– WE’RE BACK WITH THE 44THPRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,BARACK OBAMA, WHO’S JOINING USFROM THE ELLEN BLUE ROOMAT THE WHITE HOUSE. MR. PRESIDENT, IT HAS BEENAWHILE SINCE WE’VE SPOKEN. YOU LOOK GREAT. HOW ARE YOU?- I AM DOING GREAT. YOU LOOK WONDERFUL ALSO. – WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCHFOR SAYING THAT. YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO JUST BECAUSEI SAID YOU LOOK GOOD,BUT THAT WAS NICE OF YOU. – IT IS TRUE. – I DON’T KNOW IF YOU KNOW THIS,BUT I WAS AIMING TO BREAKYOUR RECORD OF RETWEETS,AND I APOLOGIZE FOR DOING IT,BUT I BROKE YOUR RETWEET RECORD. – I HEARD ABOUT THAT. I THOUGHT IT WAS A PRETTY CHEAPSTUNT MYSELF,GETTING A BUNCH OF CELEBRITIESIN THE BACKGROUND. – THAT’S THE ONLY THING— YOU FEEDING THEM PIZZA. – YEAH. SO THE FIRST LADY’S IN CHINA. HOW IS SHE DOING?- YOU KNOW,SHE HASN’T LANDED YET,BUT THE HOUSE IS ABANDONED. I’M STUCK WITH TWO DOGS,AND. . . I’M EXPECTED TO WALK THEMAND DO WHAT YOU DOWHEN YOU WALK DOGS. BUT I THINK THEY’RE GONNAHAVE A WONDERFUL TIME, THOUGH. THEY HAVEN’T BEEN TO CHINABEFORE,AND THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THEMTO TALK TO YOUNG PEOPLE–THEY’VE ACTUALLY METWITH STUDENTSHERE IN THE UNITED STATESWHO’VE MADE THESE TRIPS BEFOREAND HELPED BRIEF THEM IN TERMSOF WHAT THEY SHOULD SEE,AND IT’S GONNA BEA WONDERFUL EXCHANGE,AND HOPEFULLY BECAUSEOF THIS TRIP,THEY MAY BE ABLE TO INVITESOME CHINESE STUDENTSBACK TO THE UNITED STATESAS WELL. – THAT’S AMAZING. YOUR DAUGHTERS–HOW ARE THEY DOING?I MEAN, THEY’RE GROWING UPSO FAST,EVERY TIME I SEE A PICTUREOF THEM,AND FIRST OF ALL ANSWERTHAT QUESTION, PLEASE,AND THEN I HAVE A COMMENTABOUT THE TATTOO THINGTHAT YOU TOLD THEM. – WELL, THEY ARE DOINGWONDERFULLY. YOU KNOW, MALIA,SHE TURNS 16 THIS SUMMER,WHICH IS A LITTLE SCARY. – WOW. – AND SASHA’S GONNA BE 13. AND THEY’RE DOING GREATIN SCHOOL,AND THEY’RE SMART,AND THEY’RE FUNNY,AND THEY’RE KIND,AND, YOU KNOW,THEY’RE ATHLETIC,AND SO I REALLY HAVENO COMPLAINTS,EXCEPT FOR THE FACTTHAT INCREASINGLYTHEY DON’T HAVE THAT MUCH TIMEFOR ME. YOU KNOW, I AM JUST–I AM NOT THAT INTERESTING. THEY’RE NICE ABOUT IT, THOUGH,BECAUSE THEY STILL LOVE ME,SO THEY’LL COME IN AND THEY’LLPAT ME ON THE HEAD AND KISS ME,AND THEY’LL SAY, “OH, DADDY,WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH,”AND THEY’LL TALK TO MEFOR ABOUT FIVE MINUTES,AND THEN THEY’LL SAY, “WE’REGONNA BE GONE ALL WEEKEND. “- THEY’RE VERY BUSY. – SO THAT’S MAKING MEA LITTLE SAD. – WELL, AND I BET. LET ME MENTION THIS. I DON’T KNOW IF EVERYONEHEARD THIS,BUT YOU MADE THE MOST AMAZINGCOMMENTABOUT IF THEY WOULD EVER GETA TATTOO,AND I THINK EVERYONESHOULD STICK TO THIS RULE. IF YOUR DAUGHTERS GOT TATTOOS,THAT YOU AND MICHELLE WOULDALSO GET THE SAME TATTOOIN THE SAME PLACE AND YOU’DALL TAKE A FAMILY PHOTOOF ALL THE TATTOOS. – THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT. WE WILL REDUCE THE COOL FACTOROF ANY TATTOO. MICHELLE AND I WILL BERIGHT THERE,AND WE’LL POST ITSO THAT EVERYBODY WILL BE ABLETO SEE IT,AND WE’LL SAY, “WE ALL GOTMATCHING TATTOOS. “AND I SUSPECT THAT WILL BEA PRETTY GOOD DETERRENTFOR BOTH MALIA AND SASHA. – I HATE TO SAY, BUT I HOPETHEY GET TATTOOS. I REALLY DO. – ELLEN, YOU SHOULD BEA PART OF THIS. YOU SHOULD PLEDGE TO ALSOGET A TATTOO WITH US. – YEAH, WELL, YOU KNOW WHAT?IF THAT HAPPENS, I WILL,BUT OTHER THAN THAT,I’M NOT INTO TATTOOS. I’M NOT GONNA DO THAT. LET’S ALSO TALK ABOUT–YOU WENT SHOPPING. I DON’T KNOW HOWYOU CAN DO THIS,BUT YOU WENT TO A MALL AND YOUSHOPPED AT A GAP RECENTLY,BECAUSE YOU WERE PHOTOGRAPHEDSO I KNOW IT’S TRUE. – IT HAPPENED. – IT HAPPENED. YOU WENT TO THE GAP,AND YOU WENT SHOPPING. HOW DO YOU HAVE TIME— WELL, HERE–HERE’S THE THING. WE WERE ON A TRIP TO NEW YORK,AND THE GAP ANNOUNCED THATTHEY WERE GONNA MAKE SURETHAT ALL THEIR EMPLOYEESAT LEAST GOT PAID $10 AN HOUR,SO THEY’RE INCREASINGTHEIR WAGESFOR TENS OF THOUSANDS OFEMPLOYEES ACROSS THE COUNTRY,AND SINCE WE’VE BEEN SAYINGTHAT AMERICA DESERVES A RAISE,AND WE SHOULD PROVIDE A MINIMUMWAGE OF AT LEAST $10. 10 AN HOUR,I THOUGHT IT WAS GREAT FOR METO BE ABLE TO GOFREQUENT A STORETHAT’S DOING RIGHTBY THEIR EMPLOYEES. – GOOD FOR YOU. – I THOUGHT THAT WASREALLY IMPORTANT. – GOOD FOR YOU. THAT’S FANTASTIC. THEY SOLD A LOT OF THOSESWEATERS THAT YOU BOUGHT. I UNDERSTAND THOSE SWEATERSTHAT YOU BOUGHT SOLD OUT,BECAUSE EVERYBODY WANTEDTO WEAR THE SAME SWEATERSTHAT YOUR DAUGHTERS ARE WEARING. – WELL, I THOUGHT THEY WEREPRETTY NICE SWEATERS,AND MALIA AND SASHA,THEY DID NOT SCOWLWHEN I BROUGHT THEM IN,WHICH WAS A GOOD SIGN. I MEAN, THEY DIDN’T IMMEDIATELYSAY, “EWW, THAT’S TERRIBLE. “- WELL, YOU HAVE A FAMILYOF GOOD TASTE. – I HAVE NOT YET SEEN THEMWEAR THEM,BUT I’M HOPINGTHAT I MAKE THE CUT. – WELL, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEMWEAR THEM ALSO.
The President: HelloScience Fair participants. Where are they?Oh, you’re first. The President: It’skind of intimidating. Look at all these pictures. Alana Simon: Hello. The President: How are you?Alana Simon: Great, how are you?The President: Good to see you. Alana Simon: Goodto see you, too. The President: Wellwe’re so proud of you. Alana Simon: Thank you. The President: I wasreading up on you. You’ve done great stuff. Alana Simon: Thank youvery much, Mr. President. The President: All right. So, the, I don’t know if folksare aware of this story,this young lady is remarkable. They’re all remarkable, butI think it’s appropriatewe start right here. Tell everybody your name. Alana Simon: Hi,I’m Alana Simon. The President: Alana Simon. And Alana, here is a pictureof you when you got sick. So, what happened?Alana Simon: Well, whenI was 12 years old,I was diagnosed with a rareform of pediatric liver cancer,called fibrolamellarhepatocellular carcinoma. The President: Wow –Alana Simon: That’s –The President: That’s soimpressive that you can say it. Alana Simon: Years of practice. The President: Yeah. Alana Simon: And not many peopleknow much about the disease. No one understoodit at the time. And that was pretty scary. But I was lucky in that theycaught it early enough. So through, you know, a liversurgery in which they resectedmost of my liver, they were ableto get the entire tumor out. And I’ve been completely eversince, which is incredible. The President: Butyou look great. Alana Simon: Thankyou very much. The President: Yeah. Alana Simon: So then, acouple of years later,I had this internshipat Cancer Research Lab,and I learned about this thingcalled genetic sequencing –The President: Alana Simon: Where you look through someone’s DNA,which is the stuff thatcodes for, you know,your entire body. And you’ll get people’s normalcells and their tumor cells,and you try to figure outwhat the difference is,what’s causing this cancer. The President: Right. Alana Simon: And I realizedthat would be perfectfor fibrolamellar, becauseyou don’t have to havesome kind of baseunderstanding of the disease. And as a pediatric cancer,it seemed to be perfect for,you know, looking at your DNA tofind the mutationsThe President: Right. Alana Simon: Because,since you’re younger,you’ll have lessrandom mutations. The President: Right. Alana Simon: So, I talked tomy surgeon actually, who had,you know, cured me. And he mentored me, and heactually got a lot of thesamples that I used, and hehelped me start this process,where I was doing geneticsequencing on the kindof cancer I had had. And what we ended up findingis this one common mutationin every single casethat we’ve looked at,that seems to be causingthis disease –The President: Right. Alana Simon: So, if you’llget to use some niceswim noodle chromosomes –The President:These are, right. Alana Simon: So, chromosomesare where you have allof your DNA stored, whichhas your genes that it codesfor, you know, everything. And so here, in blue, Ihave one gene, and in green,I have another. And what happens infibrolamellar patients,here is a normalperson’s chromosome –The President: Right. Alana Simon: And here isa person with cancer. And so, yeah, you can see,there’s this one deletion. So if you look at this, thismiddle part gets deleted –The President: Right. Alana Simon: Its noodles,these two genes fused together. And you get this weird chimeragene, like chimera is, you know,from Greek mythology, you havethe head of one create and thebody of another. So –The President: I remember. Alana Simon: You havethe head of one gene,and the body of another. And so, that’s what happened inthese fibrolamellar patients. And when these two genesare fused together,this weird new chimera proteinis what then goes into and turnson all these other genesand actually causesthis cancer in patients. And so now that we know this,we can create a blood testto actually test people,diagnose them early –The President: So we can catchit even quicker –Alana Simon: Exactly. The President: Because we knowexactly what we’re looking for?Alana Simon: Precisely. The President: And youthen publish thisin Science Magazine –Alana Simon: Yes. The President: And receivedYoung Champion of CancerResearch Award –Alana Simon: Yeah. The President: From theAmerican Cancer Society. Alana Simon: Yes,it’s incredible. The President: We’reso proud of you. Alana Simon: Thank you. The President: Can I just saythat I did notdo it at 12, 13, or 18?And it’s just inspiring, andyour parents must be they see you, they do. I’m sure they knowtoday as well. So, this is just a samplerof the kind of outstandingyoung talent that we’vegot, all right?Let’s, I’ve got to get agood picture of people. This is my title, all right. The President: Are yougetting the chromosomesin the background?Peyton Robertson: Yes. The President: All right. The President: All right,so where are yougoing to school?Alana Simon: I’m goingto Harvard next fall. The President: Yeah?Are you excited about that?What are you going to –?Alana Simon: Yeah,I’m so excited. I’m actually working on the lab,going to start with the bloodtest and what is real. The President: Yeah. Are you interested in theresearch side or are youthinking you might actuallywant to go to medical school?Alana Simon: I have no idea. I think I’m goingto pursue research,computer science is what allowedme to do all of this research. So I’m definitely planning onstudying computer science. But I’ll find some way toapply that to research or –The President: Good. Alana Simon:Whatever I choose. The President: Well,we’re very proud of you. Give me a hug. Alana Simon: Thankyou very much. The President: You’rejust doing great. Alana Simon: Thank you. The President: Unbelievable,that’s wonderful. How are you doing?Peyton Robertson:I’m good, thank you. How are you?The President: I’m doing good. I can tell you’rea high-power guy. What’s your name?Peyton Robertson: I’mPeyton, P-E-Y-T-O-N. The President: Great to see you. And where are you from, Peyton?Peyton Robertson: I’m fromFort Lauderdale, Florida. The President: FortLauderdale, Florida. So what have we got here?What is all this?Peyton Robertson: So I actuallyhave two –The President: You have two?One was not enough?You decided you had to have two?Peyton Robertson: I don’t know. They asked me to bring two. The President: All right. Peyton Robertson: So, here retractable training wheelsthat allows theitem to adjust the heightof the training wheels whileactually riding a bike. So, when you’re feelingconfident –The President: Yeah. Peyton Robertson: –You justtwist the retraction handle. The President:Aha, that’s smart. Peyton Robertson: Andthe wheels can come up. The President: Soyou can basically,rather than get yourscrewdriver and you’relike not screwing everything –PeytonRobertson: There you go. The President: — And then yourealize I’m stillkind of of wobbly, and thenyou’ve got to put them backon, here, you can just kind ofsee, how are you feeling duringthe course of the thing –Peyton Robertson: But, in anycase, if you want,if you feel like you’re about to fall –The President: Yeah. Peyton Robertson: –And loseyour balance –The President: Right away. Peyton Robertson: — Itcomes right back down. And at any position,it locks in place. So even if you startto lose your balance,it will still give you enoughtime to be able to twist backto the starting position. The President: I couldstill use this now. Do you have an adult version, oris it only on smaller breaks?Peyton Robertson: Well, I’mwatching over the kid’sbike manufacturer right now tohelp get it on the market,but I’m sure this will beapplied to –The President: I think that’s probably right. The President:Have you patented this?Peyton Robertson: I have apatent pending –The President: Yeah. Peyton Robertson: — Onboth of these actually. The President: Okay, well let’shear about the other one beforewe get into the patient issue. All right, so what’s the secondproject you’ve got here?Peyton Robertson: So here, Iredesigned the sanal sandbag,placing the traditionalsand with polymer and salt. You know, living in Florida, Iknow how devastating hurricanesand saltwater flooding canbe –The President: Right. Peyton Robertson: — You know,we just had Hurricane Sandyin the news, and I survivedthrough Hurricane Wilma. I was four with my mom,which was such ascary experience. The President: I can imagine. Peyton Robertson: Yeah. The President: You stillremember that, huh?Peyton Robertson: Oh,I do, many parts of it. The President: Howold are you now?Peyton Robertson: I’m 12. The President: Okay, all right. Peyton Robertson:And, you know, today,while sandbags are the mostcommon method of federalprotection –ThePresident: Right. Peyton Robertson:–They can be heavy,and difficult to transport. The President: Yes, I remember,because that –Peyton Robertson: Like atSanta Costa beach, yeah. The President: Yeah, yeah, Iremember that sometimeswith hurricanes, and yeah. Peyton Robertson: And thenalso, leave gaps in betweenthe individual bagswhen you stack them. The President: They don’tcompress together, right?Peyton Robertson: So I wanted toredesign the sanal sandbagby replacing this thingwith powder and salt. So, when dry, my bagsare really like,wait, they only weigh fourpounds. But then when you addwater, it expands. And it becomes heavy,and it becomes 30 pounds,and offers protectionagainst saltwater flooding. The President: So if I knowthat the flood’s coming,I can pack these up, we candeliver them to the sitemuch easier, you can fit morebags in there, right?And you don’t even have to addwater because by definition,the water’s comingin to hit the bay?Peyton Robertson: Well,yes, you can do that. That is definitely a way. If, before the flood, ifyou want to make sure,you can also hose it down –The President: You can just hose it down. Peyton Robertson: That’sanother way you wouldwant to do it. And the other advantage is ifyou stack them when thelight weight, you don’t have tocarry all these heavy bags,but also, the polymer will expand. It’ll fill in the gaps inbetween the individualbags while still being bonded bytheseinterlocking systems. So it’ll still stick together,and you won’t have the gapsin between in betweenthe individual bags,you have thetraditional sandbags. The President:Okay, time out here. Now, the, where did you get theidea of,this one I kind of get, right?Because, basically, you skinnedyour knee and you thought,you know, we should have abetter design on this thing. Peyton Robertson: Yeah, this isactually when my sister firstlearned how to ride a bike. The President: Yeah, all right. Peyton Robertson: Yeah. The President: So how did youget the idea for the wholepolymer thing, though?Peyton Robertson:Well, you know,I guess I thought aboutthis living in Florida. The President: Right. Peyton Robertson: But for, theidea of polymer, you know,for another idea thatI had had earlier,I’ve got to learn a little bitabout polymer from a universitythat I went to,University of Mississippi,and I learned a littlebit about polymers, and when –The President: How old were youwhen you wentto the University of Mississippi?Peyton Robertson: Iwas about eight or so. The President: Is that right?Peyton Robertson: Yeah, Ihad –The President: Yeah. PeytonRobertson: — So, and, so,polymers to me arefound everywhere. They’re founded on skin tissues,they’re founded in plants. But the type of polymer that Iused here is super absorbentpolymer, which takes on waterand it expands when wet. So, as you see here, this iswhat a polymer lookslike when it’s all colored up. But then, when you add water, itstraightens out throughhydrogen bonding, and expands like this. Here, you want to try?The President: I do. The President: Iactually have one of these. Peyton Robertson: Oh, you do? Yes –The President:They’re very cool. I love them. Peyton Robertson: Yeah, justtry to poke them and spear them. The President: Sometimes Ijust stare at them in space. Peyton Robertson: I know. The President: Sometimesin the Oval Office,I just look at one ofthese, . The, well, so, you have a patentpending on this as well, huh?Peyton Robertson: I do. And, you know, but theidea of polymer has,and the sandbag hasbeen around for a while. People have used them indiapers and in the snow,and other bags. And it takes on waterand expands when wet. The President: Oh, I see. You’ve got, youcan show us here. Peyton Robertson:As you can see here,I’ve been doing these littlemini test tubesfor all the other the big one for you. The President: Okay. Let’s see therePeyton Robertson: Watch what’s happened. The President: Look at that. Peyton Robertson: Yeah. The President: Now this isn’tgoing to spill over, is it?Peyton Robertson: No, it’s notThe President: This is not the blob, is it?Peyton Robertson: No,it’s not going to. The President: It’s not goingto eat up the White House?Peyton Robertson: I hope not. The President: There you go. Peyton Robertson: But, the keyto my designis the addition of salt. As you can