"My expectation," Obama concluded, "is that by the time that my term is over, you guys are going to look back and you're going to say, 'This was a responsive administration on health care, on housing, on education, that actually made sure that the money flowed and that things got done the way they were supposed to get done.'"
The seventh and final member of the audience to ask the president a question was a fourth-grade boy who wondered, "Why do people hate you?"
Replied the president, "First of all, I did get elected president, so not everybody hates me," before adding, "What is true is, if you were watching TV lately, it seems like everybody's just getting mad all the time. And I -- you know, I think that you've got to take it with a grain of salt. Some of it is just what's called politics."
But the crowd's harshest reactions this afternoon were reserved for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. When the president introduced Jindal, the crowd booed lustily.
"Bobby, first of all, if it makes you feel any better, I get that all the time," Obama said, before noting when the audience booed Nagin a minute later, "This is a feisty crowd here."
In a town hall forum that lasted a little over an hour, the president touched on a variety of other issues, from health care reform to climate change to immigration.
"We're going to get health care done this year," he stated in the event's most lively moment. "Now, just in case any of you were wondering, I never thought any of this was going to be easy. You know, I listen to sometimes these reporters on the news and, 'Well, why haven't you solved world hunger yet?' Why -- why hasn't everybody done it? It's been nine months. Why? I never said it was going to be easy...I don't quit. We get this stuff done. We keep on going until we get it done. I don't quit. You know, let me tell you, those folks who are trying to stand in the way of progress, they're all -- let me tell you: I'm just getting started. I don't quit. I'm not tired. I'm just getting started."
After the event, the president left for San Francisco for a fundraiser later this evening, before an event tomorrow in College Station, Texas.