Barack Obama

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When we have faced down impossible odds; when we've been told that we're not ready, or that we shouldn't try, or that we can't, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes we can.

Barack Hussein Obama (born August 4, 1961) is a former United States Senator from Illinois (Democrat) and winner of the 2008 presidential election to become the 44th President of the United States.



  • 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.
    • Pugh, Allison J (1990-04-19), "No Cushy Post for this Pioneer Harvard Law Review Chief Plans to Work in Inner City", The Akron Beacon-Journal
  • It's crucial that people don't see my election as somehow a symbol of progress in the broader sense, that we don't sort of point to (me) any more than you point to a Bill Cosby or a Michael Jordan and say, "Well, things are hunky-dory." There's certainly racism here. Professors may treat black students differently, sometimes by being, sort of, more dismissive, sometimes by being more, sort of, careful because they think, you know, they think that somehow we can't cope in the classroom.
    • Pugh, Allison J (1990-04-19), "No Cushy Post for this Pioneer Harvard Law Review Chief Plans to Work in Inner City", The Akron Beacon-Journal


  • Bob Dole seems to me to be a classic example of somebody who had no reason to run. You're 73 years old, you're already the third-most-powerful man in the country. So why? He seems to be drawn by some psychological compulsion. And it's too bad because in a lot of ways, he's an admirable person. There's a great story there. And Bill Clinton? Well, his campaign's fascinating to a student of politics. It's disturbing to someone who cares about certain issues. But politically, it seems to be working.
    • Frolik, Joe (1996-08-03), "A Newcomer to the Business of Politics has Seen Enough to Reach Some Conclusions About Restoring Voters' Trust", The Plain Dealer
  • 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.
    • Frolik, Joe (1996-08-03), "A Newcomer to the Business of Politics has Seen Enough to Reach Some Conclusions About Restoring Voters' Trust", The Plain Dealer


  • Throughout its history, Israel has been anxious to make peace with its Arab neighbors. If successful, the current peace process is a potential opportunity for Israel to increase its security, normalize relations with its neighbors, and create a more stable and prosperous Middle East. Resolution of the conflict depends on direct negotiations between the parties based on mutual respect and recognition. The United States’ commitment to Israel must continue so Israel can negotiate with its former and current adversaries from a position of strength... Israel can take risks for peace only because of unwavering American support.
    • CityPAC Questionnaire, 2000 Congressional Primary [1]


I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.
  • 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.
  • Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power.… The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him. But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors…and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.
    • Remarks of Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama Against Going to War with Iraq (2 October 2002)



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.
  • 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.
  • Where the stakes are the highest, in the war on terror, we cannot possibly succeed without extraordinary international cooperation. Effective international police actions require the highest degree of intelligence sharing, planning and collaborative enforcement.
    • Speech to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations (12 July 2004)
  • 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. I do not pretend to have all the answers to this vexing problem, and untangling the issues involved is an appropriate topic for a separate speech. What I can say is this: not only must we be consistent, but we will not succeed unless we have the cooperation of the European Union and the Arab States in pressing for reforms within the Palestinian community.
    • Speech to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations (12 July 2004)
  • 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.
    • Speech to the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations (12 July 2004)
  • On Iraq, on paper, there's not as much difference, I think, between the Bush administration and a Kerry administration as there would have been a year ago. There's not much of a difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage.
    • "Obama's a Star Who Doesn't Follow the Script" by John Kass in The Chigago Tribune (27 July 2004)
  • You know, my faith is one that admits some doubt.
  • No one is pro-abortion.
    • Speech at Benedictine University (5 October 2004)
  • Our first and immutable commitment must be to the security of Israel, our only true ally in the Middle East and the only democracy,
    • Chicago Daily Herald (18 October 2004) [2]
That is the true genius of America—a faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles.

Democratic National Convention speech (2004)

Speech at the Democratic National Convention (27 July 2004) Online transcripts: Washington Post USA Today
  • 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. They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren't rich, because in a generous America you don't have to be rich to achieve your potential.
  • 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: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." That is the true genius of America—a faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles.
  • When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they're going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • That is the true genius of America, a faith in the simple dreams of its people, the insistence on small miracles. That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe or hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted-or at least, most of the time.
  • In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope? I'm not talking about blind optimism here... No, I'm talking about something more substantial. It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. The audacity of hope!
  • We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States.
  • John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded.

Dreams From My Father (2004)

  • And then, on September 11, 2001, the world fractured. It's beyond my skill as a writer to capture that day, and the days that would follow- the planes, like specters, vanishing into steel and glass; the slow-motion cascade of the towers crumbling into themselves; the ash-covered figures wandering the streets; the anguish and the fear. Nor do I pretend to understand the stark nihilism that drove the terrorists that day and that drives their brethren still. My powers of empathy, my ability to reach into another's heart, cannot penetrate the blank stares of those who would murder innocents with abstract, serene satisfaction.
    • Quoted in "Dreams From My Father" - Page x (preface to the 2004 edition) - by Barack Obama
Throughout American history, there have been moments that call on us to meet the challenges of an uncertain world, and pay whatever price is required to secure our freedom.


