View random article

100 Best Barack Obama Quotes

Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and present President of the United States. Born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Ann Dunham and Barack Obama, Sr., Obama spent his childhood in Witchita, Kansas. Obama's parents separated when he was a toddler at the age of two, and later divorced. Obama's mother remarried Lolo Soetoro in 1966 and the family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia where Obama's half sister, Maya Soetoro Ng was born. At the age of ten, Obama returned to Hawaii to live with his maternal grandparents due to safety and educational issues within Indonesia. Obama enrolled in Panahou Academy, excelled in academics and basketball, and graduated with honors in 1979. Obama went on to Columbia University and Harvard Law School where be became the president of the Harvard Law Review. In 1989, Obama met Michelle Robinson, who worked as an associate at the Sidley & Austin law firm, and they soon started dating. In October of 1992, Obama wed Robinson and continued his work as a community organizer and civil rights attorney before going on to teach constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 until 2004. During this time, Obama also served three terms as an Illinois Senator from 1997 until 2004 following defeat for the Democratic seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000. Obama and his wife expanded their family in 1998 with the birth of their first daughter, Malia Ann, and in 2001, with the birth of their daughter Natasha, also known as Sasha.

During the March 2004 Democratic Primary, Obama garnered national attention and delivered a powerful keynote address in July at the Democratic National Convention. Obama won the election for the U.S. Senate in November 2004 which paved the road to his presidential campaign in February 2007. Despite heavy competition from Hilary Rodham Clinton, Obama won the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nomination and later defeated Republican nominee John McCain. On January 20, 2009, Obama was inaugurated as the first African American President and has enacted important legislation, pivotal reform policies, revitalized American foreign policies, and became a Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 2009. Here are the Best Barack Obama Quotes:

1. "[My father] had left paradise, and nothing that my mother or grandparents told me could obviate that single, unassailable fact. They couldn't describe what it might have been like had he stayed."

2. "At the time of his death, my father remained a myth to me both more and less than a man."

3. "I saw that my life in America - the black life, the white life, the sense of abandonment I felt as a boy, the frustration and hope I'd witnessed in Chicago - all of it was connected with this small plot of earth an ocean away."

4. "I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars. What I am opposed to is a rash war."

5. "Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America: They will be met."

6. "We don't quit. I don't quit. Let's seize this moment to start anew, to carry the dream forward, and strengthen our union once more."

7. "I began to notice there was nobody like me in the Sears, Roebuck Christmas catalog...and that Santa was a white man. I went to the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror with all my senses and limbs seemingly intact, looking the way I had always looked, and wondered if something was wrong with me."

8. "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."

9. "After a century of striving, after a year of debate, after a historic vote, health care reform is no longer an unmet promise. It is the law of the land."

10. "Al Qaeda is still a threat. We cannot pretend somehow that because Barack Hussein Obama got elected as president, suddenly everything is going to be OK."

11. "America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings."

12. "Americans...still believe in an America where anything's possible - they just don't think their leaders do."

13. "And I will do everything that I can as long as I am President of the United States to remind the American people that we are one nation under God, and we may call that God different names but we remain one nation."

14. "And so our goal on health care is, if we can get, instead of health care costs going up 6 percent a year, it's going up at the level of inflation, maybe just slightly above inflation, we've made huge progress. And by the way, that is the single most important thing we could do in terms of reducing our deficit. That's why we did it."

15. "As a nuclear power - as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon - the United States has a moral responsibility to act."

16. "As I've said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciate for our servicemen and women, and our hopes for Iraqis' future."

17. "But if you - if what- the reports are true, what they're saying is, is that as a consequence of us getting 30 million additional people health care, at the margins that's going to increase our costs, we knew that."

18. "But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people, and do our best to help them find their own grace. That's what I strive to do, that's what I pray to do every day."

19. "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we're been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

20. "Community colleges play an important role in helping people transition between careers by providing the retooling they need to take on a new career."

21. "Contrary to the claims of some of my critics and some of the editorial pages, I am an ardent believer in the free market."

22. "What Washington needs is adult supervision."

23. "I can make a firm pledge, under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."

24. "I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator."

25. "I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear."

26. "I don't care whether you're driving a hybrid or an SUV. If you're headed for the cliff, you change direction. That's what the American people called for in November, that's what I intend to deliver."

27. "I don't take a dime of their [lobbyist] money, and when I am president, they won't find a job in my White House."

28. "I found this national debt, doubled, wrapped in a big bow waiting for me as I stepped into the Oval Office."

29. "I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we've struggled to keep
the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We've made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions."

30. "I opposed the Defense of Marriage Act 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 US Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying."

31. "I think it is important for Europe to understand that even though I am president and George Bush is not president, Al Qaeda is still a threat."

32. "I think when you spread the wealth around it's good for everybody."

33. "I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95 percent of all working families, because, in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class."

34. "I'm a Christian by choice."

35. "I've been fighting with Acorn, alongside Acorn, on issues you care about, my entire career."

36. "I've got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."

37. "I've said very clearly, including in a State of the Union address, that I'm against 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and that we're going to end this policy."

38. "If everybody that voted in 2008 shows up in 2010, we will win this election. We will win this election."

39. "If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost."

40. "If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress."

41. "In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world."

42. "In the absence of sound oversight, responsible businesses are forced to compete against unscrupulous and underhanded business, who are unencumbered by any restrictions on activities that might harm the environment, or take advantage of middle-class families, or threaten to bring down the entire financial system."

43. "In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?"