see here, seawaterhas a higher salt content. It is therefore denser andheavier than tap water. So as you can see here, thisseawater sits below the dyed tapwater, because it has a highersalt contentand is therefore denser. And I can show you here. What’s your favorite color?Pick one. The President: Blue. Peyton Robertson: Allright, I did blue. The President: Okay, red. Peyton Robertson: Okay. The President: All right. It’s not really myfavorite, but that’s okay. I’m just kidding. Peyton Robertson: So, so if youThe President: This guy. Peyton Robertson:–If you pour the sand withoutworking the surface tensionThe President: Yeah. Peyton Robertson: You can getthis dyed tap water to siton top, just like this. The President:Just as it is here?Peyton Robertson:Just as it is here. The President: Right. Peyton Robertson: Perfect. The President: Okay. Peyton Robertson: And, thisis important to my sandbag,because I didn’t want my bagsto float away during the flood. Obviously, that would be bad. The President: Right. Peyton Robertson: So, what I didwas I added salt so the waterthat came into the bag wouldbe heavier and denser thanthe approaching seawater, sotherefore would sink belowthe approaching seawater so mybags wouldn’t floataway during the floor. The President: Well, thisis all remarkable stuff. Now, the, so you’re 12. What grade are you in?Peyton Robertson:I’m in sixth grade. The President: You’retechnically in sixth grade,but are you, you’re thinking youmight try to finish highschool a little quicker and getto university a little faster,or you want to just kindof take your time and — ?Peyton Robertson: Yeah,you know, actually,the program that I’m doing now,it allows me to acceleratein certain areas. The President: Ah –Peyton Robertson: So, I’m takinglike higher-level math andscience classes, I’m takinggrade-level English and otherstuff. The President: That makesperfect sense –Peyton Robertson: So it’sdefinitely . The President: Well, come on,let’s take a good picture. Come on. Peyton Robertson: Okay. The President: Peyton, where youat, oh, here we are. All right. Make sure you’ve got,the polymer’s in here. Peyton Robertson: Oh yeah. The President: So,now, one last question. Where do I buy stocking meat?Huh?Let’s just invest in this guy,and then we’ll see, like,20 years from now,we’ll be rich. I was not like this. Really proud of you –PeytonRobertson: Thank you so much. The President: And you makea great presentation also. Peyton Robertson: Thank you. The President: You have greatconfidence and clarity inPeyton Robertson: Thank you. The President: How you’redescribing what you do. Peyton Robertson:Thank you so much. The President: That’s wonderful. How are you?Deidre Carrillo: I’mgood, how are you?The President: What’s your name?Deidre Carrillo: Deidre Carrillo. The President: Good to see you. The, now, ?Deidre Carrillo: Deidra. The President: Deardra?Deidre Carrillo: Deidra. The President: Deidra?Deidre Carrillo: Yes. The President: Okay, I got it. Now, this looks likean electric go-cart. Is that what it is?Deidre Carrillo: That’sbasically what it is. The President: That’sbasically what it is?Deidre Carrillo: Yes. The President: Andwhere are you from?Deidre Carrillo: I’mfrom San Antonio, Texas. The President: Okay. And so, tell me about how yougot involved in this project. Deidre Carrillo: Well,that’s a funny story. I was the shortest in my seniorclass –The President: Yeah. Deidre Carrillo: And –ThePresident: I can’t believe that. Female Speaker: I was. And they said you wouldfit perfectly in this car. So, that’s how it started. And I’ve been doingthis for three years. The President: The, so,describe to me this vehicle. And the goal here is to, isthe goal to have, you know,in these contests, thefastest electric car,or the one that can travelthe furthest, or both?Deidre Carrillo: It’s more aboutgoing the furthest and beingsmart on yourbattery management. That is what the competitionis basically about. The President: So it’slike an efficency?Deidre Carrillo: Yes. The President: Right?The goal is how efficent is itrelative to the amount of powerthat’s being generated–Deidre Carrillo: Yes. The President: Electrically. Okay. The, well, I clearlycannot fit in this. Are you able to fit in it?Deidre Carrillo: Yes, I’mactually able to fit in it. The President: Well, would youlike to display it or do youthink you want to look cool andyou just kind of want to –?Female Speaker: Ican, yes, definitely. The President: Deidre Carrillo: I’ll have to get in. The President: Yeah, of course. So, how fast does this thing go?That’s a pretty seriousseatbelt by the way. That’s the same one thatwe have on Black Hawks,Black Hawk helicopters. Deidre Carrillo: Yes. A big guideline is safety, so–The President: Of course. Deidre Carrillo: I do wearmotorcycle helmets –The President: Right. Deidre Carrillo: –And I amvery well taken care of. The President: I’ll bet. All right. How big was the team thathelped you design the car?Deidre Carrillo: Westarted in a team of six,and now we’re a group of 14. The President: Okay. You fit like a glove. Female Speaker: Yes. The President: And what’sthat little panel there?What is that?Is that the control?Deidre Carrillo: This tells mewhat’s I would, during competition, Iam focusing on going in circlesand, well, we weresupposed to do tonometry. Tonometry would’vehelped a huge amount. The President: Female Speaker: But this tellsme how many volts im running,how many ampsand Icommunicate thatto my electrical chief, and hetoldme how fast to go to slow down. The President: So he’sgoing to giveyou calculations based onoptimizing the consistencyof the entire process. And how fast is – areyou typically goingwhen you’re in one ofthese contests?Deidre Carrillo: Ah thefastest –the constant that we want is 35. The President:35 miles an hour?Deidre Carrillo: 35. The President:That’s pretty fast?Deidre Carrillo: Yes, thefastest was actually 38. The President: I got you. So what are you doing now,now that you’ve donesuch an outstanding job, areyou interestedin an engineer?Did this prompt along term interest?Deidre Carrillo: Well, myjob is actually publicrelations, along withdriver, so I’m actuallythinking of pursing publicrelations,and part time driver. The President: Andpart time driver. Well, congratulations. Alright, come on overhere,let’s get a good picture. Look at all thesebig trophies. These trophies arebigger than you. Deidre Carrillo: Yes. scoot over so we can see them. 0:15:54. 033,1193:02:47. 295The President:Alright,There we go. Congratulations. Deidre Carrillo:Thank you. The President: What’sgoing on guys?What’s your name?Daisjaughn Bass:Daisjaughn. The President: Daisjaughn. Good to see you. Gerry McManus: Gerry. The President: Gerry. Good to see you. Brooke Bohn: Brooke. The President:Good to see you. Now, where areyou guys from?Daisjaughn Bass:Hudson, Massachusetts. The President: And whatgrades are you in?Daisjaughn Bass: 8th. The President: 8th grade. So what do we got here?Daisjaughn Bass:It’s a catapult. The President:It’s a catapult. Daisjaughn Bass: Yep. The President: Alright, solets – I assume we getto see it work, right?Daisjaughn Bass: Yeah. The President: Alright. Before I see it work, tellme has this been an ongoingproject of the school?I mean, each year, isthere sort of a catapultcontest, or a robotbuilding contest?Or is this somethingthat kindof happened on something?Daisjaughn Bass: Afterschool,we’re part of Raytheonat the Boys and Girls club,so we just –The President: So Raytheonis a sponsorat the Boys and Girls club?Brooke Bohn: Yes, well wewere part of it last year. Daisjaughn Bass: We camein second out of 45 teams. 0:16:52. 400,1193:02:47. 295The President: I see. The President: Alright. That’s excellent, and what– how did you getthe idea of catapult, or waseveryonedoing it together?Daisjaughn Bass: So we hada lot of topicsto choose form since we all playbasketball mostly. The President: You do. Yeah. Daisjaughn Bass: So wechoose basketball,and we went with the angle andthe trajectoryto making a three pointer. The President: Yeah,okay, So that’s –did you construct this wholecatapult yourself?Daisjaughn Bass: Yeah. And our Boys and GirlsClub DirectorGary helped us make it. The President: Wheredid you get this guy?Daisjaughn Bass: Well, wegot it, and we made it. The President: This is aprettyserious looking guy. Alright, you want toshow me how it works?Now, how fast doesthis thing go?Is it going tobreak anything?Daisjaughn Bass: No. The President: Alright,can I stand by herejust in case?Alright, now I wantyou to protect me. . Okay, I’m going to hidebehind you,because I don’t want to– Oh, okay, I think –that I can handle. Alright, let’stry that again. I just want to make – lasttime I was here,there was a guy that wasshooting marshmallowsout of a rifle, and like it was– this modified vaccuumcube, you guysremember that?Audience: Yes. The President: Thatthing went fast. That thing went –it went right up there, didn’t it?The marshmallow might still be there. Alright, lets try it out. Come on. Oh, that was a little low. Let’s try it again. Let’s try it again. That was a perfect pass. See. The – wellcongratulations, if thisprompted an interesting,if any of you wantto be engineers, or designers,or work on technology,stuff like that?Daisjaughn Bass:No, not really. I want to go to collegefor basketball. The President: Oh, youwantto be a basketball player. Yeah, everybody wants tobe a basketball player,I understand, untilthey get into college. How tall is yourdad and mom?Daisjaughn Bass:Not that tall. The President: Well, I justwant to make that point –keep up with your science homework, alright. Pete, where are you?Look at thisguy right here. Alright, we’reproud of you guys. DaisjaughnBass: Thank you. The President: Alright,you take care of yourself. The President: All right,whatdo we got here young people?These are my Chicagohomies right here — The President: –Right?Where do you guysgo to school?John Moore: I goto Lincoln Park. The President:Lincoln Park. Lydia Wolfe: I go toCastle System High School. The President: It is greatto see you, both excellentschools, andwhat’s your name?John Moore: JT. The President: JT?Lydia Wolfe: Lydia. The President:Lydia, all right. So you guys start givingthe robots, is that right?John Moore: Yeah. The President: How did youfirst becomeinterested in robots?John Moore: Well, inChicago, there is,or there weren’t very manyopportunities for robots. So what my mom did was shewent out and said thatshe would bring Mickeyinto Chicago. So now we’ve created overhalfthe teams of Chicago, and –The President: So yourmom basicallystarted the whole robot trend?John Moore: Yeah. The President: I likethat . John Moore: Chicago, and that’s howmore people doit rather than –The President:That’s great. The, and so, so, do youhave a bunch of differentrobotics teamsin Chicago –John Moore: Yes. The President: DoesHails Franciscan haveone team, and then Wayne has adifferent one,or do you guys all come fromdifferent schoolsand sort of form like a club?Lydia Wolfe: We all comefrom different schools. The President: Uh-huh. Lydia Wolfe: My team thisyear combinedwith Chicago NATS since we werehaving trouble. The President:Uh-huh, excellent. All right, so, it lookslikeyou guys have been doing pretty good. What do we have here?Is this an example of oneof our, one of your,some of your handiwork here?John Moore: Yep. This is our FRC robotfrom this year –The President: Uh-huh. John Moore: We playeda game sort of likelacrosse, where they hada twoflated ball that it picked up. The President: Right. John Moore: So, thisarm comes down –The President: Yeah. John Moore: And then therollers suck it up,and then it brings it back. And then we have, overhere that we use to kick,kick the ball. The President:Oh, I see, okay. Now, this one, we’renot modeling in here,I gather. John Moore: We can showthe arm going downwith the wheels. The President: Yeah,but no actual ball?John Moore: Yeah. The President: Becausewe’ve hitone of these guys, yeah. The President:I like them. Actually, this is apretty good group. There are some where Iwouldn’t have minded. The President: But Idon’t see them here. All right, let’s see. All right. John Moore: Allright, so –The President: All good?John Moore: There’s twodifferent driver’s forks. The President: Uh-huh. John Moore: There is thepart thathas the arm going up and down. The President: Right. John Moore: And thenthere’s the partthat controls the other part. The President: Got it. And so these are allmanually controlled?John Moore: Yep. The game is brokenup into two parts. There’s one part where therobot drives by itselfThe President: Right. John Moore: For 30seconds, and then there’stwo minutes where therobot is driven againstfive other robots on thefield,so a three-on-three game. The President: Thatsounds pretty fun, yeah. So, how long did it takeyou to constructthis particular robot?John Moore: Six weeks. The President: Six weeks?John Moore: Mm-hmm, sixweeks to design and build,and everybody’s given thechallengeat the same time. The President:Outstanding. Well, I’m soproud of you guys. Come on, let’s take agood picturenext to your robot. Yeah, you come over here. You get over here, andPete,make sure the robot’s in the picture. Got it. Fantastic. All right, the, so hasthis spurred interestin you wanting to stay inengineering,technology, things like that?John Moore: Before joiningthis, I didn’t know thatthere were so manyengineer jobs out there –The President: Absolutely. John Moore: But now thatI know that,The President: Yeah. Well, you’re going to beone of those engineers. You too, especially weneed young womenand engineering insciences, all right?Looking forward to seeingyou guys do great things. I’m proud of you. Tell everybody backhome I said hi. John Moore: Allright, thank you. The President: All right?John Moore: Thank you. The President:How are you, sir?Eric Chen: I’m good. How are you?The President:What’s your name?Eric Chen: I’m Eric. The President: Goodto see you, Eric. Where are you from?Eric Chen: Good to seeyou, I’m from San Diego. The President: San Diego?So what year areyou in school now?Eric Chen: I’ma senior now. The President:You’re a senior?Do you know what you’regoingto be doing next year?Eric Chen: I’ll begoing to Harvard. The President:I bet you are. The President: Sowhat do we got here?Eric Chen: Yeah, so, insummary, what I was ableto do was use computers tospeed up the discoveryof new medicine for the flu. And the flu right now isa really big threatwhere you have strainslike H5N1, H7N9 –The President: I’ve spenta lot of time worryingabout the possibilityof pandemic, right?Eric Chen: Yeah, andthey’re onlyone mutation away from possiblycausing a pandemic. The President: Right. Eric Chen: And the problemis we haveno really effectivetreatments for it. The flu vaccine, so likeflu shots,they take several months to prepare. And that’s a time whereover millionsof people could be dying –The President: Right. Eric Chen: And theycreate antiviral drugs,so so like a pill you take, andget better from the flu,they’re losing theireffectiveness becauseof resistance, restraints. The President: Right. Eric Chen: And so there’sthis urgent needfor a new flu medicine tokind of hold backthe pandemic wave while vaccinesare being developed. The President: Right. Eric Chen: And so, rightnow, drug companiesare still kind of in thatindustrial eraof drug discovery, where theyfound, hey,we can make robots do everything. So they make robots testmillions and millionsof chemicals, they just finda few that might become real drugs. The President: But that’snot very efficient. Eric Chen:Exactly, and so –The President: It’s sortof trialby error as opposed to –Eric Chen: Exactly, it’slike kindof brute force rather thanreasoning, by logic. The President: Right. Eric Chen: What I’vebeen ableto do is use computers to firstvirtually go throughhuge chemical libraries thatpredict which oneswould be most likely to work,and then followedby only testingthose, that small fractionthat’s most likely to work. The President: Right. Eric Chen: And so, I’vebeen able to takea compound library of almosthalf a million chemicals,and then using computermodeling,isolating the top 237. The President: And what isallowing you to,what are the factors that allowyou to win over this now?What is it that you cananticipate, would makea possible vaccinemore effective?Eric Chen: Right, so it’sactually not a flu shot. It would actuallybe a drug, so –The President: I see. Eric Chen: It would belike, yeah,it’s curative curativerather than preventative –The President: Okay,so rather thanthe traditional giving you alittle bit of fluidto boost your immunityto the flu –Eric Chen: It’s actuallygiving you a chemicalThe President: Achemical cure. Eric Chen: Right. The President:That’s fascinating. Eric Chen: Yeah. And one of the greatadvantages to oneof the target sites usingto make these chemicalsfor is that it’s highlyconservative amountsof , being thatit could potentially workagainst any food string,even if you have no ideawhere it’s coming from. And so, basically, one ofthe ways thatI’m looking at kind of findingthese chemicals that workis actually kind of takinglittle, how it worksis you’re targeting aprotein of the flu virus. And, so, this is actuallya printed structureof one of the flu protein targeted –The President: This thingwas in my nosejust about three weeks ago. It lasted forever,couldn’t get rid of it. Not really, I’mjust joking. All right, so this is a 3Dmodelof a nasty flu bug right there. Eric Chen: Right. And how, and what we do iswe, or I try to find theselittle kind of chemicalslike that, that kindof fit into this pocket righthere,and jam it and stop it from working. The President: Right. Eric Chen: And so, bydoing this, so how thecomputer does it is ittakes kind of the millionsor the half a milliondifferent kindof chemical structures, andfits each one in. And then it ranks thembasedon how well they fit. And so by doing that, if,the ones thatfit really well arekind of more predicted to –The President:More likely to –Eric Chen: Exactly. The President: To work. The, now this is a prettysignificant new directionin terms ofdeveloping a flu drug. And, you’re onlyin high school. So, the question is, hasthis approach gainedsort of converts among the drugcompanies wherethey say to themselves, you knowwhat, actually thisis pretty promising –Eric Chen: Right, well –The President: Or areyou still, because of itsinfancy, they don’t knowhow smart you are,it’ll take them a whileto figure that out?Eric Chen: Well researchgroups have startedusing these kind of new andinnovative toolsfor kind of, yeah, rationaldrug discovery. The President: Right. Eric Chen: And theproblem,well drug companies, they’rehuge, and because of that –The President:There you go. Eric Chen: They’re kindof sluggish to respondingto this kindof innovation. And so one big thingis actually kindof convincing them to kind oftake up these differenttools in order to make itmore,much more efficient process. The President: Well, partof the reasonit’s so important, as you know,is because of the economicsof producing flu vaccines,is,it’s not a big moneymakerfor the drug companies. Eric Chen: Right. The President: If we cancome up withcomputer models thatnarrow the RMB –Eric Chen: Right, bymakingit much cheaper, you can actually –The President: You canactually start producingthem and adaptingthem to –Eric Chen: Right, andmakingthem cheaper for the people –The President: That’sexactly right. This is really important. This could end up beingthe startof saving millions of lives, huh?Eric Chen: Hopefully. The President: That’s, youknow, the, now,do you also like, are you like achampionlacrosse player and –?Eric Chen: No,I fence, though. The President: You fence? The President: All right,I’m such an underachiever. The President: You’regoing to do great. Eric Chen: Thank you. The President: I’ll beon the lookout for this,because we’re spending alot of time, you know,trying to puzzlethis out, so –Eric Chen: All right. The President: All right?