  • Today, on this day of possibility, we stand in the shadow of a lanky, raw-boned man with little formal education who once took the stage at Old Main and told the nation that if anyone did not believe the American principles of freedom and equality, that those principles were timeless and all-inclusive, they should go rip that page out of the Declaration of Independence.
  • How does America find its way in this new, global economy? What will our place in history be? Like so much of the American story, once again, we face a choice. Once again, there are those who believe that there isn’t much we can do about this as a nation. That the best idea is to give everyone one big refund on their government—divvy it up by individual portions, in the form of tax breaks, hand it out, and encourage everyone to use their share to go buy their own health care, their own retirement plan, their own child care, their own education, and so on. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society. But in our past there has been another term for it—Social Darwinism—every man or woman for him or herself. It’s a tempting idea, because it doesn’t require much thought or ingenuity. It allows us to say that those whose health care or tuition may rise faster than they can afford—tough luck. It allows us to say to the Maytag workers who have lost their job—life isn’t fair. It let’s us say to the child who was born into poverty—pull yourself up by your bootstraps. And it is especially tempting because each of us believes we will always be the winner in life’s lottery, that we’re the one who will be the next Donald Trump, or at least we won’t be the chump who Donald Trump says: “You’re fired!” But there is a problem. It won’t work. It ignores our history. It ignores the fact that it’s been government research and investment that made the railways possible and the internet possible. It’s been the creation of a massive middle class, through decent wages and benefits and public schools that allowed us all to prosper. Our economic dependence depended on individual initiative. It depended on a belief in the free market; but it has also depended on our sense of mutual regard for each other, the idea that everybody has a stake in the country, that we’re all in it together and everybody’s got a shot at opportunity. That’s what’s produced our unrivaled political stability.
    • Knox College Commencement Address (4 June 2005)
  • 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.
    • Knox College Commencement Address (4 June 2005)
  • I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator.
    • "Uncovering the Real Abe Lincoln : What I See in Lincoln's Eyes" Time Magazine (26 June 2005)


  • 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.
  • And at some point, I know that one of my daughters will ask, perhaps my youngest, will ask, "Daddy, why is this monument here? What did this man do?" How might I answer them? Unlike the others commemorated in this place, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not a president of the United States - at no time in his life did he hold public office. He was not a hero of foreign wars. He never had much money, and while he lived he was reviled at least as much as he was celebrated. By his own accounts, he was a man frequently racked with doubt, a man not without flaws, a man who, like Moses before him, more than once questioned why he had been chosen for so arduous a task - the task of leading a people to freedom, the task of healing the festering wounds of a nation's original sin. And yet lead a nation he did. Through words he gave voice to the voiceless. Through deeds he gave courage to the faint of heart. By dint of vision, and determination, and most of all faith in the redeeming power of love, he endured the humiliation of arrest, the loneliness of a prison cell, the constant threats to his life, until he finally inspired a nation to transform itself, and begin to live up to the meaning of its creed.
    Like Moses before him, he would never live to see the Promised Land. But from the mountain top, he pointed the way for us - a land no longer torn asunder with racial hatred and ethnic strife, a land that measured itself by how it treats the least of these, a land in which strength is defined not simply by the capacity to wage war but by the determination to forge peace - a land in which all of God's children might come together in a spirit of brotherhood.
    We have not yet arrived at this longed for place. For all the progress we have made, there are times when the land of our dreams recedes from us - when we are lost, wandering spirits, content with our suspicions and our angers, our long-held grudges and petty disputes, our frantic diversions and tribal allegiances. And yet, by erecting this monument, we are reminded that this different, better place beckons us, and that we will find it not across distant hills or within some hidden valley, but rather we will find it somewhere in our hearts.
  • Throughout American history, there have been moments that call on us to meet the challenges of an uncertain world, and pay whatever price is required to secure our freedom. They are the soul-trying times our forbearers spoke of, when the ease of complacency and self-interest must give way to the more difficult task of rendering judgment on what is best for the nation and for posterity, and then acting on that judgment – making the hard choices and sacrifices necessary to uphold our most deeply held values and ideals. This was true for those who went to Lexington and Concord. It was true for those who lie buried at Gettysburg. It was true for those who built democracy’s arsenal to vanquish fascism, and who then built a series of alliances and a world order that would ultimately defeat communism. And this has been true for those of us who looked on the rubble and ashes of 9/11, and made a solemn pledge that such an atrocity would never again happen on United States soil; that we would do whatever it took to hunt down those responsible, and use every tool at our disposal – diplomatic, economic, and military – to root out both the agents of terrorism and the conditions that helped breed it.
  • We cannot afford to be a country of isolationists right now. 9/11 showed us that try as we might to ignore the rest of the world, our enemies will no longer ignore us. And so we need to maintain a strong foreign policy, relentless in pursuing our enemies and hopeful in promoting our values around the world. But to guard against isolationist sentiments in this country, we must change conditions in Iraq and the policy that has characterized our time there – a policy based on blind hope and ideology instead of fact and reality.
    Americans called for this more serious policy a few Tuesdays ago. It’s time that we listen to their concerns and win back their trust. I spoke here a year ago and delivered a message about Iraq that was similar to the one I did today. I refuse to accept the possibility that I will have to come back a year from now and say the same thing. There have been too many speeches. There have been too many excuses. There have been too many flag-draped coffins, and there have been too many heartbroken families. The time for waiting in Iraq is over. It is time to change our policy. It is time to give Iraqis their country back. And it is time to refocus America’s efforts on the wider struggle yet to be won.
    • "A Way Forward in Iraq", Remarks to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (20 November 2006)
Values are faithfully applied to the facts before us, while ideology overrides whatever facts call theory into question.

