President Obama:Good morning. Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates,ladies and gentlemen, it is myhonor to address you for thefirst time as the 44thPresident of the United States. I come before you humbled by theresponsibility that the Americanpeople have placed upon me,mindful of the enormouschallenges of ourmoment in history,and determined to act boldlyand collectively on behalf ofjustice and prosperityat home and abroad. I have been in office for justnine months — though some daysit seems a lot longer. I am well aware of theexpectations that accompany mypresidency around the world. These expectationsare not about me. Rather, they arerooted, I believe,in a discontent with a statusquo that has allowed us to beincreasingly definedby our differences,and outpaced by our problems. But they are also rooted in hope— the hope that real change ispossible, and the hope thatAmerica will be a leader inbringing about such change. I took office at a time whenmany around the world had cometo view America withskepticism and distrust. Part of this was dueto misperceptions andmisinformation about my country. Part of this was due toopposition to specific policies,and a belief that oncertain critical issues,America has actedunilaterally, without regardfor the interests of others. And this has fed an almostreflexive anti-Americanism,which too often has served as anexcuse for collective inaction. Now, like all of you, myresponsibility is to act in theinterest of mynation and my people,and I will never apologize fordefending those interests. But it is my deeply held beliefthat in the year 2009 — morethan at any point in humanhistory — the interests ofnations and peoples are shared. The religious convictions thatwe hold in our hearts can forgenew bonds among people,or they can tear us apart. The technology we harnesscan light the path to peace,or forever darken it. The energy we use can sustainour planet, or destroy it. What happens to the hope of asingle child — anywhere — canenrich our world,or impoverish it. In this hall, we comefrom many places,but we share a common future. No longer do we have the luxuryof indulging our differences tothe exclusion of the workthat we must do together. I have carried this messagefrom London to Ankara;from Port of Spain toMoscow; from Accra to Cairo;and it is what I will speakabout today — because the timehas come for the world tomove in a new direction. We must embrace a new era ofengagement based on mutualinterest and mutual respect,and our work must begin now. We know the futurewill be forged by deedsand not simply words. Speeches alone will notsolve our problems — itwill take persistent action. For those who question thecharacter and cause of mynation, I ask you to look at theconcrete actions we have takenin just nine months. On my first day in office, Iprohibited — without exceptionor equivocation — the use oftorture by theUnited States of America. I ordered the prison atGuantanamo Bay closed,and we are doing the hard workof forging a framework to combatextremism withinthe rule of law. Every nation must know:America will live its values,and we will lead by example. We have set a clear and focusedgoal: to work with all membersof this body todisrupt, dismantle,and defeat al Qaeda and itsextremist allies — a networkthat has killed thousands ofpeople of many faiths andnations, and that plotted toblow up this very building. In Afghanistan and Pakistan,we and many nations here arehelping these governmentsdevelop the capacity to take thelead in this effort, whileworking to advance opportunityand security for their people. In Iraq, we areresponsibly ending a war. We have removed American combatbrigades from Iraqi cities,and set a deadline of nextAugust to remove all our combatbrigades from Iraqi territory. And I have made clear that wewill help Iraqis transition tofull responsibilityfor their future,and keep our commitment toremove all American troopsby the end of 2011. I have outlined a comprehensiveagenda to seek the goal of aworld without nuclear weapons. In Moscow, the United States andRussia announced that we wouldpursue substantialreductions in our strategicwarheads and launchers. At the Conferenceon Disarmament,we agreed on a work planto negotiate an end to theproduction of fissilematerials for nuclear weapons. And this week, my Secretary ofState will become the firstsenior American representativeto the annual Members Conferenceof the ComprehensiveTest Ban Treaty. Upon taking office, I appointeda Special Envoy for Middle EastPeace, and America has workedsteadily and aggressively toadvance the cause of two states— Israel and Palestine — inwhich peace andsecurity take root,and the rights of both Israelisand Palestinians are respected. To confront climatechange, we have invested$80 billion in clean energy. We have substantially increasedour fuel-efficiency standards. We have provided newincentives for conservation,launched an energy partnershipacross the Americas,and moved from a bystanderto a leader in internationalclimate negotiations. To overcome an economic crisisthat touches every corner of theworld, we worked with the G20nations to forge a coordinatedinternational response of over$2 trillion in stimulus to bringthe global economyback from the brink. We mobilized resources thathelped prevent the crisis fromspreading further todeveloping countries. And we joined with others tolaunch a $20 billion global foodsecurity initiative that willlend a hand to those who need itmost, and help thembuild their own capacity. We’ve also re-engagedthe United Nations. We have paid our bills. We have joined theHuman Rights Council. We have signed theConvention of the Rightsof Persons with Disabilities. We have fully embraced theMillennium Development Goals. And we address ourpriorities here,in this institution— for instance,through the Security Councilmeeting that I will chairtomorrow on nuclearnon-proliferation anddisarmament, andthrough the issues thatI will discuss today. This is what wehave already done. But this is just a beginning. Some of our actionshave yielded progress. Some have laid the groundworkfor progress in the future. But make no mistake: This cannotsolely be America’s endeavor. Those who used to chastiseAmerica for acting alone in theworld cannot now stand by andwait for America to solve theworld’s problems alone. We have sought — in word anddeed — a new era of engagementwith the world. And now is the time for allof us to take our share ofresponsibility for a globalresponse to global challenges. Now, if we are honestwith ourselves,we need to admitthat we are not livingup to that responsibility. Consider the course that we’reon if we fail to confront thestatus quo: Extremists sowingterror in pockets of the world;protracted conflicts thatgrind on and on; genocide;mass atrocities; more nationswith nuclear weapons;melting ice caps andravaged populations;persistent povertyand pandemic disease. I say this not to sow fear, butto state a fact: The magnitudeof our challenges hasyet to be met by themeasure of our actions. This body was founded on thebelief that the nations of theworld could solve theirproblems together. Franklin Roosevelt, who diedbefore he could see his visionfor this institutionbecome a reality,put it this way — and I quote:“The structure of world peacecannot be the work of one man,or one party, or one nation. It cannot be a peace of largenations — or of small nations. It must be a peace whichrests on the cooperativeeffort of the whole world. “The cooperative effortof the whole world. Those words ringeven more true today,when it is not simply peace, butour very health and prosperitythat we hold in common. Yet we also know that this bodyis made up of sovereign states. And sadly, but not surprisingly,this body has often become aforum for sowing discord insteadof forging common ground;a venue for playing politics andexploiting grievances ratherthan solving problems. After all, it is easy to walk upto this podium and point figures– point fingersand stoke divisions. Nothing is easier than blamingothers for our troubles,and absolving ourselvesof responsibility forour choices and our actions. Anybody can do that. Responsibility and leadership inthe 21st century demand more. In an era when ourdestiny is shared,power is no longera zero-sum game. No one nation can or should tryto dominate another nation. No world order that elevates onenation or group of people overanother will succeed. No balance of poweramong nations will hold. The traditional divisionsbetween nations of the South andthe North make no sense inan interconnected world;nor do alignments of nationsrooted in the cleavages of along-gone Cold War. The time has come to realizethat the old habits,the old arguments, areirrelevant to the challengesfaced by our people. They lead nations to act inopposition to the very goalsthat they claim to pursue — andto vote, often in this body,against the interestsof their own people. They build up walls between usand the future that our peopleseek, and the time has comefor those walls to come down. Together, we must build newcoalitions that bridge olddivides — coalitions ofdifferent faiths and creeds;of north and south, east,west, black, white, and brown. The choice is ours. We can be remembered as ageneration that chose to dragthe arguments of the 20thcentury into the 21st;that put off hard choices,refused to look ahead,failed to keep pace because wedefined ourselves by what wewere against insteadof what we were for. Or we can be a generation thatchooses to see the shorelinebeyond the rough waters ahead;that comes together to serve thecommon interestsof human beings,and finally gives meaning to thepromise embedded in the namegiven to this institution:the United Nations. That is the future Americawants — a future of peace andprosperity that we can onlyreach if we recognize that allnations have rights,but all nations haveresponsibilities as well. That is the bargainthat makes this work. That must be theguiding principleof international cooperation. Today, let me put forward fourpillars that I believe arefundamental to the future thatwe want for our children:non-proliferationand disarmament;the promotion ofpeace and security;the preservation of our planet;and a global economy thatadvances opportunityfor all people. First, we must stop thespread of nuclear weapons,and seek the goal ofa world without them. This institution was foundedat the dawn of the atomic age,in part because man’s capacityto kill had to be contained. For decades, weaverted disaster,even under the shadow ofa superpower stand-off. But today, the threat ofproliferation is growingin scope and complexity. If we fail to act, we willinvite nuclear arms races inevery region, and the prospectof wars and acts of terror on ascale that we canhardly imagine. A fragile consensus stands inthe way of this frighteningoutcome, and that is the basicbargain that shapes the NuclearNon-Proliferation Treaty. It says that all nations havethe right to peaceful nuclearenergy; that nations withnuclear weapons have aresponsibility to movetoward disarmament;and those without them have theresponsibility to forsake them. The next 12 months could bepivotal in determining whetherthis compact willbe strengthened orwill slowly dissolve. America intends to keepour end of the bargain. We will pursue a new agreementwith Russia to substantiallyreduce our strategicwarheads and launchers. We will move forward withratification of the Test BanTreaty, and work with others tobring the treaty into force sothat nuclear testing ispermanently prohibited. We will complete a NuclearPosture Review that opens thedoor to deeper cuts and reducesthe role of nuclear weapons. And we will call upon countriesto begin negotiations in Januaryon a treaty to end theproduction of fissilematerial for weapons. I will also host a summit nextApril that reaffirms eachnation’s responsibility tosecure nuclear material on itsterritory, and to help those whocan’t — because we must neverallow a single nucleardevice to fall into thehands of a violent extremist. And we will work to strengthenthe institutions and initiativesthat combat nuclearsmuggling and theft. All of this must supportefforts to strengthen the NPT. Those nations that refuse tolive up to their obligationsmust face consequences. Let me be clear, this is notabout singling out individualnations — it is about standingup for the rights of all nationsthat do live up totheir responsibilities. Because a world in which IAEAinspections are avoided and theUnited Nation’s demands areignored will leave all peopleless safe, and allnations less secure. In their actions to date, thegovernments of North Korea andIran threaten to take usdown this dangerous slope. We respect theirrights as members ofthe community of nations. I’ve said beforeand I will repeat,I am committed to diplomacythat opens a path to greaterprosperity and more secure peacefor both nations if they live upto their obligations. But if the governments of Iranand North Korea choose to ignoreinternational standards; ifthey put the pursuit of nuclearweapons ahead of regionalstability and the security andopportunity of their own people;if they are oblivious to thedangers of escalating nucleararms races in both East Asia andthe Middle East — then theymust be held accountable. The world must stand together todemonstrate that internationallaw is not an empty promise, andthat treaties will be enforced. We must insist that the futuredoes not belong to fear. That brings me to the secondpillar for our future:the pursuit of peace. The United Nations was born ofthe belief that the people ofthe world can live theirlives, raise their families,and resolve theirdifferences peacefully. And yet we know that in toomany parts of the world,this ideal remains anabstraction — a distant dream. We can either accept thatoutcome as inevitable,and tolerate constantand crippling conflict,or we can recognize that theyearning for peace is universal,and reassert our resolve to endconflicts around the world. That effort must begin with anunshakeable determination thatthe murder of innocentmen, women and childrenwill never be tolerated. On this, no one can be —there can be no dispute. The violent extremists whopromote conflict by distortingfaith have discreditedand isolated themselves. They offer nothing buthatred and destruction. In confronting them, Americawill forge lasting partnershipsto target terrorists,share intelligence,and coordinate law enforcementand protect our people. We will permit no safe haven foral Qaeda to launch attacks fromAfghanistan or any other nation. We will stand by ourfriends on the front lines,as we and many nations will doin pledging support for thePakistani people tomorrow. And we will pursue positiveengagement that builds bridgesamong faiths, and newpartnerships for opportunity. Our efforts to promotepeace, however,cannot be limited todefeating violent extremists. For the most powerful weapon inour arsenal is the hope of humanbeings — the belief that thefuture belongs to those whowould build and not destroy; theconfidence that conflicts canend and a new day can begin. And that is why we will support— we will strengthen oursupport for effectivepeacekeeping,while energizing ourefforts to prevent conflictsbefore they take hold. We will pursue a lasting peacein Sudan through support for thepeople of Darfur and theimplementation of theComprehensive Peace Agreement,so that we secure the peace thatthe Sudanese people deserve. And in countries ravaged byviolence — from Haiti to Congoto East Timor — wewill work with the U. N. and other partners tosupport an enduring peace. I will also continue to seek ajust and lasting peace betweenIsrael, Palestine,and the Arab world. We will continue towork on that issue. Yesterday, I had a constructivemeeting with Prime MinisterNetanyahu and President Abbas. We have made some progress. Palestinians have strengthenedtheir efforts on security. Israelis have facilitatedgreater freedom of movementfor the Palestinians. As a result of theseefforts on both sides,the economy in the WestBank has begun to grow. But more progress is needed. We continue to call onPalestinians to end incitementagainst Israel, and we continueto emphasize that America doesnot accept the legitimacy ofcontinued Israeli settlements. The time has come — thetime has come to re-launchnegotiations withoutpreconditions that address thepermanent status issues:security for Israelis andPalestinians, borders,refugees, and Jerusalem. And the goal is clear: Twostates living side by side inpeace and security — aJewish state of Israel,with true security for allIsraelis; and a viable,independent Palestinian statewith contiguous territory thatends the occupationthat began in 1967,and realizes the potentialof the Palestinian people. As we pursue this goal, we willalso pursue peace between Israeland Lebanon, Israel and Syria,and a broader peace betweenIsrael and its many neighbors. In pursuit of that goal, we willdevelop regional initiativeswith multilateralparticipation, alongsidebilateral negotiations. Now, I am not naïve. I know this will be difficult. But all of us — not just theIsraelis and the Palestinians,but all of us — must decidewhether we are serious aboutpeace, or whether we willonly lend it lip service. To break the old patterns, tobreak the cycle of insecurityand despair, all of us mustsay publicly what we wouldacknowledge in private. The United States does Israel nofavors when we fail to couple anunwavering commitment to itssecurity with an insistence thatIsrael respect thelegitimate claims andrights of the Palestinians. And — and nations within thisbody do the Palestinians nofavors when they choosevitriolic attacks against Israelover constructive willingness torecognize Israel’s legitimacyand its right to existin peace and security. We must remember that thegreatest price of this conflictis not paid by us. It’s not paid by politicians. It’s paid by the Israeli girl inSderot who closes her eyes infear that a rocket will take herlife in the middle of the night. It’s paid for by the Palestinianboy in Gaza who has no cleanwater and no countryto call his own. These are all God’s children. And after all the politicsand all the posturing,this is about the right ofevery human being to livewith dignity and security. That is a lesson embedded in thethree great faiths that call onesmall slice ofEarth the Holy Land. And that is why, even thoughthere will be setbacks and falsestarts and tough days,I will not waver inmy pursuit of peace. Third, we must recognizethat in the 21st century,there will be no peace unlesswe take responsibility for thepreservation of our planet. And I thank the SecretaryGeneral for hosting the subjectof climate change yesterday. The danger posed by climatechange cannot be denied. Our responsibility to meetit must not be deferred. If we continue downour current course,every member of this Assemblywill see irreversible changeswithin their borders. Our efforts to end conflictswill be eclipsed by wars overrefugees and resources. Development will be devastatedby drought and famine. Land that humanbeings have lived onfor millennia will disappear. Future generations will lookback and wonder why we refusedto act; why we failed to pass on— why we failed to pass on anenvironment that wasworthy of our inheritance. And that is why the days whenAmerica dragged its feeton this issue are over. We will move forward withinvestments to transform ourenergy economy, while providingincentives to make clean energythe profitable kind of energy. We will press ahead with deepcuts in emissions to reach thegoals that we set for2020, and