He spoke about it often during a reflective campaign swing that took him from the donor-rich events of California on Sunday and Monday to the campus of Ohio State University on Tuesday.
When a classmate from his Hawaii school days, Pam Hamamoto, welcomed him to a fundraiser in San Francisco, Obama turned to her and said, "That was the sweetest introduction I've had since I've been president."
It didn't take, long, though for him to get down to business again. Sure, some hope. But mostly hard work.
"I very much intend to win this election," he said, "but we're only going to do it if everybody is almost obsessive."