No longer the transformative political figure of 2008 but a struggling incumbent hoping to eke out reelection, President Barack Obama nevertheless promised wary Americans that brighter days are still ahead if voters grant him four more years.
"Know this, America: Our problems can be solved," he told the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. "Our challenges can be met. The path we offer may be difficult, but it leads to a better place. I'm asking you to choose that future."
"I won't pretend the path I'm offering is quick or easy. I never have," Obama told his constituents. "You didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear."
"You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over a decade."
The President, who is currently in a dead heat with Mitt Romney, wasted little time contrasting the policies of his administration with his challenger's.
"All they have to offer is the same prescriptions they've had for the last 30 years: Have a surplus? Try a tax cut. Deficit too high? Try another."
"Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back regulations, and call us in the morning!" he said to laughter, then pivoted to foreign affairs.