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The Longest Odds

I want to thank all the speakers and performers for reminding us, through song and through words, just what it is that we love about America. And I want to thank all of you for braving the cold and the crowds and traveling in some cases thousands of miles to join us here today. Welcome to Washington, and welcome to this celebration of American renewal.

In the course of our history, only a handful of generations have been asked to confront challenges as serious as the ones we face right now. Our nation is at war. Our economy is in crisis. Millions of Americans are losing their jobs and their homes; they’re worried about how they’ll afford college for their kids or pay the stack of bills on their kitchen table. And most of all, they are anxious and uncertain about the future – about whether this generation of Americans will be able to pass on what’s best about this country to our children and their children.

I won’t pretend that meeting any one of these challenges will be easy. It will take more than a month or a year, and it will likely take many. Along the way there will be setbacks and false starts and days that test our fundamental resolve as a nation. But despite all of this – despite the enormity of the task that lies ahead – I stand here today as hopeful as ever that the United States of America will endure – that the dream of our founders will live on in our time.

What gives me that hope is what I see when I look out across this mall. For in these monuments are chiseled those unlikely stories that affirm our unyielding faith – a faith that anything is possible in America. Rising before us stands a memorial to a man who led a small band of farmers and shopkeepers in revolution against the army of an Empire, all for the sake of an idea. On the ground below is a tribute to a generation that withstood war and depression – men and women like my grandparents who toiled on bomber assembly lines and marched across Europe to free the world from tyranny’s grasp. Directly in front of us is a pool that still reflects the dream of a King, and the glory of a people who marched and bled so that their children might be judged by their character’s content. And behind me, watching over the union he saved, sits the man who in so many ways made this day possible.

And yet, as I stand here tonight, what gives me the greatest hope of all is not the stone and marble that surrounds us today, but what fills the spaces in between. It is you – Americans of every race and region and station who came here because you believe in what this country can be and because you want to help us get there. It is the same thing that gave me hope from the day we began this campaign for the presidency nearly two years ago; a belief that if we could just recognize ourselves in one another and bring everyone together – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents; Latino, Asian, and Native American; black and white, gay and straight, disabled and not – then not only would we restore hope and opportunity in places that yearned for both, but maybe, just maybe, we might perfect our union in the process. This is what I believed, but you made this belief real. You proved once more that people who love this country can change it. And as I prepare to assume the presidency, yours are the voices I will take with me every day I walk into that Oval Office – the voices of men and women who have different stories but hold common hopes; who ask only for what was promised us as Americans – that we might make of our lives what we will and see our children climb higher than we did.

It is this thread that binds us together in common effort; that runs through every memorial on this mall; that connects us to all those who struggled and sacrificed and stood here before.

It is how this nation has overcome the greatest differences and the longest odds – because there is no obstacle that can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change.

That is the belief with which we began this campaign, and that is how we will overcome what ails us now. There is no doubt that our road will be long. That our climb will be steep. But never forget that the true character of our nation is revealed not during times of comfort and ease, but by the right we do when the moment is hard. I ask you to help me reveal that character once more, and together, we can carry forward as one nation, and one people, the legacy of our forefathers that we celebrate today.

Transcript
Obama’s Speech at the Lincoln Memorial
Washington, D.C.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

1,711 Responses to “The Longest Odds”

  1. 1701
    Chris B says:

    Obama Up, Republicans down in Gallup Poll

    More than two thirds of the American public approve President Obama’s handling of efforts to pass an economic stimulus package, while less than a third approve actions by Republicans in Congress, according to a new Gallup Poll.

    In a nationwide survey, taken during the first week of February, Gallup asked adults if they approved or disapproved of Obama’s efforts on economic stimulus, and those of Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

    Obama received the highest marks by far, an approval rating more than twice that of President Bush when he left office on January 20.

    * Sixty-seven percent approved of Obama’s efforts, just 25 percent disapproved, with eight percent offering no opinion.
    * Democrats in Congress scored a 48 percent approval rating, with 42 percent of those surveyed disapproving actions by Congress’ majority party. Ten percent voiced no opinion.
    * The Republicans in Congress garnered an approval rating of just 31 percent, with 58 percent disapproving and 11 percent giving no opinion.

