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The Obama Legacy - In His Own Words

Updated on October 2, 2017
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is currently a volunteer at the Westchester County Archives. Jack has worked at IBM for over 28 years.


You can tell a lot about a man by the words he uses. In the last 8 years, our country has been through a lot. There was a recession and wars and terrorism and a sluggish recovery and now race and police confrontations. The most powerful influence of a leader is his words. President Obama was elected on "hope and change". We see the results after 8 long years.

- July 2016

Words of Barack Obama

"We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense. And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken -- you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you..."

- Obama inauguration speech - Jan. 21, 2009

On Gitmo Closure


During a signing ceremony at the White House, Obama reaffirmed his inauguration pledge that the United States does not have "to continue with a false choice between our safety and our ideals."

The president said he was issuing the order to close the facility in order to "restore the standards of due process and the core constitutional values that have made this country great even in the midst of war, even in dealing with terrorism."

On the Debt

“The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars for the first 42 presidents — number 43 added $4 trillion dollars by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back — $30,000 for every man, woman and child.
That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.”

On the ACA Healthcare Act

• President’s weekly address, June 6, 2009: "If you like the plan you have, you can keep it. If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too. The only change you’ll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold."

On Jobs

Remarks by the President to GM Lordstown Assembly Plant Employees in Ohio, 9/15/2009

"I know that's small consolation when so many people you know are still out of work. It's going to take some time to achieve a complete recovery. But I want you all to know, I will not rest until anybody who's looking for a job can find one -- and I'm not talking about just any job, but good jobs that give every American decent wages and decent benefits and a fair shot at the American Dream."

On Role Models for Obama's Daughters

“To J and B, thank you so much for your friendship,” the president said. 9/19/2012

“Beyoncé could not be a better role model for my girls because she carries herself with such class and poise and has so much talent,” he said.

On IRS...

Interviewed - 2/2/2014

President Obama, in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, tried to put behind him the scandals that have hung over his second term, suggesting his administration did not mislead the public on the Benghazi attack and going so far as to say the IRS targeting scandal had “not even a smidgen of corruption.”

On Benghazi

Speech to the UN - 9/25/2012

"Chris Stevens loved his work. He took pride in the country he served, and he saw dignity in the people that he met. And two weeks ago, he traveled to Benghazi to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital. That’s when America’s compound came under attack. Along with three of his colleagues, Chris was killed in the city that he helped to save. He was 52 years old. "

"I tell you this story because Chris Stevens embodied the best of America. Like his fellow Foreign Service officers, he built bridges across oceans and cultures, and was deeply invested in the international cooperation that the United Nations represents. He acted with humility, but he also stood up for a set of principles -- a belief that individuals should be free to determine their own destiny, and live with liberty, dignity, justice, and opportunity."

"The attacks on the civilians in Benghazi were attacks on America."

On VA Scandal

“I will not stand for it. There must be consequences.”
– President Barack Obama vowed following revelations of the VA scandal in May.

“When a veteran is denied health care, we are all dishonored.” When 400,000 veterans are stuck on a waiting list for claims, we need a new sense of urgency in this country.”
– Presidential candidate and then-Sen. Barack Obama, 2007.

Obama on Climate Change

On Coal Power Plants

In 2008, candidate Obama remarked, “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them. … Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

On Small Business

On Gun Control

Remarks - 1/5/2016

President Barack Obama grew emotional Tuesday as he made a passionate call for a national "sense of urgency" to limit gun violence.

He was introduced by Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was killed in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Obama circled back to that shooting in the final moments of his speech.
"Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad," Obama said, pausing to wipe away tears.
He added: "And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day," referring to his hometown where he began his political career.

On Race Relations...

Obama comments - 7/19/2013

"You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there's a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it's important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away."

On Immigration Reform

“I am president, I am not king. I can't do these things just by myself. We have a system of government that requires the Congress to work with the Executive Branch to make it happen. I'm committed to making it happen, but I've got to have some partners to do it. … The main thing we have to do to stop deportations is to change the laws. … [T]he most important thing that we can do is to change the law because the way the system works – again, I just want to repeat, I'm president, I'm not king. If Congress has laws on the books that says that people who are here who are not documented have to be deported, then I can exercise some flexibility in terms of where we deploy our resources, to focus on people who are really causing problems as a opposed to families who are just trying to work and support themselves. But there's a limit to the discretion that I can show because I am obliged to execute the law. That's what the Executive Branch means. I can't just make the laws up by myself. So the most important thing that we can do is focus on changing the underlying laws.” (10/25/10)


The New Yorker, Jan. 27: In the 2012 campaign, Obama spoke not only of killing Osama bin Laden; he also said that Al Qaeda had been “decimated.” I pointed out that the flag of Al Qaeda is now flying in Falluja, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria; Al Qaeda has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too.

“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.

On Shovel Ready Jobs

Even before President Obama entered the White House, he and his allies successfully used the allure of “shovel ready” infrastructure projects to help sell his $787 billion stimulus legislation to a resistant Congress and a wary public.

