President Barack Obama was among those who got teary eyed Wednesday during a surprise visit to his Chicago-based 2012 campaign headquarters.
"What you guys have done means that the work that I'm doing is important, and I'm really proud of that. I'm really proud of you," he said before choking up, turning his head and wiping away a tear.
The president spoke for about five minutes into a microphone while hundreds of volunteers, many of whom climbed desks to get a better vantage point, listened intently.
When the president's emotions became visible, the room erupted into applause in a unified show of support.
The Commander in Chief told the campaign workers he had no doubt they would go on to do "just amazing things."
"You guys are so much better than I was in so many ways," he said after recalling his move to Chicago at age 25 with a goal of public service but with little direction. "You're smarter and you're better organized and you're more effective."
Obama said that even before election returns started rolling in on Tuesday evening, the pride he felt for his team made him feel as though the work he'd done in running for office had come full circle.
"Your journey is just beginning. You're just starting and whatever good we do in the next four years will pale in comparison to what you guys end up accomplishing for years and years to come," he told them.