OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:
OP-EDS & ARTICLES
- February 17, 2014
Posted by bonniekgoodman on February 17, 2014
Source: ABC News Radio, 3-18-13
In what they called the “most comprehensive post-election review” ever made of an electoral loss, the Republican National Committee and a group of project co-chairs unveiled a report Monday saying that they need to open their playbook and put their “cards on the table face up” in order to win presidential elections in the future.
While unveiling the 100-page report at the National Press Club, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said he wanted the report, or autopsy, to be “honest” and “raw,” stressing the message of inclusion to Americans who might not be on board with all the party’s policies….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 18, 2013
Source: ABC News, 3-15-13
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gestures as he speaks at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., March 15, 2013. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo)
The following is Mitt Romney’s address as prepared for delivery Friday, March 15, at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md.:
What an honor to be introduced by Governor Nikki Haley, a woman of uncommon courage and conviction; whose principles have guided her governance. We need more governors like her!
I’ve also had the honor of your support from the very beginning. You gave my campaign an early boost. You worked on the front lines—promoting my campaign, turning out voters. Thank you.
With help from so many of you, I had the honor of becoming my party’s nominee for president. I was given the privilege of experiencing America in ways Ann and I had never imagined. Across this great country, our fellow citizens opened up their homes and hearts to us.
Of course, I left the race disappointed that we didn’t win. But I also left honored and humbled to have represented values we believe in and to speak for so many good and decent people. We’ve lost races before, and in the past, those setbacks prepared us for larger victories. It is up to us to make sure that we learn from my mistakes, and from our mistakes, so that we can win the victories those people and this nation depend upon.
It’s fashionable in some circles to be pessimistic about America, about conservative solutions, about the Republican Party. I utterly reject that pessimism. We may not have carried the day last November 7th, but we haven’t lost the country we love, and we haven’t lost our way. Our nation is still full of aspirations and hungry for new solutions. We’re a nation of invention and of reinventing. My optimism about America wasn’t diminished by my campaign; no, it grew—It grew as I came to know more of our fellow Americans.
I have seen American determination in people like Debbi Sommers. She runs a furniture rental business for conventions in Las Vegas. When 9/11 hit and again when the recession tanked the conventions business, she didn’t give up, close down, or lay off her people. She taught them not just to rent furniture, but also to manufacture it.
I’ve seen perseverance. Harold Hamm drove a truck for ten years so that he could afford to go to college. He majored in Geology. Studying geological surveys, he concluded that there should be oil in North Dakota. He went there and drilled a well. It was dry. I’m told that it costs about $2 million to drill a dry hole. But he kept on drilling. 16 dry holes later, they called it Harold’s folly. That changed with the 17th. The Bakken range he discovered is estimated by some to hold as much as 500 billion barrels of oil.
I’ve seen risk taking. The flagging lumber business and mounting losses convinced International Paper Corporation that they needed to shut down their lumber mill in Ossipee, New Hampshire. Into the breech stepped Jim Smith and Kim Moore, the plant manager and sales manager. They borrowed and invested everything they could, to buy the broken business. They saved their jobs and 30 other peoples’ jobs, growing sales from $5 million a year to $50 million.
I’ve met people of great faith. I sat in the home of Billy Graham and in the residence of Cardinal Dolan and prayed with these men of God.
I met heroes in our armed forces: men and women who re-signed with the National Guard after multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan, knowing that in all probability, they would be going back again.
I met heroes in the homes of the nation: single moms who are working two jobs so that their kids will have clothes like those that the other kids wear, dads who almost forget what a weekend is, because of all the jobs they’ve taken on to keep the house.
We are a patriotic people. The heart of America is good. Our land is blessed by the hand of God; may we as a people always be worthy of His grace, and His protection.
Like you, I believe a Conservative vision can attract a majority of Americans and form a governing coalition of renewal and reform. As someone who just lost the last election, I’m probably not the best person to chart the course for the next election. That said, I do have advice. Perhaps because I am a former governor, I would urge you to learn the lessons that come from some of our greatest success stories: the 30 Republican governors.
