Just a year after celebrating Barack Obama's inauguration, despondent Democrats today heard from their party leader, who urged optimism in the face of Republicans' strong challenge to their congressional dominance. "I know we've gone through a tough year," Obama told party members at the annual DNC meeting. "But we've gone through tougher." And he urged Democrats not to back off their mandate for change."We can't return to the dereliction of duty," Obama said. "America can't afford to wait, and we can't look backward."
Obama insisted he wasn't willing to abandon his top domestic priority, which consumed months of his agenda and has produced slim odds of victory. "Let me be clear: I am not going to walk away from health care insurance reform," Obama said, bringing the audience in the hotel ballroom to their feet. But the audience sat in conspicuous silence as Obama urged Democrats to work with their Republican counterparts, saying, "We can't solve all of our problems alone."