Best Speeches of
Barack Obama
through his 2009 Inauguration

Most Recent Speeches are Listed First

• Barack Obama -
Election Night Victory / Presidential Acceptance Speech - Nov 4 2008

Barack Obama - Night Before the Election - the Last Rally - Manassas Virginia - Nov 3 2008

• Barack Obama - Democratic Nominee Acceptance Speech
2008 National Democratic Convention

Barack Obama - "A World that Stands as One" - Berlin Germany - July 2008

• Barack Obama - Final Primary Night:
Presumptive Nominee Speech

• Barack Obama - North Carolina Primary Night

• Barack Obama - Pennsylvania Primary Night

• Barack Obama - AP Annual Luncheon

• Barack Obama - A More Perfect Union
“The Race Speech”

• Barack Obama - Texas and Ohio Primary Night

• Barack Obama - Potomac Primary Night

• Barack Obama - Super Tuesday

Barack Obama - Iowa Caucus Night

Barack Obama - California Democratic Convention - April 28, 2007

Barack Obama - Announcement For President - Feb 10 2007

Barack Obama - Floor Statement on Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007

Barack Obama - The Time Has Come for Universal Health Care

Barack Obama - Floor Statement on President's Decision to Increase Troops in Iraq

Barack Obama - Race Against Time - World AIDS Day Speech

Barack Obama - A Way Forward in Iraq

Barack Obama - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Groundbreaking Ceremony

Barack Obama - Military Commission Legislation

Barack Obama - Floor Statement on the Habeas Corpus Amendment

Barack Obama - Energy Independence: A Call for Leadership

Barack Obama - An Honest Government, A Hopeful Future

Barack Obama - Xavier University Commencement Address

Barack Obama - AFSCME National Convention

Barack Obama - Vote against the Gulf of Mexico Energy Bill

Barack Obama - Support of H.R. 9, the Voting Rights Act

Barack Obama - Statement of Support for Stem Cell Research

Barack Obama - Campus Progress Annual Conference

Barack Obama - “Call to Renewal” Keynote Address

Barack Obama - Iraq Debate

Barack Obama - Northwestern University Commencement Address

Barack Obama - Katrina Reconstruction

Barack Obama - Take Back America

Barack Obama - Network Neutrality

Barack Obama - Federal Marriage Amendment

Barack Obama - University of Massachusetts at Boston Commencement Address

Barack Obama - General Michael Hayden Nomination

Barack Obama - Opposition to the Amendment Requiring a Photo ID to Vote

Barack Obama - Employment Verification Amendment for the Immigration Bill

Barack Obama - Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Commencement Address

Barack Obama - Honoring Our Commitment to Veterans

Barack Obama - EMILY's List Annual Luncheon

Barack Obama - A Real Solution for High Gas Prices

Barack Obama - Immigration Rallies

Barack Obama - Amendment to Stop No-Bid Contracts for Gulf Coast Recovery and Reconstruction

Barack Obama - Updates on Darfur, Immigration, Gas Prices

Barack Obama - Immigration Reform

Barack Obama - Energy Independence and the Safety of Our Planet

Barack Obama - Immigration Reform

Barack Obama - Improving Chemical Plant Security

Barack Obama - 21st Century Schools for a 21st Century Economy

Barack Obama - Meals Amendment

Barack Obama - Debate on Lobbying and Ethics Reform

Barack Obama - Energy Security is National Security - Governor's Ethanol Coalition

Barack Obama - Floor Statement S.2271 - PATRIOT Act Reauthorization

Barack Obama - Darfur: Current Policy Not Enough

Barack Obama - Foreign Relations Committee regarding Lugar-Obama legislation S.1949

Barack Obama - Hurricane Katrina Child Assistance Amendment

Barack Obama - Supreme Court Nomination of Samuel Alito - Podcast

Barack Obama - Confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito, Jr. - Speech

Barack Obama - Lobbying Reform Summit National Press Club

Barack Obama - Meeting on Iraq with President Bush

Barack Obama - Remarks: Honest Leadership and Open Government

Barack Obama - From the Road: Israel and the Palestinian territories

Barack Obama - From the Road: Speaking with American Troops in Iraq

Barack Obama - The PATRIOT Act

Barack Obama - Moving Forward in Iraq - Chicago Council on Foreign Relations

Barack Obama - Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award Ceremony

Barack Obama - National Women's Law Center

Barack Obama - "Sex on TV 4" Report

Barack Obama - Non-Proliferation and Russia: The Challenges Ahead

Barack Obama - Chicago White Sox

Barack Obama - Death of Rosa Parks

Barack Obama - Teaching Our Kids in a 21st Century Economy

Barack Obama - Avian Flu

Barack Obama - Confirmation of Judge John Roberts

Barack Obama - Resources for the Future

Barack Obama - Statement on Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts

