History Buzz July 12, 2013: History Says President Barack Obama Has Time Yet to Make Impact in Second Term

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Says Obama, in Second Term, Has Time Yet to Make Impact

Source: NYT, 7-12-13

The recent history of two-term presidencies shows that things could be a lot better. Or much worse….READ MORE

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History Buzz May 16, 2013: Julian Zelizer on President Barack Obama stands against flurry of scandal

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

Obama stands against flurry of scandal

Source: Globe & Mail, 5-16-13

…But second-term stumbles could be the mark of a bright future, according to Princeton University history and public affairs professor Julian Zelizer.

“Second-term presidents who have had scandals have gone on to do big things after,” he said. “Reagan had Iran-Contra but he ended up negotiating an end to the Cold War. … [Bill] Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives but went on to have surpluses, mount a military offensive in Yugoslavia and is one of the most popular presidents. Even George Bush, who was very unpopular and had his own scandals, ended up with the passage of [a financial bailout].”

Prof. Zelizer added: “It’s much too early to count [the President] out, not only in terms of survival but in terms of what he can accomplish. There’s still a lot of space for him to be more than just a lame duck.”…READ MORE

Full Text Inauguration 2013 January 22, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech at Staff Inaugural Ball

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by the President at Staff Inaugural Ball

Source: WH, 1-22-13  

Washington Convention Center
Washington, D.C.

9:00 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  (Applause.)  You all clean up pretty good.  (Applause.)  You are looking good.

Couple of acknowledgements I want to make — first of all, please give it up for DJ Mel Sandico.  (Applause.)  The U.S. Army Band is in the house.  (Applause.)  We’re so proud — they can play anything — anything.  Go ahead and make a request, they’ll play it.  They are outstanding.  And we are so grateful for their service to our country each and every day.

Now, this is just a little gathering, little party among friends.  (Applause.)  Represented here are our outstanding OFA staff and volunteers.  (Applause.)  Our amazing PIC — that would be Presidential Inaugural Committee Team.  (Applause.)

MRS. OBAMA:  This has been a great inauguration.  They’ve done a great job.

THE PRESIDENT:  Michelle just said this has been a great inauguration, and you’ve done a great job.

We’ve got the DNC convention team that did an amazing job.  (Applause.)  We’ve got the DNC team that did an amazing job.  (Applause.)  And we’ve got the White House team, which is pretty good.  (Applause.)  They did an amazing job.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  And you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I’m here, too.  (Applause.)  That’s true.  And the First Lady of the United States — (applause) — bangs and all — (applause) — looking very sparkly and twinkly.  (Laughter.)

Now, I’m not going to speak long, mainly because I’ve been speaking a lot and you all have heard me before.

MRS. OBAMA:  And the entertainment is pretty good.

THE PRESIDENT:  And, more importantly, we’ve got a couple of people who are pretty good musicians named Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett in the house.  (Applause.)  This is like my — Michelle is like doing interpretive dance of everything I say.  It’s been a long weekend — she’s getting a little silly now.  (Laughter.)
But my main job here tonight is real simple, and it’s just to say thank you.  (Applause.)  You know, some of you were involved the very first time I ran, back in 2007, 2008.  (Applause.)  Some of you were 14 at the time, and so just got involved this time out.  (Applause.)  You know who you are.  (Applause.)

MRS. OBAMA:  That’s right.

THE PRESIDENT:  But regardless of whether you got involved six years ago or you got involved six months ago, what is true is that all of you have come to represent for me and Michelle our deepest hopes for America.

The average age here is probably around 20-something — (applause) — and that’s only because I’m here, which brings the average age up quite a bit.  But when I think about traveling around the country during the course of the campaign and getting to know some of you and meeting some of you and seeing the work you do in the White House or the work that you did during the convention, and I meet young people who are so much smarter and more thoughtful and more caring about the future than I ever was at your age, so much more capable, so much more serious, so much more poised, it makes me know that America’s future is in good hands.  (Applause.)

As long as all of you understand the immense and incredible power that you possess when you work together, when you join voices, when you extend yourselves not just on behalf of your own ambitions but on behalf of a larger cause, you cannot be stopped. And part of the reason I know that America will succeed is when I look at how you work together, what I saw in offices from Vegas  — (applause) — to Richmond — (applause) — to Colorado Springs — (applause) — to Manchester, New Hampshire — (applause) — to Orlando, Florida — it didn’t matter — (applause) — it didn’t matter where I was, I’d walk into a volunteer office and what you saw was people from every walk of life — black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, young, gay, straight — it didn’t matter where you came from, you came together with a mission in mind and a vision in mind.  And you were willing to set aside whatever surface differences you had because you understood you were working on behalf of an America that was a little more just and a little more fair and a little more compassionate, and better stewards for our environment.  (Applause.)

And seeing that kind of spirit operate day in, day out, no matter how hard the work, no matter how little you got paid, no matter how bad your candidate screwed up, it didn’t matter, you just kept on going.  And there were times during the course of this year where I might have gotten down, but you picked me back up.  (Applause.)  You lifted me up on your shoulders.  And you said, yeah, we know he’s gotten kind of old and gray-haired, and we know sometimes he stumbles.  But we are going to carry him across the finish line.  (Applause.)  Because this is not about him; this is about us.  This is about America.  This is about what we believe.  This is about what our values are.  (Applause.) This is what our ideals are all about.  We are going to go out there and change America.  (Applause.)

That’s what you did every single day.  And so this weekend belonged to you.  (Applause.)  To you.  (Applause.)

So my final message — because I’m already breaking my promise; I said I wasn’t going to talk long — is to say that you can’t stop now.  I know some of you have got to go back to school.  I know some of your parents are all like, okay, you did your little thing, but now you’ve got to go back and get your degree.  I know some of you’ve got some rent to pay, so you’ve got to —

MRS. OBAMA:  Some loans.

THE PRESIDENT:  — get some loans to repay.  You may be making a whole range of career choices and decisions right now.  And, look, not all of you will end up staying in politics.  Not all of you will end up pursuing professionally public service.  But every single one of you, in your communities, in your neighborhoods, in your workplaces, wherever you decide to put down roots, wherever you decide to make a difference, as long as you retain that spirit that you’ve shown during the course of these campaigns — the idea that you’re a citizen, that America only works when you make it work — (applause) — that you have the power to move this country and, as a consequence, the world  — if you retain that sense and never lose it, then I tell you, not only is America going to be in good hands, but what’s going to happen is you’re going to influence your peers and your friends and the folks you live next to and your neighbors and people in your workplace.  And suddenly, like Robert Kennedy described, you’re like a stone thrown in a pool and it starts rippling out.  And you don’t know where those ripples are going to go, and that’s the future that I see for you.

I know that every single person here donated $10 to a memorial on behalf of Alex Okrent Memorial.  (Applause.)  And Alex was one of you — this incredibly thoughtful, talented, compassionate, caring young person who decided to get involved because he thought he could make a difference.  And tragically, he ended up leaving us while working in the campaign — some of the people here were there when it happened.  And it was heartbreaking, and it reminded us of how precious our time on this Earth is.

We don’t have a lot of time.  I know when you’re young it seems like it goes on forever.  It turns out things are fragile. And yet, the thing that outlives each of us is what we do for somebody else, what difference did we make.  And we know Alex made a difference.  (Applause.)  And so his impact outlives him. And that means — that’s all right — somebody is over there and they probably fainted because they’ve been standing too long.  Many of you have been at rallies — there’s one over here, we’ve got EMS folks here.  People, bend your knees while you’re here.  (Laughter.)  And try to get hydrated as well.

MRS. OBAMA:  You know you’ve got to drink some water!

THE PRESIDENT:  Drink water is what I mean.  (Laughter.)  Juice is okay, too.  (Laughter.)

But in the same way that Alex left this indelible mark on my life and Michelle’s life, and many of your lives, you will leave an indelible mark as well, as long as you decide that you’re going to spend your life giving something back.

You’ve already given me an incredible gift.  You’ve given America an incredible gift.  Don’t stop.  Keep on going.  (Applause.)  Don’t stop.  Stay fired up.  (Applause.)

Are you fired up?

AUDIENCE:  Fired up!

THE PRESIDENT:  Are you ready to go?

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Fired up!

AUDIENCE:  Fired up!

THE PRESIDENT:  Ready to go?

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Fired up!

AUDIENCE:  Fired up!

