Quotes by Barack Obama
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress.
Why can't I just eat my waffle?
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.
Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference.
It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today. The40-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.
I mean, I do think at a certain point you've made enough money.
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.
We proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things and tackling our biggest challenges.
I've got two daughters. 9 year sold and 6 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.
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.
We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.
It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin 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.
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.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help... Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business - you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.
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.
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.
I've got a pen and I've got a phone - and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward.
I just miss - I miss being anonymous.
You know, my faith is one that admits some doubt.
The United States is not, and never will be, at war with Islam.
In a world of complex threats, our security and leadership depends on all elements of our power - including strong and principled diplomacy.
In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?
What Washington needs is adult supervision.
First, how do we give everyone a fair shot at opportunity and security in this new economy? Second, how do we make technology work for us, and not against us - especially when it comes to solving urgent challenges like climate change? Third, how do we keep America safe and lead the world without becoming its policeman?
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 worship an awesome Godin 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.
My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington.
Let us remember we are all part of one American family. We are united in common values, and that includes belief in equality under the law, basic respect for public order, and the right of peaceful protest.
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.
We want everybody to act like adults, quit playing games, realize that it's not just my way or the highway.
I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.
We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degree sat all times... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That's not leadership. That's not going to happen.
That's the good thing about being president, I can do whatever I want.
No party has a monopoly on wisdom. No democracy works without compromise. But when Governor Romney and his allies in Congress tell us we can somehow lower our deficit by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy -well, you do the math. I refuse to go along with that. And as long as I'm President, I never will.
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.'
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 over extended our military.
What I'm asking for is hard. It's easier to be cynical; to accept that change isn't possible, and politics is hopeless, and to believe that our voices and actions don't matter. But if we give up now, then we forsake a better future.
The future rewards those who press on. I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. I don't have time to complain. I'm going to press on.
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.
Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes, 'he said, his voice rising as applause and cheers mounted. 'Shake it off. Stop complain in'. Stop grumblin'. Stop cry in'. We are going to press on. We have work to do.
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.
I'm the president of the United States. I'm not the emperor of the United States.
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.
When we think of the major threats to our national security, the first to come to mind are nuclear proliferation, rogue states and global terrorism. But another kind of threat lurks beyond our shores, one from nature, not humans - an avian flu pandemic.
Understand, our police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day. They've got a tough job to do to maintain public safety and hold accountable those who break the law.
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 a swell-funded.
Now, as a nation, we don't promise equal outcomes, but we were founded on the idea everybody should have an equal opportunity to succeed. No matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, you can make it. That's an essential promise of America. Where you start should not determine where you end up.
Issues are never simple. One thing I'm proud of is that very rarely will you hear me simplify the issues.
Our higher education system is one of the things that makes America exceptional. There's no place else that has the assets we do when it comes to higher education. People from all over the world aspire to come here and study here. And that is a good thing.
Food Stamp recipients didn't cause the financial crisis; recklessness on Wall Street did.
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.
I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together: black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young, old; gay, straight; men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance under the same proud flag to this big, bold country that we love. That's what I see. That's the America I know!
The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.
In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed.
Americans... still believe in an America where anything's possible - they just don't think their leaders do.
I just want to go through Central Park and watch folks passing by. Spend the whole day watching people. I miss that.
Our brand of democracy is hard. But I can promise that a year from now, when I no longer hold this office, I'll be right there with you as a citizen- inspired by those voices of fairness and vision, of grit and good humor and kindness that have helped America travel so far.
People of Berlin - people of the world - this is our moment. This is our time.
Ours is a nation of laws: of citizens who live under them and for the citizens who enforce them. So, to a community in Ferguson that is rightly hurting and looking for answers, let me call once again for us to seek some understanding rather than simply holler at each other. Let's seek to heal rather than to wound each other.
As a nuclear power - as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon – the United States has a moral responsibility to act.
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.
But do I think that our actions in anyway violate the War Powers Resolution, the answer is no.
And so our goal on health care is, if we can get, instead of health care costs going up 6percent 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.
Let's be honest - tracking down, rounding up, and deporting millions of people isn't realistic. Anyone who suggests otherwise isn't being straight with you. It's also not who we are as Americans.
And we have done more in the two and a half years that I've been in here than the previous 43 Presidents to uphold that principle, whether it's ending don't ask, don't tell,' making sure that gay and lesbian partners can visit each other in hospitals, making sure that federal benefits can be provided to same-sex couples.
There's not a liberal America and a conservative America -there's the United States of America.
I don't care whether you're driving a hybrid or an SUV. If you're headed for a cliff, you have to change direction. That's what the American people called for in November, and that's what we intend to deliver.
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.
What I think is fair to say is that, coming out of the Republican camp, there have been efforts to suggest that perhaps I'm not who I say I am when it comes to my faith - something which I find deeply offensive, and that has been going on for a pretty long time.
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.
Through every victory and every setback, I've insisted that change is never easy and never quick; that we wouldn't meet all of our challenges in one term, or one presidency, or even in one lifetime.
I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president - with the possible exceptions of Johnson, FDR, and Lincoln -just in terms of what we've gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we've got a lot more work to do. And we're gonna keep on at it.
A lot has happened over the years. And while this nation has been tested by war, and it's been tested by recession and all manner of challenges – I stand before you again tonight, after almost two terms as your president, to tell you I am more optimistic about the future of America than ever before.
I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries.
I cannot swallow whole the view of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator.
We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued and they must be defeated.
I will continue to believe that Israel's security is paramount.
As we speak, Iran has rolled back its nuclear program, shipped out its uranium stockpile, and the world has avoided another war.
What I worry about would be that you essentially have two chambers, the House and the Senate, but you have simply, majoritarian, absolute power on either side. And that's just not what the founders intended.
I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman - not me, not Bill, nobody - more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America.
Our priority is to go after ISIL. And so what we have said is that we are not engaging in a military action against the Syrian regime. We are going after ISIL facilities and personnel who are using Syria as a safe haven, in service of our strategy in Iraq.
We need to keep making our streets safer and our criminal justice system fairer – our homeland more secure, our world more peaceful and sustainable for the next generation.
Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may make you feel like you're flying high at first, but it won't take long before you feel the impact.
America's promises do not come with a price tag. We meet our commitments. We bear our burdens. That's one of the reasons why almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago when I took office.
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.
You know, one of the things I think you understand as president is you're held responsible for everything, but you don't always have control of everything, right?
For more than four decades, the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant – Moammar Gaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world – including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents.
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.
It's not enough to train today's workforce. We also have to prepare tomorrow's work force by guaranteeing every child access to a world-class education.
We also can't try to take over and rebuild every country that falls into crisis. That's not leadership; that's a recipe for quagmire, spilling American blood and treasure that ultimately weakens us. It's the lesson of Vietnam, of Iraq – and we should have learned it by now.
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.
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.
In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri - where a young man was killed, and a community was divided. So yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions..
Millions of us, myself included, go back generations in this country, with ancestors who put in the painstaking work to become citizens. So we don't like the notion that anyone might get a free pass to American citizenship.
We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. Founder of the Republican Party.
We are not at war against Islam.