eventually 2050. We will continue to promoterenewable energy and efficiency,and share new technologies withcountries around the world. And we will seize everyopportunity for progress toaddress this threatin a cooperative effortwith the entire world. And those wealthy nations thatdid so much damage to theenvironment in the 20thcentury must acceptour obligation to lead. But responsibilitydoes not end there. While we must acknowledgethe need for differentiatedresponses, any effort to curbcarbon emissions must includethe fast-growing carbon emitterswho can do more to reduce theirair pollution withoutinhibiting growth. And any effort that fails tohelp the poorest nations bothadapt to the problems thatclimate change have alreadywrought and help them travela path of clean developmentsimply will not work. It’s hard to changesomething as fundamentalas how we use energy. I know that. It’s even harder to do so in themidst of a global recession. Certainly, it will betempting to sit back andwait for others to move first. But we cannot makethis journey unless weall move forward together. As we head into Copenhagen, letus resolve to focus on what eachof us can do for the sakeof our common future. And this leads me to the finalpillar that must fortify ourfuture: a globaleconomy that advancesopportunity for all people. The world is still recoveringfrom the worst economic crisissince the Great Depression. In America, we see the engineof growth beginning to churn,and yet many still struggle tofind a job or pay their bills. Across the globe, wefind promising signs,but little certaintyabout what lies ahead. And far too many people in fartoo many places live through thedaily crises that challenge ourhumanity — the despair of anempty stomach; the thirstbrought on by dwindling watersupplies; the injustice of achild dying from a treatabledisease; or a mother losingher life as she gives birth. In Pittsburgh, we will work withthe world’s largest economies tochart a course for growth thatis balanced and sustained. That means vigilance to ensurethat we do not let up until ourpeople are back to work. That means taking steps torekindle demand so that globalrecovery can be sustained. And that means setting new rulesof the road and strengtheningregulation for allfinancial centers,so that we put an end to thegreed and the excess and theabuse that led usinto this disaster,and prevent a crisis like thisfrom ever happening again. At a time of suchinterdependence,we have a moral andpragmatic interest, however,in broader questions ofdevelopment — the questions ofdevelopment that existed evenbefore this crisis happened. And so America will continueour historic effort tohelp people feed themselves. We have set aside $63 billion tocarry forward the fight againstHIV/AIDS, to end deaths fromtuberculosis and malaria,to eradicate polio,and to strengthenpublic health systems. We are joining with othercountries to contribute H1N1vaccines to the WorldHealth Organization. We will integrate more economiesinto a system of global trade. We will support theMillennium Development Goals,and approach next year’ssummit with a global planto make them a reality. And we will set our sights onthe eradication of extremepoverty in our time. Now is the time for allof us to do our part. Growth will not be sustainedor shared unless all nationsembrace their responsibilities. And that means that wealthynations must open their marketsto more goods and extenda hand to those with less,while reforming internationalinstitutions to give morenations a greater voice. And developing nations must rootout the corruption that is anobstacle to progress — foropportunity cannot thrive whereindividuals are oppressed andbusiness have to pay bribes. That is why we support honestpolice and independent judges;civil society and avibrant private sector. Our goal is simple: a globaleconomy in which growth issustained, and opportunityis available to all. Now, the changes that I’vespoken about today willnot be easy to make. And they will not be realizedsimply by leaders like us comingtogether in forums like this,as useful as that may be. For as in anyassembly of members,real change can only comethrough the people we represent. That is why we must do the hardwork to lay the groundwork forprogress in our own capitals. That’s where we will build theconsensus to end conflicts andto harness technologyfor peaceful purposes,to change the way we use energy,and to promote growth that canbe sustained and shared. I believe that the peopleof the world want thisfuture for their children. And that is why we must championthose principles which ensurethat governments reflectthe will of the people. These principles cannot beafterthoughts — democracy andhuman rights are essential toachieving each of the goals thatI’ve discussed today, becausegovernments of the people and bythe people are more likely toact in the broader interests oftheir own people,rather than narrowinterests of those in power. The test of our leadership willnot be the degree to which wefeed the fears and oldhatreds of our people. True leadership will not bemeasured by the ability tomuzzle dissent, or tointimidate and harasspolitical opponents at home. The people of theworld want change. They will not long toleratethose who are on thewrong side of history. This Assembly’s Charter commitseach of us — and I quote — “toreaffirm faith infundamental human rights,in the dignity and worthof the human person,in the equal rightsof men and women. “Among those rights is thefreedom to speak your mind andworship as you please; thepromise of equality of theraces, and the opportunity forwomen and girls to pursue theirown potential; the ability ofcitizens to have a say in howyou are governed, and tohave confidence in theadministration of justice. For just as no nation should beforced to accept the tyranny ofanother nation, no individualshould be forced to accept thetyranny of their own people. As an African American, I willnever forget that I would not behere today without the steadypursuit of a more perfectunion in my country. And that guides my belief thatno matter how dark the day mayseem, transformative changecan be forged by those whochoose to side with justice. And I pledge that America willalways stand with those whostand up for their dignity andtheir rights — for the studentwho seeks to learn; the voterwho demands to be heard;the innocent wholongs to be free;the oppressed whoyearns to be equal. Democracy cannot be imposed onany nation from the outside. Each society mustsearch for its own path,and no path is perfect. Each country will pursue a pathrooted in the culture of itspeople and in itspast traditions. And I admit that America hastoo often been selective in itspromotion of democracy. But that does notweaken our commitment;it only reinforces it. There are basic principlesthat are universal;there are certain truths whichare self-evident — and theUnited States of America willnever waver in our efforts tostand up for the rightof people everywhere todetermine their own destiny. Sixty-five years ago, a wearyFranklin Roosevelt spoke to theAmerican people in his fourthand final inaugural address. After years of war, he sought tosum up the lessons that could bedrawn from theterrible suffering,the enormous sacrificethat had taken place. “We have learned,” he said,“to be citizens of the world,members of the human community. “The United Nations was builtby men and women like Rooseveltfrom every corner of the world— from Africa and Asia,from Europe to the Americas. These architects ofinternational cooperation had anidealism that was anything butnaïve — it was rooted in thehard-earned lessons of war;rooted in the wisdom thatnations could advance theirinterests by acting togetherinstead of splitting apart. Now it falls to us — forthis institution will bewhat we make of it. The United Nations doesextraordinary good around theworld — feeding the hungry,caring for the sick,mending places thathave been broken. But it also strugglesto enforce its will,and to live up to theideals of its founding. I believe that thoseimperfections are not a reasonto walk away from thisinstitution — they are acalling to redouble our efforts. The United Nations can either bea place where we bicker aboutoutdated grievances,or forge common ground;a place where we focuson what drives us apart,or what brings us together; aplace where we indulge tyranny,or a source of moral authority. In short, the United Nationscan be an institution that isdisconnected from what mattersin the lives of our citizens,or it can be an indispensablefactor in advancing theinterests of thepeople we serve. We have reacheda pivotal moment. The United States stands readyto begin a new chapter ofinternational cooperation — onethat recognizes the rights andresponsibilities of all nations. And so, with confidencein our cause,and with a commitmentto our values,we call on all nations to joinus in building the future thatour people so richly deserve. Thank you very much, everybody.
The President:Good evening. Tonight, I can report to theAmerican people and to the worldthat the United States hasconducted an operation thatkilled Osama bin Laden,the leader of al Qaeda,and a terrorist who’sresponsible for the murder ofthousands of innocentmen, women, and children. It was nearly 10 years ago thata bright September day wasdarkened by the worst attack onthe American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are searedinto our national memory –hijacked planes cutting througha cloudless September sky;the Twin Towerscollapsing to the ground;black smoke billowingup from the Pentagon;the wreckage of Flight 93 inShanksville, Pennsylvania,where the actions of heroiccitizens saved even moreheartbreak and destruction. And yet we know that the worstimages are those that wereunseen to the world. The empty seat atthe dinner table. Children who were forced to grow upwithout their mother or their father. Parents who would never know thefeeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizenstaken from us,leaving a gapinghole in our hearts. On September 11, 2001,in our time of grief,the American peoplecame together. We offered our neighbors a hand,and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed ourties to each other,and our love ofcommunity and country. On that day, no matterwhere we came from,what God we prayed to, or whatrace or ethnicity we were,we were united asone American family. We were also united in ourresolve to protect our nationand to bring those who committedthis vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the9/11 attacks were carried out byal Qaeda — an organizationheaded by Osama bin Laden,which had openly declared waron the United States and wascommitted to killing innocents inour country and around the globe. And so we went to war against alQaeda to protect our citizens,our friends, and our allies. Over the last 10 years, thanksto the tireless and heroic workof our military and ourcounterterrorism professionals,we’ve made greatstrides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terroristattacks and strengthened ourhomeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removedthe Taliban government,which had given bin Laden andal Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we workedwith our friends and allies tocapture or kill scoresof al Qaeda terrorists,including several who werea part of the 9/11 plot. Yet Osama bin Laden avoidedcapture and escaped across theAfghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued tooperate from along that borderand operate through itsaffiliates across the world. And so shortly after takingoffice, I directed Leon Panetta,the director of the CIA, to makethe killing or capture of binLaden the top priority ofour war against al Qaeda,even as we continued our broaderefforts to disrupt, dismantle,and defeat his network. Then, last August, after yearsof painstaking work by ourintelligence community, I wasbriefed on a possible lead tobin Laden. It was far from certain, andit took many months to run thisthread to ground. I met repeatedly with mynational security team as wedeveloped more information aboutthe possibility that we hadlocated bin Laden hiding withina compound deep inside Pakistan. And finally, last week, Idetermined that we had enoughintelligence to take action, andauthorized an operation to getOsama bin Laden andbring him to justice. Today, at my direction, theUnited States launched atargeted operation against thatcompound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americanscarried out the operation withextraordinary courageand capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoidcivilian casualties. After a firefight, they killedOsama bin Laden and took custodyof his body. For over two decades, bin Ladenhas been al Qaeda’s leader andsymbol, and has continued toplot attacks against our countryand our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks themost significant achievement todate in our nation’seffort to defeat al Qaeda. Yet his death does notmark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaedawill continue to pursue attacksagainst us. We must — and we will — remainvigilant at home and abroad. As we do, we must also reaffirmthat the United States is not –and never will be —at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just asPresident Bush did shortly after9/11, that our waris not against Islam. Bin Laden was nota Muslim leader;he was a massmurderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughteredscores of Muslims in manycountries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomedby all who believe in peace andhuman dignity. Over the years, I’ve repeatedlymade clear that we would takeaction within Pakistan if weknew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note thatour counterterrorism cooperationwith Pakistan helped lead us tobin Laden and the compound wherehe was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declaredwar against Pakistan as well,and ordered attacks againstthe Pakistani people. Tonight, I calledPresident Zardari,and my team has also spoken withtheir Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good andhistoric day for both of our nations. And going forward, it isessential that Pakistan continueto join us in the fight againstal Qaeda and its affiliates. The American people didnot choose this fight. It came to our shores, andstarted with the senselessslaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 yearsof service, struggle,and sacrifice, we knowwell the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me everytime I, as Commander-in-Chief,have to sign a letter to afamily that has lost a lovedone, or look into the eyes ofa service member who’s beengravely wounded. So Americans understandthe costs of war. Yet as a country, we will nevertolerate our security beingthreatened, nor stand idly bywhen our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defenseof our citizens and our friendsand allies. We will be true to the valuesthat make us who we are. And on nights like this one, wecan say to those families whohave lost loved ones to al Qaeda’sterror: Justice has been done. Tonight, we give thanks to thecountless intelligence andcounterterrorism professionalswho’ve worked tirelessly toachieve this outcome. The American peopledo not see their work,nor know their names. But tonight, they feel thesatisfaction of their work andthe result of theirpursuit of justice. We give thanks for the men whocarried out this operation,for they exemplify theprofessionalism, patriotism,and unparalleled courage ofthose who serve our country. And they are part of ageneration that has borne theheaviest share of the burdensince that September day. Finally, let me say to thefamilies who lost loved ones on9/11 that we have neverforgotten your loss,nor wavered in our commitment tosee that we do whatever it takesto prevent anotherattack on our shores. And tonight, let us think backto the sense of unity thatprevailed on 9/11. I know that it has,at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is atestament to the greatness ofour country and the determinationof the American people. The cause of securing ourcountry is not complete. But tonight, we are once againreminded that America can dowhatever we set our mind to. That is the storyof our history,whether it’s the pursuit ofprosperity for our people,or the struggle for equalityfor all our citizens;our commitment to standup for our values abroad,and our sacrifices to makethe world a safer place. Let us remember that we can dothese things not just because ofwealth or power, but becauseof who we are: one nation,under God, indivisible, withliberty and justice for all. Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless theUnited States of America.
We have a lot of guestson our show,and they always have storiesabout meeting youand fumblingand getting nervous. I don’t knowif you remember,the first time I met youand the First Lady,I was doing stand-up comedy at abarbecue for military families. That was great. We so appreciated it. Yeah. Thank you. I loved it, as well. And I was opening upfor the Foo Fighters. It was Fourth of Julyin the White House. And I get there. I was so nervous to meet you. I was Googling how to say helloto the First Lady. Like, do I say, “Hello,First Lady, Mrs. Obama. Mrs. Obama, First Lady. “I didn’t knowhow to say it. I think you actually saidall of them. I think I actually did. Well, I wore a three-piece suitthat daybecause I was very —I just wanted to impress you. But it was an outdoor eventon the Fourth of July,and I remember I got there,and Dave Grohl was therein board shirts and a T-shirt. He goes, “You look hot. “I go, “I really am. It’s really boiling. This is crazy. “I go, “Aren’t youmeeting the president?”He goes — Basically saying,“We’re the Foo Fighters. We dress –“I go, “Yeah. “And then we wait in line,because we’re going to getour picture taken with you guys. I was so nervousto meet you. And I went upand I was practicing,like, “Hello, First Lady,Mrs. First Lady. “And I walk over,and the First Lady startslaughing and looking at me. She goes, “Oh, honey,oh, my gosh, you’re so sweaty,”and took my tie –This is a true story. Loosened my tie. And I looked at you,and you had a short-sleevedshirt and khakis on. I go, “Hello,Mr. President, sir. “And you go,“Didn’t you get the memo?It’s a barbecue. ” They took the pictureand they escorted me out. And then I hadn’tseen you since. I was just wondering,do people get –do you have any storieslike that,where people are justso embarrassing like thatand you triedto make them feel better?Um. . . nothing that embarrassing. I think that was actuallythe peak of awkwardness. Yeah, perfect. Thank you. Can I just ask youjust straight up,what is the first thingyou’re going to dowhen you leave office,do you know?I’m going to get some sleep,that’s for sure. Yeah. Yeah. You know, it’s actuallya moving thing. You’re talking aboutsentimentality. But I rememberfrom my inaugurationseeing President Bush –You get on Marine One,and that’s the last timeyou get on Marine One. They fly youto Andrews Air Force Base. And then youget on Air Force One,and it’s your last flight. And they’ll take youanywhere you want. And I think it’s fair to saythat it will be someplace warm. Because it’s going tobe January,and every inaugurationhas been freezing. Yeah. And then, you know,I think Michelle and Iwill take a break somewherefor a couple weeksand, you know, let the girlsmanage for themselves. Yeah. Hopefully they’ll be okaywhen we get back. Well, if you needto stay warm,I have a three-piece suitfor you.