“I think we can get a lot of work done fast,” Mr. Obama, then the president-elect, said in December 2008, after meeting with governors. “All of them have projects that are shovel ready, that are going to require us to get the money out the door.”

A Summary Chart


By his words you will know him...


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    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 13 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Paula, thanks for your support. I knew what happened here. Sometimes, I choose to let it go...

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 13 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Jack....."Someone" just LIED to you again. NO ONE "spoke to staff" over the Christmas week-end. There wasn't a soul in the office to receive correspondence. (These frauds should check on this stuff B4 making statements that can be proven false.) This Kook lies like Hillary!

    • Dont Taze Me Bro profile image

      Banned cause of pissants promisem and deantraylor 13 months ago from TWO OF THE MANY LYING LIB CRYBABIES OF HUB PAGES

      Jack, here is a suggestion, delete oztinutso's comments which are attacks on you and Christians and not on topic at all. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 13 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Happy New Year, Jack & Phoenix... I'll find the time to contact U privately in order to let you know what's actually being done behind the scenes about the particular habits/games of certain individuals who have a negative image & are being observed at all times. In the meantime, you are correct to handle your own site in your own way, using your own judgement. Don't hesitate to dismiss the lies and nonsense "anyone" attempts to spew as fraudulent scare tactics for self-serving reasons.

      Take care and continue as you have. P

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 13 months ago from Australia


      I've spoken to hp staff and they informed me they acted. It's up to you to not allow such stuff through. Be honest.

      Christians are supposed to have good ethics. Don't give in to Donald's trailer trash talk.

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 13 months ago from USA

      Obama is a double-dealing two faced hypocrit when he talks about due process regarding gitmo. Obama has no respect for due process when he puts American Citizens on kill lists and arbitrarily executes them with drones.

      It appears the liberals are trying to rally as a group to intimidate HP members that do not share their ideology of censoring opinion as well as many other differences. I think it is a misuse of policies to act in a way that suggests targeting individuals for reporting en masse.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 13 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Oztinato, those were removed by me out of courtesy to you. Personal attacks are discouraged, however, labeling them are in the eye of the beholder. Lighten up...

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 13 months ago from Australia


      They have already removed several personal attacks!

      It could lead to worse penalties.

      Do your job and get rid of personal attack posts.

      As I've said before Donald would never have been approved by hp or any other site with ethics. The jerry springer style trailer trend of behaviour doesn't belong here on hp.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 13 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Oztinato, do what you have to do. I have been fair and try to keep the discussion on topic. You may be overly sensitive but let the moderator decide.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 13 months ago from Australia


      I have to report you for not removing personal attacks. It's up to the hub writer to NOT admit/ and or to remove personal attacks. You've done neither.

      As for Israel: you have neglected in the same breath to point out you support Donald's withdrawal from international squabbles but now oppose Obama for doing the same thing.

      If you want to talk about Israel then start another hub.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 14 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Oz, your Nobel Peace wnner just slammed Israel and the Jewish people with the new UN resolution -

      Another foreign policy failure.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 14 months ago from Australia


      Stop the personal attacks. It will only rebound on you and poor Jack. Typos mean nothing.

      Obama has already gone down in history as a great world leader. Quote from wiki:

      "The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to United States President Barack Obama for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples".

    • Dont Taze Me Bro profile image

      Banned cause of pissants promisem and deantraylor 14 months ago from TWO OF THE MANY LYING LIB CRYBABIES OF HUB PAGES

      Oz, you sound like the wizard of OZ. A big phony.

      Obama continued all of Bush's plans and strategies in spades except withdrawing from Iraq without a residual force - that didn't work. Obama turned the Bush victory in Iraq into ISIS disaster.

      So you think Obama was another Gandhi or Lincoln? boy you really know nothing of history or Obama AND Gandhi isn't spelled "Ghandi". You spelled Jerry Springer right (though you didn't capitalize the name as you did "Ghandi"(whoever that is) which tells me you must know a lot more about Jerry Springer than Gandhi.

      You'd know how to spell Gandhi if you knew anything about what you are saying but you don't because Obama compared himself to those two and the media went with it - that's the only reason you say that, it's media talking points right from Obama's mouth. You are like an echo repeating anything you've gotten from the liberal media machine. The fact that Obama (and you) compared what he is doing to what people like Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi have done is simply laughable!

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 14 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Let's stay with Obama and his legacy. Do you honestly think things around the world is better now than 8 years ago? The rise of ISIS, and Syrian refugees, and Iran, and North Korea... Everywhere you look, things are a mess. By the way, in case you don't know, our soldiers are still fighting in Iraq and Gitmo is still open...

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 14 months ago from Australia

      The entire planet breathed a sigh of relief when Obama became president. Remember? Bush? War? Etc etc.

