Being a good politician relies largely on being a good communicator. We want to be inspired by our leaders. Barack Obama is such a speaker, and some of his wisest words are collected here so you can share in his vision.
Use these quotes as signatures on your emails, or to support him on your personal website. Hang one on your refrigerator or keep a couple on your desk at work for daily inspiration. You can even drop them into your conversation when a friend needs guidance i.e. “As Obama said…”.
“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”
From a speech given at Lincoln College in 2005, these words have become one of the favorite quotes from the candidate (and no wonder).
“It’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential.”
From the convocation address delivered at the University of Chicago Pritzger School of Medicine, Obama also urged the future physicians to help support and bring about affordable health care for the whole country.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
The words from Obama’s February 2008 Election Night speech have become almost legendary, with “We are the ones” featuring in many of his ads and commercials. It’s the “we” that’s most important here.
“If we aren’t willing to pay a price for our values, then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them at all.”
From his autobiography The Audacity of Hope.
“There is not a liberal America and a conservative America; there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.”
From the 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address. It’s clear to see why Obama gained the attention of so many on this night.
“Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. And it will leave you unfulfilled.”
From the Campus Progress Annual Conference in 2006, Obama has spoken similar words in other speeches. Hearing that money isn’t everything is a refreshing change from a politician, especially in a culture where we have become used to being led by the rich and privileged.
“People don’t expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better.”
Also from the 2004 Democratic Party keynote address, Obama’s supporters, both the old ones and the ones he was reaching for the first time, felt these words “deep in their bones.” Changes don’t have to be big, sweeping government regulations. Small important ones can have a huge impact, and we know it.
“I wish this country had fewer lawyers and more engineers.”
From The Audacity of Hope. Whether you find this quote motivational or not may depend on how you feel about lawyers –and whether or not you’re an engineer.
“The true test of the American ideal is whether we’re able to recognize our failings and then rise together to meet the challenges of our time. Whether we allow ourselves to be shaped by events and history, or whether we act to shape them. Whether chance of birth or circumstance decides life’s big winners and losers, or whether we build a community where, at the very least, everyone has a chance to work hard, get ahead, and reach their dreams.”
These words were spoken at a 2005 Commencement address at Knox College, and resonate particularly in an era where wealth and celebrity seem to rule over hard work and real ambition.
“I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all those who came before me, and that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.”
From the 2004 Democratic Convention keynote address (the whole speech was inspirational), it became clear that the most inspiring thing about Barack Obama isn’t his words: it’s him. His life is testament to the American dream and its possibilities for ourselves and our children.
You might notice that all of these quotes are from before Barack Obama was even elected as President of the United States. That’s because his inspirational vision was clear from very early on, and we can only expect more and more great words to follow.
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.