You mentioned me only once and– So I don’t understand–I wasn’t counting. Yeah. But I mentioned you, Ellen. Once, once. And you say in here, youwon the pushup contest. So I can sue for libel. Now you put it inwriting, you know. We have the clipsof me defeating you. Yeah, I know. Look how high up she is. Look how low down I went. Look how long my arms are. Yeah, doesn’t matter. All right. All right, I wantto read something,because you reallydo– you talk about–Are you going toread the right text?Yes. OK. Yeah, this is not–You’re not going tomake something upthat’s not in the book?No, this is in the book. OK, I’ll let you know. Because this is aboutyour first kiss. You talk about your first kiss. Oh, OK, with who? Well, you tell me. All right. I arranged my first kiss,in fact, over the phone. It was with a boy named Ronnell. Ronald?Ronnell. Ronnell. That’s a black Ronald. All right. Ronnell. Say it like that. Say, Ronnell. Ronnell. I don’t remember whichone of us proposedthat we meet outsidemy house one afternoonto give kissing a try. But there was no nuanceto it, no shy euphemismsneeded to be applied. We weren’t going tohang out or take a walk. We were going to make out. And we were both all for it. How old were you there?Eighth grade. Eighth grade. Duh-nuh. Now, do you knowwhere he is now?I’m sure someonewill find him now. Ronnell. No, we don’t know where he is. Ronnell. I mean–I tried not to use last names,so people wouldn’t be harassedfor the rest of their lives. I told this story very early onabout my very, very first kiss,which was Teddyin nursery school. And the press huntedthat poor guy down. And I vowed never to mentionanybody else’s last name. Well, because you talk–you’ve been with a lot of men. There’s a lot of– That is not true. Oh, yeah, there’s– That’s not in the book. I mean, yeah, you read it. A lot of men so– So in the book, you talkabout Malia going to prom. Oh, yeah. Which is– I justcan’t even imagine. Let’s set the stage. Yeah, go ahead. You know, their wholelives were spenttrying to have a normal life, goto soccer matches and birthdayparties and sleepoversand have kids come over,with a security detail. So then prom comes. And Malia asked, can I pleaseride with my date in his car,because, at thatpoint, they had neverdriven in another person’scar for security reasons. Kids could ride in their car,but they couldn’t accept a ridefrom someone else. So everything in theirlives is now a discussion. We have to pull in security. We have to talk tothe Chief of Staff,talk to theCommunications Director. And we decide–my thing was she’sgot to ride in the car withher prom date, you know. I mean, come on people. So she gets to ride. So he comes to pick her up. Poor kid. And he’s got to come throughthe official drivewaythat dignitaries come when statevisits happen, around the SouthLawn, that long driveway upto the front door of our home,which is like the dip room. We’re coming down theelevator, because, you know,we’re in the elevator,me and Barack and Malia. And she’s like, justbe cool, you know. It’s like, please,don’t embarrass me. She looked beautiful. I mean, oh, she just wasa vision, is a vision. And Barack’s trying not to cry. And he’s trying to act cool. And we greet the youngman in a nice tux. And, you know, godknows what happenedto him getting in, because Itried to make security knowhe’s coming, don’t hassle him. I told Malia, makesure his car is clean,if you know what I mean,because dogs sniff the car. I said, I don’t wanthim to be embarrassed. So I said, I don’t know the kid. But, you know, he’s pickingup at a different house. I had met him, but Ididn’t know-him know him. So he comes in. And you can tell he’sa little nervous. And we shake hishand, take a picture. And they get in the car. And they go off. And then like,three cars follow. It’s like them and then threecars with men with guns. And Barack was like, this makesrunning for a second term allworthwhile. My daughter is being followedby men with guns to prom. He’s like, I’m good.
>> Jon: WELCOME BACK. WE’RE HERE WITH PRESIDENT BARACKOBAMA — SO THAT WAS GOOD. WE TALKED A LOT ABOUT THISIRAN DEAL. YOU’RE FEELING VERY GOOD ABOUTTHAT. I WANNA TALK TO YOU NOW — YOUSPOKE WITH THE VFW TODAY FOROUR VETERAN’S. BOY, ROUGH RIDE FOR THEVETERAN’S RECENTLY. THIS TERRIBLE ATTACK INTENNESSEE. >> HEARTBREAKING. >> Jon: AND ALSO THOUGH ASYSTEMIC ISSUE, AND I KNOW YOURAISE IT WITH THE VA ANDHEALTHCARE. >> WELL YOU KNOW THE SITUATIONWITH THE V. A. HAS ALWAYS BEEN,WE MAKE A PROMISE BUT TOO OFTENUNDER RESOURCED. SO IT IS MY FIRM BELIEF WE HAVEA SACRED DUTY TO THESE GUYS ANDGALS THAT WHEN THEY HAVE SERVEDUS AS BRAVELY AS THEY HAVE,WHEN THEY COME HOME, WE’RESUPPOSED TO BE THERE FOR THEM. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE BUDGETHISTORICALLY, IT’S BEENSHORT-CHANGED, WORSE IN THEVIETNAM ERA WHEN THEY CAME BACK. WE’VE BEEN ABLE TOSYSTEMATICALLY ADD RESOURCES TOTHE VA BUT YOU STILL HAVE THISMASSIVE STRUCTURE WITH MILLIONSOF PEOPLE BEING SERVED. AND WHAT WE’RE HAVING TO DO ISSYSTEMATICALLY WORK THROUGHSOME OF THE CHALLENGES OF A BIG,FREAKY BUREAUCRACY. WHEN WE HAVE THAT PROBLEM WITHWAITING LISTS. . . FOLKS ARE STILL TAKINGAPPOINTMENTS DOWN ON PAPER. AND WHEN YOU’VE GOT MILLIONS OFPEOPLE WHO ARE NEEDING SERVICES,IT JUST DOESN’T WORK ANYMORE. SO WE’VE NOW BEEN ABLE TO CUTDOWN ON WAITING TIMES, REDUCETHE BACKLOG FOR DISABILITYCLAIMS BY ABOUT 80%. BUT WE ALSO HAVE MORE AND MOREPEOPLE COMING IN. WE ALLOWED FOLKS WHO HADSYMPTOMS OF AGENT ORANGE FOR THEFIRST TIME TO BE ABLE TO MAKECLAIMS. THAT ADDED A COUPLE HUNDREDTHOUSAND PEOPLE. AS WE END TWO WARS, FOLKS COMEBACK. SO WE ACTUALLY HAVE 2. 7 MILLIONMORE VETERANS SPEAKING SERVICES. IF THE AMOUNT OF RESOURCESDOESN’T CHANGE, THEN THEY GETSHORT-CHANGED. SO WE’VE GOT TO DO EFFICIENCYWORK ON THE VA BUT WE ALSO ASKEDCONGRESS TO GET OUT FROM UNDERTHE SEQUESTER, THIS IDEA WE JUSTMAKE BLANKET BUDGET CUTS THATSOMEHOW THAT’S GOING TO IMPROVEOUR ECONOMY. AND THE VERY SAME FOLKS WHO AREGOING TO CUT SERVICES ARE THEFIRST ONES THEN TO SAY WHY ARETHE FOLKS HAVING WAITING TIMESSO LONG. >> Jon: IT’S A WAITING TIMEISSUE, TO BE FAIR, HAPPENED FARBEFORE THE SEQUESTER. IT BRINGS UP SORT OF A LARGERISSUE WHICH IS, YOU KNOW, GIVEN,OKAY, THERE IS A PARTY THATBELIEVES THAT GOVERNMENT DOESNOT HAVE AS LARGE A ROLE TO PLAYIN OUR LIVES AS THE PARTY THATYOU ARE WITH. WHICH MEANS INSTANCES INCUMBENTMAY BE UPON THAT PARTY, THE ONETHAT YOU ARE WITH, TODEMONSTRATE HOW THAT WILLWORK IN THE 21st CENTURY. HOW CAN THE GOVERNMENT BE AGILE,AND WITH THE V. A. SEEMS TO BE ALARGER ISSUE, YOU CAME INTOOFFICE IN 2009 EXPLICITLY SAYINGYOU SPEND A BILLION DOLLARSPRYING TO GET OPERABILITYBETWEEN THE D. O. D AND V. A. COULDN’T DO IT AFTER. . . FIVEYEARS?WENT BACK AND SAID LET’S DO ITSEPARATELY. MORE MONEY. THAT DIDN’T WORK. NOW THEY’RE BACK, THE V. A. ‘S GOTA PRETTY GOOD SYSTEM WAITING FORTHE D. O. D. THEY’VE NOT EVEN GONE OUT YETWITH A $11 BILLION CONTRACT. YOU’RE RUNNING FOR OFFICE, YOUKNOW WHERE EVERYBODY IS –>> SO THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS. A COUPLE THINGS I’LL SAY. NUMBER ONE, GOVERNMENT WORKSBETTER NOW THAN IT PROBABLY EVERHAS GIVEN WHAT WE ASK IT TO DO. AND ACROSS AGENCIES, THERE HAVEBEEN ALL KINDS OF REFORMS ANDIMPROVEMENTS AND PEOPLE THEREWORK HARD AND THEY CARE ABOUTTHIS STUFF DEEPLY. BUT WHAT IS TRUE IS IF YOU HAVEA GOVERNMENT THAT WAS BUILT ON1930 MODELS AND IT’S NOTUPDATED, THEN THERE’S GOING TOBE A GAP IN TERMS OF WHATTHEY’RE DOING NOW RELATIVE TOWHAT SOME OTHER FOLKS DO. AND I. T. IS PROBABLY THE BIGGESTEXAMPLE OF THAT. WE’RE HAVING TO COMPLETELYREDESIGN HOW THE GOVERNMENTPURCHASES I. T. SERVICES, HOW ITDOES DIGITAL, FROM SOUP TO NUTS. AND PART OF IT IS THE WAY IT’SBEEN SET UP IS THAT YOU HAVE THESPECIFICATIONS THAT ARE THISTHICK. WHEN ON A CHAIN AND SETTING UPMY OPERATIONS I HAVE GUYS INT-SHIRTS IN A ROOM FIGURING OUTHOW TO DO THIS THING. THAT’S NOT HOW THE GOVERNMENT ISSET UP. IT’S SLOW AND IT DOESN’TFUNCTION PROPERLY. YOU ASKED ME WHAT I WANT TO DOOVER THE NEXT 18 MONTHS. A LOT OF THIS STUFF DOESN’TREQUIRE CONGRESS, BUT HOW IT ISWE CAN REVAMP THE SYSTEMS ANDWE’VE DONE IT SUCCESSFULLY INCERTAIN AREAS. BUT WHEN YOU’VE GOT TWO MILLIONEMPLOYEES THEN THERE ARE GOINGTO BE PLACES WHERE THIS SLIPS. >> Jon: TO SOME EXTENT THAT’STHE POINT. YOU GOT TWO MILLION EMPLOYEESAND YOU WANT THIS TO BE AGILE. THE V. A. SYSTEM. YOU CAN’T FIND A BETTER ISSUEPOLITICALLY. YOU CAN’T — YOU’LL FIND BUTYOU’LL FIND ALMOST ANONYMOUSAGREEMENT BUT WE HAVE FAILEDTHESE VETERANS AND UNANIMOUSAGREEMENT THAT WE NEED TO DOBETTER YET SEVEN YEARS INTO IT,WE HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TODEMONSTRATE –>> WAIT WAIT — THE REASON IT’SBACK UP IS YOU GOT 2. 7 MILLIONNEW FOLKS COMING BACK IN. >> Jon: WELL WHEN YOU START ALOT OF WARS — IT’S GOTTA END. >> HOLD ON A SECOND. HERE’S THEGENERAL POINT. WE ASK OUR GOVERNMENT TO DOTHINGS THAT OTHER FOLKS DON’TWANT TO DO BECAUSE YOU CAN’TMAKE MONEY AT IT. BECAUSE IT’S NOT PROFITABLE. AND SO WE WANT GOVERNMENT TOHELP MAKE SURE THAT KIDS GETOPPORTUNITY. AND THEY HAVE TO REACH THE TOUGHEST TO REACH KIDS. THE KIDS AT THE PRIVATE SCHOOLSGENERALLY SCREEN OUT. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARESERVING OUR VETERANS INCLUDINGTHE OLDEST, POOREST VETERANS. THERE’S NOT A LOT OF MONEY INDOING THAT. AND SO A LOT OF TIMES PEOPLEWILL SAY WELL WHY ISN’T THISHAPPENING AS QUICK, AS FAST. IF WE’RE UNDER RESOURCING OURGOVERNMENT AND NOT STAFFING ITTHE WAY IT NEEDS TO BE TO DOEVERYTHING TO BE DONE, THENWE SHOULDN’T BE SURPRISED THATTHERE ARE GOING TO BE GAPS. WHEN I CAME INTO OFFICE CAN WEMAKE STUFF A LOT BETTER THAN ITHAS BEEN. >> Jon: THE ENEMY OF GOOD. >> PART OF THE PROBLEM IS ITHINK WE HAVE A TENDENCY TO,I’LL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE. WHEN THERE WAS THAT PROBLEM WITHTHE IRS. EVERYBODY JUMPED INCLUDING YOU. >> Jon: WHAT HAPPENED TO THEIRS?