THE PRESIDENT:  Ready to go!

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Fired up!

AUDIENCE:  Fired up!

THE PRESIDENT:  Ready to go.

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  I think Lady Gaga is fired up, too.

God bless you, guys!  (Applause.)  I love you!  Thank you!  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
9:16 P.M. EST

Full Text Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Speech at Commander-in-Chief Inaugural Ball

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Remarks by the President at Commander-in-Chief Ball

Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

Source: WH, 1-21-13

Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, D.C.

8:48 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Let me begin by just saying you all dress up pretty nice.  (Applause.)  I hope everybody is having a wonderful time.  Now, those of you who are in uniform, you look outstanding.  Your dates do look better, though.  (Applause.)  I just want to point this out.  (Laughter.)

I’m not going to give a long speech.  What I really want to do is come down and express the extraordinary gratitude not just of me as your Commander-in-Chief, but more importantly, the thanks of all the American people.

I want to start by thanking some of our outstanding leaders who are here:  our hosts, our Senior Enlisted Advisors from all five branches of our military.  (Applause.)  The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Marty Dempsey, who promised to sing sometime tonight, so you should hold him to it.  (Laughter.)  The Vice Chairman, Sandy Winnefeld, and all our outstanding members of the Joint Chiefs.  Our Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Vietnam veteran, Ric Shinseki, who is here.

And we’re honored to be joined by some truly extraordinary Americans, our wounded warriors, who inspire us with their incredible strength and resolve.  (Applause.)  Our enlisted men and women and junior officers — the backbone of our military.  (Applause.)  Our amazing military families — (applause) — including the families of the fallen — our Gold Star families  — we will stand with you always.

The members of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen in the house.  (Applause.)  And the recipients of our nation’s highest military decoration — the Medal of Honor.  We are honored by your presence.  (Applause.)

Today, we experienced the majesty of our democracy; a ritual only possible in a form of government that is of, and by and for the people; a day made possible because there are patriots like each and every one of you who defend our freedom every single day.

So this little party is just another way to say something we can never say enough:  thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you for volunteering.  Thank you for stepping up.  Thank you for keeping us strong.  Thank you for always making us proud.  I have no greater honor than being your Commander-in-Chief.  (Applause.)

It’s because of you that with honor we were able to end the war in Iraq.  Because of you that we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.  (Applause.)  Because of you that it’s even possible to give Afghans a chance to determine their own destiny.  We are going forward, and we’ll keep our military the finest fighting force that the world has ever known.

Now, tonight, we’re also joined by some of our servicemembers in Afghanistan.  They can’t see us, but we can see them on this monitor.

Who we got there?  General, are you there?  Abe?

MAJOR GENERAL ABRAMS:  Sir, good evening.  Mr. President, congratulations on your inauguration.  It is Major General Abrams, commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division and Regional Command-South.  We’re honored to be able to join you there this evening.

Sir, I’m joined tonight by some fantastic airmen and non-commissioned officers and soldiers serving here in Kandahar.

SERGEANT JACKSON:  Congratulations, Mr. President.  Sergeant First Class Orlando Jackson from Lake Charles, Louisiana — 3rd Infantry Division, Falcon Brigade, Task Force Light Horse.  I just wanted to congratulate you on a job well done.

MASTER SERGEANT SKOWRONSKI:  Mr. President, Master Sergeant Robert Skowronski, Superintendent 807th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron, hailing from Detroit, Michigan.  I want to say, go Tigers!  (Applause.)

SERGEANT WOOD:  Good evening, Mr. President.  My name is Sergeant First Class David Wood.  I’m out of Monument, Colorado — 3rd Infantry Division, Falcon Brigade, Task Force Light Horse.  Thank you very much for having us here at your party.  Congratulations.  (Applause.)

MASTER SERGEANT GODLEWSKI:  Good evening, Mr. President — Master Sergeant James Godlewski.  I’m the Operations Superintendent, the 807th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron and the world’s greatest Air Force.  (Applause.)  I want to say congratulations on tonight.  I hope you guys have a blessed evening.  (Applause.)

MAJOR GENERAL ABRAMS:  Mr. President, we’re honored to be able to join you tonight.  And we’ve got one more thing for all of you there — Rock of the Marne!  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  (Laughter.)  Well listen, to all of you who are there, we know it’s tough being away from your families.  We know the incredible sacrifices and challenges that you meet every single day.  But I can tell you that you’ve got a room full of patriots here.  (Applause.)  And although I’ve got to admit that they’re a little spiffied up right now — (laughter) — their heart and soul, their dedication, their sense of duty is at one with every single one of the folks who are in Kandahar right now.

And I want you to know that when I was standing on the steps of the Capitol today, looking out over close to a million people, the single-biggest cheer that I always get — and today was no different at my Inauguration — was when I spoke about the extraordinary men and women in uniform that preserve our freedom and keep our country strong.  (Applause.)  So know that every single day we are thinking of you.

We’re going to make sure that you’ve got the equipment, the strategy, the mission that allows you to succeed and keep our country safe.  Know that we are going to be looking after and thinking about your families every single day, and that when you get back home you’re going to be greeted by a grateful nation, and that you will be on our minds tonight and every single night until our mission in Afghanistan is completed.

Can everybody please give our comrades-in-arms a huge round of applause?  (Applause.)  And please, all of you give our very best to your families back home, because I know it’s just as tough, if not tougher for them to see you in harm’s way and away from the family.  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

There’s one last thing I’ve got to do.  I’ve got a date with me here.  (Applause.)  She inspires me every day.  She makes me a better man and a better President.  (Applause.)  The fact that she is so devoted to taking care of our troops and our military families is just one more sign of her extraordinary love and grace and strength.  I’m just lucky to have her.  (Applause.)

I said today at the lunch over at the Congress that some may dispute the quality of our President, but nobody disputes the quality of our First Lady.  (Applause.)

Ladies and gentlemen, my better half and my dance partner, Michelle Obama.  (Applause.)

END
9:00 P.M. EST

Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama at the Inaugural Balls — Elegant inauguration spins to a starry end

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama’s elegant inauguration spins to a starry end

Source: USA Today, 1-21-13

President Obama and first lady Michelle wrapped up their inauguration with a night of merrymaking.

President Obama Michelle Obama dress
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama show off her inaugural gown by Jason Wu.(Photo: Joe Raedle Getty Images)

Story Highlights

  • The president’s second inauguration was a star-filled affair
  • Inaugural balls culminate weekend of fashion, fun and celebrities
  • Mrs. Obama goes for Jason Wu gown again

An elegant second Obama inauguration, packed with high-fashion, high-energy and high-profile stars, twirled to an end Monday as President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama — she in another stunning gown — danced the night away at the inaugural balls.

And it’s a gown by Jason Wu, the same designer who crafted her 2009 white inaugural gown. The White House said this one is custom-made, ruby red, sleeveless, backless, cinched at the waist, chiffon and velvet, flowing pleats falling to the floor, with a handmade diamond-embellished ring by jewelry designer Kimberly McDonald. She is wearing shoes by Jimmy Choo. And her hair was down in her new style with the bangs everyone has been talking about….READ MORE

Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama Offers Liberal Vision in Second Inaugural Address: ‘We Must Act’

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Offers Liberal Vision: ‘We Must Act’

Source: NYT, 1-21-13


Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Leslye Davis/The New York Times

Josh Haner/The New York Times

Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Josh Haner/The New York Times

Joe Klamar/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Christopher Gregory/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times


Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Barack Hussein Obama ceremonially opened his second term on Monday with an assertive Inaugural Address that offered a robust articulation of modern liberalism in America, arguing that “preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”

On a day that echoed with refrains from the civil rights era and tributes to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Obama dispensed with the post-partisan appeals of four years ago to lay out a forceful vision of advancing gay rights, showing more tolerance toward illegal immigrants, preserving the social welfare safety net and acting to stop climate change….READ MORE

Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama & the Bidens Finish Inaugural Parade Route on Foot to White House

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Obamas finish parade route on foot

Source: WaPo, 1-21-13

President Obama, first lady Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill walked the rest of the parade route from Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House….READ MORE

Obama, first lady walk part of inaugural parade

Source: AP, 1-21-13

                                    President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington. Thousands  marched during the 57th Presidential Inauguration parade after the ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington. Thousands marched during the 57th Presidential Inauguration parade after the ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on Monday emerged twice from their limousine to respond to wildly cheering crowds along the inaugural parade route from Capitol Hill to the White House.

