ABC News’ Matt Jaffe reports from Chicago:
The day after President-elect Barack Obama wrapped up his third press conference on the economy in as many days, he acknowledged on Thanksgiving that "times are tough" for the country, but harkened back to the successes of President Abraham Lincoln in reassuring Americans that "a new and brighter day is yet to come."
Listen to it HERE.
"Times are tough. There are difficult months ahead," Obama said in the weekly Democratic Radio Address, released two days early in time for the holiday. "But we can renew our nation the same way that we have in the many years since Lincoln’s first Thanksgiving: by coming together to overcome adversity; by reaching for — and working for — new horizons of opportunity for all Americans. So this weekend — with one heart, and one voice, the American people can give thanks that a new and brighter day is yet to come."
Watch it HERE.
Obama is spending the holiday at his Chicago home with his wife Michelle and their daughters Malia and Sasha, after volunteering at a food bank in their hometown Wednesday afternoon.
Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Jill headed north from their home in Wilmington, Del., to spend Thanksgiving with their family in Nantucket, off the Massachusetts coast.
Obama spent the first three days of this week emphasizing the "historic" economic crisis the country is facing, calling for "bold" government action, such as a massive stimulus package he wants Congress to have ready for him when he is inaugurated on January 20th.
On this national holiday, Obama not only acknowledged the nation’s financial troubles, but also paid tribute to the troops serving abroad in America’s two wars.
"This Thanksgiving also takes place at a time of great trial for our people," he said. "Across the country, there were empty seats at the table, as brave Americans continue to serve in harm’s way from the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq. We honor and give thanks for their sacrifice, and stand by the families who endure their absence with such dignity and resolve. At home, we face an economic crisis of historic proportions."
In order to overcome the financial problems, Obama reiterated, "It’s going to take bold and immediate action to confront this crisis."
But the Illinois lawmaker stated that government action alone will not be enough to revive the economy.
"This Thanksgiving, we are reminded that the renewal of our economy won’t come from policies and plans alone — it will take the hard work, innovation, service, and strength of the American people," concluded the President-elect.
On Thanksgiving morning, Obama went to the gym to work off some of the Thanksgiving grub awaiting him later in the day. He is expected to spend the holiday weekend with his family in Chicago, with a trip to the stores possible as well.
Noting Wednesday that his two daughters had already submitted their wish-lists for Santa, Obama said he might even do some "extra shopping" on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.
After the holiday weekend, it’s back to work for the suddenly media-friendly President-elect, who took a total of 13 questions from reporters in his tripleheader newsers this week and will face more early next week when he is expected to unveil his national security team.
– Matt Jaffe