On Tuesday’s visit to New Hampshire, President Barack Obama‘s jobs speech was interrupted by protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement. While the movement members used their “human microphone” technique, members of the audience booed. Notably, Obama sided with the protesters, saying “It’s OK.” The Washington Post reports what happened next:
Then he directly addressed the protesters.
“For a lot of the folks who have been in New York and all across the country in the Occupy movement, there is a profound sense of frustration about the fact that the essence of the American dream, which is if you work hard, if you stick to it that, you can make it, feels like that’s slipping away,” Obama said. “And that’s not the way things are supposed to be. Not here. Not in America.”
“We are not going to have an America in which only a sliver of folks have opportunity,” Obama said. “We’re going to have an America where everybody has opportunity. And it’s going to take time.”
The demonstration was an unusual moment in the world of highly orchestrated presidential events.
One wonders whether Obama — who as a student sympathized with many liberal populist struggles like the Civil Rights movement — was fighting against using more explicit words of sympathy for the protest movement. What do you think?