The couple waved to chanting, flag-waving crowds lining Pennsylvania Avenue to celebrate the start of Obama’s second term. Spectators began shouting ‘‘Obama, Obama’’ as they returned the greetings from the first couple. Many in the crowd used their cellphones for picture-taking to capture the scene. The first lady blew air kisses to the crowd as the couple got back in their limousine after walking about three blocks….READ MORE

Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama Cites U.S.’s Ideals in Call to Act in Second Inaugural Address

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Cites U.S.’s Ideals in Call to Act

Source: NYT, 1-21-13

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Jewel Samad/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Pool photo by Win McNamee

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

“We must act; we must act knowing that our work will be imperfect,” said President Obama.
Mr. Obama renewed his oath of office with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Monday.
A view of the podium in front of the Capitol.
The Obama family on the podium.
Mr. Obama greeted guests as he arrived for the ceremony.
The crowd on the National Mall was expected to swell to an estimated 600,000 people.
The justices of the Supreme Court arriving for the ceremony.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton arriving.
American veterans gathered on the Mall to view the inauguration.
Spectators bundled against the cold made their way to the Mall.
Some entryways to the Mall were lined with cheering, flag-waving greeters.
Mr. Obama and his family arrived for a church service on Monday before the ceremony.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his family were welcomed to a morning church service.
Members of the military prepared for their role in the inaugural ceremony in front of the Capitol.
Tape marked the positions for the first and second families on the inaugural podium.

President Obama renewed his oath of office on Monday, marking the beginning of another four years in the White House without the clouds of economic crisis and war that hovered over his first inauguration….READ MORE

Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama Calls for ‘Collective Action’ on Nation’s Challenges in Second Inaugural Address

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

President Obama Calls for ‘Collective Action’ on Nation’s Challenges

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-21-13

ABC News(WASHINGTON)

Invoking the nation’s founding values, President Obama marked the start of his second term Monday with a sweeping call for “collective action” to confront the economic and social challenges of America’s present and future.

“That is our generation’s task, to make these words, these rights, these values — of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — real for every American,” Obama said in an inaugural address delivered from the west front of the U.S. Capitol….READ MORE

Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address: ‘We are made for this moment’

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama: ‘We are made for this moment’

Source: WaPo, 1-21-13

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)

Debbi Wilgoren

In his speech, the president struck some notes of bipartisanship, as expected after a bruising campaign and a bitter debate over the fiscal cliff. But he also emphasized the liberal themes that were the hallmarks of his successful electoral effort….READ MORE

Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama Opens 2nd Term in Lower Key

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://politicsbuzz.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/inauguration.jpg?w=600

BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama Opens 2nd Term in Lower Key

Source: NYT, 1-21-13

Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

Pool photo by Win McNamee

Doug Mills/The New York Times

Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

President Obama and his family arrived for a church service on Monday before his inaugural ceremony.

The crowd on the Washington Mall was expected to swell to an estimated 600,000 people.

Spectators bundled against the cold made their way to the Mall.

Some entryways to the Mall were lined with cheering, flag-waving greeters.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his family were welcomed to a morning church service.

Members of the military prepared for their role in the inaugural ceremony in front of the Capitol.

Tape marked the positions for the first and second families on the inaugural podium.

The place setting for Mr. Obama ahead of the inaugural luncheon in Statuary Hall at the Capitol.

Unlike President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, the nation is not in the midst of economic crisis and two wars, but he still faces many challenges….READ MORE

Inauguration 2013 January 21, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Inauguration Ceremony Schedule

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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BARACK OBAMA — 57TH INAUGURATION:

THE HEADLINES….

Monday’s Inauguration Schedule

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-21-13

Chris Dilts for the Presidential Inaugural Committee 2013

This is the schedule of Monday’s inauguration of President Obama on the West Front of the Capitol.  The approximate times, all ET, come from the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies:

11:09 a.m.: The president and his family are announced and seated on the inaugural platform, built by the Architect of the Capitol.  It holds some 1,600 people, including members of Congress, the Cabinet and the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and governors.

11:35 a.m.: Invocation by Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of slain civil rights organizer Medgar Evers, and the first woman and first non-clergy member to lead the pre-oath prayer.

11:46 a.m.: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor administers the oath of office to Vice President Joe Biden.

11:55 a.m.: Chief Justice John Roberts administers the oath of office to Obama, who will use two Bibles: the one used by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861 (which Obama used four years ago); and a Bible that belonged to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Noon: Obama gives his second inaugural address.

12:26 p.m.: A poem by Richard Blanco, the first Hispanic inaugural poet.

12:30 p.m.: The Rev. Dr. Luis Leon delivers the benediction.

12:34 p.m.: Beyoncé sings the national anthem.

2:36 p.m.: After attending an inaugural luncheon in the Capitol, the Obamas and Bidens lead the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.  The event will take several hours and include thousands of participants from across the country.

Full Text Obama Presidency January 19, 2013: President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama’s Speech on Volunteering on National Day of Service

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Giving Back on the National Day of Service

Source: WH, 1-19-13

President Barack Obama stains shelves during a National Day of ServicePresident Barack Obama stains shelves during a National Day of Service school improvement project at Burrville Elementary School in Washington, D.C., Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Today, the First Family kicked off Inauguration weekend by participating in the National Day of Service, helping out with some school improvement projects at Burrville Elementary in Washington, DC.

President Obama asked Americans around the country to take part in the National Day of Service to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday falls on Inauguration Day this year. The President and First Lady asked that we all remember the importance of giving back and looking out for others – both central to Dr. King’s work – as we celebrate this weekend.

“This is really what America is about,” President Obama said. “This is what we celebrate.” He said that this Inauguration is “a symbol of how our democracy works and how we peacefully transfer power, but it should also be an affirmation that we’re all in this together and that we’ve got to look out for each other and work hard on behalf of each other.”

The First Lady echoed his sentiment.

“We have to remember that the reason why we’re here, why we’re standing here, why we’re able to celebrate this weekend is because a lot of people worked hard and supported us,” she said. “And we’ve got a job to do. And this is a symbol of the kind of work that we need to be doing for the next four years and beyond.”

Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden also took part in a service event today, helping other volunteers at the DC Armory assemble care packages for troops.

Remarks by the President and the First Lady on Volunteering on National Day of Service

Burrville Elementary School
Washington, D.C.

12:46 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody!  Well, this is a good-looking crew here.  (Applause.)  First of all, we just want to acknowledge Burrville Elementary School — (applause) — and the principal here, Tui Roper, who is doing outstanding work.  (Applause.)  If you see Tui, you may think she’s a student, but no, she’s the principal.

As I look around the room, I see friends from all across the country, people who have been such great supporters of ours, but more importantly, everybody here — adults to children — understand the importance of giving back.  And as we think about not so much Inauguration, but we think about the fact that this is Dr. King’s birthday that we’re going to be celebrating this weekend, I’m always reminded that he said, everybody wants to be first, everybody wants to be a drum major; but if you’re going to be a drum major, be a drum major for service, be a drum major for justice, be a drum major for looking out for other people.  (Applause.)

And organizations like City Year — (applause) — the Corporation for National Service — (applause) — all the great work that’s being done day in, day out shows that there’s a huge hunger on the part of young people to get involved and to get engaged.  And it was interesting — we were talking to one of the young people, I was staining a shelf —

MRS. OBAMA:  He did a fine job.

THE PRESIDENT:  And Michelle says I did a fine job.  (Laughter and applause.)  And one of the City Year folks, I was talking to them, I said, how’d you get involved, they said, our parents every holiday we’d always do service and so I was taught at a very young age.  So the fact that we’ve got some outstanding young people here today, I want to say thank you to the parents for showing early on to all our young people how gratifying and how fulfilling this is.

This is really what America is about.  This is what we celebrate.  This Inauguration we’re going to be — it’s a symbol of how our democracy works and how we peacefully transfer power, but it should also be an affirmation that we’re all in this together and that we’ve got to look out for each other and work hard on behalf of each other.

So we’re thrilled that all of you are here.  We hope you guys are having a great time.  (Applause.)  I hear reports that the very young people did some really good work and some of the older folks like me, who it hurt getting our knees kind of bending down a little bit, we were able to manage also, and somehow Michelle looked stylish the whole time she was doing it.  (Applause.)

So, Mich, you want to say a few words?