>> LOOK YOU GOT THIS BACK OFFICEAND THEY’RE GOING AFTER THE TEAPARTY. IT TURNED OUT NO, CONGRESS HAS ACRUMMY LAW THAT DIDN’T GIVEPEOPLE GUIDANCE IN TERMS OF WHATTHEY ARE TRYING TO DO. THEY DID IT POORLY AND STUPIDLY. BUT THAT BECOMES –>> Jon: YOU REALLY ONLY DO HAVEA YEAR LEFT. >> NO — BUT HOLD ON, JON. THIS IS IMPORTANT. BUT THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER ISTHAT THERE WAS NOT SOME BIGCONSPIRACY THERE. THEY WERE TRYING TO SORT OUTTHESE CONFLICTING DEMANDS. YOU DON’T WANT ALL THIS MONEYPOURING THROUGH NOT-FOR-PROFITSBUT YOU ALSO WANT TO MAKE SUREEVERYBODY IS BEING TREATEDFAIRLY. THE REAL SCANDAL AROUND THE IRSIS THAT IT HAS BEEN SO POORLYFUNDED THAT THEY CAN’T GO AFTERTHESE, WE CANNOT GO AFTER THESEFOLKS WHO ARE DELIBERATELYDELETING TAX PAYMENTS. AND THE REAL SCANDAL IS TAXCODES WHERE MULTINATIONALS CANPAY ZERO TAXES MAKING MASSIVEPROFITS. SO WE TEND TO GET DISTRACTED BYTHE FACT THAT THERE ARE GOING TOBE ELEMENTS, BECAUSE GOVERNMENTIS A HUMAN ENTERPRISE WHERE,SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE IS SCREWINGUP AT ANY GIVEN TIME. BECAUSE IT’S A HUGE SYSTEM. OVERALL, IT WORKS REALLY WELL TOHELP A LOT OF PEOPLE. WHAT THE SCANDALOUS IS THE FACTTHAT WE ARE NOT MAKING AS MUCHPROGRESS AS WE SHOULD ON THEBASIC THINGS THAT WE KNOW OURGOVERNMENT SHOULD BE DOING. REBUILDING OURINFRASTRUCTURE, REBUILDING OURROADS, REBUILDING OUR PORTS,SETTING UP A SYSTEM FORDISTRIBUTING ENERGY, MAKING SUREWE HAVE EARLY CHILDHOODEDUCATION. YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT THATPART OF MY JOB FOR THE LASTSEVEN YEARS AND PART OF MY JOBOVER THESE LAST, THIS LAST YEARCOMING UP IS TO CONTINUALLYIMPROVE AND MAKE SURE THEGOVERNMENT IS FUNCTIONING ASWELL AS IT COULD. BUT YOU CAN’T USE THAT AS ANEXCUSE FOR THE BIG STRUCTURALPROBLEMS THAT WE’RE FACING RIGHTNOW THAT ARE NOT BEING ADDRESSEDADDRESSED, TYPICALLY THAT HAS TOBE –>> Jon: THAT’S WHAT I WANT TOGET TO IS THAT VISION OF WHAT21ST CENTURY GOVERNMENT LOOKSLIKE OUTSIDE OF THEPOLITICALIZATION OF IT. HOW DO YOU GOVERN AND DO THESERVICES YOU’RE TALKING ABOUTWHILE BEING IN THAT SITUATION. AND IF IT’S FOUR GUYS IN AT-SHIRT, ISN’T THERE ANEXECUTIVE OPTION THAT CAN, THATCAN CUT THROUGH. >> HERE’S WHAT WE DO. >> Jon: YES, YOU’RE THECOMMANDER IN CHIEF. >> AFTER THE HEALTHCARE. GOVFIASCO, WE BROUGHT IN A TEAMOF GUYS BASICALLY VOLUNTEERINGTHEIR OWN TIME FROM GOOGLE,FACEBOOK, GUYS IN T-SHIRTS. THEY’RE NOT WEARING T-SHIRTSNOW. THEY’VE DRESSED UP A LITTLE BIT,ALTHOUGH NOT THAT WELL. AND WE HAVE CREATED WHATWE’RE CALLING THE U. S. DIGITALSERVICES AND WE’REBASICALLY GETTING THEM IN FOR AYEAR OR TWO YEARS AND WE’RE JUSTPUTTING THEM ON A WHOLE BUNCH OFTHESE PROBLEMS. WHETHER IT’S HOW DO WE MAKE ANS. B. A. LOAN EASIER TO GET. HOW DO WE MAKE SURE THAT THISAGENCY IS MORE CUSTOMERFRIENDLY. HOW DO WE MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLECAN GO TO ONE WEBSITE INSTEAD OF16 TO FIND OUT THE INFORMATIONTHEY NEED. SO THESE GUYS ARE SPREADING OUTTHROUGHOUT THE GOVERNMENT ANDTHEY ARE IN FACT SYSTEMATICALLYCHIPPING AWAY AT A LOT OF THESEPROBLEMS. AND I THINK WE WILL, BY THE TIMEI LEAVE HERE, WE’RE GOING TO BEABLE TO SAY THAT GOVERNMENT ISWORKING MUCH BETTER, MUCH MOREEFFICIENTLY, MUCH MORE CUSTOMERFRIENDLY THAN WHEN I CAME INTOOFFICE. >> Jon: IT FRUSTRATES YOUBECAUSE I CAN TELL WE’RE TALKINGHAVING A NICE TIME TALKING ABOUTTHE IRAN DEAL, I THINK IT’SFRUSTRATING TO YOU. >> OF COURSE. >> Jon: BECAUSE YOU FEEL LIKEWE’RE AMPLIFYING THINGS OUT OFPROPORTION. I MIGHT AGREE WITH THAT ONCERTAIN ISSUES. >> THAT IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE. >> Jon: THE V. A. THOUGH, I WOULDTAKE ISSUES –>> NO, NO. THE ISSUES WITH THE V. A. IS —IF THERE’S ONE VETERNA NOTGETTING THE SERVICES THEY NEED,THEN WE’RE FAILING THATVERTERAN, AND THAT’S ABSOLUTELYCRITICAL. LET’S TALK ABOUTHOMLESSNESS AMONG VETERANS. WE’VE CUT THAT BY A THIRD. WE’VE GOT TWO THIRDS OF THESEFOLKS WE’VE GOT TO MAKE SUREHAVE PROPER HOUSING BECAUSE IFTHEY FOUGHT FOR US THEY SHOULDBE ABLE TO FIND A HOME HERE INTHE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. >> Jon: SURE. >> BUT THIS GOES FOR THELARGER POINT. YOU ASKED ME HOW AM I DOING ANDAM I FEELING PRETTY GOOD RIGHTNOW. ONE OF THE THINGS I’M PROUD OF,AND THIS IS NOT JUST ME, IS WEHAVE LOOKED AT A WHOLE SLEW OFPROBLEMS WHEN WE CAME INTOOFFICE. AND WE SAID WHERE CAN WE ADVANCETHE BALL DOWN THE FIELD EACH ANDEVERY TIME ACROSS THE BOARD. AND WE DON’T SCORE A TOUCH DOWNEVERY TIME, BUT WE MOVE THE BALLFORWARD. >> Jon: DO YOU FEEL LIKEYOU’VE HIT THE METRICS THAT YOUWANTED TO HIT. >> YOU’RE ALWAYS GOING TO FALLSHORT BECAUSE IF YOU’RE HITTINGYOUR MARK THAT MEANS YOU DIDN’TSET THEM HIGH ENOUGH, RIGHT. SO IN HEALTHCARE –>> Jon: AM I BEING UNREASONABLETO YOU, AM I BEING UNFAIRSUGGESTING IN THIS ONE INSTANCE,GOVERNMENT FAILED TO ADDRESS APROBLEM IN AN APPROPRIATE TIMEFRAME, FAILED TO DO IT –>> I THINK YOU’RE BEING ENTIRELYFAIR THAT THE VA HAS NOT DONEWHAT IT NEEDS TO DO IN TERMS OFOUR VETERANS, OKAY. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT’S BUILTUP OVER 50 YEARS. AND THE QUESTION THEN BECOMES –>> Jon: WHOSE FAULT IS IT. >> Jon: NO, NO, NO. >> THE QUESTION IS, HOW DO WESET THE RIGHT BENCHMARKS SO THATWE KNOW WE’RE MAKING PROGRESSAND WE’RE MOVING IN THE RIGHTDIRECTION. AND THAT’S TRUE ON ALL THISSTUFF. WHEN WE PASSED HEALTHCARE, THEREWAS A LOT OF COMPLAINTS ABOUT ASINGLE PAYER PLAN WOULD BEBETTER. WE NEED A PUBLIC OPTION OR THEWHOLE RANGE OF POSSIBILITIES. AND A LOT OF THOSE SUGGESTIONS IAGREED WITH. BUT WHAT I KNEW WAS, GIVEN THELEGACY SYSTEM WE’VE INHERITED,GIVEN THE POLITICS OF THISCOUNTRY, GIVEN PEOPLE ARE ALWAYSAFRAID OF SOMETHING NEW, GIVENOBSTRUCTION AND RESISTANCE FROMTHE OTHER SIDE. FOR US TO GET THIS DONE ANDSUDDENLY HAVE 16 MILLION PEOPLEWHO HAVE HEALTHCARE WHO DIDN’THAVE IT BEFORE AND A HUNDREDPLUS MILLION PEOPLE WHO KNOWTHAT IF THEY LOSE THEIR JOBTOMORROW, THEY CAN STILL GETHEALTHCARE EVEN IF THEY GOTPREEXISTING CONDITION. KNOWING THAT A WHOLE BUNCH OFIANPEOPLE SUDDENLY ARE ABLE TO GETHEALTHCARE UNDER THEIR PARENTSPLAN? I’LL TAKE THAT. AND GOING BACK TO THE IRANDEAL — THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO SAY WELLON IRAN, WHY DIDN’T YOU JUSTCOMPLETELY ELIMINATE ALLVEST VESTIGES OF ANYNUCLEAR PROGRAM PROGRAMS. HERE’S THE REASON. A, THERE’S NO REASON THEY WOULDEVER DO THAT. B, THE REASON WE GOT THEM TO THETABLE IS BECAUSE WE HAVECOUNTRIES LIKE CHINA AND RUSSIAEVEN WITH ALL THE DISAGREEMENTSWE HAVE, WE’RE ABLE TO ORGANIZETHEM TO FOCUS, MAKING SURE THEYDIDN’T HAVE A BOMB. AND TO KEEP THAT INTERNATIONALCOALITION TOGETHER AND SANCTIONSTOGETHER, WHAT THAT MEANT WAS WEHAD TO TAKE SOME CONSIDERATIONINTO IRAN’S SAVING FACE AS THEYMOVE FORWARD ON THIS DEAL. AS LONG AS WE KNEW THEY WEREN’TGOING TO GET A BOMB. I GUESS WHAT I’M SAYING JON ISTHAT IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO FOCUSON WHAT THREE QUARTERS OF WHATYOU GET YOUR JOB IS TO POINTEDOUT WHAT WE HAVEN’T GOTTEN. THAT’S WHY OUR DEMOCRACY WORKSIS BECAUSE WE KEEP ON MAKINGIMPROVEMENTS. >> Jon: YOU’RE GOING TO GOWITH THIS WHOLESANDWICH ANALOGY. >> BUT WHAT WE CAN’T LOSESIGHT OF, I GUESS WHAT I DOFIGHT AGAINST –>> Jon: I FEEL IT. >> NO, NO. >> Jon: I FELT THE MOOD CHANGE. I FELT IT. >> HERE’S WHAT I FIGHT AGAINST. WHAT I FIGHT AGAINST IS THATCYNICISM, I’M NOT SAYING — THECYNICISM THAT IS FED BY THISNOTION THAT GOVERNMENT DOESN’TGET STUFF DONE. AND THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER ISTHAT WHETHER IT’S OUR MILITARYOR ALL KINDS OF PUBLIC SERVANTSIN THE VA OR IN AG OR IN ALL OFTHE AGENCIES THAT WORK AT IT,EVERY SINGLE DAY THERE’S A BUNCHOF STUFF THAT IS GETTING DONETHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT ANDHELPS A LOT OF PEOPLE. AND IF THOSE OF US WHO BELIEVETHE GOVERNMENT HAS SOME, IN THEINTEREST OF FAIRNESS OROBJECTIVITY OR WHAT HAVE YOU,DON’T ACKNOWLEDGE AND FOCUS ONTHE ENORMOUS SUCCESSES BUT ALSOTHE FACT THAT YES THERE’S AHUMAN ENTERPRISE, THERE’S GOINGTO BE SOME TRADE OFFS. THERE’S GOING TO BE SOMEBODYSOMEWHERE SCREWING OFF. WHEN PROBLEMS COME UP THEYSHOULD BE FIXED. SOMETIMES NOT AS FAST AS THEYSHOULD. WHEN WE LOSE SIGHT OF THAT WEARE LEADING INTO THIS NARRATIVETHAT BASICALLY SAYS THERE’SNOTHING WE CAN DO. THEN WHAT WE GET ARE THE PROTESTMOVEMENTS ON THE LEFT OR THERIGHT. TO SOME DEGREE THE TEA PARTY ISAN EXPRESSION OF FRUSTRATION. THEY SEE A BUNCH OF STUFF GOINGON THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND. THEY FEEL THREATENED BY AND THEYREACT. INCLUDING ME. >> Jon: YOU MAKE THEM SOUNDLIKE BUNNIES. >> SO I JUST, I MEAN THEONE THING THAT I FEEL DEEPLYABOUT, AND THIS IS SOMETHING IFEEL DEEPLY ABOUT WHEN I LEAVEGOVERNMENT IS STUFF GETSBETTER IF WE WORK AT IT AND WESTAY FOCUSED ON WHERE WE’REGOING. IT DOESN’T IMMEDIATELY GET ALLSOLVED. AND I WARNED AGAINST THIS WHEN IWAS RUNNING FOR OFFICE BECAUSEEVERYBODY HAD HOPE POSTERS ANDTHIS AND THAT AND EVERYBODY WASFEELING –>> Jon: HEY WE DIDN’TMAKE THOSE, YOU MADE THOSE. >> NO, NO. >> Jon: I’M PRETTY SURE THATCAME FROM YOU. >> WHAT I’M SAYING IS THAT IFYOU LOOK AT WHAT I SAID AT THETIME, I SAID THIS IS GOING TOBE AN ONGOING PROJECT. AND IT’S A PROJECT OF CITIZENS. IT’S NOT JUST FIX THIS. IT’S HOW DO WE WORK TOGETHER TOGET THINGS DONE. AND IT ISN’T PERFECT BUT OVERTIME IT GETS BETTER. AND HERE’S THE THING I CAN SAY,JON. I CAN SAY THIS UNEQUIVOCALLY. THE V. A. IS BETTER NOW THAN WHENI CAME INTO OFFICE. IT IS BETTER NOW THAN WHEN ICAME INTO OFFICE. GOVERNMENT WORKS BETTER THANWHEN I CAME INTO OFFICE. THE ECONOMY BY EVERY METRIC ISBETTER THAN WHEN I CAME INTOOFFICE. AND SO THE REASON I CAN SLEEP ATNIGHT IS I SAID TO MYSELF DO YOUKNOW WHAT, IT’S BETTER. NOW, AM I SATISFIED WITH IT? NO. AND SHOULD VOTERS BE SATISFIEDWITH IT?ABSOLUTELY NOT BECAUSE OTHERWISEIF WE GET COMPLACENT AND LAZY,THEN STUFF DOESN’T HAPPEN. >> Jon: NO, THAT’S TOTALLY WHATI WAS SAYING. >> YOU AND ME, WE’RE RIGHTTHERE. >> Jon: CAN I TELL YOUSOMETHING. >> YOU CAN. >> Jon: I HAVE NO IDEA WHEREWE ARE COMMERCIAL WISE. I’M GOING TO, I’M GOING TO JUSTTHROW TO COMMERCIAL. HERE’S WHAT WE’LL DO. WE’LL GO TO A COMMERCIAL. WE’LL COME BACK AND TALK MORE. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUTNEXT. I’LL LEAVE IT UP TO YOU,WHATEVER THE SUBJECT MATTER IS. WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH MOREFROM PRESIDENT OBAMA.