Yes, they are winning elections, but more importantly, they are solving problems. Big problems. Important problems. Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia secured a constitutional amendment to expand charter schools. Governor Rick Snyder signed Right to Work legislation—in Michigan! Several secured tort reform. Many turned huge deficits into surpluses. Republican governors reached across the aisle, offered innovative solutions and have been willing to take the heat to make tough decisions.
We need the ideas and leadership of each of these governors. We particularly need to hear from the Governors of the blue and purple states, like Bob McDonnell, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Susanna Martinez, Chris Christie, and Brian Sandoval because their states are among those we must win to take the Senate and the White House.
We can also learn from the examples of principle, passion and leadership that we have seen during these last several weeks from fellow conservatives here in Washington. I may be a little biased, but I applaud the clear and convincing voice of my friend, Paul Ryan.
If I were to offer advice to any president of the United States, it would be this: do whatever you can do to keep America the most prosperous and free and powerful nation on earth.
It is no secret that the last century was an American century. And it is no secret that over the span of the 21st century, America’s pre-eminent position is far from guaranteed. The consequence if America were to be surpassed would be devastating. Why? Because among the primary rivals for world leadership—China, Russia, and the Jihadists—not one believes in the freedoms we take for granted. Freedom depends on American leadership.
American leadership depends on a military so strong, so superior, that no one would think to engage it. Our military strength depends on an economy so strong that it can support such a military. And our economy depends on a people so strong, so educated, so resolute, so hard working, so inventive, and so devoted to their children’s future, that other nations look at us with respect and admiration.
That is the America we grew up in, and it is the America our children deserve.
What other nation would have enjoyed hegemonic military power for a quarter of a century, and never have used it to seek revenge against its former foes or to seize precious natural resources from the weak?
What nation is the most philanthropic in the world, the first to bind up the wounds of the injured from hurricanes, tsunamis, and war?
What nation is the largest contributor to the fight against AIDS in Africa?
Who came to the rescue of Europe when it faced its darkest hour and came to the rescue of others under the threat of tyranny, in Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Bosnia, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq? Whatever you think of these interventions, the impulse behind them was liberation, not conquest. In all of human history, there has never been a great power that has so often used its power to liberate others from subjugation, to set the captives free. This we must teach our children, and never ourselves forget.
I’m inspired by a people who believe in and live for something greater than themselves—whether their faith, their country, their family, their school.
I marvel at the prescience, the brilliance and the sacrifices made by the nation’s Founders.
I’m proud of our immigrant heritage, proud that so many of us and of our ancestors came here because they wanted to be here, to build a better future for their children here, to worship their God here.
At a campaign stop in Texas, I met a Cambodian-American named Sichan Siv. Sichan came here in 1976, escaping the killing fields of Cambodia. His first job was picking fruit, then he drove a cab in New York City. He later volunteered on the campaign of George H.W. Bush. Thirteen years after coming to America he went to work in the White House. And then, he was appointed as a United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He said that whenever he stood to speak in behalf of America, his emotions choked, and he asked himself in what other nation could an impoverished Cambodian refugee have become its Ambassador.
America began with an idea, a noble one. That idea was that every person is endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights. Freedom flows in American veins. It invigorates our many enterprises, it inspires us to live beyond ourselves, it calls us to care for the suffering and downtrodden. It has made us a great nation.
Today, history and duty summon us again. The country is imperiled by mounting debt, by failing institutions, by families stressed beyond their limits, by schools that fail to make the grade, and by public servants who are more intent on scoring political points than on national renewal.
Each of us in our own way will have to step up and meet our responsibility. I am sorry that I will not be your president – but I will be your co-worker and I will stand shoulder to shoulder with you. In the end, we will win just as we have won before, and for the same reason: because our cause is right…and just.