MRS. OBAMA:  You all, thank you so much.  It’s wonderful to have such great turnout for this day of service.  And I know that we have a lot of family members in the audience — (applause) — and we always force our family, when they come up and do something really cool, they have to serve and they do it happily.  So I’m proud of our families for always being there for us.  We love you guys.

So as Barack said, this is a weekend of celebration, but through it all we have to remember that the reason why we’re here, why we’re standing here, why we’re able to celebrate this weekend is because a lot of people worked hard and supported us.  And we’ve got a job to do.  And this is a symbol of the kind of work that we need to be doing for the next four years and beyond.

(Loud crash.)

THE PRESIDENT:  That was a cameraman.

MRS. OBAMA:  That was the press.  This is press.  (Laughter.)  It’s okay, though, it’s okay.  Hope you didn’t break it.  (Laughter.)

So for all the young people, and we’ve got a lot of young people — City Year members, the students here at this school — as Barack says, we’re passing the baton onto you all.  So the goal is, is that as you make your way through life, who are you pulling up behind you?  And as long as you’re pulling somebody up behind you, you’re doing the right thing.

So thank you all.  We’re very proud of you and we’re going to come down and shake some hands.

END              12:52 P.M. EST

Political Headlines January 19, 2013: President Barack Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama Volunteer on National Service Day

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

President and First Lady Volunteer on National Service Day

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-19-13

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

President Barack Obama and First lady Michelle Obama volunteered on National Service Day on Saturday.

The couple stepped out of the White House to help stain a bookshelf at Burrville Elementary School in Washington D.C., as part of a City Year renovation project, and they were joined by about 500 volunteers….READ MORE 

Political Headlines January 18, 2013: White House Unveils President Barack Obama’s New Official Portrait

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

White House Unveils Obama’s New Official Portrait

Source: ABC News Radio, 1-18-13

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

The White House released President Obama’s new official portrait on its Flickr page Friday morning.

The photograph, taken by Pete Souza, shows the president smiling and standing in front of a desk with his arms crossed.

According to the picture’s caption, it was taken in the Oval Office on Dec. 6.

Political Headlines December 16, 2012: John Kerry to Be Nominated to Be Secretary of State, Sources Say

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

John Kerry to Be Nominated to Be Secretary of State, Sources Say

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-16-12

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Sources tell ABC News that President Obama has decided that he will nominate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. to be secretary of state.

For a variety of reasons, including the finalization of the process, other pending Cabinet decisions, and — more immediately — the national reaction to the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the news will not be announced in the next few days….READ MORE

Political Headlines December 1, 2012: Inauguration Day Falls on Sunday and Still Held

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Inauguration Day Falls on Sunday and Still Held

Source: ABC News Radio, 12-1-12

Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo, U.S. Air Force/Wikimedia Commons

When Inauguration Day falls on a Sunday, the Constitution won’t wait.

The iron beams are in place jutting out over Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House.They will become the roof of the presidential reviewing stand for the second Obama inaugural next month.

But the traditional parade with its bands and floats will not march on January 20th, the day the Constitution requires the President to be sworn in. That falls on a Sunday this time so by tradition there will only be a small Sunday ceremony for the oath-taking at noon….READ MORE

Political Headlines November 14, 2012: Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham Pledge to Block Potential Secretary of State Nominee Susan Rice

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

McCain, Graham Pledge to Block Potential Secretary of State Nominee

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-14-12

State Dept photo

Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham pledged to do everything in their power to block U.N. Amb. Susan Rice if she is nominated as Secretary of State.

They also want a special blue ribbon committee like those that investigated Watergate or the Iran Contra affair appointed to look into the Obama administration’s response to the September 11th terror attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi….READ MORE

Political Headlines November 7, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Cabinet Headed for Shake-Up, Many Changes

POLITICAL HEADLINES

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OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

Obama’s Cabinet Headed for Shake-Up

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-7-12

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama’s victory Tuesday means he will pivot almost immediately to shoring up the team of top aides and cabinet secretaries who will help him tackle the looming fiscal cliff negotiations with Republicans and the full legislative agenda to follow.

While the president’s staffers have undergone some serious changes during his first term, his cabinet secretaries have remained stable. Several high-profile members are expected to step down from their roles in early 2013….READ MORE

Full Text Campaign Buzz May 5, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech Announcing Second Term Campaign Launch in Richmond, Virginia

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

President Obama’s speech kicking off his reelection campaign

Obama

President Obama speaks during a campaign rally Saturday in Richmond, Va. (Haraz N. Ghanbari / Associated Press / May 5, 2012)

Source: WaPo, 5-5-12

On Saturday, President Obama officially kicked off his reelection campaign with speeches in Richmond, Virginia and Columbus, Ohio. This is the White House’s official transcript of the Virginia address, though I’ve removed the 60-some times where the text notes that the audience broke into appaluse. Here’s Dan Balz’s take. Here’s Ezra Klein’s article on what Obama is likely to do if he wins a second term. Here’s Romney’s speech kicking off his general-election effort. Here’s Obama:

Virginia, four years ago, you and I began a journey together. I didn’t run, and you did not work your hearts out, just to win an election. We came together to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth.We came together because we believe that in America, your success shouldn’t be determined by the circumstances of your birth. If you’re willing to work hard, you should be able to find a good job. If you’re willing to meet your responsibilities, you should be able to own a home, maybe start a business, give your kids the chance to do even better — no matter who you are, no matter where you come from, no matter what you look like, no matter what your last name is.

We believe the free market is one of the greatest forces for progress in human history; that businesses are the engine of growth, and that risk-takers and innovators should be rewarded. But we also believe that at its best, the free market has never been a license to take whatever you want, however you can get it. We’ve understood that alongside our entrepreneurial spirit, our rugged individualism, America only prospers when we meet our obligations to one another and to future generations.

We came together in 2008 because our country had strayed from these basic American values. A record surplus was squandered on tax cuts for people who didn’t need them and weren’t even asking for them. Two wars were being waged on a credit card. Wall Street speculators reaped huge profits by making bets with other people’s money. Manufacturing left our shores. A shrinking number of Americans did fantastically well, while most people struggled with falling incomes and rising costs, and the slowest job growth in half a century.

And in 2008, that house of cards collapsed in the most destructive crisis since the Great Depression. In the last six months of that year, even as we campaigned, nearly three million of our neighbors lost their jobs. Over 800,000 more were lost in the month I took the oath of office. And it was tough. It was tough here in Virginia. It was tough all across the country.

But the American people are tougher. All across America, people like you dug in. Folks like you fought back. Some of you retrained. Some of you went back to school. Small business owners cut back on expenses, but did everything they could to keep their employees. And sure, there were setbacks. There have been disappointments. But we didn’t quit. We don’t quit. Together, we are fighting our way back. Together, we’re fighting our way back.

When some wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt, we made a bet on American workers, on the ingenuity of American companies. And today, our auto industry is back on top of the world. Manufacturers started investing in America again, adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s. Businesses got back to basics, exports surged. And over 4 million jobs were created in the last two years — more than 1 million of those in the last six months alone. Now, does this make us satisfied?

AUDIENCE: No!

THE PRESIDENT: Of course not. Too many of our friends and family are still looking for work. The housing market is still weak, deficits are still too high. States are still laying off teachers and first responders. This crisis took years to develop, and the economy is still facing a bunch of headwinds. So it’s going to take sustained, persistent effort — yours and mine — for America to fully recover, for us to be where we need to be. That’s the truth. We all know it.

But Virginia, I’m here to tell you we are making progress. And now we face a choice. For the last few years, the Republicans who run this Congress have insisted that we go right back to the policies that created this mess in the first place.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: But it gets worse, because to borrow a line from our friend Bill Clinton, now their agenda is on steroids. This time, they want even bigger tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. This time, they want even deeper cuts to things like education and Medicare and research and technology. This time, they want to give banks and insurance companies even more power to do as they please.

AUDIENCE: Booo–

And now, after a long and spirited primary, Republicans in Congress have found a champion. They have found a nominee for President who has promised to rubber-stamp this agenda if he gets a chance.

AUDIENCE: Booo–

THE PRESIDENT: But Virginia, I tell you what, we can’t give him the chance.

AUDIENCE: No!

THE PRESIDENT: Not now. Not with so much at stake. This isn’t just another election. This is a make-or-break moment for America’s middle class. We’ve been through much to turn back now. We’ve come too far to abandon the change we fought for these past few years. Virginia, we’ve got to move forward, to the future that we imagined in 2008. We’ve got to move forward to that future where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.