. >> THIS IS AN NBC NEWS SPECIAL REPORT. PRESIDENT OBAMA’S FAREWELL ADDRESS, FROM CHICAGO, HERE’S LESTER HOLT. >> AND GOOD EVENING FROM McCORMICK PLACE CONVENTION CENTER IN CHICAGO, FROM IN JUST A MOMENT, PRESIDENT OBAMA WILL GIVE HIS FAREWELL ADDRESS TO AN AUDIENCE OF 20,000 HERE AND MILLIONS MORE WATCHING AT HOME. TONIGHT, WHICH WILL HEAR FROM THE PRESIDENT IN HIS ADOPTED HOME TOWN, REFLECTING ON HIS EIGHT YEARS IN THE OVAL OFFICE. JUST A SHORT TIME AGO, I CONCLUDED BY INTERVIEW WITH THE PRESIDENT ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE. LATER WE SPOKE IN ONE OF HIS DINERS IN HYDE PARG. HE TOLD ME HE HOPES TO FACE HIS CHALLENGESERS FROM HIS SUCCESSOR, POLITIC DONALD TRUMP WHO TAKES OVER THE OFFICE IN JUST TEN DAYS TIME. I AM JOINED HERE BY NBC’S KRISTEN WELKER. KRISTEN, ON THE AIRPLANE COMING HERE TODAY, THERE WAS A SENSE OFNOSTALGIA AMONG HIS SENIOR STAFF. >> HIS SENIOR ADVISERS TOLL ME THIS IS AN INCREDIBLY EMOTIONAL NIGHT. SO MANY PEOPLE IN THIS CROWD HAVE SUPPORTED HIM FROM THE VERYBEGINNING. THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE HE CALM BACK TO CELEBRATE HIS RE-ELECTION FOUR YEARS AGO. IN EXCERPTS RELEASED EARLIER TONIGHT, YOU KNOW HE WILL PRAISETHE AMERICAN VALUES EMBODIED IN THIS CITY. HE WILL SAY THIS IS WHERE HE LEARNED ORDINARY PEOPLE CAN GET INVOLVED AND REALLY MAKE A CHANGE. THIS WILL NOT BE A REBUKE OF DONALD TRUMP. UT GOING TO BE A LOOK ‘BACK AT EIGHT YEARS, A CALL TO ACTION. >> WE KNOW MICHELLE OBAMA IS HERE. THEY’VE JUST MADE THE ANNOUNCEMENT. THERE WAS AN ACT ONLY INm THERE WERE A LOT OF LOYAL SUPPORTERS OF THE PRESIDENT HERE AND THAT THERE WOULD BE THESE KIND OF MOMENTS AS THE PRESIDENT WALKED OUT. CHUCK TODD IS WATCHING ALONG WITH US IN NEW YORK. CHUCK SPEAKING TO THE PREDECESSOR TODAY, HE IS STILL WRESTLING WITH THE ISSUE OF HIS LEGACY AND IN VIEW OF THE TRUMP VICTORY. >> WELL, LESTER, I THINK IT’S UNDERSTANDABLE WHY HE IS A LITTLE BIT. BECAUSE SOME STUFF COULD GET UNDONE WITH THE STROKE OF A PEN WITHIN AN HOUR THAT HE TAKES THEOATH. >> HERE IS THE PRESIDENT. >> IT’S GREAT TO BE HOME. THANK YOU. THANK YOU, EVERYBODY. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU, SO MUCH. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. IT’S GOOD TO BE HOME. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. WE’RE ON LIVE TV HERE. I GOT TO MOVE. YOU CAN TELL THAT I’M — YOU CANTELL THAT, YOU THE TELL THAT I’MA LAME DUCK BECAUSE NOBODY IS FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS. EVERYBODY HAVE A SEAT. MY FELLOW AMERICANS, MICHELLE AND I HAVE BEEN SO TOUCHED BY ALL THE WELL WISHES THAT WE’VE RECEIVED OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS, BUT TONIGHT, TONIGHT IT’SMY TURN TO SAY THANKS,. WHETHER WE HAVE SEEN EYE TO EYE OR RARELY AGREED AT ALL, MY CONVERSATIONS WITH YOU, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, IN LIVING ROOMSAND IN SCHOOLS, AT FAMS. ON FACTORY FLOORS, DINERS AND ONDISTANT MILITARY OUTPOSTS, THOSECONVERSATIONS ARE WHAT HAVE KEPTME HONEST AND KEPT ME INSPIRED AND KEPT ME GOING. AND EVERY DAY I HAVE LEARNED FROM YOU. YOU MADE ME A BETTER PRESIDENT. AND YOU MADE ME A BETTER MAN. SO I FIRST CAME TO CHICAGO WHEN I WAS IN MY EARLY 20s AND I WAS STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHO IWAS, STILL SEARCHING FOR A PURPOSE IN MY LIFE AND IT WAS A NEIGHBORHOOD NOT FAR FROM HERE WHERE I BEGAN WORKING WITH CHURCH GROUPS IN THE SHADOWS OF CLOSED STEEL MILLS. IT WAS ON THESE STREETS WHERE I WITNESSED THE POWER OF FATE AND THE QUIET DIGNITARY OF WORKING PEOPLE IN THE FACE OF STRUGGLE AND LAWS. I CAN’T DO THAT. NOW THIS IS WHERE I LEARNED THATCHANGE ONLY HAPPENS WHEN ORDINARY PEOPLE GET INVOLVED ANDTHEY GET ENGAGED. AND THEY COME TOGETHER TO DEMANDIT. AFTER EIGHT YEARS AS YOUR PRESIDENT, I STILL BELIEVE THAT. AND IT’S NOT JUST MY BELIEF. IT’S THE BEATING HEART OF OUR AMERICAN IDEA, OUR BOLD EXPERIMENT IN SELF GOVERNMENT. IT’S THE CONVICTION THAT WE ARE ALL CREATED EQUAL ENDOWED BY OURCREATOR WITH CERTAIN UNALIENABLERIGHTS AMONG THEM LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. IT’S THE INSISTENCE THAT THESE RIGHTS, WHILE SELF-EVIDENT, HAVENEVER BEEN SELF EXECUTED. >> THAT WE, THE PEOPLE, THROUGH THE INSTRUMENT OF OUR DEMOCRACY CAN FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION. WHAT A RADICAL IDEA. THE GREAT GIFT THAT OUR FOUNDERSGAVE TO US. THE FREEDOM TO CHASE OUR INDIVIDUAL DREAMS THROUGH OUR SWEAT AND TOIL AND IMAGINATION AND THE IMPERATIVE TO STRIVE TOWING AS WELL, TO ACHIEVE A COMMON GOOD, A GREATER GOOD. FOR240 YEARS, OUR NATION’S CALL TO CITIZENSHIP HAS GIVEN WORK AND PURPOSE TO EACH NEW GENERATION. IT’S WHAT LED PATRIOTS TO CHOOSEREPUBLIC OF TYRANNY, PIONEERS TOTREK WEST, SLAVES TO BRAVE THAT MAKE SHIFT RAILROAD TO CLEVELAND. IT’S WHAT PULLED IMMIGRANTS AND RNLSREFUGEES ACROSS OCEANS AND THE RIO GRANDE AND PUSHED WOMEN TO REACH FOR THE BATTLE, WHAT POWERED WORKERS TO ORGANIZE, IT’S WHY GIs GAVE THEIR LIVES ATOMAHA BEACH AND IWOJIMA AND IRAQAND MEN AND WOMEN FROM SELMA ANDSTONEWALL WERE PREPARED TO GIVE THEIRS AS WELL. SO, SO THAT’S WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE SAY AMERICAN DECEPTION. NOT THAT OUR NATION HAS BEEN FLAWFROM THE START BUT THAT WE HAVE SHOWN THE CAPACITY TO CHANGE AND MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR THOSE WHO FOLLOW. YES, OUR PROGRESS HAS BEEN UNEVEN. THE WORK OF DEMOCRACY HAS ALWAYSBEEN HARD. IT’S ALWAYS BEEN CONTENTIOUS. SOMETIMES IT’S BEEN BLOODY. FOR EVERY TWO STEPS FORWARD, IT OFTEN FEELS WE TAKE ONE STEP BACK. BUT THE LONG SWEEP OF AMERICA HAS BEEN DEFINED BY FORWARD MOTION. A CONSTANT WIDENING OF OUR FOUNDING CREED TO EMBRACE ALL AND NOT JUST SOME. . IF I HAD TOLD YOU EIGHT YEARS AGO, THAT AMERICA WOULD REVERSE LATE IN THE RECESSION, REBOOT OUR AUTO INDUSTRY, AND UNLEASH THE LONGEST PLEDGE OF JOB CREATION IN OUR HISTORY. IF I HAD TOLD YOU THAT WE WOULD OPEN UP A NEW CHAPTER WITH THE CUBAN PEOPLE, SHUT DOWN IRAN’S NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM WITHOUT FIRING A SHOT, TAKE OUT THE MASTERMIND OF 9/11. IF I HAD TOLD YOU THAT WE WOULD WIN MARRIAGE EQUALITY AND SECURETHE LIFE TO HAVE CONCERN FOR ANOTHER 20 MILLION OF OUR FELLOWCITIZENS IF I HAD TOLD YOU ALL THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE SAID OUR SIGHTS WERE SET A LITTLE TOO HIGH, BUT THAT’S WHAT WE DID. THAT’S WHAT YOU DID. YOU WERE THE CHANGE. THE ANSWER TO PEOPLE’S HOPES ANDBECAUSE OF YOU, BY ALMOST EVERY MEASURE, AMERICA’S A BETTER, STRONGER PLACE THAN IT WAS WHEN WE STARTED. IN TEN DAYS, THE WORLD WILL WITNESS A HALLMARK OF OUR DEMOCRACY. NO, NO, NO, NO THE PEACEFUL TRANSFER OF POWER FROM ONE FREELY ELECTED PRESIDENT TO THE NEXT. I COMMITTED TO PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP THAT MY ADMINISTRATION WOULD ENSURE THE SMOOTHEST POSSIBLE TRANSITION JUST AS PRESIDENT BUSH DID FOR ME. BECAUSE IT’S UP TO ALL OF US TO MAKE SURE OUR GOVERNMENT CAN HELP US MEET THE MANY CHALLENGESWE STILL FACE. WE HAVE WHAT WE NEED TO DO SO. WE HAVE EVERYTHING WE NEED TO MEET THOSE CHALLENGES. AFTER ALL, WE WERE MADE OF THE WEALTHIEST, MOST POWERFUL AND MOST RESPECTED NATION ON EARTH. OUR YOUTH, OUR DRIVE, OUR DIVERSITY AND OPENNESS, OUR BOUNDLESS CAPACITY FOR RISK AND REINVENTION MEANS THAT THE FUTURE SHOULD BE OURS. BUT THAT POTENTIAL WILL ONLY BE REALIZED IF OUR DEMOCRACY WORKS. ONLY IF OUR POLITICS BETTER REFLECTS THE DECENCY OF OUR PEOPLE ONLY IF ALL OF US, REGARDLESS OFPARTY AFFILIATION OR PARTICULAR INTERESTS HELP RESTORE THE SENSEOF COMMON PURPOSE THAT WE SO BADLY NEED RIGHT NOW. THAT’S WHAT I WANT TO FOCUS ON TONIGHT. THE STATE OF OUR DEMOCRACY. UNDERSTAND DEMOCRACY DOES NOT REQUIRE UNIFORMITY. OUR FOUNDERS ARGUED, THEY QUARRELLED, EVENTUALLY, THEY COMPROMISED. THEY EXPECTED US TO DO THE SAME. BUT THEY KNEW THAT DEMOCRACY DOES REQUIRE A BASIC SENSE OF SOLIDARITY. THE IDEA THAT FOR ALL OUR OUTWARD DIFFERENCES, WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. >> THAT WE RISE OR FALL AS ONE. THERE HAVE BEEN MOMENTS THROUGHOUT OUR HISTORY THAT THREATENS THAT SOLIDARITY. IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS CENTURYHAS BEEN ONE OF THOSE TIMES. A SHRISKING WORLD, GROWING INEQUALITY, DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE IN THE SPECTRE OF TERRORISM. THESE FORCES HAVEN’T JUST TESTEDOUR SECURITY AND OUR PROSPERITY,BUT ARE TESTING OUR DEMOCRACY ASWELL. AND HOW WE MEET THESE CHALLENGESTO OUR DEMOCRACY WILL DETERMINE OUR ABILITY TO EDUCATE OUR KIDS AND CREATE GOOD JOBS AND PROTECTOUR HOMELAND. IN OTHER WORDS, IT WILL DETERMINE OUR FUTURE. TO BEGIN WITH, OUR DEMOCRACY WON’T WORK WITHOUT A SENSE THAT EVERYONE HAS ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES. AND THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT, TODAYTHE ECONOMY IS GROWING AGAIN, WAGES, INCOMES, HOME VALUE, AND RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS ARE ALL RISING AGAIN. POVERTY IS FALLING AGAIN. THE WEALTHY ARE PAYING A FAIRER SHARE OF TAX, EVEN AS THE STOCKMARKET SHATTERS RECORDS, THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS NEAR A TEN-YEAR LOW. THE UNINSURED RATE HAS NEVER EVER BEEN LOWER. HEALTH CARE COSTS ARE ARRIVING AT THE SLOWEST RATE IN 50 YEARS AND I’VE SAID AND I MOON IT, IF ANYONE CAN PUT TOGETHER A PLAN THAT IS DEMONSTRABLY BETTER THANTHE IMPROVEMENTS WE’VE NEED OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM THAT COVERS AS MANY PEOPLE AT LESS COST, I WILL COVER IT AND SUPPORT IT. BECAUSE THAT, AFTER ALL, IS WHY WE SERVE. NOT TO SCORE POINTS OR TAKE CREDIT BUT TO MAKE PEOPLE’S LIVES BETTER. BUT FOR ALL REAL PROGRESS THAT WE’VE MADE, WE KNOW IT’S NOT ENOUGH. OUR ECONOMY DOESN’T WORK AS WELLOR GROW AS FAST WHEN A FEW PROSPER AT THE EXPENSE OF THE GROWING MIDDLE CLASS AND LATTERSFOR THOSE WHO WANT TO GET INTO THE MIDDLE CLASS. THAT’S THE ECONOMIC ARGUMENT, BUT START INEQUALITY IS CORROSIVE TO OUR DEMOCRATIC IDEA. WHILE THE TOP 1% HAS AMASSED A BIGGER INCOME. TOO MANY OF OUR FAMILIES IN INNER CITIES AND IN RURAL COUNTIES HAVE BEEN LEFT BEHIND. THE LAID OFF FACTORY WORKER, THEWAITRESS OR HEALTH CARE WORKER WHO’S JUST BARELY GETTING BY ANDSTRUGGLING TO PAY THE BILLS. CONVINCED THAT THE GAME IS FIXEDAGAINST THEM. >> THAT THEIR GOVERNMENT ONLY SERVES THE INTERESTS OF THE POWERFUL. THAT’S A RECIPE FOR MORE CYNICISM AND POLARIZATION IN OURPOLITICS. