Will Americans buy Obama’s "harder" path?

“I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy,” Obama said. “I never have. You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades.”

This was an odd construction. It makes sense to argue, in the context of asking voters for more patience, to talk about how the path was never going to be easy. But it’s a bit odd for a president who has already been in office for nearly four years to say — present tense – “I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy.” Same with the idea of saying — present tense — that “it will take more than a few years” to fix the nation’s problems.