That’s the choice in this election. And that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States of America.

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: Now, Governor Romney is a patriotic American. He’s raised a wonderful family, and he has much to be proud of. He’s run a large financial firm, and he’s run a state. But I think he’s drawn the wrong lessons from these experiences. He sincerely believes that if CEOs and wealthy investors like him make money, the rest of us will automatically prosper as well.

When a woman in Iowa shared the story of her financial struggles, he responded with economic theory. He told her “our productivity equals our income.”

Well, let me tell you something, Virginia. The problem with our economy is not that the American people aren’t productive enough — you’ve never been working harder in your lives. You’re working harder than ever. The challenge we face right now — the challenge we’ve faced for over a decade — is that harder work hasn’t led to higher incomes. It’s that bigger profits haven’t led to better jobs.

And Governor Romney doesn’t seem to get that. He doesn’t seem to understand that maximizing profits by whatever means necessary — whether through layoffs or outsourcing or tax avoidance or union-busting — might not always be good for the average American or for our economy.

Why else would he want to spend trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Why else would he propose cutting his own taxes while raising them on 18 million working families?

AUDIENCE: Booo–

THE PRESIDENT: Why else would he want to slash the investments that have always helped the economy grow, while at the same time stopping regulations of the reckless behavior on Wall Street that helped make the economy crash?

Somehow, he and his friends in Congress think that the same bad ideas will lead to a different result. Or they’re just hoping that you won’t remember what happened the last time we tried it their way.

Virginia, I’m here to say that we were there, we remember, and we’re not going back. We’re moving this country forward. We remember.

Look, we want businesses to succeed. We want entrepreneurs and investors rewarded when they take risks, when they create jobs and grow our economy. But the true measure of our prosperity is more than just a running tally of every balance sheet and quarterly profit report. I don’t care how many ways you try to explain it: Corporations aren’t people. People are people.

We measure prosperity not just by our total GDP; not just by how many billionaires we produce, but by how well the typical family is doing, whether they can go as far as their dreams and hard work will take them.

We understand that in this country, people succeed when they have the chance to get a decent education and learn new skills. And, by the way, so do the businesses that hire those people or the companies that those people start.

We know that our economy grows when we support research into medical breakthroughs and new technologies that lead to the next Internet app or life-saving drug.

We know that our country is stronger when we can count on affordable health care and Medicare and Social Security. When we protect our kids from toxic dumping and mercury pollution. When there are rules to make sure we aren’t taken advantage of by credit card companies or mortgage lenders or financial institutions. These rules aren’t just good for seniors, or kids, or consumers — they’re good for business. They’re good for the marketplace. They’re good for America.

Look, we don’t expect government to solve all our problems, and it shouldn’t try. I learned from my mom that no education policy can take the place of a parent’s love and attention. And sometimes, getting in your face and telling you what you need to do. As a young man, I worked with a group of Catholic churches who taught me that no poverty program can make as much difference as the kindness and commitment of a caring soul. Not every regulation is smart. Not every tax dollar is spent wisely. Not every person can be helped who refuses to help themselves.

That’s what we believe. People have to make an effort. People have to try hard. But that’s not an excuse to tell the vast majority of responsible, hardworking Americans, “You’re on your own.” That unless you’re lucky enough to have parents who can lend you the money, you may not be able to go to college. That even if you pay your premiums every month, you’re out of luck if an insurance company decides to drop your coverage when you need it most.

That’s not how we built America. That’s not who we are. We built this country together. We built railroads and highways; the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge — together. We sent my grandfather’s generation to college on the GI Bill — together. We instituted a minimum wage and worker safety laws — together. Together, we touched the surface of the moon, unlocked the mystery of the atom, connected the world through our own science and our own imaginations. We did these things not because they benefited any particular group or individual, but because they made us all richer. Because they gave us all opportunity. Because they moved us forward together — as one nation, as one people.

That’s the lesson of our past. That’s the right vision for our future. And that’s why I’m running for President of the United States of America.

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: I’m running to make sure that by the end of this decade, more of our citizens hold college degrees than any other nation on Earth. I want to help our schools hire and reward the best teachers, especially in math and science. I want to give two million more Americans the chance to go to community colleges and learn the skills that local businesses are looking for right now. Because in the 21st century, a higher education can’t be a luxury — it’s an economic imperative that every American should be able to afford. And that’s the choice in this election. That’s why I’m running for President.

I’m running to make sure the next generation of high-tech manufacturing takes root in places like Richmond and Columbus, and Cleveland and Pittsburgh. I want to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs and profits overseas. I want us to reward companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America. That’s the choice in this election.

I’m running so that we keep moving towards a future where we control our own energy. Our dependence on foreign oil is at its lowest point in 16 years. By the middle of the next decade, our cars will average nearly 55 miles per gallon. That will save you money. Thousands of Americans have jobs because the production of renewal energy in this country — solar, wind, biofuels — that’s nearly doubled in just three years.

So now is not the time to cut these investments to pay for another $4 billion giveaway to the oil companies. Now is the time to end the subsidies for an industry that has rarely been more profitable. Let’s double down on a clean energy future that’s never been more promising — for our economy, and our security, and for the safety of our planet. That’s why I’m running, Virginia. That’s the choice in this election.

For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat to this country. Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat. And by 2014, the war in Afghanistan will be over.

America is safer and more respected because of the courage and selflessness of the United States Armed Forces. A lot of them from Virginia. A lot of folks right here in Virginia, putting on that uniform, serving on our behalf. And as long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, this country will care for our veterans and serve our veterans as well as they’ve served us — because nobody who serves, nobody who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads when they come back home.

My opponent has different ideas. My opponent has a different view. He said it was — and I quote — “tragic” to end the war in Iraq.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: He said he won’t set a timeline for ending the war in Afghanistan.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I have, and I intend to keep to that timeline. After a decade of war that’s cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, the nation we need to build is right here, right here at home. So we’re going to use half of what we’re no longer spending on war to pay down the deficit, and we will use the other half to repair our roads and our bridges and our airports and our wireless networks. That’s the choice in this election. That’s why I’m running for President.

I am running to pay down our debt in a way that’s balanced and responsible. We inherited a trillion-dollar deficit. The other side doesn’t like to be reminded of this. But that’s okay. I signed $2 trillion of spending cuts into law. And now I want to finish the job by streamlining government, and cutting more waste, and reforming our tax code so that it’s simpler, and that it’s fairer, and that it asks the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more.

Now, my opponent has a different view. He won’t tell us how he’d pay for his new, $5 trillion tax cut — $5 trillion — a tax cut that gives an average of $250,000 to every millionaire in the country.

AUDIENCE: Booo —

THE PRESIDENT: But even if he won’t disclose the details of how he’s going to pay for it, we know the bill for that tax cut will either be passed on to our children, or it will be paid for by a whole lot of you, a whole lot of ordinary Americans.

And Virginia, I refuse to let that happen again. I refuse to let that happen again. I refuse to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut by eliminating medical research projects on things like cancer and Alzheimer’s. I refuse to pay for another tax cut by kicking children off of the Head Start program; or asking students to pay more for college; or eliminating health insurance for millions of poor, and elderly, and disabled Americans on Medicaid. We’re not going to do that.

As long as I’m President of the United States, I will never allow Medicare to be turned into a voucher that would end the program as we know it. We’re not going to go back to the days when our citizens spent their golden years at the mercy of private insurance companies. We will reform Medicare — not by shifting the cost of care to seniors, but by reducing the spending that isn’t making people healthier. That’s the right way to do it. And that’s what’s at stake, Virginia. On issue after issue, we just can’t afford to spend the next four years going backwards.

America doesn’t need to refight the battles we just had over Wall Street reform and health care reform. And, by the way, on health care reform, here’s what I know: Allowing 2.5 million young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance — that was the right thing to do. Cutting prescription drug costs for seniors — that was the right thing to do. We’re not going back to the days when insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your policy, or deny you coverage, or charge women differently than men. We’re not going back to that.

We certainly don’t need another political fight about ending a woman’s right to choose, or getting rid of Planned Parenthood, or taking away access to affordable birth control. I want women to control their own health choices — — just like I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as your son. We’re not turning back the clock.