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXS TO THIS LONG-TERM TREND. I AGREE, OUR TRADE SHOULD BE FAIR AND NOT JUST FREE. BUT THE NEXT WAVE OF ECONOMIC DISLOCATIONS WON’T COME FROM OVERSEAS, IT WILL COME FROM THE RELENTLESS PACE OF AUTOMATION THAT MAKES A LOT OF GOOD MIDDLE CLASS JOBS OBSOLETE. AND SO WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO FORGE A NEW SOCIAL EXACT TO GUARANTEE ALL OUR KIDS THE EDUCATION THEY NEED. TO GIVE WORKERS THE POWER TO UNIONIZE FOR BETTER WAGES, TO UPDATE THE SOCIAL SAFETY NET TO REFLECT WAY WE LIVE NOW. AND MAKE MORE REFORMS TO THE TAXCODE SO CORPORATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS WHO REAP THE MOST FROM THIS NEW ECONOMY DON’T AVOID THEIR OBLIGATIONS TO THE COUNTRY THAT’S MADE THEIR VERY SUCCESS POSSIBLE. WE CAN ARGUE ABOUT HOW TO BEST ACHIEVE THESE GOALS. BUT WE CAN’T BE COMPLACENT ABOUTTHE GOALS, THEMSELVES. FOR IF WE DON’T CREATE OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL PEOPLE THAT THIS AFFECTION AND THE VISION THAT HAS STALLED OUR PROGRESS WILL ONLY SHARPEN IN YEARS TO COME. THERE’S A SECOND THREAT TO OUR DEMOCRACY AND THIS ONE IS AS OLDAS OUR NATION, ITSELF. AFTER MY ELECTION, THERE WAS TALK OF A POST-RACIAL AMERICA AND SUCH A VISION HOWEVER WELL INTENDED WAS NEVER REALISTIC. RACE REMAINS A POTENT AND OFFERING DIVISIVE COURSE IN OUR SOCIETY. NOW I’VE LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT RACE RELATIONS ARE BETTER THAN THEY WERE TEN OR 20 OR 30 YEARS AGO, NO MATTER WHAT SOME FOLKS SAY. YOU CAN SEE IT, NOT JUST IN STATISTICS, YOU SEE IT IN THE ATTITUDES OF YOUNG AMERICANS ACROSS THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM. BUT WE’RE NOT WHERE WE NEED TO BE. AND ALL OF US HAVE MORE WORK TO DO. IF EVERY ECONOMIC ISSUE IS FRAMED AS A STRUGGLE BETWEEN A HARD WORKING WHITE MIDDLE CLASS AND AN UNDESERVING MINORITY, THEN WORKERS OF ALL SHADES ARE GOING TO BE LEFT FIGHTING FOR SCRAPS WHILE THE THE WEALTHY WITHDRAW FURTHER INTO THEIR PRIVATE ENCLAVE. IF WE’RE UNWILLING TO INVEST IN THE CHILDREN OF IMMIGRANTS JUST BECAUSE THEY DON’T LOOK LIKE US,WE WILL DIMINISH THE PROSPECTS OF OUR OWN CHILDREN BECAUSE THOSE BROWN KIDS WILL REPRESENT A LARGER AND LARGER SHARE OF AMERICA’S WORK FORCE. AND WE HAVE SHOWN THAT OUR ECONOMY DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A ZERO SUM GAME. LAST YEAR INCOMES ROSE FOR ALL RACES, ALL AGE GROUPS, FOR MEN AND FOR WOMEN. SO WE’RE GOING TO BE SERIOUS ABOUT RACE GOING FORWARD, WE NEED TO UPHOLD LAWS AGAINST DISCRIMINATION IN HIRING AND IN HOUSING AND IN EDUCATION AND IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. >> THAT IS WHAT OUR CONSTITUTIONAND OUR HIGHEST IDEALS REQUIRE. THE LAWS ALONE WON’T BE ENOUGH. HEARTS MUST CHANGE. THEY WON’T CHANGE OVERNIGHT. SOCIAL ATTITUDES OFTENTIMES TAKEGENERATIONS TO CHANGE, BUT IF OUR DEMOCRACY IS TO WORK THE WAYIT SHOULD IN THIS INCREASINGLY DIVERSE NATION, THEN EACH ONE OFUS NEEDS TO TRY TO HEED THE ADVICE OF A GREAT CHARACTER IN AMERICAN FICTION, ATTICUS FINCH,WHO SAID, YOU NEVER REALLY UNDERSTAND A PERSON UNTIL YOU CONSIDER THINGS FROM HIS POINT OF VIEW, UNTIL YOU CLIMB INTO HIS SKIN AND WALK AROUND IN IT. FOR BLACKS AND OTHER MINORITY GROUPS, THAT MEANS TYING OUR OWNVERY REAL STRUGGLES FOR JUSTICE TO THE CHALLENGES THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY FACE. NOT ONLY THE REASONABLE OR THE IMMIGRANT OR THE REAL POOR OR THE TRANSGENDER AMERICAN, BUT ALSO THE MIDDLE AGED WHITE GUY WHO FROM THE OUTSIDE MAY SEEM LIKE HE’S GOT ADVANTAGES, BUT HAS SEEN HIS WORLD UPENDED BY ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE. WE HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION AND LISTEN. FOR WHITE AMERICANS, IT MEANSINGA ONLY INNING THE EFFECTS OF SLAVERY AND JIM CROWE DIDN’T SUDDENLY VANISH IN THE ’60s, THAT WHEN MINORITY GROUPS VOICE DISCONTENT, THEY’RE NOT JUST ENGAGING IN REVERSE RACISM OR PRACTICING POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, WHEN THEY WAGE PEACEFUL PROTESTS, THEY’RE NOT DEMANDING SPECIAL TREATMENT, BUTTHE EQUAL TREATMENT THAT OUR FOUNDERS PROMISED. FOR MANLY BORN AMERICANS, IT MEANS REMINDING OURSELVES ABOUT THE STORYIO TYPES OF IMMIGRANTSSTODAY WERE SAID ALMOST WORD-FOR-WORD ABOUT THE IRISH. AND ITALIANS, AND POLs, WHO IT WAS SAID WERE GOING TO DESTROY THE FUNDAMENTAL CHARACTER OF MARC. AS IT TURNS OUT, THE AMERICANS WEREN’T WEAKENED BY THE PRESENCEOF THESE NEWCOMERS. THESE NEWCOMERS EMBRACED THIS NATION’S CREED AND THIS NATION WAS STRENGTHENED. SO REGARDLESS OF THE STATION THAT WE OCCUPY, WE ALL HAVE TO TRY HARDER. WE ALL HAVE TO START WITH THE PREMISE THAT EACH OF OUR FELLOW CITIZENS LOVES THIS COUNTRY JUSTAS MUCH AS WE DO, THAT THEY VALUE HARD WORK AND FAMILY JUST LIKE WE DO, THAT THEIR CHILDREN ARE JUST AS CURIOUS AND HOPEFUL AND WORTHY OF LOVE AS OUR OWN. AND THAT’S NOT EASY TO DO. FOR TOO MANY OF US, IT’S BECOME SAFE TORE RETREAT INTO OUR OWN BUBBLES, WHETHER IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS OR ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES OR PLACES OF WORSHIP, OR ESPECIALLY OUR SOCIAL MEDIA FEEDS. SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE WHO LOOK LIKE US AND SHARE THE SAME POLITICAL OUTLOOK AND NEVER CHALLENGE OUR ASSUMPTIONS. IN THE RISE OF NAKED PARTISANSHIP, INCREASING ECONOMIC AND REGIONAL STRATIFICATION THE SPLINTERING OF OUR MEDIA INTO A CHANNEL FOR EVERY TASTE, ALL THIS MAKES THISGREAT SORTING SEEM NATURAL. EVEN INEVITABLE. AND INCREASINGLY, WE BECOME SO SECURE IN OUR BUBBLES THAT WE START ACCEPTING ONLY INFORMATION, WHETHER IT’S TRUE OR NOT THAT FITS OUR OPINIONS. INSTEAD OF BASING OUR OPINIONS ON THE THAT EVIDENCE IS OUT THERE. AND THIS TREND REPRESENTS A THREAT TO OUR DEMOCRACY. POLITICS IS A BATTLE OF IDEAS. THAT’S HOW OUR DEMOCRACY WAS DESIGNED IN THE COURSE OF A HEALTHY DEBATE, WE PRIORITIZE DIFFERENT GOALS AND THE DIFFERENT MEANS OF REACHING THEM. BUT WITHOUT SOME COMMON BASELINEOF FACTS, WITHOUT A WILLINGNESS TO ADMIT NEW INFORMATION AND CONCEDE THAT YOUR OPPONENT MIGHTBE MAKING A FAIR POINT AND THAT SCIENCE AND REASON MATTER, THEN WE’RE GOING TO KEEP TALKING PASTEACH OTHER AND WE’LL MAKE COMMONGROUND AND COMPROMISEIMPOSSIBLE. AND ISN’T THAT PART OF WHAT SO OFTEN MAKES POLITICS DESPIRITED?HOW CAN ELECTION OFFICIALS RAGE ABOUT DEFICITS WHEN WE PROPOSE TO SPEND MONEY ON PRE SCHOOL FORKIDS BUT NOT WHEN WE’RE CARRYINGTAXES FOR CORPORATIONS. HOW DO WE EXCUSE ETHICAL LAMBSS IN OUR OWN PARTY BUT COUNTS WHENTHE OTHER PARTY DOES THE SAME THING?IT’S NOT JUST DISHONEST, THIS SELECTED SORTING OF THE FACE, IT’S SELF DEFEATING. BECAUSE AS MY MOM USED TO TELL ME, REALITY HAS A WAY OF CATCHING UP WITH YOU. TAKE THE CHALLENGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE, IN JUST EIGHT YEARS, WE HAVE OUR DEPENDENTS ON FOREIGN OIL. WE’VE DOUBLED OUR RENEWABLE ENERGY, WE’VE LED TO WORLD TO ANAGREEMENT THAT HAS THE PROMISE TO SAVE THIS PLANET. BUT WITHOUT BOLDER ACTION, OUR CHILDREN WON’T HAVE TIME TO DEBATE THE EXISTENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE. THEY’LL BE BUSY DEALING WITH ITSEFFECTS, MORE ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS, MORE ECONOMIC DISRUPTIONS. WAVES OF CLIMATE REFUGEES SEEKING SANCTUARY. NOW WE CAN AND SHOULD ARGUE ABOUT THE BEST APPROACH TO SOLVETHE PROBLEM. BUT TO SIMPLY DESIGN THE PROBLEM, NOT ONLY DETRAYS FUTUREGENERATIONS, IT BETRAYS THE ESSENTIAL SPIRIT OF THIS COUNTRY. THE ESSENTIAL SPIRIT OF INNOVATION AND PRACTICAL PROBLEMSOLVING THAT GUIDED OUR FOUND ERS IT IS THAT SPIRIT BORN OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT THAT MADE US AN ECONOMIC POWER HOUSE. THE SPIRIT THAT TOOK FLIGHT AT KITTY HAWK AND CAPE CANAVERAL. THE SPIRIT THAT CURES DISEASE AND PUT A COMPUTER IN EVERY POCKET. IT’S THAT SPIRIT A. FAITH IN REASON AND ENTERPRISE AND THE PRIVACY OF RIGHT OVER MIGHT THATALLOWED US TO RESIST THE LURE OFFASCISM AND TYRANNY DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION. >> THAT ALLOWED US TO BUILD A POST-WORLD WAR II ORDER WITH OTHER DEMOCRACY, AN ORDER BASED NOT JUST ON MILITARY POWER OR NATIONAL AFFILIATIONLES, BUT BUILT ON PRINCIPLES, THE RULE OFLAW. HUMAN RIGHTS, FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND SPEECH AND ASSEMBLYAND AN INDEPENDENT PRESS. THAT ORDER IS NOW BEING CHALLENGED. FIRST BY VIOLENT FANATICS WHO CLAIM TO SPEAK FOR ISLAM, MORE RECENTLY BY AUTOCRATS AND FOREIGN CAPITALS, WHO SEEK FREE MARKETS AND OPEN DEMOCRACIES ANDCIVIL SOCIETY, ITSELF, AS A THREAT TO THEIR POWER. THE PERIL EACH POSES TO OUR DEMOCRACY IS MORE FAR REACHING THAN A CAR BOMB OR A MISSILE. THEY REPRESENT THE FEAR OF CHANGE, THE FEAR OF PEOPLE WHO LOOK OR SPEAK OR PLAY DIFFERENTLY. A CONTEMPT FOR RULE OF LAW THAT HOLDS LEADERS ACCOUNTABLE, AN INTOLERANCE OF THE SENATE AND FREE THOUGHT. A BELIEF THAT THE SWORD OR THE GUN OR THE BOMB OR THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE IS THE ULTIMATE ARBITER OF WHAT’S TRUE AND WHAT’S RIGHT. BECAUSE OF THE EXTRAORDINARY COURAGE OF OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN YOUTHFUL, BECAUSE OF OUR INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AND DIPLOMATS WHO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS NO FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANIZATION THAT SUCCESSFULLY PLANNED AND EXECUTED AN ATTACK ON OUR HOMELAND THESE PAST EIGHT YEARS. AND ALTHOUGH BOSTON AND ORLANDO AND SAN BERNARDINO AND FT. HOOD REMIND US OF HOW DANGEROUS RADICALIZATION CAN BE. OUR LAW ENFORCEm AGENCIES ARE MORE EFFECTIVE AND VIGIL THAN EVER. WE HAVE TAKEN OUT TENS OF THOUSANDS OF TERRORISTS, INCLUDING BIN LADIN. THE COALITION WE ARE LEADING AGAINST ISIL HAS TAKEN OUT THEIRLEADERS AND TAKEN AWAY ABOUT HALF THEIR TERRITORY. ISIL WILL BE DESTROYED AND NO ONE WHO THREATENS AMERICA WILL EVER BE SAFE. AND ALL WHO SERVE OR HAVE SERVED, IT HAS BEEN THE HONOR OFMY LIFETIME TO BE YOUR COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. WHEN WE ALL OWE YOU A DEEP DEBT OF GRATITUDE. BUT PROTECTING OUR WAY OF LIFE, THAT’S NOT JUST THE JOB OF OUR MILITARY. DEMOCRACY CAN BUCKLE WHEN IT GIVES INTO FEAR. SO JUST AS WE AS CITIZENS MUST REMAIN VIGILANT AGAINST EXTERNALAGGRESSION, WE MUST GUARD AGAINST A WEAKENING OF THE VALUES THAT MAKE US WHO WE ARE AND THAT’S WHY FOR THE PAST EIGHT YEARS, I’VE WORKED TO PUT THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM ON AFIRMER LEGAL FOOTING. THAT’S WHY WE’VE END THE TORTURE, WORK TO CLOSE GITMO, REFORMED OUR LAWS TO PROTECT PRIVACIES AND CIVIL LIBERTIES. THAT’S WHY I REJECT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MUSLIM AMERICANS, WHO ARE JUST AS PATRIOTIC AS YOU ARE. THAT’S WHY WE CANNOT WITHDRAW. THAT’S WHY WE CANNOT WITHDRAW FROM BIG GLOBAL FIGHTS TO EXPANDDEMOCRACY AS HUMAN RIGHTS AND WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND LBGT RIGHTS, NO MATTER HOW IMPERFECT OUR EFFORTS, NO MATTER HOW EXPEDIENTIGNORING SUCH VALUES MAY SEEM, THAT’S PART OF DEFENDING AMERICA. FOR THE FIGHT AGAINST EXTREMISM AND INTOLERANCE AND SECTARIANISMAND CHAUVINISM, ARE THE PEACE WITH THE FIGHT AGAINST AUTHORITARIANISM AND NATIONALISTAGGRESSION. IF THE SCOPE OF FREEDOM AND RESPECT FOR THE RULE OF LAW SHRINKS AROUND THE WORLD, THE LIKELIHOOD OF WAR WITHIN AND BETWEEN NATIONS INCREASES. AND OUR OWN FREEDOMS WILL EVENTUALLY BE THREATENED. SO LET’S BE JINL ILL BUT NOT AFRAID. ISIL WILL TRY TO KILL INNOCENT PEOPLE. BUT THEY CANNOT DEFEAT AMERICA UNLESS WE BETRAY OUR CONSTITUTION AND OUR PRINCIPLES IN THE FIGHT RIVALS LIKE RUSSIA OR CHINA CANNOT MATCH OUR INFLUENCE AROUND THE WORLD UNLESS WE GIVE UP WHAT WE STAND FOR AND TURN OURSELVES INTO JUSTANOTHER BIG COUNTRY THAT BULLIESSMALLER NEIGHBORS. WHICH BRINGS ME TO MY FINAL POINT, OUR DEMOCRACY, OUR DEMOCRACY IS THREATENED WHENEVERWE TAKE IT FOR GRANTED. ALL OF US REGARDLESS OF PARTY SHOULD BE THROWING OURSELVES INTO THE TASK OF REBUILDING OUR DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS. WHEN VOTING RATES IN AMERICA ARESOME OF THE LOWEST AMONG ADVANCED DEMOCRACIES, WE SHOULD BE MAKING IT EASIER, NOT HARDER,TO VOTE. WHEN, WHEN TRUST IN OUR INSTITUTIONS IS LOW, WE SHOULD REDUCE THE GROSS INFLUENCE OF MONEY IN OUR POLITICS AND INSISTON THE PRINCIPLES OF TRANSPARENCY AND ETHICS AND PUBLIC SERVICE, WHEN CONGRESS ISDYSFUNCTIONAL, WE SHOULD DRAW OUR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS TO ENCOURAGE POLITICIANS TO CATER TO COMMON SENSE AND NOT RIDGE IDRIGID EXTREMES. BUT REMEMBER, NONE OF THIS HAPPENS ON ITS OWN. ALL OF THIS DEPENDS ON OUR PARTICIPATION, ON EACH OF US ACCEPTING THE RESPONSIBILITY OF CITIZENSHIP. , REGARDLESS OF WHICH WAY THE PENDULUM OF POWER HAPPENS TO BE SWINGING . OUR CONSTITUTION IS AREMARKABLE, BEAUTIFUL GIFT. BUT IT’S REALLY JUST A PIECE OF PARTCHMENT. IT HAS NO POWER ON ITS OWN. WE THE PEOPLE, GIVE IT POWER. WE, THE PEOPLE, GIVE IT MEANING WITH OUR PARTICIPATION AND WITH THE CHOICES THAT WE MAKE AND THEALLIANCES THAT WE FORGE, WHETHEROR NOT WE STAND UP FOR OUR FREEDOMS. WHETHER OR NOT WE RESPECT AND ENFORCE THE RULE OF LAW. THAT’S UP TO US. AMERICA IS NO FRAGILE THING, BUTTHE GAINS OF OUR LONG JOURNEY TOFREEDOM ARE NOT ASSURED. IN HIS OWN FAREWELL ADDRESS, GEORGE WASHINGTON WROTE THAT SELF GOVERNMENT IS THE UNDERPINNING OF OUR SAFETY, PROSPERITY AND LIBERTY. BUT FROM DIFFERENT CAUSES AND FROM DIFFERENT QUARTERS, MUCH PAINS WILL BE TAKEN TO WEAKEN INYOUR MINDS THE CONVICTION OF THIS TRUTH. AND SO, WE HAVE TO PRESERVE THISTRUTH WITH JEALOUS ANXIETY, THATWE SHOULD REJECT THE FIRST DONNING OF EVERY ATTEMPT TO ALIENATE ANY PORTION OF OUR COUNTRY FROM THE REST. OR TO FEEBLE THE SACRED TIES THAT MAKE US ONE. >> AMERICA, WE WEAKEN THOSE TIE,WHEN WE ALLOW OUR POLITICAL DIALOGUE TO BECOME SO CORROSIVE