44. "Issues are never simple. One thing I'm proud of is that very rarely will you hear me simplify the issues."

45. "It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we being in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today."

46. "It was not a religion that attacked us that September day. It was Al Qaeda. We will not sacrifice the liberties we cherish or hunker down behind walls of suspicion and mistrust."

47. "It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today. The 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, family leave, health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, retirement plans. The cornerstones of the middle-class security all bear the union label."

48. "It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

49. "It's time to fundamentally change the way that we do business in Washington. To help build a new foundation for the 21st century, we need to reform our government so that it is more efficient, more transparent, and more creative. That will demand new thinking and a new sense of responsibility for every dollar that is spent."

50. "John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded."

51. "Let me even say before I even get inaugurated, during the transition we are going to be having meetings all across the country with community organizations so that you have input into the agenda for the next presidency of the United States of America."

53. "Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference."

54. "My administration is the only thing between you [CEO's] and the pitchforks."

55. "My family, frankly, they weren't folks who went to church every week. My mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew but she didn't raise me in the church, so I came to my Christian faith later in life and it was because of the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kinds of life that I would want to lead."

56. "My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington."

57. "My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or blessed, believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success."

58. "My task over the last two years hasn't been to stop the bleeding. My task has also been to try to figure out how do we address some of the structural problems in the economy that have prevented my Googles from being created."

59. "No one is pro-abortion."

60. "Now we're in the midst of not just advocating for change, not just calling for change - we're doing the grinding, sometimes frustrating work of delivering change - inch by inch, day by day."

61. "Now, anybody who thinks that we can move this economy forward with just a few folks at the top doing well, hoping that it's going to trickle down to working people who are running faster and faster just to keep up, you'll never see it."

62. "Of course, violence will not end with our combat mission. Extremists will continues to set off bombs, attack Iraqi civilians and try to spark sectarian strife. But ultimately, these terrorists will fail to achieve their goals."

63. "On every front there are clear answers out there that can make this country stronger, but we're going to break through the fear and the frustration people are feeling. Our job is to make sure that even as we make progress, that we are also giving people a sense of hope and vision for the future."

64. "One of the great strengths of the United States is...we have a very large Christian population - we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."

65. "Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on terrorism have reduced the pace of military transformation and have revealed our lack of preparation for defensive and stability operations. This Administration has overextended our military."

66. "Our combat mission is ending, but our commitment to Iraq's future is not."

67. "Over the last 15 months, we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in 57 states? I think one left to go."

68. "Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we're hardwired not to always think clearly when we're scared. And the country's scared."

69. "People of Berlin - people of the world - this is our moment. This is our time."

70. "Poorly secured nuclear material in the former Soviet Union, or secrets from a scientist in Pakistan could help build a bomb that detonates in Paris. The poppies in Afghanistan become the heroin in Berlin. The poverty and violence in Somalia breeds the terror of tomorrow."

71. "Since I'm the president and Democrats have controlled the House and the Senate, it's understandable that people are saying, you know, 'What have you done?'"

72. "So while an incredible amount of progress has been made, on this fifth anniversary, I wanted to come here and tell the people of this city directly: My administration is going to stand with you - and fight alongside you - until the job is done. Until New Orleans is all the way back, all the way."

73. "The Bush Administration's failure to be consistently involved in helping Israel achieve peace with the Palestinians has been both wrong for our friendship with Israel, as well as badly damaging to our standing in the Arab world."

74. "The fact that my 15 minutes of fame has extended a little longer than 15 minutes is somewhat surprising to me and completely baffling to my wife."

75. "The thing about hip-hop today is it's smart, it's insightful. The way they can
communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable."

76. "The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country - I know, because I am one of them."

77. "The United States is not, and never will be, at war with Islam."

78. "There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."

79. "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."

80. "There is probably a perverse pride in my administration...that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who's occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can't be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion."

81. "There's not a liberal America and a conservative America - there's the United States of America."

82. "This is the moment when we must build on the wealth that open markets have created, and share its benefits more equitably. Trade has been a cornerstone of our growth and global development. But we will not be able to sustain this growth if it favors the few, and not the many."

83. "This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands."

84. "Today we are engaged in a deadly global struggle for those who would intimidate, torture, and murder people for exercising the most basic freedoms. If we are to win this struggle and spread those freedoms, we must keep our own moral compass pointed in a true direction."

85. "Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation - not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy. Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration
made over two hundred years ago."

86. "We all knew this. We all knew that it would take more time than any of us want to dig ourselves out of this hole created by this economic crisis."

87. "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times...and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That's not leadership. That's not going to happen."

88. "We can't have special interests sitting shotgun. We gotta have middle class families up front. We don't mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for
the ride, but they gotta sit in the back."

89. "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 that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

90. "We didn't become the most prosperous country in the world just by rewarding greed and recklessness. We didn't come this far by letting the special interests run wild. We didn't do it just by gambling and chasing paper profits on Wall Street. We built this country by making things, by producing goods we could sell."

91. "We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades, the desire, and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible."

92. "We have now just enshrined, as soon as I sign this bill, the core principle that everybody should have some basic security when it comes to their healthcare."

93. "We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued and they must be defeated."

94. "We need earmark reform, and when I'm President, I will go line by line to make sure that we are not spending money unwisely."

95. "We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old - and that's the criterion by which I'll be selecting my judges."

96. "We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent."

97. "We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don't want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential."

98. "We proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things and tackling our biggest challenges."

99. "We're not going to baby sit a civil war."

100. "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential."

Featured in Politics