President Obama returned to the fray today, giving a speech to an auditorium of students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In the speech, Obama returned to a lot of old themes about reaching to everyone, about the importance of a healthy democracy, and about the need to vote. He also went after Trump and the Republicans on several occasions, unleashing an Obama-like fury (restrained, measured) as though he’d been saving it all up for the last two years.
There’s nothing here that you can’t find for yourself, but the least I could do is put together some of the best quotes from the speech. It’s good. It’s very good. It’s vintage Obama, and while part of me is terrified of how the Republicans will use him — and this speech — to motivate their own base, I think it will be far more effective in turning out not only Democrats but those Independents and young people who are straight-up sick of it all.
On the NYTimes Op Ed:
OBAMA weighs in on NYT op-ed: "The claim that everything will turn out OK because there are people inside WH who secretly aren't following POTUS' orders, that's not a check. I'm being serious. That's not how our democracy's supposed to work. They aren't elected. Not accountable." pic.twitter.com/Owo2OfguOk— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 7, 2018
On taking a little credit where credit is due:
OBAMA: "When I came into office we were losing 800k jobs a month. Millions of people were losing homes… By the time I left, household income was near its high, uninsured rates hit an all-time low. So when you hear how great the economy is, let's just remember where it started." pic.twitter.com/698WLPLNGr— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 7, 2018
On the Republican party:
President Obama: "What happened to the Republican Party? Its central organizing principle in foreign policy was the fight against Communism, and now they're cozying up to the former head of the KGB." pic.twitter.com/LK1RWOdGHX— Together we rise 🙌🏾 (@Matsamon) September 7, 2018
On young people and indifference and Obama’s call to action.
OBAMA: "In the end, the threat to our democracy doesn't just come from Donald Trump or the current batch of Republicans in Congress or too much compromise from Democrats or Russian hacking. The biggest threat to our democracy is indifference. The biggest threat is cynicism." pic.twitter.com/5R5ck7QYpo— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 7, 2018
.@BarackObama: “So if you don’t like what’s going on right now, and you shouldn’t, do not complain, don’t hashtag, don’t get anxious, don’t retreat… vote.” https://t.co/u82Mjelt4s pic.twitter.com/ybK0lAToke— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 7, 2018
OBAMA: "Do not let people tell you the fight's not worth it bc you won't get everything that you want. The idea that, 'well, you know, there's racism in America, so I'm not going to bother voting' — makes no sense! You can make it better. Better is always worth fighting for." pic.twitter.com/o276w6c2Xp— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 7, 2018
No, really: Vote.
OBAMA: "And as a fellow citizen, not as an ex-president, but as a fellow— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 7, 2018
citizen, I'm here to deliver a simple message, and that is that you need to vote because our democracy depends on it… a glance at recent headlines should tell you that this moment really is different." pic.twitter.com/XmOovToppX
Header Image Source: Getty