Barack Obama - AFL-CIO National Convention

Barack Obama - Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill and the Avian Flu

Barack Obama - American Legion Conference

Barack Obama - Literacy and Education in a 21st-Century Economy

Barack Obama - Pritzker School of Medicine Commencement

Barack Obama - Nomination of Justice Janice Rogers Brown

Barack Obama - Knox College Commencement

Barack Obama - Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery

Barack Obama - America’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Policy Remarks

Barack Obama - Rockford Register Star Young American Awards

Barack Obama - NAACP Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner

Barack Obama - National Press Club

Barack Obama - SIUC College of Agriculture's 50th Anniversary

Barack Obama - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Barack Obama - Amendment for Meals/Phone Service to Wounded Veterans

Barack Obama - The Nuclear Option

Barack Obama - Confirmation Hearing of John Bolton

Barack Obama - Herblock Foundation Annual Lecture

Barack Obama - American Legion Legislative Rally

Barack Obama - CURE Keynote Address

Barack Obama - Remarks of TechNet

Barack Obama - S256, the Bankruptcy Abuse & Prevention Act of 2005

Barack Obama - John Lewis's 65th Birthday Gala

Barack Obama - Keynote Address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention

Barack Obama - 2002 Speech Against the Iraq War


TOPIC: Foreign Policy & Defense
May 26th, 2005
America's Nuclear Non-Proliferation Policy

Mr. President, throughout the last half of the 20th Century, one nation - more than any other on the face of the earth - defined and shaped the threats posed to the United States.

This nation, of course, is the Soviet Union and its successor state, Russia.

While many have turned their attention to China or other parts of the world, I believe that the most important threat to the security of the United States continues to lie within the borders of the former Soviet Union - in the form of stockpiles of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and materials.

We are in a race against time to prevent these weapons from getting in the hands of international terrorist organizations or rogue states. And the path to this potential disaster is easier than anyone could imagine: there are a number of potential sources of fissile material in the former Soviet Union in sites that are poorly secured; the material is compact, easy to hide, and hard to track; and weapons designs can be found on the internet.

Today, some weapons experts believe that terrorist organizations will have enough fissile material to build a nuclear bomb in the next 10 years. That's right - 10 years.

I rise today to instill a sense of urgency here in the Senate. I rise today to ask how we are going to deal with this threat -- tomorrow; a year from now; and a decade from now.

The President has just completed an international trip that included a visit to Russia.

I want to commend the President for taking this trip and making our relationship with Russia a priority.

During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union produced nearly 2,000 tons of plutonium and highly enriched uranium for use in weapons that could destroy the world several times over. To give you an idea of just how much this is, it takes only five to ten kilograms of plutonium to build a nuclear weapon that could kill the entire population of St. Louis.

For decades, strategic deterrence, our alliances, and the balance of power with the Soviet Union ensured the relative safety of these weapons and materials.

With the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, all of this changed.

Key institutions within the Soviet national security apparatus crumbled, exposing dangerous gaps in the security of nuclear weapons, delivery systems, and fissile material. Regional powers felt fewer constraints to develop nuclear weapons. Rogue states accelerated nuclear weapons programs.

And while this was happening, international terrorist organizations who were aggressively seeking nuclear weapons gained strength and momentum.

Thanks to the leadership of Senators Nunn and Lugar in creating the Cooperative Threat Reduction program at the Department of Defense, there is no question that we've made some great progress in securing these weapons. These same leaders continue to work tirelessly on the problem to this day -- Senator Nunn through the Nuclear Threat Initiative and Senator Lugar through his Chairmanship of the Foreign Relations Committee.

And so today, the situation in Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union today is drastically different that it was in 1991 or even 1996 or 2001.

But the threat is still extremely dangerous and extremely real. In March of this year, a senior Russian commander concluded that 39 of 46 key Russian weapons facilities had serious security shortcomings. Many Russian nuclear research sites frequently have doors propped open, security sensors turned off, and guards patrolling without ammunition in their weapons.

Meanwhile, the fanatical terrorist organizations who want these weapons continue to search every corner of the Earth, resorting to virtually any means necessary. The nuclear programs of nations such as Iran and North Korea threaten to destabilize key regions of the world. And, we are still learning about the tremendous damage caused by A.Q. Kahn, the rogue Pakistani weapons scientist.

Looking back over the past decade and a half, it is clear that we could and should have done more.

And so as the President returns from his trip to Russia, we should be thinking - on a bipartisan basis - about some of the critical issues that can guide us in the future to ensure that there are no more missed opportunities.

The situation is too dangerous. The threat to our security too grave.

The first question that we should be thinking about is what is the future of the Cooperative Threat Reduction program? Where do we go from here? In other words, what is our plan?

I believe that the Administration must spend more time working with Congress to chart out a road map and strategic vision of the program.

