Saturday, May 24, 2008

Barack Obama: Take a few minutes to listen to him

How do you get to know someone? Lots of ways, of course. But, among other things, it's absolutely essential to listen--to listen to the person you're trying to get a feel for.

Barack Obama has written two powerful books, Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope. Dreams from My Father is an honest, eloquent, intimate memoir. After reading it, you may still not decide to vote for him; but you'll feel you know him. The Audacity of Hope presents his political views and aspirations, including his belief that we can find common ground and that, working together, we can solve challenging problems.

He's also given lots and lots and lots of speeches. And though I'm sure he gets help from speech writers, he's far less dependent on them than most politicians. Here are a couple of links that can help you start to get to know Barack Obama. I'll start with his victory speech after the primary in North Carolina. It is gracious and stirring. It is worth listening to the whole thing. The last two or three minutes are especially moving. But if you are one of those who thinks Obama sounds good but is short on specifics, LISTEN TO THE WHOLE THING--he gets very specific. And I think you'll find that he makes sense. (the whole thing)

If you're in a hurry, here are a few excerpts:

UPDATE: Here's another speech--again combining specifics and inspiration--Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on August 28: (or try

Note also Pat Buchanan's comments on the speech:


MORE OBAMA SPEECHES (in written form):

Virtually everyone acknowledges that Barack Obama is an effective speaker. Some question whether words matter (the cases of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Abraham Lincoln suggest that they do), and others wonder whether Obama's speeches have substance. Take a look--you'll find that they do. They show his intelligence and his awareness of the issues. Looking at the speeches gives a good sense of how his mind works. Here are links to a few of the more important speeches he's given over the past few years:

Against Going to War with Iraq | October 02, 2002

Keynote Address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention | July 27, 2004

Statement of Senator Barack Obama on the Nuclear Option [actually refers to efforts to shut down debate in Congress] | April 13, 2005

Energy Independence and the Safety of Our Planet | April 03, 2006

Call to Renewal Keynote Address [on religion and public life] | June 28, 2006

Full Text of Senator Barack Obama's Announcement for President
Springfield, IL | February 10, 2007

Cutting Costs and Covering America: A 21st Century Health Care System
University of Iowa | May 29, 2007

A Politics of Conscience, Hartford, CT | June 23, 2007

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Dinner
Des Moines, IA | November 10, 2007

A Call to Serve, Mt. Vernon, IA | December 05, 2007

The Great Need of the Hour, Atlanta, GA | January 20, 2008

'A More Perfect Union', Philadelphia, PA | March 18, 2008

Primary Night, Raleigh, NC | May 06, 2008

[Father's Day message on family] Apostolic Church of God
Chicago, IL | June 15, 2008

A Serious Energy Policy for Our Future, Las Vegas, NV | June 24, 2008

The America We Love, Independence, MO | June 30, 2008

Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
Zanesville, OH | July 01, 2008

A World that Stands as One, Berlin, Germany | July 24, 2008

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: The American Promise (Democratic Convention)
Denver, CO | August 28, 2008


dramatic sporano said...

Obama is HOPE. His whole life points towards it.

Bruce Young said...

And there's no irony in that comment. The power of hope, of course, transcends politics. One of my favorite talks from October 2008 General Conference was Pres. Dieter Uchtdorf's talk titled (if I'm remembering correctly) "The Infinite Power of Hope."

By the way, I also heard him give a talk--at the MTC, as I remember--where he said at one point: "Yes, we can do it." I felt the same kind of energy, optimism, encouragement, that I've felt in the political realm from listening to Barack.