Friday, September 7, 2012

Defying naysayers, President Obama doubles down on hope in DNC acceptance speech

Charlotte, NC - "I am no longer just a candidate, I'm the president." Those were the words of President Barack Obama who spoke before an enthusiastic crowd Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention. Where Republicans tried to frame it as a failed promise, the President doubled down on hope, reminding his audience that the difficult road to change leads to a better place for America's future.

As for that American future, the President stated that the choice could not be any clearer. Discussing a range of topics from education to energy dependence to job creation, President Obama urged that now is not the time to change direction. For the President, now is the time to move forward, not back.

President Obama also did not shy away from his accomplishments. Placing focus back on the American people, President Obama gave credit for success to the American can-do spirit. Whether it was taking inspiration from the dedication of a wounded veteran, or praising the hard work of a young student, President Obama held true to his faith in the American people.

Earlier in his speech, President Obama gave credit to the American people for creating change:

"So you see, the election four years ago wasn't about me. It was about you. My fellow citizens, you were the change.

You're the reason there is a little girl with a heart disorder in Phoenix who will get the surgery she needs because the insurance company can't limit her coverage. You did that.

You're the reason a young man in Colorado who never thought he'd be able to afford his dream of earning a medical degree is about to get that chance. You made that possible.

You're the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she's ever called home; why selfless soldiers won't be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love; why thousands of families have finally been able to say to the loved ones who served us so bravely, 'Welcome Home. Welcome Home.' You did that. You did that."

But, perhaps the most poignant aspect of the President's speech was his reaffirmation of hope. Speaking to the American people, President Obama urged the value of hope and warned of the forces willing to step in if hope is forsaken for cynicism:

"If you turn away now - if you turn away now - if you buy into the cynicism that the change that we fought for isn't possible, well change will not happen. If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference then other voices will fill the void - lobbyists, special interests, the people with the ten million dollar checks who are trying to buy this election, and those who are trying to make it harder for you to vote, Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry, or control health care choices that women should be making for themselves - only you can make sure that doesn't happen. Only you have the power to move us forward."

A week after Republicans stressed individualism, President Obama fought for values of togetherness. Reminding his audience that America is built upon a little thing called citizenship, President Obama remained unwavering in the belief that success results from the obligations that Americans have towards one another. Asking for their vote, President Obama, once again, placed his faith in hope...hope in the American people.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Impassioned speech by First Lady Michelle Obama highlights community, values at DNC

Charlotte, NC - By the end of her speech, First Lady Michelle Obama did more than vouch for her husband's love of country. A speech filled with personal appeal and political savvy, First Lady Obama made a name for herself as a political powerhouse in the Democratic Party. Reviews seemed unanimously positive as one commentator, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, proclaimed that he had just witnessed the "best speech-maker in the history of the First Ladyship." The First Lady gave an impassioned defense of the values both she and her husband share, crafting a narrative of an American dream that places priority on community and opportunity for all of its citizens:

"So, in the end, for Barack these issues aren't political, they're personal. Because Barack knows what it means when a family struggles. He knows what it means to want something more for your kids and your grandkids. Barack knows the American dream because he's lived it. And he wants everyone in this country - everyone - to have the same opportunity no matter who we are, or where we're from, or what we look like, or who we love. And, he believes that, when you've worked hard and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you - no, you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed."

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Breaking Ground: National Museum of African American History and Culture

Washington, D.C. - Described by master of ceremonies, Phylicia Rashad, as a milestone moment, President Obama, along with a host of other distinguished guests, attended the groundbreaking on what will become the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In his remarks, President Obama shared the significance this moment will have for generations to come:

"As has been mentioned, it was on this ground long ago that lives were once traded; where hundreds of thousands once marched for jobs and for freedom. It was here that the pillars of our democracy were built often by Black hands. And it is on this spot - alongside the monuments to those who gave birth to this nation, and those who worked so hard to perfect it - that generations will remember the sometimes difficult, often inspirational, but always central role that African Americans have played in the life of our country."

Here is video of the entire ceremony:

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston 1963-2012

The world is still trying to recover after the devastating news of Whitney Houston's passing. Words cannot adequately describe what she meant to the world of music. Her talents were incomparable. Her influence, unquestioned. Her iconic status, undeniable.

There will never be another Whitney Houston.

Her angelic voice has been called home. May she rest in peace.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Tuskegee Airmen take trip to the White House, view "Red Tails"

Washington, D.C. - Hollywood and history came together as the White House held a screening of the motion picture "Red Tails" for the legendary airmen who broke down barriers in defense of their country. Take a look at this special event:

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Enhanced version of President Obama's State of the Union Address

Washington, D.C. - President Barack Obama delivered his third State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress Tuesday night. The speech focused on what the President has called his economic blueprint for success. Looking for a united effort to meet the challenges that face the United States, President Obama still made it clear that he would not allow political obstruction to get in the way of American success:

"The state of our Union is getting stronger. And we've come too far to turn back now. As long as I'm President, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum. But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place."

After covering a variety of foreign and domestic issues from calls for a fairer tax system to ongoing diplomacy concerns in the Middle East, President Obama ended his speech with an eye towards the future and faith in the ability of the American people to conquer obstacles by working together. To drive the point home, President Obama made an analogy to the historic accomplishment of a U.S. SEAL Team taking down Osama bin Laden:

"Those of us who've been sent here to serve can learn a thing or two from the service of our troops. When you put on that uniform, it doesn't matter if you're black or white; Asian, Latino, Native American; conservative, liberal; rich, poor; gay, straight. Whan you're marching into battle, you look out for the person next to you, or the mission fails. When you're in the thick of the fight, you rise or fall as one unit, serving one nation, leaving no one behind.

One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden. On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn't matter. Just like it didn't matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates -- a man who was George Bush's defense secretary -- and Hillary Clinton -- a woman who ran against me for president. All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves."

President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address:

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