“Five days a week, she came into my room at four in the morning, force-fed me breakfast, and proceeded to teach me my English lessons for three hours before I left for school and she went to work.”

Barack Obama

“When you get rid of the estate tax,” he (Warren Buffet) said, “you’re basically handing over command of the country’s resources to people who didn’t earn it. It’s like choosing the 2020 Olympic team by picking the children of all the winners at the 2000 Games.”

Barack Obama

“Illinois preschoolers were temporarily saved from the debilitating effects of cereal and milk.”

Barack Obama

“In the face of our common dangers, in this wintr of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come.”

Barack Obama

“doubtful of 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.”

Barack Obama

“What I’ve realized is that life doesn’t count for much unless you’re willing to do your small part to leave our children — all of our children — a better world. Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.”

Barack Obama

“But these men had become object lessons for me, men I might love but never emulate, white men and brown men whose fates didn’t speak to my own. It was into my father’s image, the black man, son of Africa, that I’d packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela. And if later I saw that the black men I knew—Frank or Ray or Will or Rafiq—fell short of such lofty standards; if I had learned to respect these men for the struggles they went through, recognizing them as my own—my father’s voice had nevertheless remained untainted, inspiring, rebuking, granting or withholding approval.”

Barack Obama

“For half of the world's population, roughly three billion people around the world living on less than two dollars a day, an election is at best a means, not an end; a starting point, not deliverance. These people are looking less for an "electocracy" than for the basic elements that for most of us define a decent life--food, shelter, electricity, basic health care, education for their children, and the ability to make their way through life without having to endure corruption, violence, or arbitrary power.”

Barack Obama

“I believe in (the American) people. I believe that people are more good than bad. I believe tragic things happen. I think there's evil in the world. But I think that at the end of the day, if we work hard, and if we're true to those things in us that feel true and feel right, that, the world gets a little better each time. That's what this presidency is trying to be about. And I see that in the young people i work with. This is not just drama-obama. This is what I really believe.”

Barack Obama

“If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription, who has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer - even if it's not my grandparent. If there's an Arab-American or Mexican-American family being rounded up by John Ashcroft without benefit of an attorney or due process, I know that that threatens my civil liberties. And I don't have to be a woman to be concerned that the Supreme Court is trying to take away a woman's right, because I know that my rights are next. It is that fundamental belief - I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper - that makes this country work.”

Barack Obama

“The only way my life makes sense is if, regardless of culture, race, religion, tribe, there is this commonality, these essential human truths and passions and hopes and moral precepts that are universal. And that we can reach out beyond our differences. If that is not the case, then it is pretty hard for me to make sense of my life.”

Barack Obama

“And then, on September 11, 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 would murder innocents with abstract, serene satisfaction.”

Barack Obama

“I know, I have seen, the desperation and disorder of the powerless: how it twists the lives of children on the streets of Jakarta or Nairobi in much the same way as it does the lives of children on Chicago’s South Side, how narrow the path is for them between humiliation and untrammeled fury, how easily they slip into violence and despair. I know that the response of the powerful to this disorder—alternating as it does between a dull complacency and, when the disorder spills out of its proscribed confines, a steady, unthinking application of force, of longer prison sentences and more sophisticated military hardware—is inadequate to the task. I know that the hardening of lines, the embrace of fundamentalism and tribe, dooms us all. And so what was a more interior, intimate effort on my part, to understand this struggle and to find my place in it, has converged with a broader public debate, a debate in which I am professionally engaged, one that will shape our lives and the lives of our children for many years to come.

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.”

Barack Obama

“Where once I’d felt the need to live up to his expectations, I now felt as if I had to make up for all his mistakes.”

Barack Obama


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