We’re not returning to the days when you could be kicked out of the United States military just because of who you are and who you love. We’re not going back to that. That would be wrong for our national security. It would be a betrayal of our values. It’s not going to happen on my watch.

This should be the last election where multimillion-dollar donations speak louder than the voices of ordinary citizens. We need more checks on special interests and lobbyists, not fewer checks on them.

We’re not going to eliminate the EPA. We’re not going to roll back the bargaining rights of generations of workers. And it’s time to stop denying citizenship to responsible young people just because they’re the children of undocumented workers. This country is at its best when we harness the God-given talents of every individual, when we hear every voice, when we come together as one American family, striving for that same dream.

That’s what we’re fighting for. A bold America. A competitive America. A forward-looking America, where everybody has the chance to make of their life what they will. That’s what made us the envy of the world. That’s what makes us great. That’s why I’m running again for President of the United States.

And, Virginia, that’s why I need your help. This election will be even closer than the last. Too many of our friends and neighbors are still hurting because of this crisis. I’ve heard from too many people wondering why they haven’t been able to get one of the jobs that have been created, why their home is still underwater, why their family hasn’t yet been touched by the recovery.

The other side won’t be offering these Americans any real answers to those questions. They won’t be offering a better vision. They won’t be offering new ideas. But what they will do is spend more money than we’ve ever seen before, all on negative ads on TV and radio, in the mail, on the Internet — probably Tweeting a few negative ads out there somewhere — ads that exploit people’s frustration for my opponent’s political gain. And over and over again, they will tell you that America is down and out, and they’ll tell you who to blame.

And they’ll ask if you’re better off than you were before the worst crisis of our lifetime. We’ve seen the play before. We know what to expect. But you know what, the real question — the question that will actually make a difference in your life and in the lives of your children — is not just about how we’re doing today. It’s about how we’ll be doing tomorrow.

Will we be better off if more Americans get a better education? Will we better off if we depend less on foreign oil and more on our own ingenuity? Will we be better off if we start doing some nation-building at home? Will we be better off if we bring down our deficits in a balanced, responsible way without gutting the very things that we need to grow? When we look back four years from now, or ten years from now, or twenty years from now, won’t we be better off if we have the courage to keep moving forward?

That’s the question in this election. And that outcome is entirely up to you. We’re going to have to contend with even more negative ads, with even more cynicism, more nastiness — sometimes, just plain foolishness. It will be worse than we saw in the last campaign. We know, because we’ve seen some of the foolishness over the last three and a half years.

But if there’s one thing we learned in 2008, it’s that nothing is more powerful than millions of voices calling for change. When enough of you knock on doors and enough of you pick up the phone, when enough of you are talking to your friends and your coworkers, when you decide that it’s time for change to happen, guess what? Change happens. Change comes to America.

Virginia, that’s the spirit we need again. If people ask you what’s this campaign about, you tell them it’s still about hope. You tell them it’s still about change. You tell them it’s still about ordinary people who believe in the face of great odds that we can make a difference in the life of this country. You tell them.

Because I still believe, Virginia. I still believe that we’re not as divided as our politics suggest. I still believe we still have more in common than the pundits tell us; that we’re not Democrats or Republicans first, but we are Americans first and foremost.

I still believe in you, and I’m asking you to keep believing in me. I told you in 2008 that I wasn’t a perfect man, and I will never be a perfect President. But I promised you then that I would always tell you what I thought. I would always tell you where I stood. And I would wake up every single day fighting for you as hard as I know how.

And I have kept that promise. I have kept that promise. And I will keep it so long as I have the honor to be your President. So if you’re willing to stick with me, and fight with me, and press on with me; if you’re willing to work even harder in this election than in the last election, I guarantee you, we will move this country forward. We will finish what we started. We’re still fired up. We’re still ready to go. And we’re going to remind the world once more why it is that the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.

Campaign Buzz May 5, 2012: President Barack Obama Launches Campaign for Second Term with Rallies in Columbus, Ohio & Richmond, Virginia

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. Ms. Goodman has also contributed the overviews, and chronologies in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, 4th edition, edited by Gil Troy, Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier Schlesinger published by Facts on File, Inc. in late 2011.

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally at The Ohio State University. | AP Photo

Obama’s team is localizing its message in too-close-to-call states like Ohio and Virginia. | AP Photo

IN FOCUS: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN FOR SECOND TERM WITH RALLIES IN COLUMBUS, OHIO & RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

Obama Formally Kicks Off Campaign in Ohio and Virginia: President Obama sought to rekindle the passion of his 2008 victory on Saturday with a pair of huge rallies in battleground states that signaled a sharpened critique of Mitt Romney…. – NYT, 5-5-12

Obama launches 2nd term bid at boisterous Va. rally; calls Romney ‘rubber stamp of House GOP’: President Barack Obama wrapped up Saturday’s inaugural re-election campaign foray blasting his likely Republican foe at a packed-house rally of 8000 people, some of them drenched from waiting outside in a thunderstorm…. – WaPo, 5-5-12

First Lady Michelle Obama:

“We’re here because of the values we believe in. We’re here because of the vision for this country that we all share.”

“Barack cannot do this alone … and fortunately, he never has. We have always moved this country forward together.”

President Barack Obama:

“Yes, there were setbacks. But we didn’t quit. We don’t quit. Together, we’re fighting our way back.”

“After a decade of war that’s cost thousands of lives and millions of dollars … the nation we need to rebuild is our own.”

“On issue after issue, we can’t afford to spend the next four years going backwards.”

“We are not returning to the days when you could be kicked out of the U.S. military because of who you are or who you love.”

“That’s what we’re fighting for … a bold America, a competitive America, a generous America, a forward-looking America, where everybody has chance to make of their life what they will.”

“If people ask you what this campaign is about, you tell them it’s still about hope. It’s still about change. It’s about ordinary people who believe that in the face of the greatest odds, we can make a difference in this country.”

“We will finish what we started. We’re still fired up. We’re still ready to go.”

  • Read President Obama’s full campaign kickoff speech: President Obama officially launched his re-election campaign with public rallies in Columbus, Ohio, and Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday.With that launch came a re-tooled stump speech which both defended his record in office and laid out the contrast…. – LAT, 5-5-12
  • Obama revs up campaign at Ohio, Va. rallies: President Obama on Saturday made his most expansive case yet for why he should be elected to a second term, arguing at rallies in Ohio and Virginia that his work is unfinished and that his presumptive opponent, Republican Mitt Romney…. – WaPo, 5-5-12
  • President launches bid for encore term in Virginia: President Barack Obama is wrapping up his inaugural campaign foray to secure an encore term with a packed-house rally of 8000 people in a Virginia basketball arena. Hundreds of them were soaked in a torrential thunderstorm on … AP, 5-5-12
  • Obama kicks off campaign in Ohio: President Obama launched his re-election campaign in the battleground states of Virginia and Ohio on Saturday, highlighting progress the US has made toward pulling itself out of an economic malaise under his … USA Today, 5-5-12
  • Obama kickoff: Hope, change and Mitt: President Barack Obama has been in campaign mode for months, but he made it official Saturday in front of enthusiastic young supporters at two events that illustrated some old strengths and significant new hurdles for the incumbent.
    In a sharp shift from his mostly positive 2008 message, Obama directly attacked opponent Mitt Romney, praising him as a “patriotic American” but ridiculing Romney’s infamous claim that “corporations are people,” a legal truism that has proven to be a favorite Democratic attack line…. – Politico, 5-5-12
  • Obama launches campaign against Romney, but his real opponent is the economy: President Obama formally launched his reelection campaign here Saturday with some old favorites, from “fired up, ready to go” to a closing bow to “hope and change.” But almost everything else about the day spoke to the differences…. – WaPo, 5-5-12
  • Obama ramps up campaign, knocks Romney’s CEO past: US President Barack Obama used his first rallies of the 2012 campaign on Saturday to attack Republican Mitt Romney for learning the “wrong lessons” as a business executive, and promised to move the economy forward if he wins…. – Reuters, 5-5-12
  • Obama plunges into campaign, tears into Romney: Plunging into his campaign for a new term, President Barack Obama tore into Mitt Romney on Saturday as a willing and eager “rubber stamp” for conservative Republicans in Congress and an agenda to cut taxes for the rich, reduce spending…. – Boston.com, 5-5-12
  • Modern elections decided by a few states: For President Barack Obama, today it’s visits to Ohio and Virginia. And it’s no coincidence that likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney just visited those two states, and is returning to Ohio … Dispatch Politics, Chicago Tribune, 5-5-12
  • Obama Confirms Second Term Run: President Obama stopped in Columbus Saturday to make the announcement official that he is running for a second term. Thousands attended the campaign rally at Ohio State University Saturday afternoon. The President spoke about the state of the economy…. – WYTV, 5-5-12
  • Virginia: The state both parties want in November: The verdict is in: Barack Obama’s 2008 victory in Virginia was not a fluke. For the once reliably Republican state, competitive presidential elections are the new normal. Just look at the candidates’ schedules…. – The Virginian-Pilot, 5-5-12
  • Obama kicks off campaign with rallies in Ohio and Virginia: President Barack Obama sought to rekindle the passion of his 2008 victory Saturday with a pair of huge rallies in battleground states that signaled a new, more politically aggressive phase of the campaign and a … San Jose Mercury News, 5-5-12