THAT PEOPLE OF GOOD CHARTINGER ARE EACH WILLING TO ENTER INTO PUBLIC SERVICE. SO COARSE WITH RANCOR THE AMERICANS WITH WHO WE DISAGREE ARE SEEN AS MISGUIDED BUT MAIL MALEVOLENT. WE WEAKEN THOSE TIES WHEN WE WRITE OFF THE WHOLE SYSTEM AS INEVITABLY CORRUPT AND WHEN WE SIT BACK AND BLAME THE LEADERS WE ELECT WITHOUT EXAMINING OUR OWN ROLE IN ELECTING THEM. IT FALLS TO EACH OF US TO BE THOSE ANXIOUS, JEALOUS GUARDIANSOF OUR DEMOCRACY, TO EMBRACE THEJOYOUS TASK WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN, TO CONTINUALLY TRY TO IMPROVE THIS GREAT NATION OF OURS BECAUSE FOR ALL OUR OUTWARD DIFFERENCES, WE, IN FACT, ALL SHARE THE SAME PROUD TITLE. THE MOST IMPORTANT OFFICE IN A DEMOCRACY CITIZEN. CITIZEN. SO YOU SEE, THAT’S WHAT OUR DEMOCRACY DEMANDS. IT NEED YOU. NOT JUST WHEN THERE’S AN ELECTION, NOT JUST WHEN YOUR OWNNARROW INTEREST IS AT STAKE. BUT OVER THE FULL SPAN OF A LIFETIME. IF YOU’RE TIRED OF ARGUING WITH STRANGERS ON THE INTERNET TRY TALKING WITH ONE OF THEM IN REALLIFE. IF SOMETHING NEEDS FIXING, THEN LACE UP YOUR SHOES AND DO SOME ORGANIZING. IF YOU’RE DISAPPOINTED BY YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS, GRAB A CLIPBOARD, GET SOME SIGNATURES AND RUN FOR OFFICE, YOURSELF. SHOW UP. DIVE IN. STAY AT IT. SOMETIMES YOU’LL WIN. SOMETIMES YOU’LL LOSE. PRESUMING A RESERVOIR OF GOODNESS IN OTHER PEOPLE, THAT CAN BE A RISK AND THERE WILL BE TIMES WHEN THE PROCESS WILL DISAPPOINT YOU, BUT FOR THOSE OFUS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE BEENA PART OF THIS WORK AND TO SEE IT UP CLOSE, LET ME TELL YOU, ITCAN ENERGIZE AND INSPIRE. AND MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, YOUR FAITH IN AMERICA AND IN AMERICANS WILL BE CONFIRMED. MINE SURE HAS BEEN. OVER THE COURSE OF THESE EIGHT YEARS, I HAVE SEEN THE HOPEFUL FACES OF YOUNG GRADUATES AND OURNEWEST MILITARY OFFICERS. I HAVE MOURNED WITH GRIEVING FAMILIES SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS AND FOUND GRACE IN A CHARLESTON CHURCH. I’VE SEEN OUR SCIENTISTS HELP A PARALYZED MAN REGAIN HIS SENSE OF TOUCH. I’VE SEEN WOUNDED WARRIORS WHO AT POINTS WERE GIVEN UP FOR DEADWALK AGAIN. I’VE SEEN OUR DOCTORS AND VOLUNTEERS REBUILD AFTER EARTHQUAKES AND STOP PANDEMICS IN THEIR TRACKS. I’VE SEEN THE YOUNGEST OF CHILDREN REMIND US THROUGH THEIRACTIONS AND THROUGH THEIR GENEROSITY OF OUR OBLIGATIONS TOCARE FOR REFUGEES OR WORK FOR PEACE AND ABOVE ALL TO LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER. SO THAT FAITH THAT I’VE PLACED ALL THOSE YEARS AGO, NOT FAR FROM HERE, IN THE POWER OF ORDINARY AMERICANS TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE, THAT FAITH HAS BEEN REWARDED IN WAYS I COULD NOT HAVE POSSIBLY IMAGINED. AND I HOPE YOUR FAITH HAS TOO. SOME OF YOU WATCHING TONIGHT OR WATCHING AT HOME, YOU WERE THEREWITH US IN 2004 AND 2008, 2012. MAYBE YOU STILL CAN’T BELIEVE WEPULLED THIS WHOLE THING OFF. LET ME TALK TO YOU, YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONES. MICHELLE. MICHELLE LEVON ROBINSON, GIRL OFTHE SOUTH SIDE, FOR THE PAST 25 YEARS, YOU HAVE NOT ONLY BEEN MYWIFE AND MOTHER OF MY CHILDREN, YOU HAVE BEEN MY BEST FRIEND. YOU TOOK ON A ROLE YOU DIDN’T ASK FOR AND YOU MADE IT YOUR OWN, WITH GRACE AND WITH GRIT AND WITH STYLE AND WITH HUMOR. YOU MADE THE WHITE HOUSE A PLACETHAT BELONGS TO EVERYBODY. AND A NEW GENERATION SETS ITS SIGHTS HIGHER BECAUSE IT HAS YOUAS A ROLE MODEL. SO YOU HAVE MADE ME PROUD AND YOU HAVE MADE THE COUNTRY PROUD. MALIA AND SASHA, UNDER THE STRANGEST OF CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU HAVE BECOME TWO AMAZING YOUNG WOMEN. ARE YOU SMART AND YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, ARE YOU KIND AND YOU ARE THOUGHTFUL AND YOU ARE FULL OF PASSION AND YOU ARE THE BURDEN OF YEARS IN THE SPOTLIGHT SO EASILY. OF ALL THAT I HAVE DONE IN MY LIFE, I AM MOST PROUD TO BE YOURDAD. TO JOE BIDEN, THE SCRAPPY KID FROM SCRANTON, WHO BECAME THE FAVORITE SON, YOUWERE THE FIRST DECISION I MADE AS A NOMINEE AND IT WAS THE BEST. NOT JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN AGREAT VICE PRESIDENT, BUT BECAUSE I GAVE TO BROTHER, WE LOVE YOU AND JILL LIKE FAMILY AND YOUR FRIENDSHIP HAS BEEN ONEOF THE GREAT JOYS OF OUR LIFETIMES. SO MY REMARKABLE FAMILY, FOR EIGHT YEARS, FOR SOME OF YOU A WHOLE LOT MORE, I HAVE DRAWN FROM YOUR ENERGY AND EVERY DAY ITRY TO REFLECT BACK WHAT YOU’VE DISPLAYED, HEART, AND CHARACTER AND IDEALISM AND I WATCHED YOU GROW UP, GET MARRIED, HAVE KIDS,START INCREDIBLE NEW JOURNEYS OFYOUR OWN. EVEN WHEN TIMES GOT TOUGH AND FRUSTRATED, YOU NEVER LET WASHINGTON GET THE BETTER OF I. YOU GUARDED AGAINST CYNICISM. THE ONLY THING THAT MAKE MISEPROUDER THAN ALL THE GOOD THAT WE’VE DONE IS THE THOUGHT OF ALL THE AMAZING THINGS THAT YOU ARE GOING TO ACHIEVE FROM HERE. AND ALL OF YOU OUT THERE, EVERY ORGANIZER WHO MOVED TO AN UNFAMILIAR TOWN?EVERY CRIME FAMILY WHO WELCOMED THEM IN, EVERY VOLUNTEER WHO KNOCKED ON DOORS, EVERY YOUNG PERSON WHO CAST A BALLOT FOR THEFIRST TIME, EVERY AMERICAN WHO LIVED AND BREATHED THE HARD WORKOF CHANGE, YOU ARE THE BEST SUPPORTERS AND ORGANIZERS ANYBODY COULD EVER HOPE FOR AND I WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL. BECAUSE YOU DID CHANGE THE WORLD. YOU DID. AND THAT’S WHY I LOO EVERYBODY THIS STAGE TONIGHT, EVEN MORE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THIS COUNTRY THAN WHEN WE STARTED. BECAUSE I KNOW OUR WORK HAS NOT ONLY HELPED SO MANY AMERICANS, IT HAS INSPIRED SO MANY AMERICANS, ESPECIALLY SO MANY YOUNG PEOPLE OUT THERE TO BELIEVE THAT CAN YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE, TO HITCH YOUR WAGON TO SOMETHING BIGGER THAN YOURSELVES. LET ME TELL YOU, THIS GENERATIONCOMING UP, UNSELFISH, ALTRUISTIC, CREATIVE, PATRIOTIC. I’VE SEEN YOU IN EVERY CORNER OFTHE COUNTRY. YOU BELIEVE IN A FAIR AND JUST AND INCLUSIVE AMERICAN. YOU KNOW THE CONSTANT CHANGE HASBEEN AMERICA’S HALLMARK. THAT IT’S NOT SOMETHING TO FEAR,BUT SOMETHING TO EMBRACE. YOU ARE WILLING TO CARRY THIS HARD WORK OF DEMOCRACY FORWARD. YOU’LL SOON OUTNUMBER ALL OF US AND I BELIEVE AS THE RESULT, THEFUTURE IS IN GOOD HANDS. MY FELLOW AMERICANS, IT HAS BEENTHE HONOR OF MY LIFE TO SERVE YOU. I WON’T STOP. IN FACT, I WILL BE RIGHT THERE WITH YOU AS A CITIZEN FOR ALL MYREMAINING DAYS. BUT FOR NOW, WHETHER YOU ARE YOUNG OR WHETHER YOU ARE YOUNG AT HEART, I DO HAVE ONE FINAL ASK OF YOU AS YOUR PRESIDENT. THE SAME THING I ASKED WHEN YOU TOOK A CHANCE ON ME EIGHT YEARS AGO, I AM ASKING YOU TO BELIEVE NOT IN MY ABILITY TO BRING ABOUTCHANGE BUT IN YOURS. I AM ASKING YOU TO HOLD FAST TO THAT FAITH WRITTEN INTO OUR FINAL DOCUMENTS, THAT IDEAL WHISPER ABOUT SLAVES AND ABOLITIONISTS, THAT SPIRIT SUNG BY IMMIGRANTS AND HOMESTEADERS AND THOSE WHO MARCH FOR JUSTICE,THAT CREED, REAFFIRMED BY THOSE WHO PLANTED FLAGS FROM FOREIGN BATTLEFIELDS TO THE SURFACE OF THE MOON. CREATED DECOR OF EVERY AMERICAN WHOSE STORY IS NOT YET WRITTEN. YES, WE CAN. IF WE DID, IF WE CAN, THANK YOU,GOD BLESS YOU. MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THANK YOU. >> Reporter: PRESIDENT OBAMA ENDING ON THE MANTRA THAT CARRIED HIM INTO OFFICE EIGHT YEARS AGO, YES, WE CAN, SPEAKINGTO A PACKED CROWD, HERE AT McCORMICK PLACE CONVENTION CENTER IN CHICAGO. HIS OFFICIAL FAREWELL SPEECH. LOOKING ON. THE FIRST LADY, MICHELLE OBAMA, WHO BOUGHT THE THE BIGGEST APPLAUSE OF THE NIGHT. ALSO VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AND DR. JILL BIDEN. WHO HE SINGLED OUT AS DEEP AND CLOSE AND PERSONAL FRIENDS AND PARTNER CALLING VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN A BROTHER. HERE’S THE FIRST LADY AND MALIA OBAMA NOW JOINING THE PRESIDENT ON STAGE. DR. BIDEN. AND VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN. COMING UP TO THANK THE PRESIDENT. KRISTEN WELKER IS WITH ME. HE HAS BEEN WATCHING THIS SPEECH. KRISTEN, THIS WAS A, IT SEEMED LIKE A SPEECH LAYING THE SEED FOR A PRESIDENT WHO IS GOING TO BECOME, CONTINUE TO BE VERY ACTIVE IN TRYING TO SUPPORTED HIS PORT AND THESE IDEALS. >> I THINK ARE YOU RIGHT, LESTER, HE ENDED ON THAT NOTE, YES, WE K. THIS WAS AS YOU WOULDEXPECT A DEFENSE OF HIS LEGACY, BUT IT WAS ALSO A CALL TO ACTIONTO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND I THINK TO HIS SUCCESSOR, TO DEFEND THIS DEMOCRACY. HE TALKED ABOUT HOW FRAGILE THE NATION’S DEMOCRACY IS. I THOUGHT ONE OF THE MOST POIGNANT MOMENTS WAS WITH PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP. HE SAID NO THE KEY TO OUR DEMOCRACY IS A PEACEFUL TRANSITION. >> CHUCK TODD IS WATCHING ALONG IN NEW YORK. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS HERE?YOU HEAR THE PRESIDENT THANKING HIS STAFF, THANKING AMERICA. >> I THINK WE NEED TO FOCUS ON THE CONTENT. IT’S A REMARKABLE MOMENT IN OUR HISTORY. IT UNDERSCORES THE TUMULTUOUS TIMES WE LIVE IN, THE PRESIDENT THE OUTGOING PRESIDENT, FELT THENEED TO USE HIS FAREWELL ADDRESSTO NOT JUST MAKE THE CASE ARE FOR DEMOCRACY TO HEAR, BUT TO REMAKE THE CASE FOR DEMOCRACY FOR AMERICANS TO HEAR. I THINK THAT WAS, IN PART, OBVIOUSLY A RESPONSE TO WHAT WE ARE SEEING RIGHT NOW IN OUR POLITICS BUT ALSO AN ATTEMPT TO SEEFB AS SERVE AS A BEACON FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY GOING FORWARD AND HIS SUPPORTERS GOINGFORWARD. THAT’S WHY HE ENDED UP ON THIS NOTE. LET’S NOT FORGET THE MEAT OF THIS SPEECH. THIS WAS IN MANY CASES THE PRESIDENT LAMENTING THE STATE OFOUR DEMOCRACY RIGHT NOW IN HIS FAREWELL ADDRESS. >> PRESIDENT OBAMA KNEW THAT JANUARY 20th, 2017, WOULD COME. HE DIDN’T KNOW TWO HE WOULD BE HANDING THE KEYS OVER TO, OF COURSE, UNTIL THE LAST ELECTION. I SAT DOWN WITH THE PRESIDENT HERE IN CHICAGO JUST ABOUT AN HOUR-AND-A-HALF AGO. AND I ASKED HIM ABOUT THE RESULTS OF THAT ELECTION AND HISREACTION. HERE’S PART OF OUR EXCHANGE. >> TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT WATCHING THOSE RESULTS WHEN YOU REALIZE THAT DONALD TRUMP IS GOING TO WIN. WAS THERE AN UNVARNISHED BARACK OBAMA AT THAT MOMENT?>> YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW, THERE WASJUST SURPRISE. YOU KNOW, GENERALLY SPEAKING, NOT JUST ME BUT MY TEAM HAD BEENPRETTY GOOD AT SEEING SOMETHING COMING. AND PARTLY BECAUSE JUST THE POLLING WAS SO OFF. THE DATA WAS OFF. THAT WAS A SURPRISE. YOU THOUGH, I THINK THE PRESIDENT-ELECT WOULD BE THE FIRST TO ACKNOWLEDGE HE DIDN’T RUN A CONVENTION ALE CAMPAIGN. AND IT’S NOT CLEAR THAT HE OR HIS TEAM THOUGHT THEY WERE GOINGTO WIN. AND SO, SO I THINK MORE THAN ANYTHING, IT WAS JUST ADVISE. >> — SURPRISE. >> HE TALKED THE NEXT DAY HE HADTO GO IN AND TALK TO HIS STAFF. AND HE HAS TRY ID TO TAKE THE HIGH ROAD IN THIS. BUT HE’S CLEARLY HURTING. >> HE IS. YOU COULD SEE HIM FEEL THAT AND EXPRESS THAT IN HIS RESPONSE TO YOU THERE, LESTER, WHICH IS REALLY STRIKING. HE HAS TALKED ABOUT THE DAY AFTER ELECTION, A PEACEFUL TRANSITION. HE HAS INSTRUCTED HIS WHITE HOUSE TEAM TO MAKE SURE THAT, INFACT, HAPPENS. WE KNOW THIS THE A CHALLENGE FORHIM. AND THAT WAS PRESENT IN HIS REMARKS THIS EVENING WHEN HE CALLED ON NOT ONLY THIS CROWD BUT THE NATION’S SUCCESSOR TO REJECT HYPER PARTISANSHIP. TO REJECT DISCRIMINATION IN ALL OF ITS FORMS. HE REFERENCED MUSLIMS. >> THAT IS A CLEAR COUNTER TO SOME OF THE RHETORIC WE WE HEARDON THE CANE TRAIL. YOU CAN BET, THOUGH, HE WILL REMAIN ENGAGED. >> CHUCK TODD WHEN WE WERE ON THE SET ON ELECTION NIGHT, WHEN IT WAS CLEAR THAT HILLARY CLINTON WAS GOING DOWN TO DEFEAT. I THINK YOU POSED THE QUESTION TO THE PANEL, WHO NOW BECOMES THE LEADER OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY?WATCHING PRESIDENT OBAMA, HOW STRONG WILL HE COME TO REBUILD THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN. >> LOOK, HE IS THE ANIMATING FORCE INSIDE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. HE IS THE GUY THAT CAN CONVENE FOLKS AND ORGANIZE THE PARTY. I THINK HE, I THINK HE IS RELUCTANT TO HAVE TO BE THE LEADER GOING FORWARD, BUT IT’S MY UNDERSTANDING HE REALIZES THAT THERE IS REALLY NOBODY ELSERIGHT NOW THAT IT’S A PLACE HOLDER, BUT THAT HE HAS GOT TO FILL THIS VACUUM. YOU GOT TO BE CAREFUL HERE. YOU DON’T WANT TO OVER — YOU DON’T WANT TO GET TOO INVOLVED THERE THERE IS A FINE LINE YOU WALK AS A FORMER PRESIDENT DOINGTHAT. I THINK HE IS ACCEPTING. I THINK TONIGHT’S SPEECH IS A PART OF THAT. SHE ACCEPTING THIS IDEA THAT HE IS NOW AND STILL HAS TO REMAIN THE LEADER OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. >> HE, OF COURSE, NOTED THE PEACEFUL TRANSFER OF POWER THAT IS ABOUT TO TAKE PLACE IN THIS COUNTRY. WE WILL HEAR FROM PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP AND HIS VISION PERHAPS A BIT MORE TOMORROW IN HIS FIRST NEWS CONFERENCE SINCE HIS ELECTION. >>> A PROGRAMING NOTE, WE HOPE YOU WILL JOIN US FRIDAY INTO THEAT 10:00/9:00 CENTRAL, WITH MY EXTENDED INTERVIEW. YOU SAW SOME OF IT THOUGH AND TOMORROW MORNING FOR PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP’S FIRST NEWS CONFERENCE SINCE WINNING
