(CNSNews.com) - "America is already great. America is already strong," President Obama told the Democrat National Convention Wednesday night.
But he also admitted there is more work to do: "We’re not done perfecting our union, or living up to our founding creed, that all of us are created equal and free in the eyes of God."
Obama said "a lot's happened" during his two terms in office, but despite war, recession and "all manner of challenge," he is "optimistic about the future of America."
"By so many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started. And through every victory and every setback, I’ve insisted that change is never easy, and never quick; that we wouldn’t meet all of our challenges in one term, or one presidency, or even in one lifetime.
"So tonight, I’m here to tell you that yes, we still have more work to do. More work to do for every American still in need of a good job or a raise, paid leave or a decent retirement; for every child who needs a sturdier ladder out of poverty or a world-class education; for everyone who hasn’t yet felt the progress of these past seven and a half years.
"We need to keep making our streets safer and our criminal justice system fairer; our homeland more secure, and our world more peaceful and sustainable for the next generation.
"We’re not done perfecting our union, or living up to our founding creed – that all of us are created equal and free in the eyes of God."
Obama said the work still to be done must be done by Hillary Clinton, who has promised to serve a "third" Obama term.
Obama was speaking about Hillary, but he was also explaining himself:
"She knows that this is a big, diverse country, and that most issues are rarely black and white. That even when you’re 100 percent right, getting things done requires compromise. That democracy doesn’t work if we constantly demonize each other...
"Hillary knows we can work through racial divides in this country when we realize the worry black parents feel when their son leaves the house isn’t so different than what a brave cop’s family feels when he puts on the blue and goes to work; that we can honor police and treat every community fairly. She knows that acknowledging problems that have festered for decades isn’t making race relations worse – it’s creating the possibility for people of good will to join and make things better.
"Hillary knows we can insist on a lawful and orderly immigration system while still seeing striving students and their toiling parents as loving families, not criminals or rapists; families that came here for the same reasons our forebears came – to work, and study, and make a better life, in a place where we can talk and worship and love as we please..."
Obama said both he and Hillary know how "frustrating" the "business of democracy" can be.
"When the other side refuses to compromise, progress can stall. Supporters can grow impatient, and worry that you’re not trying hard enough; that you’ve maybe sold out."
Obama said Democrats must get out and vote -- then hold Democrats "accountable until they get the job done."