The Audacity of Hope (2006)

  • Someone once said that every man is trying to either live up to his father's expectations or make up for his father's mistakes, and I suppose that may explain my particular malady as well as anything else.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 3 - by Barack Obama
  • I began to harbor doubts about the path I had chosen; I began feeling the way I imagine an actor or athlete must feel when, after years of commitment to a particular dream, after years of waiting tables between auditions or scratching out hits in the minor leagues, he realizes that he's gone just about as far as talent or fortune will take him. The dream will not happen, and he now faces the choice of accepting this fact like a grown-up and moving on to more sensible pursuits, or refusing the truth and ending up bitter, quarrelsome, and slightly pathetic.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 4 - by Barack Obama
  • Furthermore, I am a prisoner of my own biography: I can't help but view the American experience through the lens of a black man of mixed heritage, forever mindful of how generations of people who looked like me were subjugated and stigmatized, and the subtle and not so subtle ways that race and class continue to shape our lives.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 10 - by Barack Obama
  • When Democrats rush up to me at events and insist that we live in the worst of political times, that a creeping fascism is closing its grip around our throats, I may mention the internment of Japanese Americans under FDR, the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams, or a hundred years of lynching under several dozen administrations as having been possibly worse, and suggest we all take a deep breath. When people at dinner parties ask me how I can possibly operate in the current political environment, with all the negative campaigning and personal attacks, I may mention Nelson Mandela, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, or some guy in a Chinese or Egyptian prison somewhere. In truth, being called names is not such a bad deal.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Pages 21-22 - by Barack Obama
  • We will need to understand just how we got to this place, this land of warring factions and tribal hatreds. And we will need to remind ourselves, despite all our differences, just how much we share: common hopes, common dreams, a bond that will not break.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 25 - by Barack Obama
  • War might be hell and still the right thing to do. Economies could collapse despite the best-laid plans. People could work hard all their lives and still lose everything.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 36 - by Barack Obama
  • By the end of the week, I was sorry to leave. Not simply because I had made so many new friends, but because in the faces of all the men and women I'd met I had recognized pieces of myself.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Pages 50-51 - by Barack Obama
  • Identities are scrambling, and then cohering in new ways. Beliefs keep slipping through the noose of predictability. Facile expectations and simple explanations are being constantly upended.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 51 - by Barack Obama
War might be hell and still the right thing to do. Economies could collapse despite the best-laid plans. People could work hard all their lives and still lose everything.
  • In a country as diverse as ours, there will always be passionate arguments about how we draw the line when it comes to government action. That is how our democracy works. But our democracy might work a bit better if we recognized that all of us possess values that are worthy of respect: if liberals at least acknowledged that the recreational hunter feels the same way about his gun as they feel about their library books, and if conservatives recognized that most women feel as protective of their right to reproductive freedom as evangelicals do of their right to worship.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 57 - by Barack Obama
  • While the evidence tells me that the death penalty does little to deter crime, I believe there are some crimes- mass murder, the rape and murder of a child- so heinous, so beyond the pale, that the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage by meting out the ultimate punishment.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Pages 57-58 - by Barack Obama
  • Values are faithfully applied to the facts before us, while ideology overrides whatever facts call theory into question.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 59 - by Barack Obama
  • All the money in the world won't boost student achievement if parents make no effort to instill in their children the values of hard work and delayed gratification.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 63 - by Barack Obama
  • We say we value the legacy we leave the next generation and then saddle that generation with mountains of debt. We say we believe in equal opportunity but then stand idle while millions of American children languish in poverty. We insist that we value family, but then structure our economy and organize our lives so as to ensure that our families get less and less of our time.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Pages 68-69 - by Barack Obama
  • For in the end laws are just words on a page- words that are sometimes malleable, opaque, as dependent on context and trust as they are in a story or poem or promise to someone, words whose meanings are subject to erosion, sometimes collapsing in the blink of an eye.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 77 - by Barack Obama
  • We also understand that a declaration is not a government; a creed is not enough. The Founders recognized that there were seeds of anarchy in the idea of individual freedom, an intoxicating danger in the idea of equality, for if everybody is truly free, without the constraints of birth or rank or an inherited social order- if my notion of faith is no better or worse than yours, and my notions of truth and goodness and beauty are as true and good and beautiful as yours- then how can we ever hope to form a society that coheres? Enlightenment thinkers like Hobbes and Locke suggested that free men would form governments as a bargain to ensure that one man's freedom did not become another man's tyranny; that they would sacrifice individual license to better preserve their liberty.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Pages 86-87 - by Barack Obama
