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Old 11-07-2012, 03:27 AM
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RobKendall RobKendall is offline
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Default "We are, and forever will be, the United States of America" Part 2 of 2

Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. Itís not always a straight line. Itís not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams wonít end all the gridlock, resolve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward.

But that common bond is where we must begin. Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. (Cheers, applause.) A long campaign is now over. (Cheers, applause.) And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you. I have learned from you. And youíve 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. (Cheers, applause.)

Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. (Cheers, applause.) You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours.

And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together -- reducing our deficit, reforming out tax code, fixing our immigration system, freeing ourselves from foreign oil. Weíve got more work to do. (Cheers, applause.)

But that doesnít mean your work is done. The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote. Americaís never been about what can be done for us; itís about what can be done by us together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self- government. (Cheers, applause.) Thatís the principle we were founded on.

This country has more wealth than any nation, but thatís not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but thatís not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but thatís not what keeps the world coming to our shores. What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on Earth, the belief that our destiny is shared -- (cheers, applause) -- that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations, so that the freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights, and among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. Thatís what makes America great. (Cheers, applause.)

I am hopeful tonight because I have seen this spirit at work in America. Iíve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. Iíve seen it in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back. (Cheers, applause.) Iíve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. (Cheers, applause.)

And I saw it 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. (Cheers, applause.) 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 fatherís 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. Thatís who we are. Thatís the country Iím so proud to lead as your president. (Cheers, applause.)

And tonight, despite all the hardship weíve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, Iíve never been more hopeful about our future. (Cheers, applause.) I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: We got your back, Mr. President!

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Iím not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the road blocks that stand in our path. Iím not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting. (Cheers, applause.)

America, I believe we can build on the progress weíve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunities and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founding, the idea that if youíre willing to work hard, it doesnít matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love (ph). It doesnít matter whether youíre black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight. (Cheers, applause.) You can make it here in America if youíre willing to try.

(Cheers, applause.)

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. Weíre 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. (Cheers, applause.)

And together, with your help and Godís grace, we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on earth. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you, America. (Cheers, applause.) God bless you. God bless these United States. (Cheers, applause.)

from The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/07/u...agewanted=print
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