Regardless of one’s political stripe, there’s no question that President Barack Obama is an accomplished, inspirational public speaker. At a time when the nation is especially divided along political party lines, his State of the Union address last evening highlighted not only his oratory skills, but his talent for bringing people together along common lines, and reminding us of what is great about the United States.
Here are some of President Obama’s best quotes from the State of the Union address.
“It is you, our citizens, who make the state of our union strong.”
“…I believe, that here in America, our success should depend not on accident of birth but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams. That’s what drew our forebears here. It’s how the daughter of a factory worker is CEO of America’s largest automaker—how the son of a barkeeper is speaker of the House—how the son of a single mom can be president of the greatest nation on Earth.”
“When people come here to fulfill their dreams—to study, invent, contribute to our culture—they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everybody. So let’s get immigration reform done this year. Let’s get it done. It’s time.”
“…what I believe unites the people of this nation, regardless of race or region or party, young or old, rich or poor, is the simple, profound belief in opportunity for all—the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get ahead.”
“America does not stand still—and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”
“Opportunity is who we are. And the defining project of our generation is to restore that promise.”
“Michelle and I want every child to have the same chance this country gave us. But we know our opportunity agenda won’t be complete, and too many young people entering the workforce today will see the American Dream as an empty promise, unless we also do more to make sure our economy honors the dignity of work, and hard work pays off for every single American.”
“A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship. And you know what, a father does too. It is time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a “Mad Men” episode. This year let’s all come together, Congress, the White House, businesses from Wall Street to Main Street, to give every woman the opportunity she deserves, because I believe when women succeed, America succeeds.”
“Americans overwhelmingly agree that no one who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.”
“It’s the spirit of citizenship, the recognition that through hard work and responsibility, we can pursue our individual dreams, but still come together as one American family to make sure the next generation can pursue its dreams as well.”
“The America we want for our kids—a rising America where honest work is plentiful and communities are strong, where prosperity is widely shared and opportunity for all lets us go as far as our dreams and toil will take us—none of it is easy. But if we work together, if we summon what is best in us . . . I know it is within our reach. Believe it.”