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

Katrina Reconstruction Contracts and US toll in Iraq

TOPIC: Katrina & Gulf Recovery and Iraq
June 15, 2006
Katrina Reconstruction Contracts/US Toll in Iraq
Complete Transcript

Hello, this is Senator Barack Obama and today is Thursday, June 15, 2006.

I want to talk to you guys today about Katrina. I know that we've had a number of discussions about the process of rebuilding and what's been happening and what hasn't been happening down in the Gulf. Some of you may recall that a while back that I introduced a piece of legislation that should be pretty straightforward. It essentially said that all Katrina reconstruction contracts in excess of $500,000 had to be competitively bid. This was prompted by news reports that enormous amounts of waste were taking place in the Katrina contracting process. You had multibillion dollar no-bid contracts for things as varied as debris removal or buying tarps to put on roofs, trailers for people who had been displaced. Many of these items had been purchased, or services had been purchased, at two or three or five times the typical market value and, obviously, any money that's wasted going to contractors is money that is coming out of taxpayers' pockets and not getting to the intended beneficiaries - the people who have been displaced as a consequence of the hurricane.

So, myself and Tom Coburn (Republican from Oklahoma) introduced a very simple amendment in the Emergency Defense Supplemental. It essentially said that if there is going to be a contract of more than half a million dollars, it has to be competitively bid. The amendment passed 98 to 0; the entire Senate was unanimous. But, as some of you may not be aware, the way Washington works is a bill that passes in the Senate and a bill that passes in the House has to be reconciled in what is called a conference committee because there are going to be differences, potentially, between what's in the House version and the Senate version. Those have to be worked out in a conference of House members and Senate members. I wasn't on the conference committee; neither was Tom Coburn. When the conference committee report finally came out, the bill that would actually be voted on and signed into law, our little provision had been struck - it wasn't in there.

Since that time we got that news there's at least 1.4 billion dollars of taxpayer money that could have gone to helping the people on the coast that instead has been siphoned off on a series of fraudulent claims; spending on everything from Girls Gone Wild videos to vacation trips to Hawaii to, in one case, a sex change operation. Now, this didn't have to do with contracting - it had to do with claims - but it indicated the complete lack of oversight by which we are spending billions of dollars down on the Gulf Coast.

So, as a consequence, I am reintroducing with Tom Coburn our provision to end no-bid contracts. We are going to introduce that into the Department of Defense Authorization Bill next week. I just want you guys to track this because these small provisions and amendments and details are really what make up the guts of what's going on here in Washington. We'll have big debates on abortion, gay marriage, what's happening in respect to the war in Iraq - many of these issues are critically important, but what really determines how our government acts often are these provisions, these amendments, these conference committee reports. They don't get a lot of attention: reporters, oftentimes, don't track them, except for maybe the specialty press, the newspapers here in Washington. But it's important, I think, for everybody who's listening out there to be aware of what's going on because unless the citizenry is informed about the procedures and processes in Washington, it's very difficult to hold our elected officials accountable. And there are times, I'll confess, where I can get extremely frustrated just because good provisions, like the one that Tom Coburn and I introduced that passed 98 to 0, still aren't able to get signed into law. Hopefully we'll be able to make progress on this one.

Coming up next week there is going to be a vigorous debate around spending with respect to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House is sponsoring a major debate on their side. I suspect we'll have a series of amendments that we'll being dealing with on the Senate side, as well. And so, rather than talk about those today, I'm going to wait until we've had some of the debate take place so I can give you guys some insight in terms of how people are thinking about it on both sides of the aisle.

In the meantime, I think it is worth noting that today we passed the 2,500 casualty mark in terms of the war in Iraq: twenty-five hundred American heroes, servicemen and servicewomen, who have been killed in Iraq. We observed a moment of silence on the Senate floor today and it might make sense for some of you guys just to think about those men and women, as well as their families, and the enormous sacrifice that they've made. I look forward talking to you guys next week. Bye-bye.


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.