  • We are on our own, and have only our own reason and our judgment to rely on.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 89 - by Barack Obama
But deliberation alone could not provide the slave his freedom or cleanse America of its original sin. In the end, it was the sword that would sever his chains.
  • But deliberation alone could not provide the slave his freedom or cleanse America of its original sin. In the end, it was the sword that would sever his chains.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 96 - by Barack Obama
  • I love America too much, am too invested in what this country has become, too committed to its institutions, its beauty, and even its ugliness, to focus entirely on the circumstances of its birth. But neither can I brush aside the magnitude of the injustice done, or erase the ghosts of generations past, or ignore the open wound, the aching spirit, that ails this country still.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Pages 96-97 - by Barack Obama
  • The blood of slaves reminds us that our pragmatism can sometimes be moral cowardice. Lincoln, and those buried at Gettysburg, remind us that we should pursue our own absolute truths only if we acknowledge that there may be a terrible price to pay.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 98 - by Barack Obama
  • I'm not suggesting that politicians are unique in suffering such disappointments. It's that unlike most people, who have the luxury of licking their wounds privately, the politician's loss is on public display.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 107 - by Barack Obama
  • As for most politicians, money isn't about getting rich. In the Senate, at least, most members are already rich. It's about maintaining status and power; it's about scaring off challengers and fighting off the fear. Money can't guarantee victory- it can't buy passion, charisma, or the ability to tell a story. But without money, and the television ads that consume all the money, you are pretty much guaranteed to lose.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 109 - by Barack Obama
  • In our standard economics textbooks and in our modern political debates, laissez-faire is the default rule; anyone who would challenge it swims against the prevailing tide.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 150 - by Barack Obama
  • Parents have the primary responsibility for instilling an ethic of hard work and educational achievement in their children.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 160 - by Barack Obama
  • If the prospect of melting ice caps, rising sea levels, changing weather patterns, more frequent hurricanes, more violent tornadoes, endless dust storms, decaying forests, dying coral reefs, and increases in respiratory illness and insect-borne diseases- if all that doesn't constitute a serious threat, I don't know what does.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 168 - by Barack Obama
  • More than anything, it is that sense- that despite great differences in wealth, we rise and fall together- that we can't afford to lose. As the pace of change accelerates, with some rising and many falling, that sense of common kinship becomes harder to maintain.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 193 - by Barack Obama
In our standard economics textbooks and in our modern political debates, laissez-faire is the default rule; anyone who would challenge it swims against the prevailing tide.
  • I came to realize that without a vessel for my beliefs, without an unequivocal commitment to a particular community of faith, I would be consigned at some level to always remain apart, free in the way that my mother was free, but also alone in the same ways she was ultimately alone.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 206 - by Barack Obama
  • I understand these fears- nowhere is it ordained that history moves in a straight line, and during difficult economic times it is possible that the imperatives of racial equality get shunted aside.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 248 - by Barack Obama
  • At times, American foreign policy has been farsighted, simultaneously serving our national interests, our ideals, and the interests of other nations. At other times American policies have been misguided, based on false assumptions that ignore the legitimate aspirations of other peoples, undermine our own credibility, and make for a more dangerous world.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 280 - by Barack Obama
  • Moreover, while America's revolutionary origins and republican form of government might make it sympathetic toward those seeking freedom elsewhere, America's early leaders cautioned against idealistic attempts to export our way of life; according to John Quincy Adams, America should not go "abroad in search of monsters to destroy" nor "become the dictatress of the world." Providence had changed America with the task of making a new world, not reforming the old; protected by and ocean and with the bounty of a continent, America could best serve the cause of freedom by concentrating on its own development, becoming a beacon of hope for other nations and people around the globe.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Pages 280-281 - by Barack Obama
  • Of course, manifest destiny also meant bloody and violent conquest- of Native American tribes forcibly removed from their lands and of the Mexican army defending its territory. It was a conquest that, like slavery, contradicted America's founding principles and tended to be justified in explicitly racist terms, a conquest that American mythology has always had difficulty fully absorbing but that other countries recognized for what it was- an exercise in raw power.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 281 - by Barack Obama
  • For the next twenty years, America turned resolutely inward- reducing its army and navy, refusing to join the World Court, standing idly by as Italy, Japan, and Nazi Germany built up their military machines.
    • Quoted in "The Audacity of Hope" - Page 283 - by Barack Obama


