East Room

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m Jill Biden’s husband.  (Laughter and applause.)  Please have a — sit — please sit down. 

I’m going to be very brief.  I just came back from North Carolina — (applause) — Wilmington, North Carolina.  (Applause.)  The mayor of Wilmington, North Carolina, has spent time living in Wilmington, Delaware.  (Applause.)  His daughter went to the University of Del- —

Anyway, look, I’ll be very, very brief.  First of all, I want to say how impressed I am with all that this woman does for the country and all — no, I mean it sincerely.

But, look, you know, you all are the reason why we — we have hope about the future.  I really mean it.  Not a joke.

And I was down in — in North Carolina — in Charlotte and Wilmington, North Carolina — announcing a major multibillion-dollar program to make sure we got all lead out of water in North Carolina — (applause) — and the entire country.

And I was with a bunch of schoolteachers who — they’ve discovered, in Wilmington, a significant — a significant amount of lead coming out of one of the fountains that was in one of the schools.  And I met these four little kids who were in second grade, coming up — “Mr. Pwesident, you got to do something.”(Laughter.)  And we’re going to do something.

My — the point I want to make is that, you know, the idea that we can’t do more in education seems to me to be a ludicrous notion. 

You know, how can we be the ma- — the most powerful, most meaningful country in the world without having the best education system in the world?  (Applause.)

And teaching is not what you do; it’s who you are.  It’s who you — no, for real.  I know that.  (Laughter.)  Believe me, I know that.

By the way, I actually taught for a number of years in law school.  And then I was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.  No — I don’t get an applause for that?  (Laughter and applause.)

But all kidding aside, what I realized is how damn hard she works every day and you all work every day.

So, look, I just want to say I appreciate all you do.  You’re incredible.  You’re — you are — as I’ve said before — I got criticized for it the first time I said it — you are the kite strings that lift our national ambitions aloft — literally, not figuratively. 

You are the kite strings.  You are the future.  You provide it for us.

So, I just came by to say thank you.  I’m going to get the hell out of here.  Thank you.  (Laughter and applause.)

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