There are two things that the President can do to move on this issue. First, in the National Security Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction of 2002, the Administration said the National Security Council would prepare a 5 year government-wide strategy by March, 2003. To my knowledge, this has not been completed.

In addition, Congress required the Administration to submit an inter-agency coordination plan on how to more effectively deal with non-proliferation issues. This plan is due at the end of this month.

Completing these plans will help U.S. better address critical day-to-day issues, such as liability, resource allocation, and timetables.

Having a better strategic vision will also help us work more efficiently and effectively with other international donors, who have become increasingly involved and are making significant contributions to these efforts. This is an important issue, as the contributions of other donors could help us make up valuable lost time.

Mr. President, the second set of questions I would like to raise concerns the U.S.-Russian relationship. Where is this relationship heading? Will Russia be an adversary? A partner? Or something in between?

I don't ask these questions simply because I am a nice guy and I want to get along with the Russians. I ask these questions because they directly impact our progress towards securing and destroying stockpiles of nuclear weapons and materials.

In the last few years, we have seen some disturbing trends in Russia - the rapid deterioration of democracy and the rule of law; bizarre and troubling statements from President Putin about the fall of the Soviet Union; the abuses in Chechnya; and Russian meddling in the former Soviet Union from the Baltics to Ukraine to Georgia.

The Russians must understand that their actions on some of these issues are completely unacceptable.

At the same time, I believe that we have to do a better job of working with the Russians to make sure that they are moving in the right direction. This starts by being thoughtful and consistent about what we say and what we do. Tone is important here.

Some of the statements by our own officials have been confusing, contradictory, and problematic. At times, I have been left scratching my head about what exactly is our policy and how Administration statements square with this policy.

Another issue is the level of sustained engagement with Russia.

I am glad that the President and Secretary of State have made a number of trips to Russia.

But, as these trips are but a few days every year or so, this is only one aspect of the relationship. An additional part, which has suffered in recent years, is our foreign assistance programs to Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union.

These programs are an essential way for the United States to maintain our engagement with Russia. They aren't just giveaways; they are programs that advance U.S. interests by strengthening democracy and civil society, enhancing economic development, and dealing with international health issues - in addition to curbing the nonproliferation threat.

At a time when these programs are desperately needed, their budgets have been cut dramatically. At a time when we should be doing more to engage and shape the future of Russia, we seem to be doing the exact opposite.

The non-proliferation threat does not exist in a vacuum. The issues I just mentioned -- along with other important issues such as our own strategic nuclear arsenal -- must also be considered as we move forward.

Finally, Mr. President, I would like my colleagues to consider how our relationship with Russia, and our efforts to secure and destroy weapons and materials inside the former Soviet Union, fits in with our broader non-proliferation goals.

Russia is a major player in the two of the biggest proliferation challenges we currently face - Iran and North Korea. Russia's dangerous involvement with Iran's nuclear program has been well documented, and there is no question that their actions will be pivotal if the President is to successfully resolve this deteriorating situation.

The Russians are also an important voice in trying to make progress on the deteriorating situation in North Korea. The Russian city of Vladivostok is home to 590,000 people and is very close to the North Korean border - putting the Russians smack in the middle of a crisis that we need to resolve.

In addition to all of this, Russia holds a veto on the UN Security Council, which could consider the Iranian and North Korean issues in the very near future.

Developing strong bilateral and multilateral strategies that deal with Russia's role in these growing crises will be extremely important, both in terms of resolving these crisis, advancing our non-proliferation goals within the former Soviet Union, and our long-term relationship with Russia.

I realize that right now, none of us have all the answers to these extraordinarily difficult questions.

But if we hope to successfully fight terror and avoid disaster before it arrives at our shores, we must start finding those answers. We have work to do.

I believe that it is worth putting in place a process - one that involves senior Administration officials, a bipartisan group of Members of Congress as well as retired senior military officers and diplomats - in an effort to dramatically improve progress on these issues.

I am interested in hearing from the President about his trip. I am also interested in hearing if he believes that an idea, similar to the one that I put forward, is worth considering.

Delay is not an option. We need to start making more progress on this issue today. I urge my colleagues to act.


You can only imagine how many different ways people type the name Barack Obama. Here is a sampling for his first name: Barac, Barach, Baracks, Barak, Baraka, Barrack, Barrak, Berack, Borack, Borak, Brack, Brach, Brock even, Rocco. There are just as many for his last name: Abama, Bama, Bamma, Obma, Obamas, Obamma, Obana, Obamo, Obbama, Oboma, Obomba, Obombma, Obomha, Oblama, Omaba, Oblamma and (ready for this?) Ohama. And of course there's Barack Obama's middle name, Hussein. Here are some of the ways it comes out: Hissein, Hussain, Husein, Hussin, Hussane and Hussien.