  • I certainly didn't expect to find myself in this position a year ago. I've been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics. So I've spent some time thinking about how I could best advance the cause of change and progress that we so desperately need...The decisions that have been made in Washington these past six years, and the problems that have been ignored, have put our country in a precarious place. America's faced big problems before. But today, our leaders in Washington seem incapable of working together in a practical, commonsense way. Politics has become so bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence, that we can't tackle the big problems that demand solutions.
  • There are countless reasons the American people have lost confidence in the President's Iraq policy, but chief among them has been the administration's insistence on making promises and assurances about progress and victory that do not appear to be grounded in the reality of the facts. We have been told we would be greeted as liberators. We have been promised the insurgency was in its last throes. We have been assured again and again that we are making progress and that the Iraqis would soon stand up so we could stand down and our brave sons and daughters could start coming home. We have been asked to wait, we have been asked to be patient, and we have been asked to give the President and the new Iraqi Government 6 more months, and then 6 more months after that, and then 6 more months after that.
  • I have been a consistent and strong opponent of this war. I have also tried to act responsibly in that opposition to ensure that, having made the decision to go into Iraq, we provide our troops, who perform valiantly, the support they need to complete their mission. I have also stated publicly that I think we have both strategic interests and humanitarian responsibilities in ensuring that Iraq is as stable as possible under the circumstances. Finally, I said publicly that it is my preference not to micromanage the Commander-in-Chief in the prosecution of war. Ultimately, I do not believe that is the ideal role for Congress to play. But at a certain point, we have to draw a line. At a certain point, the American people have to have some confidence that we are not simply going down this blind alley in perpetuity.
    When it comes to the war in Iraq, the time for promises and assurances, for waiting and patience is over. Too many lives have been lost and too many billions have been spent for us to trust the President on another tried-and-failed policy, opposed by generals and experts, opposed by Democrats and Republicans, opposed by Americans and even the Iraqis themselves. It is time to change our policy. It is time to give Iraqis their country back, and it is time to refocus America's effort on the wider struggle against terror yet to be won.
    • Floor Statement on President's Decision to Increase Troops in Iraq (19 January 2007)
  • The U.S. military has performed valiantly and brilliantly in Iraq. Our troops have done all that we have asked them to do and more. But no amount of American soldiers can solve the political differences at the heart of somebody else's civil war, nor settle the grievances in the hearts of the combatants.
    It is my firm belief that the responsible course of action - for the United States, for Iraq, and for our troops - is to oppose this reckless escalation and to pursue a new policy. This policy that I've laid out is consistent with what I have advocated for well over a year, with many of the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, and with what the American people demanded in the November election.
    When it comes to the war in Iraq, the time for promises and assurances, for waiting and patience, is over. Too many lives have been lost and too many billions have been spent for us to trust the President on another tried and failed policy opposed by generals and experts, Democrats and Republicans, Americans and many of the Iraqis themselves.
    It is time for us to fundamentally change our policy. It is time to give Iraqis their country back. And it is time to refocus America's efforts on the challenges we face at home and the wider struggle against terror yet to be won.
  • It is important at this point that Congress offer specific constructive approaches to what’s proven to be a foreign policy disaster because we’ve got too much at stake to simply stand on the sidelines and criticize...If we simply cut off funding without any structure for how a redeployment takes place, then you could genuinely have a Constitutional crisis or at least a crisis on the ground where the president continues to send troops there but now they’re being shortchanged in terms of armaments and support...The notion that as a consequence of that [2002 Congressional] authorization, the president can continue down a failed path without any constraints from Congress whatsoever is wrong and is not warranted by our Constitution.
  • We've been told that our crises are somebody else's fault. We are distracted from our real failures and told to blame the other party, or gay people, or immigrants, and as people have looked away in frustration and disillusionment, we know who has filled the void. The cynics, the lobbyists, the special interests, who've turned government into only a game they can afford to play. They write the checks while you get stuck with the bill. They get access while you get to write a letter.
    • Announcement of Candidacy for President of the United States. (10 February 2007)
  • The Israeli people, and Prime Minister Olmert, have made clear that they are more than willing to negotiate an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that will result in two states living side by side in peace and security. But the Israelis must trust that they have a true Palestinian partner for peace. That is why we must strengthen the hands of Palestinian moderates who seek peace and that is why we must maintain the isolation of Hamas and other extremists who are committed to Israel's destruction.
  • In Africa, you often see that the difference between a village where everybody eats and a village where people starve is government. One has a functioning government, and the other does not. Which is why it bothers me when I hear people say that government is the enemy. They don't understand its fundamental role.
    • Profile in The Independent Magazine (10 March 2007)
  • Nobody's suffering more than the Palestinian people from this whole process. And I would like to see — if we could get some movement from Palestinian leadership — what I'd like to see is a loosening up of some of the restrictions on providing aid directly to the Palestinian people.
  • Israel is our friend, that we will assist in their security.
    • YouTube debate
  • I would immediately call the president of Mexico, the president of Canada, to try to amend NAFTA, because I think that we can get labor agreements in that agreement right now.
    • AFL-CIO forum


