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

  Honest Leadership and Open Government - Podcast Transcript

TOPIC: Ethics & Lobbying Reform
January 18, 2006
Honest Leadership and Open Government
Podcast - Complete Transcript

As most of you know, I'm from Chicago - a city that hasn't always had the cleanest reputation when it comes to politics in this country. In fact, one of the most famous moments in Chicago political life came back in the 50s, when one of Chicago's old-time ward bosses, a guy named Paddy Bauer, was reported to have danced on his chair after the Chicago machine defeated a reform candidate and shouted out for the entire chamber to hear, that "Chicago ain't ready for reform."

I stand here today with my colleagues to say that the American people are ready for reform.

In fact, the American people think reform is long overdue.

Now, let me say at the outset that none of us claim that the Democrats have a monopoly on virtue. Moreover, political corruption is not unique to Washington. During my first year in the Illinois State Senate, I helped lead the fight to pass Illinois' first ethics reform bill in twenty-five years - in part to address some of the questionable practices that were going on in Springfield.

But I think it's fair to say that the scandals that we've seen, both legal and illegal, under the current White House and Congress, are far worse than most of us could have imagined.

Americans may have grown accustomed to big money and special interests exerting too much influence in Washington, but even they have been shocked by what appears to be a systematic takeover of our democracy by high-priced lobbyists.

Think about it. In the past several months, we've seen politicians resigning for taking millions of dollars in bribes.

We've seen the head of the White House procurement office arrested. We've seen some of our most powerful leaders of both the House and the Senate under federal investigation. We've seen the number of registered lobbyists in Washington double since George Bush came into office. And of course, we've seen the indictment of Jack Abramoff.

Over the past few days, there have been suggestions by Republican operatives and commentators that this is somehow a bipartisan scandal.

But let's be clear - while the Democrats certainly are not without sin when it comes to money in politics, Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon and the K Street project - these are Republican sins, and Republican sins alone.

What is also true is that the offenses involved go beyond Jack Abramoff. They are bigger than golf junkets to Scotland and lavish gifts for lawmakers.

The recent scandals have shaken the very foundation of the American people's faith in a government that will look out for their interests and uphold their values.

Because they don't just lead to morally offensive conduct on the part of politicians. They lead to morally offensive legislation that hurts hardworking Americans.

When big oil companies are invited into the White House for secret energy meetings, it's no wonder they end up with billions in tax breaks while Americans still struggle to fill up their gas tanks and heat their homes.

When the halls of Congress are filled with high-priced lobbyists from the pharmaceutical industry - some who used to be members of Congress - it's hardly a surprise that they get taxpayer-funded giveaways in the same Medicare bill that forbids seniors from banding together to negotiate for better drug prices.

When the people running Washington are accountable only to the special interests that fund their campaigns, of course they'll spend your tax dollars with reckless abandon; of course they'll load up bills with pet projects and driving us into deficit with the hope that no one will notice.

At this point, the well-connected CEOs and hired guns on K Street who've helped write our laws have gotten what they paid for. They got all the tax breaks and loopholes and access they could ever want. But outside this city, the people who can't afford the high-priced lobbyists and don't want to break the law are wondering, "When is it our turn? When will someone in Washington stand up for me?"

We're here today to answer that call because let's face it - for the last few years, the people running Washington simply haven't. And while only some are to blame for the corruption that has plagued this city, all are responsible for fixing it.

That's why we're asking Republicans to put an end to the pay-to-play schemes and join us in passing the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which should go a long way toward correcting some of the most egregious offenses of the last few years.

You've already heard some of the key provisions in our proposal. It will prevent former Members of Congress from lobbying for legislation they were voting on just a year ago, it will provide more transparency to allow the public to see exactly what their representatives are doing in Washington, and it will end the gifts and trips that allowed people like Jack Abramoff to influence politicians.

I realize that our friends on the other side of the aisle have suddenly found religion on this topic, and I think that's commendable. In fact, I look forward to working in a bipartisan fashion to get a solid bill passed. But let me close by saying that it's going to take much more than gift bans and lobbying reform to restore the public's faith in a government of, by, and for the American people.

To earn back that trust - to show people that we're working for them and looking out for their interests - we have to start acting like it.

That means instead of meeting with lobbyists, it's time to start meeting with some of the 45 million Americans with no health care. Instead of hitting up the big firms on K Street, it's time to start visiting the workers on Main Street who are wondering how they'll send their kids to college or whether their pension will be around when they retire. All these people have done to earn access and gain influence is cast their ballot, but in this democracy, it's all anyone should have to do. The people running this town need to realize that, and if we hope to be real reformers, that's the place we need to start.


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.