President Obama:Greetings, massive! Wah gwaan, Jamaica? Can everybodyplease give Aubreya big round of applause forthe great introduction? I want to thank theUniversity of the West Indiesfor hosting us. Big up, You-Wee! Thank you. I’ve been makingmyself at home here. It is great to be inbeautiful Jamaica –not only because I’m proudto be the first President of the United States to visit in more than 30 years,but because I justlike the vibe here. I was born on an island, and it was warm, and so I feel rightat home. And I’m grateful for the warm Jamaican hospitalitythat I received thismorning, including fromPrime MinisterSimpson-Miller. I also had the chance to meetwith leaders from acrossthe Caribbean, wherewe focused on issuesof shared prosperityand shared security. And tomorrow, I’ll meetwith leaders from acrossthe hemisphere at the Summitof the Americas in Panama. But before my tripbecame all business,I wanted to come here and hearfrom young people like you. Because it is your generationwho will shape the futureof our countries and ourregion and this planetthat we share long afterthose of us who are currentlyin public service aregone from the stage. So I’m going to only speakfor a few minutes at the top,because I’d rather spend timetaking questions from you,and also because afterwe have a chance forour town hall, I get achance to say hi to UsainBolt and ShellyAnn Fraser-Pryce. When you have the fastestpeople on the planet,you’ve got to sayhi to them, right?Because that’s fast. There are a lot ofpeople out there,and they’re the fastest. Now, we are not just nations,we’re also neighbors. Tens of millions of Americansare bound to the Caribbeanand the Americas throughties of commerce,but also ties of kin. More than one millionAmericans trace theirancestry to Jamaica. More than onemillion Americans visitJamaica each year. So we’re committed toyou and this region. And as I’ve said before, inour foreign policy thereare no senior or juniorpartners in the Americas;there are just partners. And that’s one reason whythe United States hasstarted a new chapterin our relations withthe people of Cuba. We will continue to havesome differences withthe Cuban government, but wedon’t want to be imprisonedby the past. When something doesn’twork for 50 years,you don’t just keep on doingit; you try something new. And we are as committedas ever to supportinghuman rights andpolitical freedom in Cubaand around the world. But I believe that engagementis a more powerful forcethan isolation, and thechanges we are makingcan help improve the livesof the Cuban people. And I also believe that thisnew beginning will be goodfor the United States andthe entire hemisphere. My point is, I believewe can move past someof the old debates that sooften define the region,and move forward in a waythat benefits your generationwith new thinking — anenergetic, impatient,dynamic and diversegeneration that yourepresent, both inthe United Statesand across thishemisphere. More than 100 millionpeople in Latin Americaand the Caribbean are betweenthe ages of 15 and 24. Most of the regionis under 35. And what gives me so much hopeabout your generation is thatyou’re more interested in thehard work of waging peacethan resorting to the quickimpulses of conflict. You’re more interested in thehard work of building prosperitythrough entrepreneurship,not cronyism or corruption. You’re more eagerfor progress that comesnot by holding down anysegment of society,but by holding up therights of every human being,regardless of what we looklike, or how we pray,or who we love. You care less about theworld as it has been,and more about the worldas it should be and can be. And unlike any othertime in our history,the technology at yourdisposal means that you don’thave to wait for the changethat you’re looking for;you have the freedom tocreate it in your ownpowerful anddisruptive ways. Many of you already have,whether by starting yourown enterprises or byhelping others start theirs. And I’m going to just singleout two remarkable youngleaders who are here todaybecause I think they’rean example of what ispossible, even in the mostdifficult ofcircumstances. So Angeline Jacksonis here today. Where is Angeline?There she is, right there. Several years ago,when Angeline was 19,she and a friend werekidnapped, held at gunpointand sexually assaulted. And as a woman,and as a lesbian,justice and society werenot always on her side. But instead of remainingsilent, she chose to speakout and started her ownorganization to advocatefor women like her, andget them treatment and getthem justice, and pushback against stereotypes,and give them some senseof their own power. And she became aglobal activist. But more than anything, shecares about her Jamaica,and making it a placewhere everybody,no matter theircolor, or their class,or their sexual orientation,can live in equalityand opportunity. That’s the power of oneperson, what they can do. Jerome Cowans grew up ina tough part of Kingston. Where’s Jerome? When Jerome was 12,he saw a friend gunned down. And when he looked atthe shooters, he said,”I realized that wasn’ta life I wanted to live. They had expensive machinery,but they had nothing else. “So at the ripe old age of 13,he founded a youth groupto help others like himstay on the right path. And he started small,with only six people,but they had onebig thing in commonand they believed thatchange was possible. And like Angeline, he wasthreatened for his work,but he kept at it. And he said, “Thingswon’t get any betterif no one does anything. “And today, the LEAD Youth Clubhe started has six chapters,including one in Colombia. His work has taken himto five continents. Last year, he became thefirst Jamaican to receivethe Nelson MandelaInnovation Award. He’s just 25 years old. So individuals like thosetwo young people –the young people heretoday — you remindme of something thatBob Marley once said. You know I went tohis house yesterday. I thought, I’m only fiveminutes from his house,I got to go check it out. And one of the displayshas to do when he wasshot right before a concerthe was supposed to give,trying to bring the politicalfactions in Jamaica together. And he was treated for hiswounds and he went aheadwith the program, wentahead with the show. And somebody asked, well,why would you do that?He said, “The peoplewho are trying to makethis world worse arenot taking the day off. Why should I?”Why should I? So none of us can affordto take the day off. And I want you tohave every chance,every tool you need tomake this world better. So today I’m announcingnearly $70 millionin U. S. investments ineducation, training,and employment programsfor our young peoplethroughout Latin Americaand the Caribbean. And these investmentswill help young peoplein unemployed and impoverishedand marginalized communities,and give them a chance togain the skills they needto compete and succeed inthe 21st century economy. And that’s not all. As President, some of theinitiatives I’m most proudof the ones that increase mycountry’s engagement withthe next generation of leaderslike Angeline and Jeromeand all of you — leaders ingovernment and civil society,and entrepreneurshipand the private sector. Four years ago, Ilaunched an initiativecalled “100,000 Strongin the Americas. “And the goal was tohave 100,000 U. S. students studyingin this region,and 100,000 of thisregion’s students studyingin the United States bythe end of this decade. And we are on trackto meet that goal. So today, to buildon that progress,I’m proud to launch the YoungLeaders of the AmericasInitiative righthere in Kingston. Let me say this. This is not yourtraditional exchange. We’re going to seekout the most innovativeyoung entrepreneurs andcivil society leadersin the Caribbean, LatinAmerica, and we’regoing to give them achance to earn a substantialcontinuum of the trainingand the resources and theconnections, the networks andthe capital that you needto make a difference. So this year, we’ll bring twodozen entrepreneurs and civilsociety leaders from LatinAmerica and the Caribbean –including young Cuban leaders— to the United States. Then next year,we’ll increase thisfellowship to 250young leaders. And we’ll help you to expandyour commercial and socialventures; we’ll embed youin an American businessand incubators. We’ll give U. S. participantsthe chance to continuetheir collaboration withyou in your home countries. So the idea is that you’ll get achance to implement your ideasbut now have linkages thatgive you access to capitaland research and all thethings you need to mobilizeand implement the kinds ofthings that you’re doing. And this isn’tcharity for us. This is an investmentin your future,because that means it’s aninvestment in our future –a future where climateresearchers in the Amazoncan collaborate withscientists in Alaska. An idea in Barbadossuddenly canbe developed in anincubator in Boston. Anti-gang activities inHonduras can be connectedto similar activitiesin Houston, Texas. It’s a future where any kidfrom Kingston can choosea path that opens his orher horizons beyondtheir neighborhoodto the wider world. And that impulseto make the world better,to push back on thosewho try to make it worse,that’s something that yourgeneration has to hold on to. And you have to remember,it’s never easy;there are no days off. But if there’s one thingthat I know from my ownlife, it’s that with hardwork and with hope,change is alwayswithin our reach. The Jamaican-Americanpoet Claude McKay,who was a central figureof the Harlem renaissance,once wrote something alongthose lines: “We must striveon to gain the height althoughit may not be in sight. “As long as we’ve got youngstrivers like you — and I hopeto see you in Washington aspart of this Young Leadersof the Americas Initiative— I’m confident thata brighter future willalways be in sight. So thank you very much. With that, let’stake some questions. All right, so — All right, sincewe’re getting to workI’m going to take my jacketoff and get comfortable. All right. There are no rules to thisexcept that there arepeople with microphonesin the audience,so wait for them tocome when I call on you. We’re going to goboy, girl, boy,girl so everybody getsa chance, so it’s fair. Before your question,please introduce yourselfand tell us whereyou are from, okay?And try to keep your questionor comment relatively shortso we can get more questionsor comments in, okay?We’ll start with thisyoung lady right herein the white blouse. It’s a little tight here. Female Speaker: Thank you. Yani Campbell , alecturer at the Universityof the West Indies. Thank you so much for yourtalk, very interesting. And I wondered as well,on the Cuban issue,now that your policy hasactually changed towards Cuba,I wondered about your viewson how it is that we shouldapproach — CARICOM shouldapproach its relationshipwith Cuba in terms ofdeepening that relationship. Should they now perhapsmove to join in CARICOM?Thank you. President Obama:Well, first of all,I think CARICOM can makeits own decisionsand we’ll respect it. Cuba will be participating inthe Summit of the Americas,and I think — it is my strongbelief that if we engage,that that offers thegreatest prospect forescaping some of theconstraints of the past. I think the Cuban peopleare extraordinaryand have huge potential. And what’s encouraging is, isthat the overwhelming majorityof Cubans are interestedin ending the Cold War –the last vestige of the ColdWar — and moving forward. It’s going to takesome time forthe United States tofully implement someof the things that havealready been agreed to,and it’s going to take alittle bit longer beforeyou actually havecomplete normal relationsbetween the UnitedStates and Cuba. What I would say to Caribbeancountries is, absolutely,you should continue to engagein Cuba in the ways thatyou’ve already doing — you’vealready done in the past. I do think that itis important for allof us to be able to speakhonestly where we see concernsabout issues of human rightsand political freedom. And I’m not sayinganything publicly thatI haven’t said directlyto Raul Castro. There are stillconstraints on the abilityof the Cuban people to expressthemselves, or to organizepolitical parties, orto start a business. And sometimes, the samethings we expect forourselves and our country,somehow we think otherpeople don’t want. But I believe that eachcountry — I believeeach country has itsown unique cultures,its own unique traditions. I don’t expect everycountry to pursue the samepolicies or have thesame political practicesas the United States. And I am certainly awareof the flaws that existin our own countrythat we have to fix. But I do believe thereare certain principlesthat are universal. I think that all people wantbasic dignity and want basicfreedom, and want to be able toworship as they please withoutbeing discriminated against,or they should be ableto speak their mind about animportant issue pertainingto their communitywithout being arrested. And so wherever we seethat, we try to speak out. But what we also try to do isengage and recognize thateven with countries thatwe have differences,there’s also going to becommonality and overlap. And the United States and Cubashould both have an interestin dealing with climatechange, for example,because when the oceansstart lapping upon Miamior on Havana, nobody isgoing to distinguish, well,where do they stand on thisor that ideological issue. And so we have to find wherethere are areas of cooperation,but I will continue to tryto be consistentin speaking out on behalfof the issues that areimportant to allpeople, not just some. All right, it’s agentleman’s turn. This gentlemanright here. He looks very serious;he’s got glasses. Looking sharp. Plus, he’s got acopy of my book. So he’sclearly a wise man. Male Speaker: Thankyou very much. My name is ChefBrian Lumley –I’m a youngJamaican chef here. And I own arestaurant –689 by Brian Lumley. Just saying. My question to you —I’m going to staya little bit off thepolitics for a bit. And I’ve witnessedyour journey a lot,and the question iskind of two-part. If you go back and giveyourself one piece of advicebefore the start of you 2008term, what would it be?And the second part is ifyou can sign this bookwhen you’re finished. Thank you very much. President Obama:I’ll sign the book. So the question was, for thosecouldn’t hear: If I were to goback and give myself advicebefore I started in 2008,what would the advice be?I suppose I could have starteddying my hair earlier — — so then peoplewouldn’t say, man,he’s getting old. You’re going like this —at least I got hair, man. I’m teasing you. I’m messing with you. I think that — keep in mindthat when I came into officewe were going through the worstglobal financial crisis sincethe 1930s, and so we had tomake a series of decisionsvery quickly, many ofwhich were unpopular. Overall, I thinkwe got it right. I think we did theright thing. And because, I think,we took these steps,not only were we able to avoidthe kind of Great Depressionthat we saw in the 1930s, notonly was America able to bounceback and start growing morerapidly than most of our peers,drive down unemployment faster,create more jobs faster,but that also had an impacton the global economyand it had an impact onthe Caribbean economy,that we were able to bounceback quicker than we mighthave if we hadn’ttaken those steps. But it was, I think,costly politically. And what I would have probablyadvised was that I