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Barack Obama

August 4, 1961 ·


A woman who is denied an education is denied equality.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

I'm not interested in the suburbs. The suburbs bore me. And I'm not interested in isolating myself. I feel good when I'm engaged in what I think are the core issues of the society, and those core issues to me are what's happening to poor folks in this society.

- Barack Obama (1990) ·

You got these $10,000-a-plate dinners and Golden Circles Clubs. I think when the average voter looks at that, they rightly feel they're locked out of the process. They can't attend a $10,000 breakfast and they know that those who can are going to get the kind of access they can't imagine.

- Barack Obama (1996) ·

I'm proud of the fact that I stood up early and unequivocally in opposition to Bush's foreign policy. That opposition hasn't changed.

- Barack Obama (2003) ·

I opposed DOMA in 1996. It should be repealed and I will vote for its repeal on the Senate floor. I will also oppose any proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying. … I know how important the issue of equal rights is to the LGBT community. I share your sense of urgency. If I am elected U.S. Senator, you can be confident that my colleagues in the Senate and the President will know my position.

- Barack Obama (2004) ·

A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, "Huh. It works. It makes sense."

- Barack Obama (2004) ·

That's silly talk... Talk to my wife. She'll tell me I need to learn to just put my socks on the hamper.

- Barack Obama (2004) ·

No one is pro-abortion.

- Barack Obama (2004) ·

There is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America — there's the United States of America.

- Barack Obama (2004) ·

Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope: In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation, a belief in things not seen, a belief that there are better days ahead.

- Barack Obama (2004) ·

Michelle will tell you that when we get together for Christmas or Thanksgiving, it's like a little mini-United Nations... I've got relatives who look like Bernie Mac, and I've got relatives who look like Margaret Thatcher... We've got it all.

- Barack Obama (2006) ·

When I was a kid, I inhaled. Frequently. That was the point.

- Barack Obama (2006) ·

Evolution is more grounded in my experience than angels.

- Barack Obama (2006) ·

But we always knew that hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it and to work for it and to fight for it.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

Hope is the bedrock of this nation. The belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

There was no such thing as Al Qaeda in Iraq, until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

I've got two daughters, nine years old and six years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy towards people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

I am reminded every day of my life, if not by events, then by my wife, that I am not a perfect man.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

If you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

We can restore confidence in our economy and renew that fundamental belief – that here in America, our destiny is not written for us, but by us.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody … I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

Working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice. We have no choice if we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity. That is why the greatest danger of all is to allow new walls to divide us from one another.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

History reminds us that walls can be torn down. But the task is never easy. True partnership and true progress requires constant work and sustained sacrifice. They require sharing the burdens of development and diplomacy; of progress and peace. They require allies who will listen to each other, learn from each other and, most of all, trust each other.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

People of Berlin — and people of the world — the scale of our challenge is great. The road ahead will be long. But I come before you to say that we are heirs to a struggle for freedom. We are a people of improbable hope. With an eye toward the future, with resolve in our hearts, let us remember this history, and answer our destiny, and remake the world once again.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

Violence is a dead end. It is a sign of neither courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus. That is not how moral authority is claimed; that is how it is surrendered.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

This is our moment. This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

- Barack Obama (2008) ·

We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

We have a choice. We can shape our future, or let events shape it for us. And if we want to succeed, we can't fall back on the stale debates and old divides that won't move us forward.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

Don’t shortchange the future, because of fear in the present.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. This—that is not democracy; that is tyranny, even if occasionally you sprinkle an election in there.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

is mess and then suddenly say, "Well this is Obama's economy." That's fine. Give it to me. My job is to solve problems, not to stand on the sidelines and carp and gripe. So, I welcome the job. I want the responsibility.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

Democracy cannot be imposed on any nation from the outside. Each society must search for its own path, and no path is perfect.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness..

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

We can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

We're here today because of the courage of those who stood up, and took risks, to say that freedom is a right for all people, no matter what side of a wall they live on, and no matter what they look like.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

Moral leadership is more powerful than any weapon.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

For peace to come, it is time for them - and all of us - to live up to our responsibilities.

- Barack Obama (2009) ·

Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

- Barack Obama (2011) ·

If you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own.

- Barack Obama (2012) ·

We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this.

- Barack Obama (2012) ·

Trayvon Martin could have been me thirty five years ago.

- Barack Obama (2013) ·

We rightly and best remember Dr. King’s soaring oratory that day, how he gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions; how he offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressors alike. His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time.

- Barack Obama (2013) ·

Understand, democracy does not require uniformity [but] democracy does require a basic sense of solidarity - the idea that for all our outward differences, we're all in this together; that we rise or fall as one.

- Barack Obama (2017) ·

To all who serve or have served, it has been the honor of my lifetime to be your Commander-in-Chief. And we all owe you a deep debt of gratitude. But protecting our way of life, that's not just the job of our military. So, just as we, as citizens, must remain vigilant against external aggression, we must guard against a weakening of the values that make us who we are.

- Barack Obama (2017) ·

Our democracy is not the buildings, not the monuments. It's you being willing to work to make things better and being willing to listen to each other and argue with each other and come together and knock on doors and make phone calls and treat people with respect.

- Barack Obama (2017) ·

I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

- Barack Obama (2002) ·

I am asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about change – but in yours.