It is time for us to fundamentally change our policy. It is time to give Iraqis their country back. And it is time to refocus America's efforts on the challenges we face at home and the wider struggle against terror yet to be won.
  • We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks to come. We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope. But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we've been told that we're not ready, or that we shouldn't try, or that we can't, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes we can.
  • There was no such thing as Al Qaeda in Iraq, until George Bush and John McCain decided to invade Iraq.
    • February 27, 2008. Speech in Columbus, Ohio.
  • But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.
    • Obama tackles race anger in major speech (March 18, 2008)
  • I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother — a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
    • Obama tackles race anger in major speech (March 18, 2008)
    • Regarding inflammatory racial remarks of his Pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright
  • We've got a tragic history when it comes to race in this country. We've got a lot of pent-up anger and bitterness and misunderstanding. ... This country wants to move beyond these kinds of things.
    • Obama tackles race anger in major speech (March 18, 2008)
  • He simply says to everyone in the room, "I am here because of Ashley."
  • John McCain once opposed these tax cuts -- he rightly called them unfair and fiscally irresponsible. But now he has done an about face and wants to make them permanent, just like he wants a permanent occupation in Iraq. No matter what the costs, no matter what the consequences, John McCain seems determined to carry out a third Bush term...
  • "Bush-McCain policies have... ballooned the national debt."
  • The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn't. But she is a typical white person who, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know, there's a reaction that's been bred into our experiences that don't go away, and that sometimes comes out in the wrong way, and that's just the nature of race in our society.
  • Well, I think that you're looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective. Answering that question with specificity is above my pay grade. But let me just speak more generally about the issue of abortion, because this is something that obviously the country wrestles with.
    • Question: "At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?"
    • Saddleback Civil Forum with Pastor Rich Warren, 18 August 2008 [4]
  • 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.
  • You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, a lot like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. 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.
    • At a San Francisco fundraiser, April 6, 2008 [6][7]
  • Gibson: And in each instance, when the [capital gains tax] rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?
  • Obama: Well, Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.
  • Interview on ABC News; April 16, 2008 [8]
  • I’ve known Reverend Wright for almost twenty years. The person I saw yesterday was not the person that I met twenty years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church. They certainly don’t portray accurately my values and beliefs and if Reverend Wright thinks that's political posturing, as he put it, then he doesn't know me very well and based on his remarks yesterday, well I may not know him as well as I thought either.
    • At a press conference following Reverend Jeremiah Wright's speech at a Press Club event, April 29, 2008 [9]
  • Iran, Cuba, Venezuela — these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying, `We're going to wipe you off the planet."
  • You can take your diploma, walk off this stage, and chase only after the big house and the nice suits, but I hope you don't. Not because you have an obligation to those who are less fortunate, although I believe you do have that obligation. Not because you have a debt to all those who helped you get here, although I do believe you have that debt. It's because you have an obligation to yourself. Because our individual salvation depends on collective salvation. Because thinking only about yourself, fulfilling your immediate wants and needs, betrays a poverty of ambition.
    • Wesleyan Graduation Ceremony, Middletown, Connecticut, May 25, 2008 [10]
  • I’m not denouncing the church, and I’m not interested in people who want me to denounce the church. It’s not a church worthy of denouncing.
  • I honor -- we honor -- the service of John McCain, and I respect his many accomplishments, even if he chooses to deny mine.
    • Speech following Minnesota primary, transcript available via [11]
  • This is the moment that will define a Generation
    • Speech following Minnesota primary, transcript available via [12]
  • Obviously, it's going to be up to the parties to negotiate a range of these issues. And Jerusalem will be part of the negotiations.
    • Interview with CNN, in response to a question on Jerusalem, 2008-06-05 [13]
  • I was a little puzzled by the frenzy that I set off by what I thought was a pretty innocuous statement, which is that I am absolutely committed to ending the war. I'm not trying to dump on you guys, but I'm surprised at how finely calibrated every single word was measured. I wasn't saying anything that I hadn't said before, that I didn't say a year ago, or when I was a U.S. senator. If you look at our position, it's been very consistent. The notion that we have to get out carefully has been a consistent position. ... I think what's happened is that the McCain campaign primed the pump with the press to suggest that somehow we were changing our policy when we hadn't and that just hasn't been the case. I've given no indication of a change in policy ... I think John McCain's going to have a much harder time explaining how he is willing to perpetuate a presence in Iraq for 10, 20, 50 years.