might haveneeded to warn the Americanpeople and paint a picturefor them that was moreaccurate about the fact thatit would take some timeto dig ourselves outof a very big hole. Because FDR, whenhe came into office,the Great Depression hadalready been going on for two,three years, and so peopleunderstood how serious it was. With us, we came in justas people were reallystarting to feelthe impacts. And trying to paint a picturethat we’ll make it but it’sgoing to take some time, andhere are the steps that we needto take — I think I would haveadvised myself to do a betterjob spending more time notjust getting the policy right,but also describing it inways that people understood,that gave them confidencein their own future. I think that would probablybe the most importantadvice that I wouldhave given myself. All right, it’s ayoung lady’s turn. That young ladyright there. Yes, you. You, yes. Oh, well, I’ll callon both of you. I’ll call on you later. Go ahead. Female Speaker: Okay, sowe’re here and we’re lookingat you, and we’re allvery honored to be hereand very taken about byyour leadership qualities. And seeing that you are thePresident of the United Statesof America and you’reso influential,I want to know how youhandle the mental strainthat comes with beingin charge of so much. President Obama:What’s your name?Female Speaker: Kimberly— from the Universityof the West Indies. President Obama: Fantastic. How do I handle stress?You know, I’ll behonest with you. One of the things that happensas you get older is you startappreciating both yourstrengths and your weaknesses. Hopefully you gain alittle wisdom about whatyou’re good at andwhat you’re not. And Michelle can give youa long list of thingsI’m not good at. But one thingthat I’ve always had,which has served me well, isa pretty good temperament. And I attribute that partlyfrom growing up on an islandwith trade winds and beaches,and it makes you calm. But I try not to get too highwhen things are going wellso that I don’t get too lowwhen things are going badly,and try to keep a long viewof how the processof social change takes place,and how the trajectoryof your own life isgoing to proceed. We get caught up in theday-to-day so much,and it’s interesting now whenI’m talking to my daughtersand “somebody said somethingat school,” or there’s –“well, I didn’t do quite aswell on that test as I wanted. “And you want them totake it seriously,but you also want to say tothem, you know what, this,too, shall pass; I promiseyou three months from now,much less 30 years fromnow, you will not remember. And so I think that trying tokeep your eye on the prizeof where it is thatyou want to go and notbe discouraged or overlyimpressed with yourselfon a day-to-day basis Ithink is very important. And then you have to get someexercise in the morning. I don’t runas fast as these folks,but I get a little exercise,which does help in termsof stress relief. All right. It’s a gentleman’s turn. Let’s see, somebodyfrom this side. This young man right herein the sharp-lookingcheckered shirt. Male Speaker: Good afternoonagain, Mr. President. Especially as itrelates to human rightsand social change — I’mJomain McKenzie and I’ma focal point with theGlobal Fund Board. As it relates to humanrights and social change,how do you make the decision toallow societies to go throughthe natural evolutionaryprocess of having change occuron their own versus havinggovernments exert policiesto make these samepolitical social changes?President Obama: That’s areally interesting question. It’s an interestingquestion and it’s onethat I have to strugglewith all the time. Every society, as I said,is at a different phasein development, intheir own history;they have differentcultural traditions. And so the way Ithink about it is,is that the United Stateshas certain core values andprinciples that webelieve deeply in. And we don’t necessarilyexpect that every country willformulate how to secure thoseideals and those principles. We don’t expect it to be doneexactly as we do any morethan we expect every —obviously, our democracyis not the same asaJamaican democracyor a British democracyor Australian democracy. But we believe in democracy. We think that if peoplehave the ability to speakout about their own lives,some sense of agency,then that societywill be stronger. And that doesn’t mean that wewon’t work with a countrythat doesn’t preciselyabide by those principles,but we will still speak out. There are times where acountry is clearly engaging inactivities that are so egregiousthat it’s not culturallyspecific; it typically has todo with a government wantingto exert control overpeople and oppress them. And in those instances, I thinkit is entirely appropriatefor us to speak outforcefully and, in somecases, to not dobusiness with them. Look at a countrylike North Korea. I mean, obviously, Koreanculture is different thanAmerican culture. On the other hand, you look atwhat’s happening in South Koreaand you look at what’shappening in North Koreaand those are two entirelydifferent societies. And I can tell you whichone you’d rather live in. And if you have asituation in which peopleare being murdered simplybecause they didn’tagree with thegovernment on somethingor didn’t want theireconomic fate to be entirelydetermined by the whims ofsome government bureaucrat,and suddenly they’re sent toa labor camp –that’s something where we asan international communityhave to speak out on. And then there are someissues that may be culturallyspecific, but you know what,I think they’re wrong. I won’t — we’re not going totry to force that countryto change, but I may tryto shame that country. There are nations whereslavery still exists. And that may be part ofthe ancient culturein that society, butslavery is wrong. And I’m not going togive them the excusethat, well, thisis who we are. In Africa — and I can speakI think fairly as somebodywho is the son of an Africanfather — there are practiceslike female genitalmutilation that may be partof the tradition there,but it’s wrong. And I’m going to say so. And it will be U. S. policyto say that it’s wrong. So the tools we use to tryto bring about changearound the worldmay vary. And as I said earlier, we’re notalways perfectly consistent. There are times where we’ve gotallies who are not observingall the human rights we wouldlike, and there are timeswhere there are countriesthat are adversariesof ours where they dosome things quite well. And you can’t expectus, or any country,to be perfectly consistentin every circumstance. But what I’ve tried to do isbe fairly consistentin terms of what webelieve, what we stand for,and then we use differenttools depending on whatwe think will bringabout the most change. In some cases, it will justbe a diplomatic statement;in some cases, it may be seriousenough that we will organize –try to organize the UnitedNations or other multilateralforums to speak outagainst certain practices. In some cases, it may be soegregious that we need tosanction them, and we will tryto organize the internationalcommunity in that way. And then finally, in theultimate circumstance,where the violations of ourvalues are so severe that theystart spilling over and — inthe instance of, for example,genocide — we maybe say to ourselves,in concert with theinternational community,we need to intervene becausethis government is so brutaland so unacceptable that weneed to protect people. But we do that in thecontext of an internationalconversation so thatwe’re not simply makingthese decisions — orwe’re not so arrogantthat we’re not payingattention to whatthe rest of the worldcommunity is saying. This young lady who Ioriginally had calledon and gotskipped over. No, no, thisone right here. Yes. Right here. I’m sorry, I loveyou, too, though. Female Speaker: Goodafternoon, Mr. President. My name is KatrinaKing-Smith. I’m from the Turksand Caicos Islands. My question istwo-part, as well. Firstly, in countries such asthe Turks and Caicos Islandswhere the population issmall and our main sourcesof revenue are tourism andforeign direct investment,I was wondering if you cansuggest two ways that thegovernment may better generateand regulate sustainablerevenue, especially withregulations currently beingput in place to closeoff-shore financial centers. And secondly, I was wonderingif after your term has ended,would you mind coming to theTurks and Caicos to vacation? President Obama: On thesecond question, absolutely. I’ll do someisland-hopping onceI’m out of office. And you guys can show meall the good places to go. On this issue ofoff-shore financial centers,we respect each countryto set up its ownfinancial regulations. And we recognize thatfor small countries,that providing services —including financial services –may be an importantsource of revenue. The one thing that we have tomake sure of is that thesefinancial centers are noteither used for illicitmoney laundering or taxavoidance by large U. S. corporations that setup cut-outs or frontorganizations, but as apractical matter are operatingin the United States, employingfolks in the United States,essentially headquartered inthe United States and yet,somehow, their mailingaddress is such-and-suchisland where theyhave to pay no taxes. Those are the kinds ofegregious concerns that we’retrying to deal with. I think we try to take iton a case-by-case basis. And in my CARICOMmeeting that I just had,this issue was brought up. There were a number of leaderswho expressed concern thatmaybe they were beingunfairly labeled as areasof high financial risk. And what I committed to themis we will examine theircomplaints and go through invery concrete ways where ourconcerns are and how ourgovernments can work together. More broadly, I think thatthe — if you look at someof the most successfulcountries in the world,they’re actually pretty smallcountries — like Singapore,for example — that on paperlook like they have no assets,and yet, if you go toSingapore, it has oneof the highest standardsof living in the world. What is it that Singapore didthat might be replicable?Well, one of the mostimportant things they did wasthey made an enormousinvestment in their people. And if you’vegot a highly skilled,highly educated workforce, ifyou’ve set up rules of lawand governance that aretransparent and non-corrupt,then you can attract actuallya lot of service industriesto supplement the touristindustry, because peoplewould want to locatein your country. You could envision peoplewanting to operate and haveoffices there where you’vegot a trained workforce. And these days, so manybusinesses are operating overthe Internet that if you’vegot a really skilled workforcethat provides valueadded, you will attractcompanies and you’llattract businesses. What deters people frominvesting in most countries isconflict, corruption, and a lackof skills or infrastructure. And those countries thatare able to address thoseproblems have rule of lawand eliminate corruption. Make sure that you are investingin the education of your peopleand it’s a continuouseducation; it doesn’t juststop at the lower grades,but you give peopleconstant opportunitiesto upgrade their skills. You have a decentinfrastructure — you’re goingto be able to succeed. That’s the recipe, the formulafor a 21st-century economy. All right. Uh oh, they’re startingto holler at me. Let’s see, I haven’tgone back here in a while. This gentleman in theblue shirt right here. Male Speaker: Thanksso much, Mr. President. We know that there’s beenan increasing militaryassertiveness ofChina, especiallyin the South China Sea. And it seems that theU. S. has respondedto that by pledgingto increase its militarypresence because itrecognizes the danger thatthat military increase ofChina poses to its friendsand allies there. Now, China’s growing power isn’tjust military, it’s economic. On this side of the world,China has used this soft power,this economic power especiallyto woo Caribbean governments. My questions are,how does the U. S. view China’s influencein its own backyard,especially since you’ve justtalked about the Cold Warand alliances?And secondly, whatplan does the U. S. have,if any, to contributemore to economic lifein the Caribbean toward off China in termsof foreign directinvestment? Thank you very much,Mr. President. President Obama:What’s your name?Male Speaker: Oh, sorry. My name is Newton Harrisfrom the University ofTechnology-Jamaica. President Obama: Fantastic. Well, first of all, letme say that it is U. S. official policy and itis my strong belief thatwe should welcomeChina’s peaceful rise. What China has done in the last20, 30 years is remarkable. More people have been liftedout of poverty in a shorterperiod of time than perhapsany time in human history. And that’sgood for the world. I mean, we should be morefearful of a poorer,collapsing China than a Chinathat is participating in theworld marketplace and tradingand is getting along withits neighbors and part ofthe international order,because there are a reallylarge number of Chinesepeople and we wantthem to be doing well. So our policy is not tofear China’s peaceful rise. Where we get concerned withChina is where it is notnecessarily abiding byinternational norms and rules,and is using its size andmuscle to force countriesinto subordinate positions. And that’s the concern wehave around maritime issues. We think this can besolved diplomatically,but just because thePhilippines or Vietnam arenot as large as Chinadoesn’t mean that theycan just beelbowed aside. And, by the way, we don’thave a particular viewon the territorial disputes,the maritime disputes. Our attitude is simply,let’s use the mechanismsthat we have in placeinternationallyto resolve them. Now, with respect to Chineseinvestment in the Caribbeanor in the Americas, inthe Western Hemisphere,my response is the same onethat I gave when I was askedthis question in Africa,which is, if China is makinginvestments that are buildingup infrastructure, or improvingeducation, or helping thepeople, then we welcome that. We think that’s great. The only thing is yougot to make sure youlook at what stringsmay be attached. If the investments are madeand it’s solely to builda road to a mine to extractraw materials that aregoing to then beimmediately goingto a port andshipped to China,and if Chinese workers areshipped in to build the road — — and if you don’t knowexactly what the deal waswith the government that led toChina getting the contract — — in those situations,it may not be, in fact,serving the long-terminterests of the country. Now, I would say — bythe way, I’d say the samething about theUnited States. So if we come in with anaid package to yourcountry, and we say wegot this great deal,we’re going to give you $100million for such and such,but if when you evaluatethe actual benefits,it’s U. S. companies that aredisproportionately benefittingfrom it, and it’s creating asituation where over the longterm the United States ismaking a whole lot of profitsbut is not leaving behind asustainable industrial baseor ways in which that countrycan develop, then youhave to evaluate that andtry to get a better deal. So what I’m saying isnot unique to China. I think that’s how allcountries should be operating. Your governmentshould be transparent;it should be clear aboutwhat you’re getting. There should be an accountingof how the money flows. There should be a sensethat over the long term,Jamaican businesses orsomebody from Belizeis getting a job,or — right?I mean, there should besome sense of how is thisbenefitting us overthe long term. And that’s I think theonly criteria that we’regoing to lay out. Now, last thing I’ll say— because you asked –you kind of posed, is therelike a bidding war goingon here for affections. The Chinese are giving usflowers and chocolates — — what are youdoing for us lately? And so whatI would say is this. The United States, Ithink historically,has been an enormousprovider of development aid. Not always, by the way, has itfollowed the rule I just laidout in terms of whether ornot the local recipients arebenefitting, but I think we’vegotten a lot better at that. And if you look atinstitutions likethe World Bank or othermultilateral institutions,we remain the largestcontributors by far. So sometimes when you get moneyfrom a multilateral institution– you look at who’s doingwhat; if you look at whathappens in terms of whenHaiti gets decimated,who’s raising the money —we tend to look pretty good. It turns out we’re doingmore than our fair share. And we will continueto do that. We do have somefiscal constraints. And sometimes, I think —when I travel to the Americas,to the region, people ask,why don’t we have sortof the kinds of Alliancefor Progress programs withhuge sums of money. Well, part of it is, is thatright after World War II,the United States was solarge relative to the restof the world. Japan was decimated;Europe was decimated. Huge chunks of the world werebehind the Iron Curtain. And so it was natural thatwe gave fivefoldor tenfold more thananybody else could do. Well, things have evened out,in case you haven’t noticed. We’re still, by far, the mostpowerful nation on Earthand we still do morethan everybody else,but we do expect others to stepup and do their fair share. But I can guarantee you this: Wewill always do our fair share. And nowhere is that truer thanin the Caribbean and in theAmericas, because you areour neighbors and someof our closest friends. Let’s see. It’s a young lady’s turn. This young lady right here. Right here. Female Speaker:Welcome, Mr. President. I lived a block awayfrom you in Chicago whenI went to theUniversity of Chicago. President Obama:Is that right?Female Speaker: And mycollege sweetheart, Sam Kass,was your private chefuntil very recently. President Obama: Oh, wow! Well, you’re justputting