That's what the leadership was teaching me, day by day: that the self-interest I was supposed to be looking for extended well beyond the immediacy of issues, that beneath the small talk and sketchy biographies and received opinions, people carried with them some central explanation of themselves. Stories full of terror and wonder, studded with events that still haunted or inspired them. Sacred stories.

-Barack Obama
Barack Obama

I will begin to remove our troops from Iraq immediately.

Barack Obama
We too often let the material things serve as indicators that we're doing well, even though something inside us tells us that were not doing our best. That we are avoiding that which is hard, but also necessary. That we are shrinking from rather than rising to the challenges of the age.
Barack Obama

I am a strong believer in the free market. I am a strong believer in capitalism. But, I am also a strong believer that there are certain common goods - our air, our water, making sure that people are safe - that require to have some regulation.

Barack Obama
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.
Barack Obama

We invest in early childhood education. We invest additional job training dollars. We make sure that we've got a strong research and development strategy so that we continue to innovate. Rebuilding our infrastructure, which we know will attract businesses.

Barack Obama
My identity might begin with the fact of my race, but it didn't, couldn't end there. At least that's what I would choose to believe.
Barack Obama

Now, today, some children are enrolled in excellent programs. Some children are enrolled in mediocre programs. And some are wasting away their most formative years in bad programs....That's why I'm issuing a challenge to our states: Develop a cutting-edge plan to raise the quality of your early learning programs; show us how you'll work to ensure that children are better prepared for success by the time they enter kindergarten. If you do, we will support you with an Early Learning Challenge Grant that I call on Congress to enact.

Barack Obama
This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.
Barack Obama

These are young people who made mistakes that aren't that different than the mistakes I made and the mistakes that a lot of you guys made, we have a tendency sometimes to almost take for granted or think it's normal that so many young people end up in our criminal justice system. It's not normal. ... What is normal is teenagers doing stupid things.

Barack Obama
I've called Chicago home for nearly 25 years. It's a city of broad shoulders and big hearts and bold dreams; a city of legendary sports figures, legendary sports venues, and legendary sports fans; a city like America itself, where the world -- the world's races and religions and nationalities come together and reach for the dream that brought them here.