Thank you again for your help and support along our journey. Ann and I will treasure these memories all the days of our lives. God bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 15, 2013
Source: ABC News Radio, 3-15-13
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
In his first public speech since losing the presidential election, a humbled Mitt Romney addressed a crowd of conservatives who supported his 2012 campaign and told them his loss “prepared” them for “larger victories” ahead….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 15, 2013
Source: ABC News Radio, 3-3-13
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A reflective Mitt Romney Sunday blamed his loss in the presidential election last November to his inability to connect with minorities, and the former Republican nominee admitted to Fox News’ Chris Wallace that it still “kills him” not to be in Washington….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on March 3, 2013
Source: ABC News Radio, 2-21-13
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
President Obama has finally thanked Jimmy Carter’s grandson for helping him win the 2012 presidential election.
It was James Carter, grandson of the former president, who brought the now-famous “47 percent” tape to light, connecting Mother Jones columnist David Corn to the source who secretly filmed it at a Mitt Romney fundraiser….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on February 21, 2013
Source: ABC News Radio, 11-29-12
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
President Obama and former rival Mitt Romney “pledged to stay in touch” after their hour-long lunch at the White House on Thursday, their first face-to-face encounter since the election.
“The focus of their discussion was on America’s leadership in the world and the importance of maintaining that leadership position in the future,” according to the White House.
Romney also congratulated the president “for the success of his campaign and wished him well over the coming four years.”…READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on November 29, 2012
Source: ABC News Radio, 11-19-12
Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images
Democrat Ron Barber, former aide to Gabrielle Giffords, was declared the winner today of a tight congressional race in Southern Arizona.
Saturday morning, Barber’s opponent, Republican Martha McSally, called him and conceded the race.
The hard-fought battle played out in a newly redrawn district in Southern Arizona that covers parts of Tucson and Pima County and all of Cochise County….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on November 18, 2012
Source: ABC News Radio, 11-14-12
Melina Mara/The Washington Post
Read more about Romney’s donor call HERE.
President Obama Wednesday heaped praise on his defeated rival, GOP nominee Mitt Romney, saying the former governor’s record and ideas “could be very helpful” in shaping policy over the next four years.
“My hope is, before the end of the year… that we have a chance to sit down and talk,” Obama told reporters in his first post-election press conference.
But even as Obama extended something of an olive branch, Romney was reportedly accusing the president of doling out “gifts” to minority voters to curry their support for a second term.
“The President’s campaign focused on giving targeted groups a big gift—so he made a big effort on small things,” Romney told donors on a conference call, first reported by Maeve Reston of the Los Angeles Times. “Those small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars.”…READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on November 14, 2012
Source: ABC News Radio, 11-10-12
Kevin Winter/NBCUniversal/Getty Images
Four days have passed since President Barack Obama took enough of the electoral college to secure a second term and Florida has still not quite counted 100 percent of its ballots. But with the last absentee votes from overseas trickling in and precincts firming up, Florida’s Secretary of State on Saturday finally announced Obama would walk away with its 29 electoral votes.
President Obama took the state by a paper-thin margin over challenger Mitt Romney at 50 percent to 49.1, or roughly 74,000 votes — barely over the half a percent margin that would have mandated a recount….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on November 10, 2012
Source: ABC News Radio, 11-9-12
Associated Press – In this still image from a BarackObama.com campaign video, President Barack Obama wipes away tears as he thanks members of his campaign staff and volunteers in Chicago, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. The short speech came a day after he won re-election. The president talks about his work as a community organizer in Chicago and tells staffers and volunteers that they will do “amazing things” in their lives
The morning after he won re-election, an emotional President Barack Obama credited his youthful staff of several hundred with running a campaign that will “go on in the annals of history.”
“What you guys have accomplished will go on in the annals of history and they will read about it and they’ll marvel about it,” Obama told his team Wednesday morning inside the Chicago campaign headquarters, tears streaming down his face.
