Obama has acknowledged in plain terms that his prospects for winning a second term will depend on whether he can revive the US economy.
"I'm not going to make any excuses. If stuff hasn't worked, if people don't feel like I've led the country in the right direction then you'll have a new president," Obama told a town hall meeting here on Tuesday.
"But I do think the American people understand that these are some, really big tough problems and it's going to take some time for us to get ourselves out," he said, after conceding his political fate was on the line.
"I have great faith in the American people and their faith and wisdom."
Obama's appearance on Florida's Gulf Coast came as the Senate approved the 838 billion dollar stimulus package.
Obama announced the measure had passed, repeating "that's good news" four times consecutively, and prompted standing applause from a friendly audience in the hard-hit city, which suffered one of the nation's worst foreclosure rates last year.
Speaking before an animated crowd of about 1,500 that greeted him with his "Yes We Can" campaign chant, Obama won himself perhaps more political leeway than he'll ultimately enjoy.
"Americans I've met understand that even with this plan our economy will likely be measured in years, not weeks or months," he assured.
At this, somebody in the crowd yelled "eight' and the audience burst out in cheers in anticipation of the new president serving two full terms.
Obama, striding across a stage behind twin signs reading "Making America Work," sought to buy himself some time by lavishing praise on the citizenry.
"You've got common sense, you understand that it took us a long time to get into this fix, we're not going to get out of it over night," he said.
"But what you don't have patience for is just listening to a bunch of bickering in Washington with nothing getting done."
To isolate the congressional Republicans who have almost unanimously opposed his stimulus package so far, Obama held up his introducer at the town hall: Florida's Republican Governor Charlie Crist.
Crist did his part, urging passage of the stimulus package and, as is his signature, touting the merit of doing so without regard to party.
And Obama returned the favor.
"Governor Crist shares my conviction that creating jobs and turning this economy around is a mission that transcends party. And when the town is burning, you don't check party labels. Everybody needs to grab a hose, and that's what Charlie Crist is doing right here today," he said. (ANI)