Female Speaker: 2009,Inauguration Day. Female Speaker:Inaugural Ball. They walked out, she hadon that gorgeouswhite dress. Male Speaker: What’sthe guy’s name? Luther. Jerry Seinfeld: Knockingon the Oval Office window,I would say. That was probably the peakof my entire existence. Female Speaker: Themoment when he picked me. I was so happy, I have tolike — I have to bethe last question. The President: Before Ianswer your question, whydon’t you giveme a little rap. Let’s see what you got. Female Speaker: I was soemotional, I was crying. Thank you, President Obama, for coming to Vietnam. Female Speaker: It’s thefirst time in my life Ifelt like the White Housebelonged to everybody. Kerry Washington: And youreally felt — you feltthose first three words ofthe Constitution, “We the People. “It was one of those firsttimes in my life that Ifelt like I was reallypart of that “We. “Female Speaker: My Obamamoment was when I receivedthis letter from PresidentObama last year welcomingme to become a U. S. citizen. Tom Hanks: When he justchanged all the rules onthe table inregards to Cuba. With the most succinctmotivation imaginable,which is, “What we’ve beendoing hasn’t worked. “Which made all thesense in the world. Male Speaker: My Obamamoment was the signing ofthe Paris Agreement, andmaking the United States aleader in the fightagainst global warming. Leonardo DiCaprio:When I was at the U. N. and I, you know, I heardour President say thatclimate change is the mostimportant issue facing notonly this generation, butall future generations. It was inspiring. Melinda Gates: For me, itwas traveling with thePresident toschools in Boston. And the way he engaged thestudents was just one ofthose moments to see himconnect like that, that Ithink you see throughouthis Presidency. Female Speaker: Myfavorite President Obamamoment was when he waselected President in 2008,because in 2008 waswhen I was born. John Legend: I never criedbefore from electionresults . Female Speaker: I don’tknow, just the magicof that moment. Of that man who we’d allbeen on that journey withtake that stagewith his family. I was sitting at home inmy living room and I feltlike I was a part ofthat crowd in that park. Male Speaker: I didn’tthink I would live to seea African American emergeas President, but he did. Female Speaker: Thirdgrade, when we had thisproject to write a letterto the White House. It was really strange whenhe actually replied backbecause it was like,“Woah, I’m a third graderand I can actually geta response from the President. I can actuallymake a difference. “Male Speaker: In theaftermath of the schoolshootings in Connecticut. I don’t knowhow he did it. Male Speaker: At onepoint, at the lectern, hestarted to sing “AmazingGrace,” and the entirecongregation stoodup and did the same. And to me, it was justa powerful moment. One that the nation neededand one that hewas able to provide. Chance the Rapper: Hisbattle towards the end topardon a lot of convictedfelons who had been givenheavy sentences for small,drug-related crimes. Female Speaker: Oneportion I remember mostabout the visit was howexcited everybodyin my house was. And especially all theyoung people who werehelping us, and I thinkthe way they got soexcited and happy about itwas something that I willalways remember. Male Speaker: When thePresident of the UnitedStates lit the first everDia in theWhite House as a symbolof the Hindu Festival of Lights. Female Speaker: PresidentObama put sexual violenceon the map as an issue. Survivors can now speakabout their experienceswithout shame. It’s been amazing to bea part of that movement. Samuel L. Jackson: The moment that, you know, we got theAffordable CareAct passed. Because I have relativesthat, you know, can’tafford health insurance,so it was really a greatthing to know thatsomething happened to them. They’d get cared for. Male Speaker: Theexcitement we had when theAffordable CareAct became a law. My particular case, I havea pre-existing conditionwhich was finally able tobe cared for medically. Male Speaker: When Obamacame out and spoke forsame-sex marriage. Female Speaker: Himshowing support towardstrans, separately fromLGBT from sexuality. Just, like, “Go, Obama!”Female Speaker: The mostmemorable Obama moment forme is when he said,“Eat your peas. “The President:Eat our peas. Female Speaker: Whichmeans, just do it or getthe most importantthings done first. Ellen DeGeneres: The CVSexperience with Michellewas pretty cool. And dancing with Barack athis birthday party, andhe’s a gooddancer, you know. He should not getany flack for that. You’re a good dancer. Female Speaker: He’s myrole model, my idol,because I wantto be President. Female Speaker: When hewished Happy New Year toall the Iranian Americansand he said live onCNN, perfectly. Michael Jordan: I often doremember Jackie Robinson,everybody does. To me, he would be theJackie Robinson ofpolitics frommy standpoint. Male Speaker: He toldeverybody to clear out ofthe way, and the kidwent and pressurized themarshmallow gun andthey launched it. The President: Oh!Male Speaker:So, Obama out. Kobe Bryant: Dropped themic on them,blew the kiss. And when I saw that, itabsolutely blew me away.
BARACK OBAMA: I’mso in love with you. This is your victory. I know you didn’t do thisjust to win an election. And I know youdidn’t do it for me. You did it because youunderstand the enormityof the task that lies ahead. But my main message is to theparents of Trayvon Martin. If I had a son, he’dlook like Trayvon. They had theirentire lives aheadof them, birthdays, graduations,weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were alsoteachers, men and womenwho devoted their livesto helping our childrenfulfill their dreams. So our hearts are broken today. It’s the idea held bygenerations of citizens, whobelieve that America is aconstant work in progress, whobelieve that lovingthis country requiresmore than singing its praises oravoiding uncomfortable truths. It requires theoccasional disruption,the willingness to speakout for what is right,to shake up the status quo. That’s AmericaAmazing grace, how sweet thesound that saved a wretchlike me. Facts, evidence, reason, logic,an understanding of science,these are good things. These are qualities you wantin people making policy. Black, white, Latino, Asian,Native American, young, old,gay, straight, men, women,folks with disabilitiesall pledging allegiance underthe same proud flag to thisbig, bold country that we love. That’s what I see. That’s the America I know. Obama out.
There was one quotethat I really enjoyedthat you said, “Democracyrequires compromiseeven when you’re100% right. “Yeah. Did you get thatfrom Michelle?Because I think —I’ve been married a few years. That was a marital tip,as well as –as well as a tipabout democracy. You know, it’s true. The point I was making —I made a couple points. One is despite the news,despite all the rancor,the truth is,if you had to be bornat any timein human historyand you didn’t know who youwere going to be ahead of time,you didn’t know you weregoing to be Jimmy Fallon,you would choose now,because the world is actuallyhealthier, wealthier,better educated,more tolerant,less violentthan it has ever been. I was in Hiroshimaand thinking about the fact thatduring a five-, six-year span,60 million people were killedaround the world. I mean,it was just devastation. And for all the problemswe’ve got now,what I wanted to communicateto folks was,there’s a reasonto be hopeful. We’ve got challenges,but we can deal with them. What we also have to do, though,if we’re going todeal with them,is we have to recognizethat democracy means you don’tget everything you wantwhen you want itall the time. And, you know, this is somethingyou’re teaching your 3-year-old,but somehow Congresssometimes doesn’t get it. Sometimes in our politics,we expect to get everything. And this is a big, complicated,diverse country. And we’ve got to be ableto talk to each other and listenand occasionally compromiseand stay principledbut recognize that it’sa long march towards progress. Speaking of compromise,when you leave the White House,you’re going to have to kind ofcompromise a little bit. Like, do you rememberhow to do stuff? Do you take moneyout of the ATM?The ATM thingI remember. Pressing buttons on elevatorsI’m worried about. It’s gonna blow your mind. It’s really fun. It lights up. It’s really fun. You know, look,I was this cool high-tech guywhen I got there, right. And I was the first Presidentto have a BlackBerry. And so years pass. And no one elsehas BlackBerrys. And, you know, I’ve still gotthe clip on the belt. Oh, my goodness. Right, and then, finally,this year,they said, “Good news,Mr. President. We’re going to give youa smartphoneinstead of a BlackBerry. “I thought,“All right, this is cool. “I’ve been seeing Malia and Sashadoin’ all this. Michelle’s got three of them. She’s textingand all this. So I’m excited. I get the thing, and they’relike, “Well, Mr. President,for security reasons –It’s a great phone,state-of-the-art,but it doesn’t take pictures,you can’t text,the phone doesn’t work,you know, you can’tplay your music on it. “So basically it’s like –Does your 3-year-old haveone of those play phones? That’s what they gavethe president of –It’s got, like,the stickers on it. So you’re all like. . . I’m going to callMinnie Mouse. Hi!Hello, Minnie Mouse. Are you there?Your imaginary friend. That’s basicallythe phone I’ve got.
♪♪ ♪♪The President: Hi Stephanie. Female Speaker: Yes. The President: Hi,this is Barack Obama. You’re President. The President: Hi Patti. Female Speaker: Hi, yes. The President: Hiis Barack Obama. Female Speaker: No. The President: Yeah, it is. Female Speaker: No way. The President: Way. I decided on Mother’s Day, Ishould call up some letterwriters mom’s and say thankyou for being great moms. Female Speaker:That is amazing. The President:It’s kind of cool. And you’re one of the mom’sI wanted to say thankyou to. Female Speaker: Areyou serious ?The President: Youstill don’t believe me. Female Speaker: Female Speaker: The President: No, it’s me. Female Speaker: The President: Okay,give me a test. What can we do?Ask me about anything. I was so proud of everythingyou’ve done, raising fourkids and serving our countryand those boys are going toturn out goodbecause of you. Female Speaker: It’s ourPresident, Barack Obama onthe phone. You want to say hello?The President: We decided onmother’s day that we neededto call some moms. We’re out there-Child Speaker: Hi. The President: How are you?I know how tough it is, youknow, to raise kids and doright by them and, you know. If it hadn’t have been formy mother, I wouldn’t havebeen here. The most importantwork there is. Female Speaker: I sureappreciate to hear yousay that. The President: So are youguys going to spoil mom onMother’s Day?Male Speaker:Most definitely. Female Speaker: It suremeans to world to get aphone call from you. The President: Well, it’swonderful to talk toyou guys. And Dawn, congratulationson being a great mom. Female Speaker:Alright, thank you. The President:Alright, bye-bye.