“The most important thing you need to know is that your journey’s just beginning. You’re just starting. And whatever good we do over the next four years will pale in comparison to whatever you guys end up accomplishing in the years and years to come,” he said….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on November 9, 2012
Source: ABC News Radio, 11-7-12
Republicans have locked in at least 234 seats and Democrats have secured at least 190 winners in the House of Representatives. But with some ballots yet to be counted, 11 races remained too close to call, and at least seven appeared to be headed for recounts.
Democrats appeared to have slight leads in at least eight races that were too close to call Wednesday morning, but a Republican campaign operative said almost all will be double-checked….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on November 7, 2012
Source: ABC News, 11-7-12
“I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters.
Speaker of the House John Boehner
“The American people re-elected the president, and re-elected our majority in the House. If there is a mandate, it is a mandate for both parties to find common ground and take steps together to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is critical to solving our debt. I offer sincere congratulations to President and Mrs. Obama and to Vice President and Dr. Biden. I wish Mitt, Ann, Paul, Janna and their families well, and thank them for having carried the banner of our party and our principles with strength, grace, and courage.”
“I just cannot believe that the majority of Americans believe that incurring more debt is good for the economy, for our children’s future, for job creators. I just cannot believe that the majority of Americans believe that it’s OK to ignore the constitution and not have a budget.”
French President Francois Hollande
“Your re-election is a clear choice in favor of an America that is open, unified, completely engaged in the international scene and conscious of the challenges facing our planet: peace, the economy and the environment.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
“I extend my sincere congratulations to President Obama and Vice President Biden on their hard-fought victory, and I would like to thank Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for running a great campaign based on concrete solutions to the tremendous economic challenges we continue to face.
“The American people did two things: they gave President Obama a second chance to fix the problems that even he admits he failed to solve during his first four years in office, and they preserved Republican control of the House of Representatives.
“The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the president’s first term, they have simply given him more time to finish the job they asked him to do together with a Congress that restored balance to Washington after two years of one-party control.
“Now it’s time for the president to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a closely-divided Senate, step up to the plate on the challenges of the moment, and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office.
“To the extent he wants to move to the political center, which is where the work gets done in a divided government, we’ll be there to meet him half way.
“That begins by proposing a way for both parties to work together in avoiding the ‘fiscal cliff’ without harming a weak and fragile economy, and when that is behind us work with us to reform the tax code and our broken entitlement system. Republicans are eager to hear the president’s proposals on these and many other pressing issues going forward and to do the work the people sent us here to do.”
Prime Minister David Cameron
“I would like to congratulate Barack Obama on his re-election. I have really enjoyed working with him over the last few years and I look forward to working with him again over the next four years.
“There are so many things that we need to do: we need to kick start the world economy and I want to see an EU-US trade deal. Right here in Jordan I am hearing appalling stories about what has happened inside Syria so one of the first things I want to talk to Barack about is how we must do more to try and solve this crisis.
“Above all, congratulations to Barack. I’ve enjoyed working with him, I think he’s a very successful US president and I look forward to working with him in the future.”
Cain tweeted, “Obama won on Popularity rather than substance. I predict higher unemp & higher taxes.”
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
“The strategic alliance between Israel and the U.S. is stronger than ever. I will continue to work with President Obama in order to assure the interests that are vital to the security of the citizens of Israel.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin
“We hope that the positive beginnings that have taken hold in Russian-US relations on the world arena will grow in the interests of international security and stability.”
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak
“As a moderate Muslim nation, Malaysia stands ready to help the United States as it seeks to better engage with those of Islamic faith.”
Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley
“First, Michael and I want to offer our congratulations to Mitt and Ann Romney – two wonderful people filled with grace, strength and love of country, and two people we are proud to call our friends. They ran a campaign that offered a vision of America that is strong, prosperous and free, and inspired millions of Americans in the process. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for their service.
“Second, we congratulate President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on their hard-fought and hard-earned re-election. Since the day he was sworn into office back in 2009, we have hoped and prayed for President Obama’s success as, more than anything, we want to raise our children in an America that’s thriving and that offers our children the same blessings and opportunities it has offered the generations that preceded them. Those hopes and prayers continue today.