    • Obama response to attack from McCain and his campaign on alleged Obama reversal on Iraq War; July 5, 2008; [14]
  • I am reminded every day of my life, if not by events, then by my wife, that I am not a perfect man.
    • Speech in Mitchell, South Dakota; 1 June 2008.
  • So, now the Republicans are going around -- this is the kind of thing they do. I don't understand it. They are going around. They're sending like little tire gauges, making fun of this idea, as if this is Barack Obama's energy plan. Now, two points. One, they know they're lying about what my energy plan is. But the other thing is, they are making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption by 3 percent to 4 percent. It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant, you know? I mean, they think it's funny that they're making fun of something that is actually true. They need to do their homework, because this is serious business. Instead of running ads about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, they should go talk to some energy experts and actually make a difference.
    • Obama responding to Republican criticism of his energy policy; August 5, 2008. [15]
  • You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington.
  • Lord—Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will.
    • Note slipped into the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Thursday 24 July 2008 [16].
  • Nobody really thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face. So what they are going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know he--oh, he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all of those other presidents on those dollar bills.
    • Campaign rally in Springfield, Missouri, July 30, 2008. [17]
  • I remain skeptical that new offshore drilling will bring down gas prices in the short-term or significantly reduce our oil dependence in the long-term, though I do welcome the establishment of a process that will allow us to make future drilling decisions based on science and fact. But I've always believed that finding consensus will be essential to solving our energy crisis and today's package represents a good faith effort at a new bipartisan beginning. ... My interest is in making sure we‘ve got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices. If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well-thought out oil strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage. I don't want to be so rigid that we can't get something done.
    • Considering allowing some increased offshore drilling on existing leases with environmental oversight, if necessary to gain passage of an energy package to reduce gas prices; August 1, 2008; Interview with Florida newspapers and issued statement; [18] [19] [20]
  • "Tim Kaine has a message of fiscal responsibility and generosity of spirit. That kind of message can sell anywhere."
    • About Virginia governor Tom Kaine, a possible VP candidate [21]
  • "By the way, I've been called worse on the basketball court. Its not a big deal"
    • Response to Palin's recent attacks on him [22]
  • "I hope you guys are up for a fight. I hope you guys are game because I haven’t been putting up with 19 months of airplanes and hotel food and missing my babies and my wife – I didn’t put up for that stuff just to come in second."
  • "I don't think me calling House Republican members would have been that helpful. I tend not to be that persuasive on that side of the aisle."
    • October 10 interview with ABC News [23]
  • The computer was originally invented by a bunch of government scientists who were trying to figure out, for defense purposes, how to communicate...
    • Second Presidential Debate. [24]
  • 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.
    • Ohio campaign stop; October 13, 2008 [25]
  • It is true that I want to roll back the Bush tax cuts on the very wealthiest Americans and go back to the rate that they paid under Bill Clinton. John McCain calls that socialism. What he forgets, conveniently, is that just a few years ago, he himself said those Bush tax cuts were irresponsible. He said he couldn't in good conscience support tax cuts where the benefit went to the wealthy at the expense of middle class Americans who most need the tax relief. That's his quote. Well, he was right then, and I am right now.
    • at a rally in Tampa; October 20, 2008; [26]
  • What Senator McCain has lately been suggesting is that somehow I'm going to take money from people making over $250,000, and give it to people who "pay no taxes". What he's confusing is the fact that even if you don't pay income tax, there are a lot of people who don't pay income tax, but you're still paying a whole lot of other taxes. You're paying payroll tax, which is a huge burden on a lot of middle-income families. You're paying sales taxes. You're paying property taxes. There are a whole host of taxes that you're paying. So when we provide an offset to the waitress or the janitor, these folks are working. This isn't some giveaway to people who are on welfare. This is giving help to people who are working hard every day.
    • at a rally in Lake Worth, Fla.; October 21, 2008; [27]
  • This is your victory
    • When he became President Elect November 4/5, 2008 [28]