Full Text Campaign Buzz May 5, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech Announcing Second Term Campaign Launch in Columbus, Ohio

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

President Obama’s full campaign kickoff speech

Source: LAT, 5-5-12

Obama

President Obama speaks during a campaign rally Saturday in Richmond, Va. (Haraz N. Ghanbari / Associated Press / May 5, 2012)

OBAMA: “I want to thank so many of our Neighborhood Team Leaders for being here today.  You guys will be the backbone of this campaign.  And I want the rest of you to join a team or become a leader yourself, because we are going to win this thing the old-fashioned way — door by door, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood.

“Ohio, four years ago, you and I began a journey together.

“I didn’t run, and you didn’t work your hearts out, just to win an election.  We came together to reclaim the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the most prosperous nation on Earth.

“We came together because we believe that in America, your success shouldn’t be determined by the circumstances of your birth.  If you’re willing to work hard, you should be able to find a good job.  If you’re willing to meet your responsibilities, you should be able to own a home, maybe start a business, give your children the chance to do even better — no matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or what your last name is.

“We believe the free market is one of the greatest forces for progress in human history; that businesses are the engine of growth; that risk-takers and innovators should be rewarded.  But we also believe that at its best, the free market has never been a license to take whatever you want, however you can get it; that alongside our entrepreneurial spirit and our rugged individualism, America only prospers when we meet our obligations to one another and to future generations.

“We came together in 2008 because our country had strayed from these basic values.  A record surplus was squandered on tax cuts for people who didn’t need them and weren’t even asking for them.  Two wars were being waged on a credit card.  Wall Street speculators reaped huge profits by making bets with other people’s money.  Manufacturing left our shores.  A shrinking number of Americans did fantastically well, while most people struggled with falling incomes, rising costs, the slowest job growth in half a century.

“It was a house of cards that collapsed in the most destructive crisis since the Great Depression.  In the last six months of 2008, even as we were campaigning, nearly three million of our neighbors lost their jobs.  Over 800,000 more were lost in the month I took office alone.

“It was tough.  But I tell you what, Ohio — the American people are tougher. All across this country, people like you dug in.  Some of you retrained.  Some of you went back to school.  Small business owners cut back on expenses, but did everything they could to keep their employees.  Yes, there were setbacks.  Yes, there were disappointments.  But we didn’t quit.  We don’t quit.  Together, we’re fighting our way back.

“When some wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt, we made a bet on American workers, on the ingenuity of American companies.  And today, our auto industry is back on top of the world.  Manufacturers started investing again, adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s.  Businesses got back to the basics, exports surged.  And over four million jobs were created in the last two years — more than one million of those in the last six months alone.  Are we satisfied?”

AUDIENCE: “No!”

OBAMA: “Of course not.  Too many of our friends and family are still out there looking for work.  The housing market is still weak, deficits are still too high, and states are still laying off teachers, first responders.  This crisis took years to develop, and the economy is still facing headwinds.  And it will take sustained, persistent effort — yours and mine — for America to fully recover.  That’s the truth.  We all know it.

“But we are making progress.  And now we face a choice. Now we face a choice, Ohio.”

CHILD: “We love you, Barack Obama!”

OBAMA: “Thank you.  Now we face a choice.  For the last few years, the Republicans who run this Congress have insisted that we go right back to the policies that created this mess.”

AUDIENCE: “Booo.”

OBAMA: “But to borrow a line from my friend Bill Clinton, now their agenda is on steroids.  This time, they want even bigger tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.  This time, they want even deeper cuts to things like education and Medicare, and research and technology.”

AUDIENCE: “Booo.”

OBAMA: “This time, they want to give banks and insurance companies even more power to do as they please.  And now, after a long and spirited primary, Republicans in Congress have found a nominee for President who has promised to rubber-stamp this agenda if he gets the chance.”

AUDIENCE: “Booo.”

OBAMA: “Ohio, I tell you what:  We cannot give him that chance.  Not now.  Not with so much at stake.  This is not just another election.  This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and we’ve been through too much to turn back now.”

AUDIENCE: “Four more years!  Four more years!”

OBAMA: “We have come too far to abandon the change we fought for these past few years.  We have to move forward, to the future we imagined in 2008, where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules.  That’s the choice in this election, and that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.

“Governor Romney is a patriotic American who has raised a wonderful family, and he has much to be proud of.  He’s run a large financial firm, and he’s run a state.  But I think he has drawn the wrong lessons from those experiences.  He sincerely believes that if CEOs and wealthy investors like him make money, the rest of us will automatically prosper as well.”

AUDIENCE: “Booo.”

OBAMA: “When a woman in Iowa shared the story of her financial struggles, he responded with economic theory.  He told her, “our productivity equals our income.”  Well, let me tell you something.  The problem with our economy isn’t that the American people aren’t productive enough — you’ve been working harder than ever.  The challenge we face right now — the challenge we faced for over a decade is that harder work hasn’t led to higher incomes.  It’s that bigger profits haven’t led to better jobs.

“Governor Romney doesn’t seem to get that.  He doesn’t seem to understand that maximizing profits by whatever means necessary — whether through layoffs or outsourcing or tax avoidance or union-busting — might not always be good for the average American or for the American economy.

“Why else would he want to spend trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans?  Why else would he propose cutting his own taxes while raising them on 18 million working families?  Why else would he want to slash the investments that have always helped the economy grow, but at the same time, stop regulating the reckless behavior on Wall Street that helped the economy crash?

“Somehow, he and his friends in Congress think that the same bad ideas will lead to a different result.  Or they’re just hoping you won’t remember what happened the last time we tried it their way.

“Well, Ohio, I’m here to say that we were there, we remember, and we are not going back.  We are moving this country forward.

“Look, we want businesses to succeed.  We want entrepreneurs and investors rewarded when they take risks, when they create jobs and grow our economy.  But the true measure of our prosperity is more than just a running tally of every balance sheet and quarterly profit report.  I don’t care how many ways you try to explain it:  Corporations aren’t people.  People are people.

“We measure prosperity not just by our total GDP; not just by how many billionaires we produce, but how well the typical family is doing — whether they can go as far as their dreams and hard work will take them.

“And we understand that in this country, people succeed when they have a chance to get a decent education and learn new skills — and, by the way, so do the businesses that hire them or the companies that they start.

“We know that our economy grows when we support research into medical breakthroughs and new technologies that lead to the next Internet app or life-saving drug.

“We know that our country is stronger when we can count on affordable health insurance and Medicare and Social Security. When we protect our kids from toxic dumping and mercury pollution.  When there are rules to make sure we aren’t taken advantage of by credit card companies and mortgage lenders and financial institutions.  And we know these rules aren’t just good for seniors, or kids, or consumers — they’re good for business, too.  They’re part of what makes the market work.

“Look, we don’t expect government to solve all our problems, and it shouldn’t try.  I learned from my mom that no education policy can take the place of a parent’s love and affection.  As a young man, I worked with a group of Catholic churches who taught me that no poverty program can make as much of a difference as the kindness and commitment of a caring soul.  Not every regulation is smart.  Not every tax dollar is spent wisely.  Not every person can be helped who refuses to help themselves.

“But that’s not an excuse to tell the vast majority of responsible, hardworking Americans, ‘You’re on your own.’  That unless you’re lucky enough to have parents who can lend you money, you may not be able to go to college.  That even if you pay your premiums every month, you’re out of luck if an insurance company decides to drop your coverage when you need it most.

“That’s not how we built America.  That’s not who we are.  We built this country together. We built this country together.

