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Obama to Diplomats: I Value Your Work Because I Spent Time Abroad as Kid

1:52 PM, Sep 12, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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After President Obama delivered remarks on Libya this morning from the White House--and before his planned trip to Las Vegas--he visited the State Department to deliver more personal and more private remarks. He wanted to offer encouragement after four State Department workers were murdered yesterday in Libya. 

A State Department official described the event to the White House pooler.

"Obama spoke for about 15 minutes to a large crowd gathered in the courtyard in the middle of the State Department Building. There were at least a couple of hundred people gathered for the president's remarks, some people watching from the windows," according to the pooler.

 

He talked about how important the foreign service is and what a great job it does representing the U.S. abroad. He also had a line about how he understands the value of the foreign service because he spent so much time as a kid growing up abroad. 

 

He also spoke highly of the Ambassador Chris Stevens and the other officials who died in the attack. He concluded his visit by shaking dozens of hands and talking one-on-one with people, who seemed very appreciative for the visit. 

The official said it seemed as if Obama was speaking off the cuff, not from prepared remarks. 

When he turned to leave, he got a huge round of applause when he waved to say goodbye and he appeared to be saying thank you to individual people. 

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