    Cable TV pundits and such critics as ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich — who went on NBC’s “Today” and likened Obama to Jimmy Carter — have claimed that the Obama administration is losing control of the debate.

    Not so, said Gallup.

    continued on Seattle PI

  2. 1702
    Chris B says:

    News and information on Google News.
    For lots more news click here.

  3. 1703
    Chris B says:

    New poll: Obama’s sky-high numbers.

    Here are some more poll numbers on President Obama and the stimulus, courtesy of a new CNN survey (conducted Feb. 7-8, MOE +/- 3.5%):
    — 76% approve of the president’s job
    — Obama’s worst numbers seem to come from last week’s Daschle news: 80% say Obama is doing a good job providing leadership for the country; 76% say he’s doing a good job handling foreign policy; 72% say he’s doing a good job handling the economy; 68% say he’s doing a good job handling terrorism; and 61% say he’s doing a good job choosing his cabinet
    — 60% approve the job congressional Democrats are performing, versus 44% who say the same of congressional Republicans
    — 74% say Obama is doing enough to cooperate with Republicans, while just 39% say the Republicans are doing enough to cooperate with Obama
    — 54% support the economic stimulus, versus 45% who oppose it.

    Yep, and have a look to see how the Repugs twist the facts.
    more on MSNBC

  4. 1704
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    1699
    Chris B

    I’m suspicious that the ‘we don’t nationalise’ mantra is the current equivalent of ‘we don’t torture’…both lies in their own way.

    They’ve all but nationalised the banks that were ‘too big to fail’, BUT have NOT written off the bad assets, refuse to make the banks do it, and will, if they proceed down this path, set themselves up for a decade of zombie banks just like Japan did.

    Obama is not the messiah, and Geitner is just as capable of being a lacky to Wall Street as Paulson.

    Get ready to have the stars removed from your eyes.

  5. 1705
    Chris B says:

    Time will tell.

  6. 1706
    Chris B says:

    Minnesota Election Contest Drones on

    The Minnesota election contest between Al Franken (D) and Norm Coleman (R) just keeps going on and on. Each candidate wants to introduce hundreds of bits of evidence and scores of witnesses. It is possible that Coleman’s strategy is to wear the judges down and hope they throw up their hands and call for a new election, like in New Hampshire in 1974. No resolution is expected soon.

    more on the Votemaster

  7. 1707
    Chris B says:

    Showdown: Obama warns he’s no pushover.

    Yes, there will be time to change the politics of Washington and to give people wondrous examples of bipartisanship.

    But, no, not now, President Barack Obama made clear at his first White House news conference—not if it gets in the way of passing the stimulus bill on which Obama believes the nation’s economy and his own presidency will hinge.

    Urgency was the obvious message Obama was trying to convey to millions of Americans in the hour-long session.

    But to a smaller Washington audience—to both Republicans and skeptics in his own party—there seemed to be an equally unmistakable subtext: He is not a patsy or a pushover.

    continued on Politico

  8. 1708
    Gaffhook says:

    The irony of it all.
    The news tonight showed video of the spillway at the Burdekin Dam.
    There is the equivalent of Sydney Harbour going over the wall and out to sea every 5 hours.

  9. 1709
    Chris B says:

    For years, Democrats in Congress and open government groups battled, with little success, to expose many of the most closely guarded secrets of President George W. Bush’s time in office.

    Now President Barack Obama holds the power to reveal them, but some of his allies may be disappointed when he doesn’t pull back the curtain as far — or as fast — as they would like.

    The documents still under wraps stem from the hottest scandals and controversies of the Bush era: warrantless wiretapping, alleged torture of prisoners in the war on terror, the abrupt dismissal of a batch of U.S. attorneys in 2006 and a criminal investigation into the White House’s involvement in the leak of a CIA operative’s identity.

    more on Politico

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