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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