Election victory speech

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.
  • If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. ... It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.
    We are, and always will be, the United States of America.
    It's the answer that led those who've been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.
    It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America.
  • I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.
  • Even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime — two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.
    Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.
  • The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.
    I promise you, we as a people will get there.
  • There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can't solve every problem.
    But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.
  • This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.
    It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.
    So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.
  • In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.
  • To those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.
  • 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.
    Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

About Barack Obama

  • So when black Americans refer to Obama as "one of us," I do not know what they are talking about. In his new book, "The Audacity of Hope," Obama makes it clear that, while he has experienced some light versions of typical racial stereotypes, he cannot claim those problems as his own - nor has he lived the life of a black American.
  • I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man.
  • I am excited. Of course, I'm endorsing Senator Obama. He has made that decision and I think this is an exciting time for the country. It brings a new voice in regards to what is taking place far too long in Washington D.C., the lack of moving the agenda forward in regard to the quality of life for the people of America.
  • People don't come to Obama for what he's done in the Senate. They come because of what they hope he could be.
  • Indeed, Barack Obama has exceptional qualities and deserves kudos for his achievement. He is genteel, articulate, poised and charming. He is a Harvard-educated lawyer, yet he remains accessible to the common man. He has been married since 1992, has two lovely daughters and is by all accounts a devoted family man. He is a pious Christian and a member of the United Church of Christ. He has virtually sky-rocketed into the national spotlight—winning a landslide victory in his Senate race in 2004; he became the fifth African American Senator in U.S. history and the only current African American Senator. His fame has been enhanced by the publication of two-bestsellers, Dreams from My Father (1995) and The Audacity of Hope (2006). He now trails only behind Hillary in his bid to secure the nomination of his party. And he has done all of this even before he celebrates his forty-sixth birthday later this summer.
  • You are among the two or three most talented people I have ever met in politics.
  • If he wanted, the Barack Obama of today could have a pretty good debate with the Barack Obama of yesterday. They could argue about whether the death penalty is ever appropriate. Whether it makes sense to ban handguns. They might explore their differences on the Patriot Act or parental notification of abortion.
    • Christopher Wills, Associated Press, December 22, 2007. [31]
  • Senator Obama has adopted the position of every liberal interest group in this country.
  • I think the problem Barack Obama would have is, first of all, he's never run a city, never run a state, never run a business. I don't think, at a time when America's at war, with the major problems that we face, we're going to want someone to get on- the-job experience as the chief executive, never having had that kind of experience. [...] He really doesn't have the experience either from the national security point of view or even from just the executive point of view.
  • Barack spoke out against the war [in Iraq] before it started, and he respects civil liberties, and I respect him for that. [...] But Barack Obama is not going to talk about the goal of getting rid of the income tax and dealing with monetary policy. I mean, he's too much into the welfare state issue, not quite understanding how free market economics is the truly compassionate system. If we care about the poor and want to help the poor, you have to have free markets. You can't have a welfare state in order to try to take care of people.
  • By contrast, Obama’s appeal for a new paradigm that relies on the enthusiasm of young voters and the patriotism of rank-and-file Americans to leap past the stale politics of the Clinton and Bush years makes some sense. Given Obama’s relatively thin résumé, his candidacy may require a leap of faith. But it is at least a leap toward something new and untested, rather than something old and failed.
  • If Barack Obama was a state he'd be California. I mean, think about it: diverse, open, smart, independent, oppose tradition, innovative, inspiring, dreamer, leader.
  • This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting and never use the word "victory" except when he's talking about his own campaign. But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed, when the roar of the crowd fades away, when the stadium lights go out and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot — what exactly is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger.
    • From w:Sarah Palin's acceptance speech for the Vice Presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention, September 3, 2008 [36]
  • Obama's legislative record, speeches, and the way he has run his campaign reveal, I think, a very even temperament, a very sound judgment, and an intelligent pragmatism. Prudence is a word that is not inappropriate to him.
  • This isn't just some phenomenon of the Internet — to liken Barack Obama to the flash-in-the-pan Dean campaign does him a disservice. There is something happening with this guy, and I don't think he should be given short shrift.
  • That boy's finger does not need to be on the button.
  • John Kerry with a tan.
    • Conservative activist Grover Norquist, who formerly called John McCain "that nutjob from Arizona" [40]; June 26, 2008; [41]
  • Barack Obama loves to get attached from the Left on being too moderate on the War on Terrorism. And there have been other things, too, where he's tried to make signals to the middle, saying, “I'm a free trader,” and saying he might cut corporate taxes, saying he might delay some of those tax increases on the wealthy. All of that is aimed on telling swing voters: You cannot put Obama in a far left box or paint him as a rigid ideologue. That shows the difficulty John McCain is going to have making that argument that Steve Schmidt offered -- making it stick.
    • John Harwood of The New York Times, on the McCain attempt to paint Obama as the most liberal member of the Senate; June 26, 2008; [42]
  • There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He's half African-American.
  • Unjustified war and unconstitutional abridgment of individual rights, versus ill-conceived tax and economic policies -- this is the difference between venial and mortal sins. John McCain would continue the Bush administration's commitment to interventionism and constitutional over-reach. Obama promises a humbler engagement with our allies, while promising retaliation against any enemy who dares attack us. ... Based on his embrace of centrist advisers and policies, it seems likely that Obama will turn out to be in the mold of John Kennedy, who was fond of noting that "a rising tide lifts all boats." ... Even if my hopes on domestic policy are dashed and Obama reveals himself as an unreconstructed, dyed-in-the-wool, big government liberal, I'm still voting for him.
    • Former Reagan policy advisor Larry Hunter; New York Daily News; July 16, 2008 [44]
  • Senator Obama made time to go to the gym but canceled a visit with wounded troops. It seems the Pentagon wouldn't allow him to bring cameras.
    • McCain campaign ad aired in July 2008;
  • I am strongly encouraged by Senator Obama's speech [45] on America's energy future. Foreign oil is killing our economy and putting our nation at risk. ... This issue is clearly moving up in the priority of political debate; Senator Obama's statement is an indication that is what is indeed happening.
    • Oilman and former swiftboater T. Boone Pickens, on Obama's energy policy; August 4, 2008; [46]
  • I don’t know how you can take a vote out of context. It’s a vote.
    • Late-term abortion survivor Gianna Jessen, responding to an Obama campaign ad saying his votes against the Born Alive Infant Act were presented "out of context" by the McCain campaign. (Sept. 22, 2008)[47]
  • Silvio Berlusconi to Dmitri Medwedjew: "Barack Obama being young, handsome and sun-tanned is going to get along with you swimmingly" Reported BBC on 7 November 2008
    • (Orig Ital:"Ho detto a Medvedev che Obama ha tutto per andare d'accordo con lui: è giovane, bello e anche abbronzato") by Rainnews 24 on 6 November 2008
  • On the ground of the fight against international terrorism, we'll see Obama being put to the test, because this is the real one. America is the reference democracy for those who want to affirm the value of freedom, put at risk by fundamentalism and islamic terrorism. There are many doubts pending on Obama; with Obama at the White House, perhaps Al Qaeda is happier.
  • (Orig Ital: Sul piano della lotta al terrorismo internazionale, dovremo vedere Obama alla prova, perché questo è il vero banco di prova. L'America è la democrazia di riferimento per quanti vogliano affermare i valori della libertà, minacciati dal fondamentalismo, dal terrorismo islamico. Su Obama gravano molti interrogativi; con Obama alla Casa Bianca Al Qaeda forse è più contenta.)

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