“We built railroads and highways; the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge — together.  We sent my grandfather’s generation to college on the GI Bill — together.  We instituted a minimum wage and worker safety laws — together.  Together, we touched the surface of the moon, unlocked the mystery of the atom, connected the world through our own science and imagination.  We did these things together — not because they benefited any particular individual or group, but because they made us all richer.  Because they gave us all opportunity.  Because they moved us forward together — as one people, as one nation.

“That’s the true lesson of our past, Ohio.  That’s the right vision for our future.  And that’s why I’m running for President.

“I’m running to make sure that by the end of the decade, more of our citizens hold a college degree than any other nation on Earth. I want to help our schools hire and reward the best teachers, especially in math and science.  I want to give two million more Americans the chance to go to community colleges and learn the skills that local businesses are looking for right now.  In the 21st century, higher education can’t be a luxury — it is an economic imperative that every American should be able to afford.  That’s the choice in this election.  That’s why I’m running for President.

“I’m running to make sure the next generation of high-tech manufacturing takes root in places like Columbus and Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Richmond.  I want to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs and profits overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America.  That’s the choice in this election.

“I’m running so that we can keep moving towards a future where we control our own energy.  Our dependence on foreign oil is at its lowest point in 16 years.  By the middle of the next decade, our cars will average nearly 55 miles per gallon.  Thousands of Americans have jobs, right now, because the production of renewal energy in this country has nearly doubled in just three years.

“So now is not the time to cut these investments to pay for another $4 billion giveaway to the oil companies.  Now is the time to end the subsidies for an industry that’s rarely been more profitable.  Let’s double down on a clean energy future that’s never been more promising — for our economy, and for our security, and for the safety of our planet.  That’s why I’m running for President.  That’s the choice in this election, Ohio.”

AUDIENCE: “Four more years!  Four more years!”

OBAMA: “For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq.   Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat to this country.  Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.  And by 2014, the war in Afghanistan will be over.

“America is safer and more respected because of the courage and selflessness of the United States Armed Forces.  And as long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, this country will care for our veterans and serve our veterans as well as they’ve served us  because nobody who fights for this country should have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads when they come home.

“My opponent said it was ‘tragic’ to end the war in Iraq.  He said he won’t set a timeline for ending the war in Afghanistan.”

AUDIENCE: “Booo.”

OBAMA: “I have, and I intend to keep it. After a decade of war that’s cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, the nation we need to build is our own.   I will use half of what we’re no longer spending on war to pay down the deficit, and the other half to repair our roads and our bridges, our runways and our wireless networks.  That’s the choice in this election — to rebuild America.

“I’m running to pay down our debt in a way that’s balanced and responsible.  After inheriting a $1 trillion deficit, I signed $2 trillion of spending cuts into law.  And now I want to finish the job by streamlining government and cutting more waste, and reforming our tax code so that it is simpler and fairer, and asks the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more.

“My opponent won’t tell us how he’d pay for his new, $5 trillion tax cut — a tax cut that gives an average of $250,000 to every millionaire in this country.”

AUDIENCE: “Booo.”

OBAMA: “But we know the bill for that tax cut will either be passed on to our children, or it will be paid for by a whole lot of ordinary Americans. That’s what we know.  And I refuse to let that happen again.

“I refuse to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut by eliminating medical research projects into things like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.  I refuse to pay for another tax cut by kicking children off of Head Start programs; or asking students to pay more for college; or eliminating health insurance for millions of poor and elderly and disabled Americans on Medicaid.

“And as long as I’m President of the United States, I will never allow Medicare to be turned into a voucher that would end the program as we know it.  We will not go back to the days when our citizens spent their golden years at the mercy of private insurance companies.  We will reform Medicare — not by shifting the cost of care to seniors, but by reducing the spending that isn’t making people healthier. That’s what’s at stake in this election.  That’s what’s at stake, Ohio.

“On issue after issue, we can’t afford to spend the next four years going backward.  America doesn’t need to refight the battles we just had over Wall Street reform and health care reform.  On health care reform, here is what I know:  Allowing 2.5 million young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan — that was the right thing to do.  Cutting prescription drug costs for seniors — that was the right thing to do. I will not go back to the days when insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your policy, or deny you coverage, or charge women differently from men.  We’re not going back there.  We’re going forward.

“We don’t need another political fight about ending a woman’s right to choose, or getting rid of Planned Parenthood — or taking away access to affordable birth control.  I want women to control their own health choices, just like I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as your sons.  We are not turning back the clock.  We are moving forward.

“We’re not returning to the days when you could be kicked out of the United States military just because of who you are or who you love.  That would be wrong for our national security, and it would be a betrayal of our values.

“This should be the last election where multimillion-dollar donations speak louder than the voices of ordinary citizens. We need more checks on lobbyists and special interests, not less.

“We’re not going to eliminate the EPA.  We’re not going to roll back the bargaining rights that generations of workers fought for.  It’s time to stop denying citizenship to responsible young people just because they’re the children of undocumented immigrants. This country is at its best when we harness the God-given talents of every individual; when we hear every voice; when we come together as one American family, striving for the same dream.

“That’s what we’re fighting for.  That’s what we’re fighting for, Ohio.  A bold America.  A competitive America.  A generous America.  A forward-looking America, where everybody has a chance to make of their life what they will.  That’s what made us the envy of the world.  That’s what makes us great.  That’s why I’m running again for President of the United States.”

AUDIENCE: “Four more years!  Four more years!”

OBAMA: “And that is why I need your help.  Ohio, this election will be even closer than the last.  Too many of our friends, too many of our neighbors are still hurting because of this crisis.  I’ve heard from too many people wondering why they haven’t been able to get one of the jobs that have been created; why their home is still under water; why their family hasn’t yet been touched by the recovery.

“The other side won’t be offering these Americans a real answer to these questions.  They won’t offer a better vision or a new set of ideas.  But they will be spending more money than we’ve ever seen before on negative ads, on TV, on radio, in the mail, on the Internet — ads that exploit people’s frustrations for my opponent’s political gain.  Over and over again, they will tell you that America is down and out, and they’ll tell you who to blame, and ask if you’re better off than you were before the worst crisis in our lifetime.

“We’ve seen that play before.  But you know what?  The real question — the question that will actually make a difference in your life and in the lives of your children — is not just about how we’re doing today.  It’s about how we’ll be doing tomorrow.

“Will we better off if more Americans get a better education?  That’s the question.  Will we better off if we depend less on foreign oil and more on our own ingenuity?  That’s the question. Will we better off if we start doing some nation-building right here at home?  That’s the question.  Will we be better off if we bring down our deficit without gutting the very things we need to grow?  When we look back four years from now, or ten years from now, or twenty years from now, won’t we be better off if we have the courage to keep moving forward?

“That’s the question in this election.  That’s the question in this election.  And the outcome is entirely up to you.  Now, sure, we’ll have to contend with even more negative ads, with even more cynicism and nastiness, and sometimes just plain foolishness.  There will be more of that than we saw in the last campaign.

“But if there is one thing that we learned in 2008, it’s that nothing is more powerful than millions of voices calling for change. When enough of you knock on doors, when you pick up phones, when you talk to your friends, when you decide that it’s time for change to happen, guess what?  Change happens.  Change comes to America.

“And that’s the spirit we need again.  If people ask you what this campaign is about, you tell them it’s still about hope.  You tell them it’s still about change.  You tell them it’s still about ordinary people who believe that in the face of great odds, we can make a difference in the life of this country.

“Because I still believe, Ohio.  I still believe that we are not as divided as our politics suggest.  I still believe that we have more in common than the pundits tell us; that we’re not Democrats or Republicans, but Americans first and foremost. I still believe in you, and I’m asking you to keep believing in me. I told you in 2008 that I wasn’t a perfect man, and I would never be a perfect President.  But I promised that I would always tell you what I thought.  I would always tell you where I stood.  And I would wake up every single day fighting for you as hard as I know how.

“And I have that kept that promise.  I have kept that promise, Ohio.  And I will keep it so long as I have the honor of being your President.  So if you’re willing to stick with me, if you’re willing to fight with me, and press on with me; if you’re willing to work even harder in this election than you did in the last election, I guarantee you — we will move this country forward.

“We will finish what we started.  We are still fired up.  We are still ready to go.  And we are going to remind the world once more just why it is that the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.

“Thank you, God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.”

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