En route last night to Chicago, Barack Obama came to the back of O-Force One to chat with his traveling press corps, which includes reporters who've barely returned home for 21 months. Here, via spokesperson Jen Psaki, is the transcript:
(Alex Brandon / AP)
Obama: You guys have been gracious, outstanding, reasonably easy for our crack team here and you know whatever happens tomorrow it’s extraordinary you guys have shared this process with us and I just want to say thank you and I appreciate you.
Kathy Kiely: How are you feeling Senator?
Obama: I am not going to come back and answer any questions here, Kathy. Even though you can feel free to keep your tape recorders on. Get some sleep starting on Wednesday.
Reporter: I’m sorry about your Grandmother.
Obama: I know you guys have sent a lot of emails individually, collectively. It is very gracious. Embeds—they have been there for the start. Thank you guys, thank you guys.
(Walks to the back of the plane)
Obama: This is finally starting to look like the original plane. It took a while to get that old feeling again. Is everyone giving [NEWSWEEK's Richard] Wolffe a sufficiently hard time about being a feature on Saturday Night Live?
Reporter: Scout—It's her birthday you know.
Obama: Let me give you a birthday kiss. OK guys, let's go home. It will be fun to see how the story ends.