09/18/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Obama: You'd Think This Would Be Easy

Barack Obama implicitly acknowledged on Monday that common sense suggests he should be doing better in his campaign for the president.

"We've got work to do," said the Senator. "This is not going to be easy. It would be nice, you would think, given how badly Bush and his folks have performed over the last eight years and considering the fact that John McCain has facilitated and worked with the Bush Administration on this disaster, you would like to think that folks would say, we don't even have to run TV ads, you just open the papers and say 'we gotta throw the bums out.'"

But, Obama added, "American politics is never that easy." Telling the crowd in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that he was "confident" that the public would be persuaded by the need for change, the Illinois Democrat shifted focus to his Republican opponent.

"You know, Americans will put up with a lot of stuff," he said. "We are not, contrary to what John McCain's advisers will say, we are not a bunch of whiners. We will suck it up and work hard even when things are unfair. But what really gets us mad, what really motivates and activates us is when we start feeling like the rules are so tilted in favor of the special interest, lobbyists and fat cats; that our kids might not have better opportunities we had. And when we start feeling that, that's when we know the American people rise up. That's when we know change is going to come about."

The remarks reflect a brewing debate within Democrat circles over how concerned to be about Obama's small if not stagnant lead over McCain. While the electoral college map looks promising for the presumptive Democratic nominee, observers and strategists concerned about national polls have begun imploring him to make stronger contrasts with McCain.

By and large, Obama has taken a sharper tone since returning from his weeklong break in Hawaii. And, whether for show or a demonstration of real emotion, he has continued to exude confidence about his White House chances. During the question and answer session, for example, he told a woman, "I intend to win the presidency."