      Look at Ghandi who led by Example not by glitz. It is a leader's personal example that constitutes the main quality of leadership. Look at Lincoln who by the way was a Republican!! No glitz no glamour just honesty and plain speaking.

      What we have now is leadership by tv speak. A jerry springer style event has jumped out of the screen and trailer into a crazy reality show in real life.

    • Dont Taze Me Bro profile image

      Banned cause of pissants promisem and deantraylor 14 months ago from TWO OF THE MANY LYING LIB CRYBABIES OF HUB PAGES

      Paula, everything "the Australian" says is nothing but liberal media talking points used to describe Obama so that's all his world knows about him if that's all they read.

      Yeah Obama had Poise, like when he called our servicemen "corpse men" or when he said he had visited 57 states? (US only has 50 guess an Australian wouldn't know that but true Americans do) But even the media said his faus pas passed Bush.

      Remember when the open mic catches Obama begging Russian president Medvedev for space on missile defense until after his election, omg what gravitas!

      I never cared for Bush but he had more poise and gravitas in his little finger than Obama. I didn't know they had Bush Derangement syndrome in Australia - mental disease travels far these days even over continents and oceans.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 14 months ago from Australia


      I advise you to delete Tazes personal attacks.. Immediately. Thanks.

      Look at history and what constitutes a great world leader: personal example. All cultures are invited to read up on and comment hubpages.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 14 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Jack & DTMB.......Not to mention the fact that the man is AUSTRALIAN. I have serious doubts that many of us would even think to opine on the politicians of foreign countries.....whom of course have little if any affect on our lives, we could not know anything on a personal basis, but (do I dare say it??) only what appears in the media! Who's bold and nervy enough to "suggest" to Americans which candidate is better than another or which we should vote for? Pushy people who think they're expert at everything!!.....Think again!

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 14 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Oztinato, A great man? Does a great man recieve a Nobel prize before he even did anything? Does a great man draw a line in the sand and does nothing when Syria crosses that line? Does a great man jin up race problems with every incident even before the facts are known? Does a great man issues executive actions that are unconstitutional knowing they will be undone by the next president? Does a great man play 100 round of golf while being president of the US? Does a great man lie to the American people by saying you can keep your Dr.? Gimme a break. You are so off the reservation...

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 14 months ago from Australia

      Great leaders lead more than just business. They lead by example. Obama was the perfect leader who exhibited great tolerance, poise, gravitas, kindness and ethics. He changed the whole ugly Bush stupidity vibe overnight as soon as he came into the presidency to one of intelligence and peace.

    • Dont Taze Me Bro profile image

      Banned cause of pissants promisem and deantraylor 14 months ago from TWO OF THE MANY LYING LIB CRYBABIES OF HUB PAGES

      Hey Buildreps! and guess what, while he plowed us under with debt over his 8 years Barack Obama got his goal – he is now a very rich man! America is poor (debt makes you poor), there is no jobs and the wages are low, but that is not important for Obama, he is finally rich!

      Though the family has already leased a posh nine-bedroom mansion in the Northwest neighborhood of Washington, D.C. for when they leave the White House, Barack and Michelle Obama are now the proud owners of a FIFTH home on the West Coast.

      The Obamas bought a house in Rancho Mirage, Calif., a small town located near Palm Springs that is known for its golf resorts and was frequented by Obama during his presidency. The Los Angeles-based interior designer Michael S. Smith is reportedly in charge of decorating the Obamas’ new home.

      The family — who is staying in Washington until their youngest daughter Sasha graduates from high school — now have FIVE homes, in Washington, Chicago, New York, Hawaii and California.

      Barack Obama's Net Worth Has Risen 438% Since Running for President. According to financial disclosure reports, President Obama has an estimated net worth of $7 million dollars.Since he was worth $1.3 million in 2007, that makes the millionaire 438% more wealthy than when he first ran for office.

      Trump is already very wealthy man, so he is going to focus on how to rebuild America, that is going to be his main focus!

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 14 months ago from Europe

      The US National Debt Clock is currently almost 20 trillion$. That's over 60 k$ per US citizen, including babies and elderly. In Obama's words" You want change?" And voilà, there was change! I wonder how Trump is going to solve all these problems.

      Here's the source:

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 14 months ago

      His is a legacy of failure in his policies, his ideals and his actions. We have a lot of work to do to restore our nation.

    • Dont Taze Me Bro profile image

      Banned cause of pissants promisem and deantraylor 14 months ago from TWO OF THE MANY LYING LIB CRYBABIES OF HUB PAGES

      What a legacy, huh! Here is one I can't believe you missed:

      “ long as we’ve got to fight to protect a woman’s right to make her own choices about her own health, I want you to know that you’ve also got a president who’s going to be right there with you, fighting every step of the way,” said Obama. “Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.”

      God bless?the company who did more abortions in 2012 (just 2 years earlier than when he said that) than they ever did in history.

      oh and don't forget "I've got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old...But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."

      Yep, this is a president who asks God to bless abortionists and believes a baby is punishment!