Sam’s businessall out there. All right. What’s your name?Female Speaker:Lisandra Rickards. I work for the BransonCentre of Entrepreneurship. President Obama: Cassandra?Female Speaker: Lisandra. President Obama: Lisandra. All right. Well, I’ll teaseSam about this one. Female Speaker: Please do. President Obama: Everybodyknows about you now. Go ahead. Female Speaker: My questionis around immigration. We’ve heard a lot aboutyour immigration policy forundocumented immigrants who arecurrently living in the U. S. But what about hopefulfamilies that are seekinga legal pathway forimmigration into the U. S. but are finding seven- toten-year delays before theyeven can get to apply?I’d love to hear you talk somemore about your policy regardingshortening that timelineand making it less onerouson the applicants. President Obama: Good. That’s a great question. That’s a great question. The United Statesis a nation of immigrants. And this region hascontributed to the remarkableprogress that the UnitedStates has made overthe last two centuries. And my goal during thecourse of my presidency hasbeen to make sure wecontinue to be a nationof immigrants as well as anation of laws, and thatwe’re attracting talent fromall around the world. Part of what makes usspecial is you walkin Brooklyn and there arefolks from everywhere. But they’re all striving,they’re all talented,they’re all trying to maketheir dreams come true. And that is what gives usthe energy and the strengthto be able to accomplisheverything we’ve accomplished. So we need to fixwhat is, right now,a broken immigration system. Part of it is dealing with thosewho are undocumented but whohave been living there a longtime, are part of the community,providing them with a pathwayin which they have to earna legal status, butrecognizing that they’re thereand we’re not going to beseparating out families. That’s not who we are. That’s not trueto our values. And ultimately, it’s notgood for our economy. But you are absolutely rightthat part of the reason thatsome people take the illegalroute is because we make thelegal route so difficult. And so we’re tryingto identify waysto streamline that process. Now, I have to be honest. A lot of people wantto come to America. So unless we justhad no borders,there’s alwaysgoing to be a wait. There’s always going tobe background checks. There’s always going tobe some prioritizationin terms of who’sadmitted and who’s not. But I do think that thereare practices we have — forexample, where someone has arelation in the United States,is clearly qualified tobecome at some pointa legal resident and maybein the future a citizen,but in order to do it they haveto first leave the country,wait, and now they’reseparated from their families. I mean, there have to beways in which we can makethe system clearerand less burdensome. Some of those changes we wantedto make were in the legislationthat was proposed and passedthe United States Senate. I think there is still theopportunity to get that donebefore my presidency isover, but it does requirethe Republican PartyI think to engagewith me in a moreserious effort,and to put asidethe politics. Thank you very muchfor the question. All right, this sidehas been neglected right here. I’m going to go with thisguy with the beard, man,because he looks alittle bit like — — he looks a little bitlike Marshawn Lynch. Male Speaker:Greetings, Mr. President. President Obama: How are you?Male Speaker: More lifeand blessings on youand your family. President Obama:What’s your name?Male Speaker: My nameis Miguel Williams,but you can call —I am Steppa. President Obama: Steppa. Male Speaker: Yeah, man,that is quite sufficient. Yeah, man. My question has todo and surrounds U. S. policy as it regardsthe legalization,the decriminalizationof marijuana. President Obama: How did Ianticipate this question? Male Speaker: Yeah, man. President Obama: How didI guess this question?Male Speaker: Yes. And, Mr. President, it reallycomes under . We face economic challengeswith the IMF, et cetera. And and we find realisticallythat the hemp industry,the marijuana industryprovides a highlyfeasible alternativeto rise above poverty. So I am wanting to over standand to understand how U. S. is envisioning and how youwould you see Jamaica pushingforward on a decriminalization,legalization emphasison the hemp industry. President Obama: Okay. Well. Let me — I do want toseparate out what are seriousissues in the United Statesand then how that relatesto our foreign policy and ourinteractions with the region. There is the issue oflegalization of marijuana,and then there is theissue of decriminalizingor dealing with theincarceration and,in some cases, devastationof communitiesas a consequence ofnonviolent drug offenses. I am a very strong believerthat the path that we havetaken in the United States inthe so-called “War on Drugs”has been so heavy inemphasizing incarcerationthat it has beencounterproductive. You have young people whodid not engage in violencewho get very long penalties,get placed in prison,and then are renderedeconomically unemployable,are almost pushed into, then,the underground economy,learn crime moreeffectively in prison,families are devastated. So it’s been veryunproductive. And what we’re tryingto do is to reform ourcriminal justice system. And the good news is there hasactually been some intereston the part of unlikely allieslike the evangelical communityor some otherwise veryconservative Republicans,because it’s very expensiveto incarcerate people,and a recognition that thismay not be the best approach. So that’s one issue. There’s then the second issueof legalizing marijuana,whether it’s medical marijuanaor recreational use. There are two states in theUnited States that haveembarked on an experiment todecriminalize or legalizemarijuana — Coloradoand Washington State. And we will see how thatexperiment works its waythrough the process. Right now, that isnot federal policy,and I do not foreseeanytime soon Congresschanging the law ata national basis. But I do think that if thereare states that show thatthey are not suddenly amagnet for additional crime,that they have a strong enoughpublic health infrastructureto push against the potentialof increased addiction,then it’s conceivablethat that will spuron a national debate. But that is goingto be some time off. And then the thirdissue is what will U. S. international policy be. And we had some discussionwith the CARICOMcountries about this. I know on paper a lot offolks think, you know what,if we just legalizemarijuana, then it’ll reducethe money flowing into thetransnational drug trade,there are more revenuesand jobs created. I have to tell you that it’snot a silver bullet, because,first of all, if you arelegalizing marijuana,then how do you dealwith other drugs,and where do youdraw the line?Second of all, as is true inthe global economy generally,if you have a bunch of smallmedium-sized marijuanabusinesses scatteredacross the Caribbeanand this is suddenly legal,if you think that bigmulti-nationalcompanies are not goingto suddenly come in andmarket and try to controland profit from thetrade — that’s I thinka very real scenario. And so I think we have tohave a conversation aboutthis, but our currentpolicy continues to be thatin the United States, weneed to decrease demand. We need to focus on apublic health approachto decreasing demand. We have to stop the flow of gunsand cash into the Caribbeanand Central Americaand Latin America. And at the same time,I think the Caribbean,Latin America have to — CentralAmerica — have to cooperatewith us to try to shrink thepower of the transnational drugorganizations that are viciousand hugely destructive. And if we combine a publichealth perspective,a focus on not simply throwingevery low-level person withpossession into prison bytrying to get them treatment,if we combine that witheconomic developmentand alternativeopportunities for youth,then I think we canstrike the right balance. It may not comport with your —completely with your visionfor the future, but I thinkthat we could certainly havea smarter approach to itthan we currently do. Got time for onemore question. One more question. Let’s see — thisis always hard. It’s always hard to be thatlast — it’s a lady’s turn,so all the guys just haveto put down their hands. It’s too late for you. Let’s see. You know what, I’mjust going to go withthis young ladyright here. She’s just right in front. Go ahead, yes, you. Hold on a second,wait for the mic. Female Speaker:Afternoon, Mr. President. I’m Alana Williams , I’mfrom the South Side of Chicago. President Obama: Wait,you’re from Chicago?Female Speaker: Yes!President Obama: Well,what are you doing here?This is supposed to be forCaribbean young ladies. Female Speaker: Actually,I attend Olivet NazareneUniversity and I’m studyingabroad, so I’m here. President Obama: I see, okay. Well, you’re cheatinga little bit. I’ll have to call onsomebody else after you. But I’m going to goahead and let you aska question real quick. Because I’ll seeyou in Chicago. Female Speaker: Most definitely. My question is reallymore so about home. I love my city, but theviolence is terrible,specifically amongstyoung black men. And I know we’re talking alot about police brutality,but I’ve lost a lot offriends from people wholook just like me. And that’s the problem. And so I would like toknow what you believeis the true source of theviolence, and whatis one solution to anextreme problem. Thank you. President Obama: Well, look,I know you asked it aboutChicago but I know thereare neighborhoods righthere in Jamaica that havethe same problems,and in every place allacross the Caribbean;certainly inCentral America. I don’t think there isjust one single factor. Obviously, a contributor isone that we just talked about,which is the drug trade. If you have an illicittrade that generates hugeamounts of money and isnot regulated above board,that is going to attractultimately people tryingto carve out turf, tryingto control markets,and violence ensues. So that’s point number one. Point number two is the easyaccessibility of weapons. And we were talking earlierabout different traditions;the United States has atradition of gun ownershipthat is deep; dates backto the pioneer past. And I think it is a mistakethat we do not do a better jobof putting in place common-sensegun-safety regulationsthat would keep guns outof the hands of criminals,but unfortunately amajority of Congress doesnot agree with me. Even after six-year-oldswere gunned down viciouslyin their classroom, wecould not get action done. But what we are doing iscooperating with the regionas we are cooperating withlocal jurisdictionsto try to stem at leastthe flow of guns usingthe administrativetools that I have. So that’s number two. Number three is providingalternative pathsfor young people. If a young person is readingby the age — by the thirdgrade and at grade level, ifthey are enjoying school,if they see a path forsuccess, then they are lesslikely to get involved incriminal activity and thatwill reduce gun violence,and that will reducecrime, and that willreduce death. Which means investingin things like early childhoodeducation and improving ourschools — those thingsare absolutely vital. But there is a fourthelement to this,and that is our ownresponsibility. And particularly, as Ispeak to young people heretoday, we always talk aboutwhat can we do aboutthe violence as if it’s likejust separate and apart. But we have controlin our communitiesof our immediate friends,our immediate family. We influence our peers. And I do think that the powerthat all of you have as youngleaders to be able to notmake excuses for violence –because there are a wholebunch of folks who havereally tough backgroundsand come from terriblecircumstances, andare really poor,but they don’t go aroundshooting somebody. They don’t beat somebody overthe head because of sneakersor because they lookedat them the wrong way. And so there is an element ofus retaking our communitiesand being willing to speakout against violencein our midst. That doesn’t ignoreall the social factors. But Dr. King used to say it’snot an either/or situation,it’s a both/and situation. Government has to act. We have to haveeffective policing,which means policing that isactually protecting as opposedto some of the things thatwe’ve been seeing of latein the United States,and I’m sure is truein other countries. And I say that saying thatpolice have an extraordinarilydifficult job, and theoverwhelming majoritydo a great job undersevere circumstances. But there’s got to be trustbuilt between the communities,and I had to put a taskforce together that puttogether some excellentreports in the wakeof Ferguson around howwe can do that. But ultimately, whathappens in the home,what happens in the school— some of you are parentsalready; some of you will beparents — what we teachour children in terms ofvalues, valuing themselves,valuing others, that’simportant, too. So there’sno single solution. But all of us haveto do better. Because the tragedy of whatwe see in the United Statesbut also in cities and townsall across the Caribbeanand Central America,is terrible. And there’s noexcuse for it. All right. Because I calledaccidentally on a Chicagoan,I’ve got to callon one more person. Look, this young lady stoodup, so she showed –that wasn’t fair, but Icalled on her, go ahead. You’re not fromChicago are you?Female Speaker: No. President Obama:You promise?Okay. All right, get themic — oh, I’m sorry. You know what, I confess,even though I was goingto call on you, shethought she was goingto be called on. I’m going to callon both of you now,but each of you get areally short question. Really short, quick. Female Speaker: Well,I’m the team leader forthe Global EntrepreneurshipMonitor and I wantto thank you for theinitiatives that you’replanning to do here. And I wanted to invite you toour annual general meetingthat’s going to be heldin Babson in the States,so we want you to comebecause you are partof a global team. So I’m representing Jamaicaas the youngest female teamleader, and I’m inviting youto come so we can talkabout Startup Americaand we can collaborateon different projects. So I’m inviting youto come to that event. President Obama:Okay, that was good. And I can say I’llawait your invitation. And what I will say veryquickly is entrepreneurship,small- and medium-sizedbusinesses,that is a priority and thatmeans that we’ve got to createchannels for access tocapital, technical training. These are areas where alot of our developmentaid is shifting. Instead of just givingsomebody a fish,we want to teachthem how to fish. And what you’re seeing— what you see amongyoung people allaround the world is,is that instead of just findinga job in a big organization,they may want to createsomething of their own,a new vision. And that kind of creativityhas to be tapped. So we’re shifting a lot of thework that we do around issuesof entrepreneurship, so I’llbe interested in seeingwhat you have to say. All right. This young ladyright here, go ahead. Female Speaker:Hello, everyone. Hi, Mr. President. My name is Davianne Tucker,and I’m the Guildpresident-elect for theUniversity of the West Indies. Thank you. So my question is, theJamaican government hasbeen holding firmlyto the stipulationsof the IMF agreement. There are many who wouldlike to know if the debtwrite-offs for Jamaica arebeing considered as a meansof improving thelivelihood of our people. So is that being considered?President Obama: Well, thiscame up in my bilateralwith your Prime Minister. And, look, historically, Ithink there has been timeswhere the IMF or theinternational multilateralorganizations workedwith governments in waysthat weren’t alwaysproductive, got them deepinto debt, and thensuddenly you’ve got a lotmore flowing outthan was going in. And in some cases there weregovernments around the worldthat were corrupt, lent money,money goes into a Swiss bankaccount, suddenly the peopleare paying off for decades. In Jamaica, some of it justhad to do with toughcircumstances, not alwaysthe best fiscal management. I think that the currentgovernment has been wiseto work hard to abide bythe IMF provisions. That’s not been easy. And I think that has beenthe right thing to do. But what I also agreed with,when I spoke to the PrimeMinister, is the needto try to addressin a more systematic fashionhow we can spur growthand not just put thesqueeze on folks. Because what it turnsout is, is that if a –the best way for a countryto reduce its debtis to grow really fast, andto generate more income. Now, that does requiredevelopment plansand approaches thatare productive. And it is true thatsometimes that requires someshort-term sacrifice. And I think the questionthat the people of Jamaica,just like the people ofthe United Statesand everywhere else,should be asking is:If the government isspending money right now,is it on somethingthat is going to helpcreate long-term growthand help people succeed? If the answer is no, youshouldn’t spend that money. Spending money just forthe sake of spending moneyis not — that’s not theformula for success. But if the money is beingspent on what we talkedabout — early childhoodeducation; if it’s beingspent on infrastructure;if it’s being spenton research; if it’sbeing spent on buildingskills for workers — thoseare good investments. And I do think that theinternational financialinstitutions have to accommodatethe interests of countries whohave a sound plan for growth sothat they cannot just stayin this static state but can,over time, thrive and succeed. And the way that’s goingto happen is becauseof outstanding youngleaders like you. I’ve had a greatconversation. Thank you, Jamaica. Thank you. Appreciate it,young leaders. God bless you.