“Although South Carolina cast a majority of its votes in the other direction, our country has spoken. As Americans, we must respect this outcome, and, as governor, I will work together with President Obama wherever I can for the betterment of our state and country.”
Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski
“Americans want us to work together to solve the difficult problems facing our nation.”
“In his second term, I am hopeful that President Obama will see the value of pragmatism over partisanship,” she said. “Both parties created the challenges we face today, and the solutions can only be found through collaborative efforts — good ideas don’t come with a party label.
“I encourage President Obama and his administration to work with Congress, represent all of America and make a better tomorrow for our nation.”
Alaska Sen. Mark Begich
“I look forward to continuing to build on the important progress we have made not only on Arctic development, but on other critical Alaska issues like supporting our veterans, balancing the budget, permitting mines and improving education.”
“I am also happy to see that voters have sent common-sense moderates from across the country to join me in the Senate.”
“Not only do we share common ground on policies, but we have a like-minded approach of reaching across party lines, rolling up our sleeves, and looking for solutions.”
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
“Tonight, I want to congratulate President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on winning re-election.
“This has been a spirited and tough campaign. The differences between the sides have been clear, widely discussed and vigorously debated. I strongly supported my friends Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. I believe they would have provided exceptional leadership for this nation. I cannot thank them enough for their dedication to the principles of our party, and their commitment to helping improve the lives of the people of this great nation. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are honest, decent and selfless. They had big ideas that would achieve good results for all people. I wish them the very best moving forward, and I know they will stay deeply involved in the public life of this nation. We need their positive, optimistic visions as we address the pressing issues facing our country.
“I have disagreed often with the President and Vice President. On many issues of policy we clearly do not see eye to eye. But the President and Vice President are good men who care deeply about this nation. And we are bound together by something far more important than politics and policy: we are Americans, and this is a great country. The campaign is now over. It is time for us to heal and face our tremendous challenges. We will only be able to surmount those challenges by working together. As Governor of Virginia, I will continue working with the President and Vice President to find common ground, identify responsible solutions to the pressing issues of our day, and improve the lives of our fellow Americans.”
Posted by bonniekgoodman on November 7, 2012
Source: ABC News Radio, 11-7-12
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
President Obama won a second term Tuesday night, and he promised his thrilled supporters “that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.”
Obama appeared before thousands of cheering Democrats to the beat of Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” after securing a strong electoral lead, although he just eked out victories in key states.
He congratulated his opponent Mitt Romney and said, “In the weeks ahead I am looking forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to discuss how we can move this country forward.”
In a victory speech studded with the soaring rhetoric that first drew voters to him in 2008, Obama reminded the electorate what was still on his agenda — immigration reform, climate change and job creation….READ MORE
Posted by bonniekgoodman on November 7, 2012
Source: AP, 11-7-12
President Barack Obama’s speech in Chicago after his re-election Tuesday night, as transcribed by Roll Call:———
Thank you so much.
Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.
It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.
Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.
I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. By the way, we have to fix that. Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.
I just spoke with Gov. Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we
I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden.
And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation’s first lady. Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you’re growing up to become two strong, smart beautiful young women, just like your mom. And I’m so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now one dog’s probably enough.
To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics. The best. The best ever. Some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning. But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together and you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. You lifted me up the whole way and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you put in.
I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics that tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late in a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.
You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.
That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.
That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.
But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.
We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this—this world has ever known. But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.
We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. To the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president—that’s the future we hope for. That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go—forward. That’s where we need to go.
Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin.
Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over. And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead.
Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do.
But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.
This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.
What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.
I am hopeful tonight because I’ve seen the spirit at work in America. I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. I’ve seen it in the soldiers who reenlist after losing a limb and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back.
I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. And I saw just the other day, in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care.
I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president.
And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.
I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.
America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.
I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.
And together with your help and God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth.
Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States.
Posted by bonniekgoodman on November 7, 2012