59 of the Most Inspiring Barack Obama Quotes

Barack Obama served as the 44th President of the United States of America from 2009 to 2017. He is a member of the Democratic Party and served as the first Black president of the United States. Previously he served as a US Senator from 2005-2008, and as an Illinois State Senator from 1997-2004.

President Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He graduated from Columbia University in 1983 and then worked as a community organizer in Chicago. Later he attended Harvard Law School and became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduation he became a civil rights attorney and a professor. He taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992-2004..

He was a popular US president and elected for two terms. He was well respected and admired by the public and made many inspiring statements.

Barack Obama Quotes

We’ve put together this collection of the best Barack Obama quotes:

1. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

2. “The role of citizen in a democracy does not end with your vote.” – Barack Obama

3. “Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference.” – Barack Obama

4. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” ― Barack Obama

5. “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” ― Barack Obama

6. “A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”
― Barack Obama

7. “Yes We Can!” ― Barack Obama

8. “We are the change we have been waiting for.”― Barack Obama

9. “In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.”
― Barack Obama

10. “In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.” ― Barack Obama

11. “I’m inspired by the people I meet in my travels–hearing their stories, seeing the hardships they overcome, their fundamental optimism and decency. I’m inspired by the love people have for their children. And I’m inspired by my own children, how full they make my heart. They make me want to work to make the world a little bit better. And they make me want to be a better man.” ― Barack Obama

12. “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” ― Barack Obama

13. “If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription, who has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer – even if it’s not my grandparent. If there’s an Arab-American or Mexican-American family being rounded up by John Ashcroft without benefit of an attorney or due process, I know that that threatens my civil liberties. And I don’t have to be a woman to be concerned that the Supreme Court is trying to take away a woman’s right, because I know that my rights are next. It is that fundamental belief – I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper – that makes this country work.” ― Barack Obama

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14. “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America – there’s the United States of America.” ― Barack Obama

15.  “One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world.” ― Barak Obama

16. “We don’t ask you to believe in our ability to bring change, rather, we ask you to believe in yours.” ― Barack Obama

17. “I believe in evolution, scientific inquiry, and global warming; I believe in free speech, whether politically correct or politically incorrect, and I am suspicious of using government to impose anybody’s religious beliefs -including my own- on nonbelievers.”
― Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

18. “Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. And it will leave you unfulfilled.”
― Barack Obama

19. “What I’ve realized is that life doesn’t count for much unless you’re willing to do your small part to leave our children — all of our children — a better world. Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.” ― Barack Obama

20. “No, you can’t deny women their basic rights and pretend it’s about your ‘religious freedom’. If you don’t like birth control, don’t use it. Religious freedom doesn’t mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.” ― Barack Obama

21. “It’s important to make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.” ― Barack Obama

22. “The study of law can be disappointing at times, a matter of applying narrow rules and arcane procedure to an uncooperative reality; a sort of glorified accounting that serves to regulate the affairs of those who have power–and that all too often seeks to explain, to those who do not, the ultimate wisdom and justness of their condition. ― Barack Obama

23. ” But that’s not all the law is. The law is also memory; the law also records a long-running conversation, a nation arguing with its conscience.”
― Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

24. “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.” ― Barack Obama

25. “Hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.” ― Barack Obama

26. “Nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.” ― Barack Obama

27. “Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. it’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” ― Barack Obama

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28. “The worst thing that colonialism did was to cloud our view of our past.”
― Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

29. “Our stories may be singular, but our destination is shared.” ― Barack Obama

30. “You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig.” ― Barack Obama

31. “Libraries remind us that truth isn’t about who yells the loudest, but who has the right information. Because even as we’re the most religious of people, America’s innovative genius has always been preserved because we also have a deep faith in facts.

32. And so the moment we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold into a library, we’ve changed their lives forever, and for the better. This is an enormous force for good.” ― Barack Obama

33. “While we breathe, we will hope.” ― Barack Obama

34. “Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realise your true potential.” – Barack Obama

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35. “The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.” – Barack Obama

36. “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep on walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” – Barack Obama

37. “Understand, our police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day. They’ve got a tough job to do to maintain public safety and hold accountable those who break the law.” – Barack Obama

38. “The thing about Hip-Hop today is it’s smart, it’s insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable.” – Barack Obama

39. “Fixing a broken immigration system. Protecting our kids from gun violence. Equal pay for equal work, paid leave, raising the minimum wage. All these things still matter to hardworking families; they are still the right thing to do; and I will not let up until they get done.” – Barack Obama

40. “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” – Barack Obama

41. “In the end, this is what this election’s about – do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?” – Barack Obama

42. “It is time to give Iraqis their country back.” – Barack Obama

43. “It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.” – Barack Obama

44. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” – Barack Obama

45. “Lincoln – they used to talk about him almost as bad as they talk about me. So democracy has never been for the faint of heart…” – Barack Obama

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46. “Change doesn’t come from Washington; change comes to Washington.” – Barack Obama

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47. “We need to make progress on some important issues. Take the sequester – Republicans fell in love with the whole thing, and now they can’t stop talking about how much they hate it. It’s like we’re trapped in a Taylor Swift album.” – Barack Obama

48. “If we think we can just use the same partisan playbook where we just challenge our opponent’s patriotism to win an election, then the American people will lose. The times are too serious for this kind of politics.” – Barack Obama

49. “Americans still believe in an America where anything’s possible – they just don’t think their leaders do.” – Barack Obama

50. “My advisors were a little worried about the new rap entrance music – they’re a little more traditional. They suggested I start with some jokes at my own expense – just to take myself down a peg. I was like, “guys, guys, after four and a half years, how many pegs are there left?”.” – Barack Obama

51. “What we need in Washington is not more political tactics – we need more good ideas.” – Barack Obama

52. “Those who have the privilege to serve this country have an obligation to do our job as best we can… that’s why disagreement cannot mean dysfunction… the American people’s hopes and dreams are what matters, not ours.” – Barack Obama

53. “It’s important to realise I was actually black before the election.” – Barack Obama

54. “I don’t want to pit Red America against Blue America – I want to be President of the United States of America.” – Barack Obama

55. “Hope is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us.” – Barack Obama

56. “You can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time.” – Barack Obama

57. “What Washington needs is adult supervision.” – Barack Obama

58. “Some things are beyond my control. For example, this whole controversy about Jay-Z going to Cuba – it’s unbelievable! I’ve got 99 problems, now Jay-Z is one.” – Barack Obama

59. “Now, when you first become president, one of the questions people ask you is, “what’s really going on in Area 51?” … oh, I think I just became the first president to ever publicly mention Area 51… how’s that?” – Barack Obama

Barack Obama Video – His Best Moments

This is an excellent montage from October 2016 as President Obama was nearing the end of his second term in office. This clip from the British paper The Telegraph is a fond farewell montage of his best moments during his eight years in office. Definitely worth a watch!


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Image Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza / Public domain

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