♪♪ ♪♪The President:And I’ve come here, toGhana, for a simple reason:the 21st century will be shaped by what happens not just in Romeor Moscow or Washington, but by what happens in Accra as well. Africa’s futureis up to Africans. The people of Africa areready to claim that future. And here is what you must know:the world will be what you make of it. You have the power to holdyour leaders accountable,and to build institutionsthat serve the people. You can serve inyour communities,and harness your energy andeducation to create new wealthand build newconnections to the world. You can conquer disease,and end conflicts,and make changefrom the bottom up. You can do that. Yes you can. Because in this moment,history is on the move. But these things can onlybe done if all of you takeresponsibility for your future. And it won’t be easy. It will take time and effort. There will besuffering and setbacks. But I can promise you this:America will be with you everystep of the way. As a partner. As a friend. ♪♪ ♪♪
Wakefield Student, Tim Spicer:Good Morning. I wouldlike to extend a warmwelcome toPresident Barack Obama,Secretary of educationArnie Duncan, White House staff,school board members,county board members,superintendent Dr. PatrickMurphy, senior staff,principle George Jackson,Wakefield faculty and of coursemy fellow classmates. I am honored to have beenchosen to speak before myclassmates as well as thestudents across America today. Over the past three years,I’ve taken advantage of everyacademic, extracurricular andcommunity opportunity that hasbeen presented to me. As I reflect, a scholarexpressed disappointment in mywriting and challenged me todo better; being reassigned toanother class was not an option. After that experience,I was determined to excel. Therefore, I managed to succeedin the advanced placement classby maintaining focusalong with using asetback as constructive energy. As I stand before my peerstoday, I want you to know thatexcellent educationopportunities may be handedto us, but as students wemust take responsibilitiesfor our future. We may be taught but we musttake ownership of our learning. As senior class president Iencourage all of our freshmen totake advantage of all theopportunity’s that WakefieldHigh School has to offer. Along with the inspiration I’vetaken from President Obama,I would not be standing here,before you, to introduce thePresident of the United Statesif I had not been here atWakefield high school, inArlington Virginia, pursuing myeducation. Just as we arefortunate to have PresidentObama to come here toWakefield today to speak to us,we are also fortunate that afterhe leaves, we will continue tohave the opportunities andsupport that Wakefieldgives to all of us. At this time it is with greathonor and pride that I askeveryone to stand towelcome the — — to welcome the man thatproved “yes we can. “Ladies and Gentleman please joinme in welcoming the President ofthe United States ofAmerica, Barack Obama. ♪♪ ♪♪ The President:Hello, everybody!Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Allright, everybody go aheadand have a seat. How iseverybody doing today? How about Tim Spicer? I am here withstudents atWakefield High Schoolin Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuningin from all across America,from kindergartenthrough 12th grade. And I am just so glad thatall could join us today. And I want to thank Wakefieldfor being such an outstandinghost. Give yourselves abig round of applause. I know that for many ofyou, today is the firstday of school. And for thoseof you in kindergarten,or starting middleor high school,it’s your first dayin a new school,so it’s understandable ifyou’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniorsout there who are feeling prettygood right now — — with just onemore year to go. And no matter whatgrade you’re in,some of you are probably wishingit were still summer and youcould’ve stayed in bed just alittle bit longer this morning. I know that feeling. When I was young, myfamily lived overseas. I lived in Indonesiafor a few years. And my mother, she didn’t havethe money to send me where allthe American kidswent to school,but she thought it was importantfor me to keep up with anAmerican education. So shedecided to teach me extra lessons herself, Mondaythrough Friday. But because shehad to go to work,the only time she could do itwas at 4:30 in the morning. Now, as you might imagine, Iwasn’t too happy about gettingup that early. And a lot of times, I’d fallasleep right there atthe kitchen table. But wheneverI’d complain, my mother wouldjust give me one of those looks and she’d say, “This is no picnic for me either, buster. ” So I know that some of you arestill adjusting to being back atschool. But I’m here todaybecause I have somethingimportant to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talkwith you about your educationand what’s expected of all ofyou in this new school year. Now, I’ve given a lot ofspeeches about education. And I’ve talked aboutresponsibility a lot. I’ve talked about teachers’responsibility for inspiringstudents and pushingyou to learn. I’ve talked about your parents’responsibility for making sureyou stay on track, and youget your homework done,and don’t spend every wakinghour in front of the TV orwith the Xbox. I’ve talked alot about your government’sresponsibility for settinghigh standards, and supporting teachers and principals, andturning around schools that aren’t working, where studentsaren’t getting the opportunities that they deserve. But at the end of the day, wecan have the most dedicatedteachers, the mostsupportive parents,the best schools in the world— and none of it will make adifference, none of it willmatter unless all of you fulfillyour responsibilities, unlessyou show up to those schools,unless you pay attentionto those teachers,unless you listen to yourparents and grandparents andother adults and put in thehard work it takes to succeed. That’s what I wantto focus on today:the responsibility eachof you has for your education. I want to start with theresponsibility you haveto yourself. Every single oneof you has something that you’regood at. Every single one ofyou has something to offer. And you have aresponsibility to yourself todiscover what that is. That’s the opportunity aneducation can provide. Maybe you could be a greatwriter — maybe even good enoughto write a book or articles in anewspaper — but you might notknow it until you write thatEnglish paper — that Englishclass paper that’sassigned to you. Maybe you could be an innovatoror an inventor — maybe evengood enough to come up with thenext iPhone or the new medicineor vaccine — but you mightnot know it until you do yourproject for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor ora senator or a Supreme Courtjustice — but you might notknow that until you join studentgovernment or the debate team. And no matter what youwant to do with your life,I guarantee that you’llneed an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or ateacher, or a police officer?You want to be anurse or an architect,a lawyer or a memberof our military?You’re going to need a goodeducation for every single oneof those careers. You cannot drop out of schooland just drop into a good job. You’ve got to train for it andwork for it and learn for it. And this isn’t just importantfor your own life andyour own future. What you makeof your education will decidenothing less than thefuture of this country. The future of Americadepends on you. What you’re learning in schooltoday will determine whether weas a nation can meet ourgreatest challengesin the future. You’ll need theknowledge and problem-solvingskills you learn in scienceand math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to developnew energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights andcritical-thinking skills yougain in history and socialstudies to fight poverty andhomelessness, crimeand discrimination,and make our nationmore fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity andingenuity you develop in allyour classes to build newcompanies that will create newjobs and boost our economy. We need every single one of youto develop your talents and yourskills and your intellect so youcan help us old folks solve ourmost difficult problems. If you don’t do that — if youquit on school — you’re notjust quitting on yourself,you’re quitting on your country. Now, I know it’s not alwayseasy to do well in school. I know a lot of you havechallenges in your lives rightnow that can make it hard tofocus on your schoolwork. I get it. I know what it’s like. My father left my familywhen I was two years old,and I was raised by a singlemom who had to work and whostruggled at times to pay thebills and wasn’t always able togive us the thingsthat other kids had. There were times when I missedhaving a father in my life. There were times whenI was lonely and I feltlike I didn’t fit in. So I wasn’t always as focused asI should have been on school,and I did some thingsI’m not proud of,and I got in more troublethan I should have. And my life could have easilytaken a turn for the worse. But I was — I was lucky. I got a lot of second chances,and I had the opportunity to goto college and law schooland follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady MichelleObama, she has a similar story. Neither of her parentshad gone to college,and they didn’thave a lot of money. But they worked hard,and she worked hard,so that she could go to thebest schools in this country. Some of you might nothave those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adultsin your life who give you thesupport that you need. Maybe someone in your family haslost their job and there’s notenough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhoodwhere you don’t feel safe,or have friends who arepressuring you to do things youknow aren’t right. But at the end of the day, thecircumstances of your life –what you look like,where you come from,how much money you have, whatyou’ve got going on at home –none of that is an excuse forneglecting your homework orhaving a bad attitude in school. That’s no excuse for talkingback to your teacher,or cutting class, ordropping out of school. There is no excusefor not trying. Where you are right nowdoesn’t have to determinewhere you’ll end up. No one’s writtenyour destiny for you,because here in America,you write your own destiny. You make your own future. That’s what young people likeyou are doing every day,all across America. Young people like JazminPerez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak Englishwhen she first started school. Neither of her parentshad gone to college. But she worked hard,earned good grades,and got a scholarship toBrown University — isnow in graduateschool, studying publichealth, on her way tobecoming Dr. Jazmin Perez. I’m thinking about AndoniSchultz, from Los Altos,California, who’s fought braincancer since he was three. He’s had to endure all sortsof treatments and surgeries,one of whichaffected his memory,so it took him much longer —hundreds of extra hours –to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind. He’s headed tocollege this fall. And then there’sShantell Steve, from myhometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from fosterhome to foster home in thetoughest neighborhoodsin the city,she managed to get a job ata local health care center,start a program to keepyoung people out of gangs,and she’s on track to graduatehigh school with honors andgo on to college. And Jazmin, Andoni, andShantell aren’t any differentfrom any of you. They face challenges in theirlives just like you do. In some cases they’ve got it alot worse off than many of you. But they refused to give up. They chose to takeresponsibility for their lives,for their education, andset goals for themselves. And I expect all ofyou to do the same. That’s why today I’m callingon each of you to set your owngoals for your education— and do everythingyou can to meet them. Your goal can be somethingas simple as doing all yourhomework, payingattention in class,or spending some timeeach day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to getinvolved in an extracurricularactivity, or volunteerin your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand upfor kids who are being teased orbullied because of whothey are or how they look,because you believe, like I do,that all young people deserve asafe environmentto study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to takebetter care of yourself so youcan be more ready to learn. And along thoselines, by the way,I hope all of you arewashing your hands a lot,and that you stay home fromschool when you don’t feel well,so we can keep peoplefrom getting the fluthis fall and winter. But whatever you resolve to do,I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it. I know that sometimes you getthat sense from TV that you canbe rich and successful withoutany hard work — that yourticket to success is throughrapping or basketballor being areality TV star. Chances are you’re not goingto be any of those things. The truth is, beingsuccessful is hard. You won’t love everysubject that you study. You won’t click with everyteacher that you have. Not every homework assignmentwill seem completely relevant toyour life right at this minute. And you won’t necessarilysucceed at everything the firsttime you try. That’s okay. Some of the most successfulpeople in the world are the oneswho’ve had the most failures. J. K. Rowling’s — who wrote Harry Potter — her firstHarry Potter bookwas rejected 12 times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from hishigh school basketball team. He lost hundreds of gamesand missed thousands ofshots during hiscareer. But he once said,”I have failed over and overand over again in my life. And that’s why I succeed. “These people succeeded becausethey understood that you can’tlet your failures defineyou — you have to letyour failures teach you. You have to let themshow you what to dodifferently the next time. So if you get into trouble,that doesn’t mean you’re atroublemaker, it means you needto try harder to act right. If you get a bad grade, thatdoesn’t mean you’re stupid,it just means you need tospend more time studying. No one’s born beinggood at all things. You become good at thingsthrough hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete thefirst time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note thefirst time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. The same principle appliesto your schoolwork. You might have to do a mathproblem a few times before youget it right. You might have to readsomething a few timesbefore you understand it. You definitely have to do a fewdrafts of a paper before it’sgood enough to hand in. Don’t be afraidto ask questions. Don’t be afraid to askfor help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’ta sign of weakness,it’s a sign of strength becauseit shows you have the courage toadmit when you don’tknow something,and that then allows youto learn something new. So find an adult thatyou trust — a parent,a grandparent or teacher, acoach or a counselor — and askthem to help you stay ontrack to meet your goals. And even when you’re struggling,even when you’re discouraged,and you feel like otherpeople have given up on you,don’t ever give up on yourself,because when you give up onyourself, you giveup on your country. The story of Americaisn’t about people who quitwhen things got tough. It’s about people who keptgoing, who tried harder,who loved their countrytoo much to do anythingless than their best. It’s the story of students whosat where you sit 250 years ago,and went on to wage a revolutionand they founded this nation. Young people. Students who sat where you sit75 years ago who overcame aDepression and won a world war;who fought for civil rights andput a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit20 years ago who founded Googleand Twitter and Facebook andchanged the way we communicatewith each other. So today, I wantto ask all of you,what’s your contributiongoing to be?What problems areyou going to solve?What discoveries will you make?What will a President who comeshere in 20 or 50 or 100 yearssay about what all ofyou did for this country?Now, your families,your teachers,and I are doing everything wecan to make sure you have theeducation you need toanswer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up yourclassrooms and get you the booksand the equipment and thecomputers you need to learn. But you’ve got todo your part, too. So I expect all of youto get serious this year. I expect you to put your besteffort into everything you do. I expect great thingsfrom each of you. So don’t let us down. Don’t let your familydown or your country down. Most of all, don’tlet yourself down. Make us all proud. Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. God bless America. Thank you.
President Obama:Good morning. I want to thank the SecretaryGeneral for organizing thissummit, and all the leaderswho are participating. That so many of us are heretoday is a recognition that thethreat from climate changeis serious, it is urgent,and it is growing. Our generation’s response tothis challenge will be judged byhistory, for if wefail to meet it –boldly, swiftly, and together— we risk consigning futuregenerations to anirreversible catastrophe. No nation, however largeor small, wealthy or poor,can escape the impactof climate change. Rising sea levelsthreaten every coastline. More powerful storms and floodsthreaten every continent. More frequent droughts andcrop failures breed hunger andconflict in places where hungerand conflict already thrive. On shrinking islands, familiesare already being forced to fleetheir homes as climate refugees. The security and stability ofeach nation and all peoples –our prosperity, ourhealth, and our safety –are in jeopardy. And the time we have to reversethis tide is running out. And yet, we can reverse it. John F. Kennedy once observed that “Our problems are man-made,therefore they maybe solved by man. “It is true thatfor too many years,mankind has been slow to respondor even recognize the magnitudeof the climate threat. It is true of my owncountry, as well. We recognize that. But this is a new day. It is a new era. And I am proud to say that theUnited States has done more topromote clean energy and reducecarbon pollution in the lasteight months than at anyother time in our history. We are making our government’slargest ever investment inrenewable energy — an investment aimed at doubling thegenerating capacity from wind and other renewable resources in three years. Across America, entrepreneursare constructing wind turbinesand solar panels and batteriesfor hybrid cars with the help ofloan guaranteesand tax credits –projects that are creatingnew jobs and new industries. We’re investing billions tocut energy waste in our homes,our buildings, and appliances — helping American families savemoney on energybills in the process. We’ve proposed the very firstnational policy aimed at bothincreasing fuel economyand reducing greenhouse gaspollution for all newcars and trucks –a standard that will also saveconsumers money and our nation oil. We’re moving forward with ournation’s first offshore windenergy projects. We’re investing billions tocapture carbon pollution so thatwe can clean up our coal plants. And just this week, we announcedthat for the first time ever,we’ll begin tracking how muchgreenhouse gas pollution isbeing emittedthroughout the country. Later this week, I will workwith my colleagues at the G20 tophase out fossil fuel subsidiesso that we can better addressour climate challenge. And already, we know that therecent drop in overall U. S. emissions is due in part tosteps that promote greaterefficiency and greateruse of renewable energy. Most importantly, the House ofRepresentatives passed an energyand climate bill in June thatwould finally make clean energythe profitable kind of energyfor American businesses anddramatically reducegreenhouse gas emissions. One committee has already actedon this bill in the Senate and Ilook forward to engaging withothers as we move forward. Because no one nation canmeet this challenge alone,the United States has alsoengaged more allies and partnersin finding a solutionthan ever before. In April, we convened thefirst of what have now been sixmeetings of the Major EconomiesForum on Energy and Climate herein the United States. In Trinidad, I proposed anEnergy and Climate Partnershipfor the Americas. We’ve worked through the WorldBank to promote renewable energyprojects and technologiesin the developing world. And we have put climate at thetop of our diplomatic agendawhen it comes to ourrelationships with countries asvaried as China andBrazil; India and Mexico;from the continent of Africato the continent of Europe. Taken together, these stepsrepresent a historic recognitionon behalf of the Americanpeople and their government. We understand the gravityof the climate threat. We are determined to act. And we will meet ourresponsibility to future generations. But though many of our nationshave taken bold action and sharein this determination, we didnot come here to celebrateprogress today. We came because there’s somuch more progress to be made. We came because there’s somuch more work to be done. It is work thatwill not be easy. As we head towards Copenhagen,there should be no illusionsthat the hardest part of ourjourney is in front of us. We seek sweeping but necessarychange in the midst of a globalrecession, where every nation’smost immediate priority isreviving their economy andputting their people back to work. And so all of us will facedoubts and difficulties in ourown capitals as we try toreach a lasting solution to theclimate challenge. But I’m here today to say thatdifficulty is no excuse for complacency. Unease is no excusefor inaction. And we must not allow theperfect to become the enemy of progress. Each of us must do what wecan when we can to grow oureconomies withoutendangering our planet –and we must all do it together. We must seize the opportunityto make Copenhagen a significantstep forward in the globalfight against climate change. We also cannot allow theold divisions that havecharacterized the climate debatefor so many years to block our progress. Yes, the developed nations thatcaused much of the damage to ourclimate over the last centurystill have a responsibility tolead — and that includesthe United States. And we will continue to do so — by investing in renewable energyand promoting greater efficiency and slashing our emissions toreach the targets we set for 2020 and our long-term goal for 2050. But those rapidly growingdeveloping nations that willproduce nearly all the growth inglobal carbon emissions in thedecades ahead must dotheir part, as well. Some of these nations havealready made great strides withthe development anddeployment of clean energy. Still, they need to commit tostrong measures at home andagree to stand behind thosecommitments just as thedeveloped nations muststand behind their own. We cannot meet this challengeunless all the largest emittersof greenhouse gaspollution act together. There’s no other way. We must also energize ourefforts to put other developingnations — especially the poorest and most vulnerable –on a path to sustained growth. These nations do not have thesame resources to combat climatechange as countries like theUnited States or China do,but they have the mostimmediate stake in a solution. For these are the nations thatare already living with theunfolding effects ofa warming planet –famine, drought, disappearingcoastal villages,and the conflicts thatarise from scarce resources. Their future is no longer achoice between a growing economyand a cleaner planet, becausetheir survival depends on both. It will do little good toalleviate poverty if you can nolonger harvest your cropsor find drinkable water. And that is why we have aresponsibility to provide thefinancial and technicalassistance needed to help thesenations adapt to the impactsof climate change and pursuelow-carbon development. What we are seeking, after all,is not simply an agreement tolimit greenhouse gas emissions. We seek an agreement that willallow all nations to grow andraise living standards withoutendangering the planet. By developing and disseminatingclean technology and sharing ourknow-how, we can help developingnations leap-frog dirty energytechnologies and reducedangerous emissions. Mr. Secretary, aswe meet here today,the good news is that aftertoo many years of inaction anddenial, there’s finallywidespread recognition of theurgency of thechallenge before us. We know what needs to be done. We know that our planet’s futuredepends on a global commitmentto permanently reducegreenhouse gas pollution. We know that if we put the rightrules and incentives in place,we will unleash the creativepower of our best scientists andengineers and entrepreneursto build a better world. And so many nations have alreadytaken the first step on thejourney towards that goal. But the journey is longand the journey is hard. And we don’t have much timeleft to make that journey. It’s a journey that will requireeach of us to persevere throughsetbacks, and fight forevery inch of progress,even when it comesin fits and starts. So let us begin. For if we are flexibleand pragmatic,if we can resolve to worktirelessly in common effort,then we will achieve our commonpurpose: a world that is safer,cleaner, and healthierthan the one we found;and a future that isworthy of our children. Thank you very much.
