It has been a long, long road for President Barack Obama. His reelection campaign was hard fought and ugly. The battle between red and blue was hard fought and ugly. So when he accepted the next four years (he won! he won!), Obama had to strike exactly the right tone.
He had to be both gracious and humble. He had to inspire and also comfort. It was a tall order and our eloquent, brilliant, and inspired leader did just that last night around 1:40 a.m. EST. He stood up in front of all of us -- the UNITED States of America -- and he gave a fantastic speech.
If it's too long for you to watch the entire speech, rest assured that the best parts are easy to find. Here are the 10 best quotes from Obama's moving speech:
1.) "... We are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people."
2.) "We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future."
3.) "Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy."
4.) "These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today."
5.) "We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag."
6.) "To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president -- that’s the future we hope for. That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go -- forward."
7.) "Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead."
8.) "The role of citizens in our Democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on."
9.) "I saw just the other day, in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care. I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president."
10.) "I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America."
What were you most moved by last night?
Image via NewYorkTimes/YouTube