“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

Barack Obama

“At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better.”

Barack Obama

“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.”

Barack Obama

“The result is autobiographical, although whenever someone’s asked me over the course of these last three years just what the book is about, I’ve usually avoided such a description. An autobiography promises feats worthy of record, conversations with famous people, a central role in important events. There is none of that here.”

Barack Obama

“Once I found an issue enough people cared about, I could take them into action. With enough actions, I could start to build power

Barack Obama

“The man had received a chemical treatment, the article explained, to lighten his complexion. He had paid for it with his own money. He expressed some regret about trying to pass himself off as a white man, was sorry about how badly things had turned out. But the results were irreversible. There were thousands of people like him, black men and women back in America who’d undergone the same treatment in response to advertisements that promised happiness as a white person.

Barack Obama

“America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.”

Barack Obama

“I was intrigued by old Frank, with his books and whiskey breath and the hint of hard-earned knowledge behind the hooded eyes.”

Barack Obama

“The most important thing you need to do [in this job] is to have big chunks of time during the day when all you’re doing is thinking.”

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.”

Barack Obama

“But when our elected officials and our political campaign become entirely untethered to reason and facts and analysis, when it doesn’t matter what's true and what's not, that makes it all but impossible for us to make good decisions on behalf of future generations. It threatens the values of respect and tolerance that we teach our children and that are the source of America’s strength. It frays the habits of the heart that underpin any civilized society -- because how we operate is not just based on laws, it's based on habits and customs and restraint and respect.”

Barack Obama

“The absence of even rough agreement on the facts puts every opinion on equal footing and therefore eliminates the basis for thoughtful compromise. It rewards not those who are right, but those - like the White House press office - who can make their arguments most loudly, most frequently, most obstinately, and with the best backdrop.”

Barack Obama

“There's nobody to guide through the process of becoming a man... to explain to them the meaning of manhood. And that's a recipe for disaster.”

Barack Obama

“We now live in a world where the most valuable skill you can sell is knowledge.”

Barack Obama

“Maybe the critics are right. Maybe there's no escaping our great political divide, an endless clash of armies, and any attempts to alter the rules of engagement are futile. Or maybe the trivialization of politics has reached a point of no return, so that most people see it as just one more diversion, a sport, with politicians our paunch-bellied gladiators and those who bother to pay attention just fans on the sidelines: We paint our faces red or blue and cheer our side and boo their side, and if it takes a late hit or cheap shot to beat the other team, so be it, for winning is all that matters. But I don't think so. They are out there, I think to myself, those ordinary citizens who have grown up in the midst of all the political and cultural battles, but who have found a way-in their own lives, at least- to make peace with their neighbors, and themselves. ...I imagine they are waiting for a politics with the maturity to balance idealism and realism, to distinguish between what can and cannot be compromised, to admit the possibility that the other side might sometimes have a point. They don't always understand the arguments between right and left, conservative and liberal, but they recognize the difference between dogma and common sense, responsibility and irresponsibility, between those things that last and those that are fleeting. They are out there, waiting for Republicans and Democrats to catch up with them.”

Barack Obama


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