MORNING I’M ACTUALLY READY FOR CRISES. >> Jimmy: THE DEBATE, YOU WATCHED DONALD TRUMP, DO YOU EVER LAUGH?DO YOU EVER ACTUALLY LAUGH? >> MOST OF THE TIME. >> Jimmy: DID YOU EVER ACTUALLY WATCH THAT “ACCESS HOLLYWOOD” BILLY BUSH TAPE?>> I DID. >> Jimmy: YOU DID. >> I SAW IT. >> Jimmy: WHERE DID YOU WATCH IT?ON TV?>> WE WERE THIS CHICAGO. I THINK I WAS COMING OUT OF AN EVENT. SOMEBODY JUST SHOWED IT TO ME ONTHEIR PHONE. >> Jimmy: AT THAT MOMENT DID YOUKNOW THAT IT WAS GOING TO BE AS NOTABLE AS –>> YES. >> Jimmy: — IT TURNED OUT TO BE?>> WELL, DIDN’T YOU? THAT’S JUST NOT THE KIND OF THING — >> Jimmy: I DIDN’T KNOW BECAUSE –>> I THINK THAT’S ONE OF THOSE THINGS WHERE IF YOUR BEST FRIENDWHO WORKED IN THE OFFICE SOMEWHERE HAD THAT VIDEO, IT WOULD BE A PROBLEM FOR HIM. >> Jimmy: IT WOULD BE A PROBLEM,YES. >> AND HE’S NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. >> Jimmy: RIGHT, EXACTLY. >> AND RIGHTFULLY SO. >> Jimmy: DO YOU HAVE DIRTBAG FRIENDS YOU HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TOBE IN TOUCH WITH FOR THE LAST EIGHT YEARS? GUYS YOU MISS AND ONCE YOU’RE OUT YOU’RE GOING TO RECONNECT WITH THEM?>> YOU KNOW, THERE ARE PROBABLY SOME GUYS WHO DON’T MAKE THE CUTBUT THEY’RE STILL GOOD GUYS. KNOWN THEM SINCE HIGH SCHOOL, YOU HAVE FOND MEMORIES. HEY, MAN, I’LL CATCH UP WITH YOU.
WHETHER YOU GUYS DOING HERE? WHAT IS GOING ON? THANK YOU. THANK YOU, THANK YOU. THANK YOU. HOW ARE YOU?THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH. THANK YOU. NOW, I KNOW THAT YOU AREREPUBLICANS, BUT THAT WELCOMEWAS PRETTY WEAK. SO, LISTEN, I’M GOING TO GOBACKSTAGE, AND YOU’RE GOING TOTRY THAT AGAIN. BORN IN THE USATHANK YOU. THANK YOU. THAT IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. THAT IS A WELCOME. THANK YOU SO MUCH. YES WE CAN. GOD BLESS YOU. NOW, NOW, THAT IS ENOUGH. IT IS MY TURN DID SPEAK. IT’S GREAT TO BE BACK IN NEWORLEANS. NOW, IS A HOT OUTSIDE, OR IS ITJUST AL GORE? NOW, LET ME BE CLEAR. LET ME BE CLEAR — I’M HERETODAY TO EXTEND AN OLIVE BRANCHTO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. NOW, I DO NOT WANT TO RUFFLE ANYFATHERS HERE TODAY, BUT WOULDYOU ALL MIND CHANGE IN THIS ROOMAROUND ACCORDING TO THE PRE-1967SITTING ARRANGEMENT? YOU OVER THERE, YOU OVERTHERE, AND YOU THERE. NOW, I MUST THANK THE CHAIRMANOF THE NATIONAL REPUBLICANCOMMITTEE FOR ALL THAT YOU DO. WHAT IS IT EXACTLY THAT YOU DO?0. THAT IS RIGHT. I APPRECIATE YOU. REINCE PRIEBUS PARENT THAT NAMESOUNDS A LITTLE FISHY. COULD SOMEBODY — RANCE PRIEBUS. THAT NAME SOUNDS A LITTLE FISHY. COULD SOMEBODY CALLED DONALDCERTIFICATE?TRUMP AND VERIFY HIS BIRTHI THINK WE CAN ALL IN EVENT LIKETHIS NEEDS A VOICE OF REASON, AVOICE FROM OF HOPE, SOME OF THATWILL LOOK YOU IN THE EYE, ANDGIVE YOU A BIG HUG, AND LET YOUKNOW EVERYTHING IS OK. BE HERE. UNFORTUNATELY, MICHELE COULD NOTNOW, WHEN VICE PRESIDENT JOEBIDEN HEARD WAS COMING HERETODAY, HE TRULY WANTED TO BEHERE, HE WAS SO EXCITED. HE PULLED ME IN CLOSE, HE HELDME TIGHT, HE LEANED IN, JUSTLIKE THAT, AND HE WHISPERED INMY EAR “THIS IS A BIG F-ING DELL. ” — DEAL. “I SAID I KNOW, THAT IS WHYYOU ARE STAYING HERE. HE MIGHT BE ASKING YOURSELF WHATIS THE PRESIDENT DOING TODAY?THE BUDGET IS OUT OF CONTROL. THE DEFICIT IS RAPIDLY GROWING,AND THEIR THREATS OF AGOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN, SO IFIGURED I WOULD DO WITH ANYGREAT PRESIDENT WOULD DO INTHESE TRYING TIMES HEAD DOWN TOLOUISIANA, AND POLISH UP ON MYGOLF GAME. LOOKING GOOD. I AM ON VACATION. A FEW MONTHS BACK, MY FAMILY ANDI TOOK A NICE STOCKVACATION IN THESTATE OF MY BIRTH, HAWAII,KENYA. WHEREAS THE TEA PARTY CALLS IT, ARE HAVING FUN. BUT, TIME DOES FLY WHEN YOUWE ARE MORE THAN HALFWAY THROUGHJUNE ALREADY. MY FAVORITE MONTH IS FEBRUARY,BLACK HISTORY MONTH. YOU SEE, MICHELE CELEBRATES THEFULL MONTH, AND, YOU KNOW, ICELEBRATE HALF. FATHER WAS A BLACK MANFROM KENYA, AND MY MOTHER WAS AWHITE WOMAN FROM KANSAS. SO, YES, MY MOTHER LOVED THEBLACK MAN, AND NO, SHE WAS NOTA KARDASHIAN. NOW, MOST OF YOU KNOW I’VESTILL NOT BEEN ABLE TO QUITSMOKING, AND I MIGHT NEED SOMEOUTSIDE HELP TAKE A LOOK AT THISPICTURE OF SOMEBODY SNAP OF MEON THE 2008 CAMPAIGN. ONE YEAR LATER SOMEBODYSNAPPED THIS PHOTO. I NEED HELP. SOMEBODY. THE WORST PART IS PRESIDENT’SAGE SO QUICKLY. NOW, LOOKS, THIS IS GENERALGEORGE WASHINGTON BEFORE HEAGREED TO BE OUR FIRSTPRESIDENT. HIS LOOKING NICE AND YOUNG. THIS IS PRESIDENT WASHINGTON LAWWAS OUR PRESIDENT. — WHILE HE WAS OUR PRESIDENT,AND THIS IS GEORGE WASHINGTONTODAY. BOO. DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN?11. HERE, IS W. BEFORE SEPTEMBERIS LOOKING GOOD. THE SIZE OF, ON A POINT. GOOD. NOW, AFTER 9/11 — NOT SOCONFUSED. NOW, BUT THE. I LOVE THIS PHOTO. — LOOKING AT THIS. I LOVE THIS TOTAL. WE WERE READY TO TAKE ON THEWORLD. I HAD COMPUTER TECHNOLOGYPREDICT WHAT MICHELE AND I AREGOING TO LOOK LIKE AT THE END OFMY FIRST TERM. BUT, DESPITE ALL OF THAT, ATTHE HALFWAY POINT IN THE MOSTHISTORIC PRESIDENCY IN THEHISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES,FIVE TWO WORDS FOR EACH ANDEVERY ONE OF YOU — YOURWELCOME. YOU’RE WELCOME FOR THE THRIVINGECONOMY THAT HELPED TO CREATE. YOU’RE WELCOME FOR THE PEACEFULMIDDLE EAST THAT I HELPED TOFORGE, AND THE GIFT OF HUMILITYTHAT I’VE GIVEN SYRIA AND AWINNER. — THAT I HAVE GIVEN SOMEANTHONY WIENER. THAT IS RIGHT. I MAY HAVE GIVEN HIM THE GIFT OFHUMILITY, BUT YOU PAY FOR THATCUTE LITTLE TALL. TRUTH BE TOLD, I NEVER WAS AFAN OF WINTER. THAT BOY WAS ALWAYS TRYING TOWALK UP ME. I RELEASED MY LONG FORM BIRTHCERTIFICATE. HE RELEASES HIS LONG FORMTWITTER PHOTO. NOW, I MUST SAY THAT THESTATE OF OUR UNION IS NOT GOOD. THE DEBT IS RAPIDLY GROWING. UNEMPLOYMENT IS QUICKLY RISING. PEOPLE ARE BEING FORCED FROMTHEIR HOMES. I FEEL THEIR PAIN, BECAUSE INTWO YEARS, THAT COULD BE ME. SETTLE DOWN. SETTLE DOWN. YES YOU CAN. THAT IS ENOUGH OUT OF YOU. NOW, I WAS CRITICIZED FOR JOKINGABOUT SHOVEL-READY JOBS THEOTHER DAY. BUT, THE TRUTH IS WE NEED TOBUILD TUNNELS AND BRIDGES. THAT WAY PEOPLE WOULD HAVEOFF OF. SOMETHING TO LIVE UNDER OR JUMP NOW, — IN A RECENT POLL, ONLY 15% OFAMERICANS BELIEVE THERE WILL BEA GREAT DEPRESSION, BUT THE BADNEWS FOR ME IS THE OTHER 85%BELIEVE THERE WILL ONLY BE AVERY GOOD DEPRESSION. NOW, I AM PROUD TO SAY THAT WEARE FINDING GREAT STRIDES — WEARE MAKING GREAT STRIDES INFINDING NON-COMBAT SOLUTIONS TOFIND A DEER WITH MUAMMARGADDAFI, AND KIM JONG IL, OR ASWE REFER TO THEM IN THESITUATION ROOM, TWO AND A HALFOF MEN. IS HE NOT CUTE?LOOK OF LITTLE KIM JONG IL. LITTLE, LITTLE MAN. NOW, ATTORNEY GENERAL ERICHOLDER, AT MY DIRECTION, WILL BEFIGHTING ALABAMA’SCONTROVERSIAL IMMIGRATION BILL,WHICH IS EVEN MORE EXTREME THANTHAT OF ARIZONA’S. IT STATES POLICE HAVE PROBABLECAUSE TO CHECK ANYBODY’SIMMIGRATION STATUS IS ANYBODY ISEQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN THAT OFJOHN THE CRY VERY BITTER — JOHNBOEHNER’S. YOU WANT TO SEE MY IMPRESSION OFJOHN BOEHNER?WHAT DO YOU THINK?I HAVE BEEN WORKING ON THE FOURMONTHS. I DO NOT KNOW WHY THAT MAN CRIESSO MUCH. $40. THE SPRAY CANS ARE NOT CHEAP. LET ME BE CLEAR. I AM AGAINST ANY STATE IN AHEARING WITH FEDERAL IMMIGRATIONLAW. SURELY AFTER ARIZONA PASSED ITSBILL, I RECEIVED A LETTER THATSAID “MR. PRESIDENT, I WAS BORNIN THIS COUNTRY. I GET UP EARLY EVERY DAY. I WORKED EXTREMELY HARD. I COME HOME TO MY WIFE AND MYKIDS, AND STILL, THE POLICE STOPME AND QUESTION MY INTENTIONS. I DID NOT THINK SENATOR JOHNMCCAIN SHOULD BE TREATED THATWAY. OR DO I?NOW, I’M PROUD OF ALL OF THAT,BUT LISTENING TO THE ATTACKSFROM BY COMPONENTS AND THERIGHT-WING MEDIA, YOU THINK IHAVE NOT GOTTEN ANYTHING DONE,BUT IT IS TRUE WHAT HARRY TRUMANONCE SAID — IF YOU WANT AFRIEND IN WASHINGTON, GET A DOG,SO I DID. HIS NAME IS BO. HIS FULL NAME IS VOTE TO ITALY. VOTE COMES FROM MYMY OFFICIALS –INITIALS BARACK OBAMA. BILLY COMES FROM THE AMOUNT OFSUPPORT AT DAWN FROM FOX NEWS. HE SLEEPS IN HIS DOG HOUSE EVERYNIGHT. IT IS NOT A NEW DOG HOUSE, FROMWHAT I’M TOLD, BILL CLINTONSLEPT IN THE A LOT. PERHAPS MY EXPECTATIONS WERETOO HIGH WHEN I TOOK THIS JOB. AS YURI — AS YOU CAN RECALL, MYSLOGAN WAS YES WE CAN, AND IHAVE TO ADMIT, I THOUGHT WECANNOT. COULD, BUT APPARENTLY, NO WE SO, IN FRONT OF YOU HERETODAY, THIS AFTERNOON, I’M UNVEILING THE NEW SLOGAN. I KILLED OSAMA. WHAT DO YOU THINK?IT WAS NOT GEORGE BUSH. IT WAS NOT DICK CHENEY. THAT WAS ME. I DID THAT FOR YOU. SO, THAT IS MY NEW SLOGAN. I THINK IT IS PRETTY COOL. BUT, YOU WRITE-WINNERS SHOULD BEPROUD OF ME BECAUSE THE MISSIONTO CAPTURE OSAMA BIN LADEN WASNOT ONLY SUCCESSFUL IN THAT IKILLED HIM, BUT IN COOPERATIONWITH TWO OF MY DEAR LIBERALSUPPORTERS, PROVED A YOU ARECORRECT AFTER ALL. TORTURE DOES WORK. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT? BUT THE ECONOMY IS FRAGILE. IT IS BARELY MOVING. IT IS GASPING FOR AIR. IS DESPERATELY CLINGING TO LIFE,JUST LIKE NEWT GINGRICH, THECAMPAIG’S CAMPAIGN. COME ON. HE IS IN SERIOUS TROUBLE. HIS CONSULTANTS ARE DROPPINGFASTER THAN ANTHONY WIENER’SPANTS IN AN AOL CHATROOM. SPEAKING OF CANDIDATES, ALITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME YOU ARELOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO CHALLENGEME IN 2012. REALLY?HOW’S THAT GOING FOR YOU?OK. WELL, LET’S SEE. YOU HAVE YOUR FRONT RUNNER, MITTROMNEY. NOW, DO NOT GET ME WRONG. HE MIGHT MAKE A GREAT PRESIDENT,ALONG WITH HIS FIRST LADY,SECOND LADY, THIRD LADY. NOW, IT IS UNFORTUNATE THATTIM PAWLENTY COULD NOT MAKE ITHERE, BUT CUT HIM SOME SLACK. HE IS HAVING HIS FOOT SURGICALLYDO NOT WORRY. REMOVED FROM HIS MOUTH. LUCKILY FOR HIM, IT IS COVEREDUNDER OBAMANEY-CARE, THAT ALONGWITH SPINAL TRANSPLANTS. COME ON. JOHN KING SERVED HIM UP A BALLSOFTER THAN BARNEY FRANK’SBACKSIDE. NOW, BECAUSE OF HIM, PEOPLE AREASKING ME WHEN I WILL EXPLAINTHE DETAILS OF MY HEALTH CAREPLAN, AND I HAVE THREE WORDS FORYOU — SO AM I. . NOW, THE DONALD. REMEMBER HIM?HE IS THREATENING TO RUN AS ANINDEPENDENT, BUT THE ONLY THINGRUNNING INDEPENDENT OF DONALDTRUMP IS HIS HAIR. NOW WE HAVE MICHELE BACHMANNTO R. NOW, WHAT CAN I SAY ABOUTMICHELE BACHMANN THAT SHE HASNOT ALREADY SET ABOUT HERSELF?THE OTHER DAY SHE CALLED ME AONE-TERM PRESIDENT. — ONE SYLLABLE PRESIDENT. I HAVE TO GO. GOD BLESS YOU. GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES. GOD BLESS AMERICA. KEY WHY. THANK YOU. — THANK YOU. GOOD AFTERNOON. ARE YOU ALL STILL COME TO? — POMP?I STARTED WITH YOU THIS MORNING. I WANT TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE AT ACERTAIN LEVEL, OR ABOVE THERE. VERY GOOD.
– We’re entering an erain which our enemiescan make it look likeanyone is saying anythingat any point in time. Even if they would never say those things. So, for instance, they couldhave me say things like,I don’t know, “Killmonger was right,”or “Ben Carson is in the sunken place,”or, how about this, simply,”President Trump is a totaland complete dipshit. “Now, you see, I wouldnever say these things. At least not in a public address. But, someone else would. Someone like Jordan Peel. This is a dangerous time. Moving forward, we needto be more vigilantwith what we trust from the internet. It’s a time when we need torely on trusted news sources. May sound basic, but how we move forward,age of information isgonna be the differencebetween whether we surviveor whether we becomesome kind of fucked up dystopia. Thank you, and stay woke bitches.
The President: Hello, Bagram! Well, I know it’sa little late,but I was in the neighborhoodand thought I’d stop by. First of all, I want everybodyto give a huge roundof applause to your commander,General Joe Dunford. Please give him an outstanding,rousing acknowledgement. I am grateful tohim for his leadership of ourcoalition here in Afghanistan,and for his lifetimeof distinguished service — tothe Marine Corps and to America. And can everybody pleasegive it up to Brad Paisley? Now, I want to saythis about Brad. First of all, he’s a greatsupporter of our troops,a great supporterof your families. Two years ago we had him atthe White House to performfor troops and militaryfamilies duringthe Fourth of July celebration. Him coming heretoday was not easy. He had just started a tour andhe had to juggle a lot of stuffand had to try to figure out howto explain it to people withoutexplaining it to people, andhis wife and two young sons,and promoters and agents — andwithout going into details,this was a bigsacrifice for him. And he did it because hecares so deeply about you. So I’m so grateful to him. I want to make clear, though,I will not be singing so –Audience Members: Awwww –The President: Oh, youreally want me to sing? No, but I do want tojust say to Brad,thank you so muchfor doing this. I want to acknowledge ouroutstanding Ambassador,Jim Cunningham, who’shere, with his lovely wife. And Jim leads an incredible teamof civilians — at our embassyand across this country. They are also making sacrifices,also away from their families,oftentimes themselvesat risk as they serve. I know those of you inuniform couldn’t do your jobswithout these Americansas your partners. So we salute the dedicatedservice of all the civilianswho are here, ledby Jim Cunningham. Give them a biground of applause. Now, I guess I also shouldmention that we’ve gota few folks here as part ofthe 10th Mountain Division — — “Climb To Glory. ” We got the 455thAirwing in the house. Task Force Muleskinner — Task Force Thunder — Task Force Rugged — To all of you, I’m hereon a single mission,and that is to thank you foryour extraordinary service. I thank you as yourCommander-in-Chief becauseyou inspire me. Your willingness to serve, tostep forward at a time of war,and say “send me,” is thereason the United Statesstays strong and free. Of all the honors that Ihave serving as President,nothing matches serving asyour Commander-in-Chief. But I’m also hererepresenting 300 millionAmericans who want tosay thank you as well. I know sometimes whenyou’re over here,away from home,away from family,you may not truly absorb howmuch the folks back homeare thinking about you. So I just want you to know whenit comes to supporting youand your families, the Americanpeople stand united. We support you. We are proud of you. We stand in awe of your service. And you can see it in Americanactions every single day. You see it in the kids acrossAmerica who send you all thosecare packages — and allthose Girl Scout cookies. Those are prettypopular, huh?You like those cookies, huh? All right. I’ll bet you’llget some more now. You see it in the neighborsand the coworkers whovolunteer to help your moms anddads, and wives and husbands,and sons and daughters at schooland on their sports teams. You see it at the airport whenyou return stateside — all thefolks standing up, applauding,lining up to shake your handand welcoming you home. We see it when entire stadiumsget to their feet to saluteour troops and our veterans. Just the other day, I welcomed the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks — Listen, I’m a Bears’fan, but I — — but the one thing I sawand I’ve seen in everysports team that comes tothe White House is the workthat they do, visitingWalter Reed, Bethesda,doing work withmilitary families. In fact, to help announcetheir draft picks this month,the Seattle Seahawksselected Jeff Baker,who’s a Seahawks fan but also aveteran of Iraq and Afghanistanand a proud sergeantin the U. S. Army,to make that draft pick. Because they wanted tosend a signal that we loveour sports and we love ourfootball — that’s fun andgames, but this is thecompetition that countsand these are the real heroes. You see America’s gratitudeevery time I presenta veteran of Afghanistan withour nation’s highest militarydecoration, the Medal of Honor. We bestow that medalon an individual. But every time — every timethat we bestow that medal,whoever is the recipient sayshe accepts it on behalf of thewhole team and everybodywho wears the uniformof the American Armed Forces. And when thosecitations are read,Americans all across the countrystop and they listen –and they’re stirred by thesacrifices you render for eachother, and for all of us. So I’m here to say thankyou and I’m here to say howproud I am of you. And I’m here to say howproud I am of your families — — because in some ways,in ways large and small,they’re sacrificingjust like you are. But I’m also here because aftermore than a decade of war,we’re at a pivotal moment. Last year marked a majormilestone — for the first time,Afghan forces took the leadto secure their own country. And today, you’re in a supportrole — helping to trainand assist Afghan forces. For many of you, this will beyour last tour in Afghanistan. And by the endof this year,the transition will becomplete and Afghans willtake full responsibilityfor their security,and our combatmission will be over. America’s war in Afghanistanwill come to a responsible end. Now, that progress isbecause of you and the morethan half a million Americans —military and civilian — who’veserved here in Afghanistan. And I don’t want you to everforget why you are hereor how vital your mission isto our national security. Some of you may know, recently,I was in New York City,and we were there to dedicatethe new 9/11 Museum. I had time to spendwith the survivors,and with familieswho lost loved ones,and with the first responderswho had rushed to the scene –and had a chance to ponder theportraits and the biographies ofthe thousands whowere killed that day,and to think about those whowere killed in Pennsylvaniaand at the Pentagon. And once again, we resolved tonever forget what happened onthat September day — and todo everything in our powerto prevent something like thatfrom ever happening again. That’s why you’re here. That’s why you’re here. And I notice — some of youdon’t remember — becauseas I was getting a briefingwhile Brad was singing,I saw a picture of the TwinTowers in the Operation Roomnearby, so I knowyou don’t forget. And four years ago, on my firstvisit to Bagram as President,I laid out our mission. And General Dunford andAmbassador Cunningham justgave me a briefingon your progress. And today, everysingle one of you,everybody who has served here,and all the members of ourcoalition can be proud becauseyou are completing our mission. You’re completing the mission. We said that we were goingto deny al Qaeda safe haven. And since then, we havedecimated the al Qaedaleadership in thetribal regions,and our troops here at Bagramplayed a central role insupporting our counterterrorismoperations — including the onethat delivered justiceto Osama bin Laden. So, along with ourintelligence personnel,you’ve helped prevent attacksand save American livesback home. Al Qaeda is on its heelsin this part of the world,and that’s because of you. We said that we were going toreverse the Taliban’s momentum. And so you wenton the offensive,driving the Talibanout of its strongholds. Look, everybody knowsAfghanistan is stilla very dangerous place. Insurgents still launchcowardly attacks againstinnocent civilians. But just look at the progressthat you’ve made possible –Afghans reclaimingtheir communities,and more girlsreturning to school,dramatic improvements in publichealth and life expectancyand literacy. That’s your legacy. That’s what you did. Even with all the challenges,more Afghans have hopefor their future. And so much of thatis because of you. We said that we were going tostrengthen the capacity ofAfghan forces so they couldtake more responsibilityfor their own security. So you’ve been trainingAfghan forces and buildingAfghan forces up. And we know they’ve stillgot a long way to go. But for nearly a year, Afghanshave been in the lead,and they’re makingenormous sacrifices. You look at the casualtiesthey’re taking on. They are willing to fight. Afghan forces aregrowing stronger. Afghans are proud to bedefending their own country –and, again, so much ofthat is because of you. Think about lastmonth’s election. Despite all the threatsfrom the Taliban,the Afghan peoplerefused to be terrorized. They registered to vote. Afghan security forces securedthousands of polling places. Then millions of Afghans linedup to cast their ballot. And next month’s runoff will beanother step toward the firstdemocratic transfer of powerin the history of this nation. That’s a tribute to thecourage and determinationof the people of Afghanistan. But it is also a tribute to youand the sacrifices of so manyAmericans and our coalitionpartners — everything thatyou’ve done over the years. We know that this progresshas come at a heavy price. Tomorrow is Memorial Day. At bases here in Afghanistanand towns across America,we will pause and we’ll paytribute to all those who’velaid down their livesfor our freedom. And that includes nearly 2,200American patriots who made theultimate sacrifice, that last,full measure of devotion,right here in Afghanistan. I know you’ve stood in frontof those battle crosses. I know many of you carry thememories of your fallen comradesin your heart today. We will honor every single oneof them — not just tomorrow,but forever. I want you to know our gratitudeis shared by the Afghan people. One of them — one ofAfghanistan’s leading women,a member of parliament —recently wrote an open letter. I don’t know if many ofyou had a chance to see it. She described all the changesthat have taken place here,including millions ofgirls going to schooland pursuing their dreams. And she wrote this — I want youto listen to this — she wrote:”It’s been a difficult journey,marked by blood and violence,but we have made significantgains and achievements,which would not have beenpossible without the generoussupport of theinternational community,especially the American people. “Especially the American people. She’s talking about all of you. She’s talking aboutyour families. She’s talking aboutthose who we’ve lost. That’s the difference — andthe legacy — that you canbe proud of. Now, even as our combatmission ends later this year,I want everybody to know, inthis country and across theregion, America’s commitment tothe people of Afghanistanwill endure. With our strategic partnership,we’ll continue to stand withAfghans as they strengthentheir institutions,as they build their economy,as they improve their lives –men and women, andboys and girls. I’ve made it clear that we’reprepared to continue cooperatingwith our Afghan partners on twosecurity missions — trainingand equipping Afghan forces andtargeting — counterterrorismtargets against al Qaeda. And once Afghanistan hassworn in its new president,I’m hopeful we’ll sign abilateral security agreementthat lets us move forward. And with that bilateralsecurity agreement,assuming it is signed, we canplan for a limited militarypresence in Afghanistanbeyond 2014. Because after all thesacrifices we’ve made,we want to preserve the gainsthat you have helped to win. And we’re going to make surethat Afghanistan can neveragain, ever, be used againto launch an attack againstour country. So our combat missionhere will come to an end. But our obligations to youand your families have onlyjust begun. The al Qaeda leadershipmay be on the ropes,but in other regions of theworld al Qaeda affiliates areevolving and posea serious threat. We’re going to have to staystrong and we’re goingto have to stay vigilant. And fortunately, we’ve gotthe best-led, best-trained,best-equipped militaryin human history. And as Commander-in Chief,I’m going to keep it that way. We’re going to stay strongby taking care of yourfamilies back home. First Lady Michelle andVice President Joe Biden’swife Jill have madethis their mission –because yourfamilies serve, too. They’re heroes onthe home front. And so we’re going to keepJoining Forces to make sure moreAmericans are stepping upto support and honor thoseextraordinary families. We’re going to stay strong bytaking care of our woundedwarriors and our veterans. Because helping our woundedwarriors and veteransheal isn’t just a promise,it’s a sacred obligation. As you come home, some of youwill return to civilian life,and we want to make sure you canenjoy the American Dream thatyou helped to defend. So with the transitionassistance to help you beginthe next chapter of yourlife — that’s going to keepAmerica strong. The credentials and licenses tohelp you find a job worthy ofyour incredible skills — thatwill keep America strong. Making sure the Post-9/11 GIBill is in place and deliveringfor you the kind of educationthat you have earned –that will keep America strong. And I keep on saying to everycompany back home — ifyou want somebody who knows howto get the job done, hire a vet. Hire a vet. Hire a vet. Because likegenerations before you,we need you to help us writethe next great chapterin the American story, and Iknow you’ll do that becauseI’ve seen the character ofyour service, and I knowthe strength of our country. Going back to New York andthinking about that tragedy12 years ago, in those awfulmoments after the Twin Towersfell, as the wreckagewas still burning,those at the scene weredesperately looking forsurvivors — one of thosesearching was a detectivewith the NYPD. And as he climbedthrough the debris,he spotted something in therubble — it was a flag. It was torn up. Parts of it were burned,but it was still intact. And today, that flagis at the 9/11 Museum. It’s dusty. And it’s torn, and you can seethe burn marks from the fires. That flag has beenthrough a lot. But the thing you notice is itsbroad stripes and bright starsstill shine. Its red, white andblue still inspire. After all it’s been through,after all America has beenthrough, our flagis still there. And our flag is stillthere because whenour nation was attacked, ageneration — this generation,the 9/11 Generation — steppedup and said “send me. “Our flag is still there becauseyou’ve served with honor industy villages and citystreets, and in rugged basesand remote outposts, inHelmand and Kandahar,and Khost and Kunar andPaktika and Nuristan. Our flag is still there becausethrough this long war you neverwavered in your belief thatpeople deserve to live free fromfear — over here and back home. Our flag will always be there,because the freedom and libertyit represents to the worldwill always be defendedby patriots like you. So I’m here tosay thank you. I’m here to sayI’m proud of you. The American peopleare proud of you. God bless you. God bless the UnitedStates Armed Forces. And God Bless our UnitedStates of America. Thank you verymuch, everybody. The President: Thankyou everybody. Now I’m going to shakeevery hand in here. The President: Although I may not be able to takea selfie with everybody. The President: But I’llshake every hand. All right?It may take a littletime so be patient.