Barack Obama finally talks directly about Donald Trump’s presidency in a barn burner of a speech.

By |2018-09-08T08:19:42-08:00September 7th, 2018|Categories: Front Page, News|Tags: , , , , , |17 Comments

(I am posting the entire speech in full because I really do think that it deserves our attention. However, for those with limited time, I will post excerpts from a Politico article and add some tweets with portions of the speech as well. )

Courtesy of Politico

Barack Obama launched his midterm campaigning Friday at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, arguing that President Donald Trump poses such a threat to America that it forced him to speak out in an unprecedented way for a former president.

“I’m here today because this is one of those pivotal moments when every one of us as citizens of the United States need to determine just who we are, what it is that we stand for,” Obama said. “As a fellow citizen, not as an ex-president, I’m here to deliver a simple message, which is that you need to vote, because our democracy depends on it.”

“It did not start with Donald Trump. He is a symptom, not the cause,” Obama said, to applause. “He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years.”

It’s not just about Trump, he said. It’s about Republicans “who know better in Congress … bending over backwards to shield” Trump. They’re hypocrites, he said, and they’re just as dangerous to America. At times mocking them and at times laying into them, Obama said they’ve abandoned all that they’re supposed to stand for as Republicans, and as citizens of this country.

“None of this is conservative. I don’t mean to pretend I’m channeling Lincoln now, but that’s not what he had in mind, I don’t think, when he formed the Republican Party. It sure isn’t normal. It’s radical. It’s a vision that says our protection of our power is all that matters,” Obama said.

Nor, Obama said, should anyone feel good about the idea, expressed in the anonymous New York Times op-ed earlier this week, that there are adults in the room managing Trump.

“That is not a check. That’s not how our democracy’s supposed to work. These people aren’t elected,” he said. “They’re not doing us a service by actively promoting 90 percent of the crazy stuff that’s coming out of this White House, and saying, ‘Don’t worry, we’re preventing the other 10 percent.’”

“Even if you don’t agree with me or Democrats on policy, even if you agree with more libertarian economic views, even if you are an evangelical and the position on social issues is a bridge too far,” Obama said. “I’m here to tell you that you should still be concerned and should still want to see a restoration of honesty and decency and lawfulness in our government. It should not be Democratic or Republican. It should not be partisan to say that we do not pressure the attorney general or the FBI to use the justice system as a cudgel to punish our political opponents.”

He went on: Everyone in the country, he said, should be able to agree that journalists aren’t the enemy of the people, that people shouldn’t be persecuted because of what they look like, that everyone should be able to stand up to Nazi sympathizers.

“We are Americans,” Obama said.

Yes, we are. And as Americans, it is more important than ever that we stand up for American ideals and get that pretender out of office just as soon as humanly possible. 

Listening to Obama speak only serves to remind us that we once used the power of our vote to select statesmen with powerful intellects and the ability to move this country toward the progress that will keep this nation as a shining beacon of opportunity and hope. 

Currently, that beacon has been dimmed until it is almost invisible, but we have the ability to make it shine once again. 

All we have to do is work together. 

I don’t know about you, but I am both fired up and ready to go. 

P.S. For those who just want to read the transcript, you can do so right here courtesy of Vox.

About the Author:

This blog is dedicated to finding the truth, exposing the lies, and holding our politicians and leaders accountable when they fall far short of the promises that they have made to both my fellow Alaskans and the American people.


  1. Anonymous September 7, 2018 at 4:11 pm

    Barack Obama’s crucial insight into the crisis of American democracy
    He’s clear on who broke things: Republicans.

    …Like any vintage Obama speech, he did still call for common ground and bipartisan collaboration. But coming in the wake of what felt like an 18-month political hibernation — and with two months to go before crucial midterms — Obama’s lambasting of the Republican Party stood out. It’s a bracing analysis of how we got here, in an environment where critiques of Trump frequently stop with him and not the party enabling him. And it suggests a new turn for Obama, who has a habit of opting for post-partisan positioning when the partisan trench warfare is more what the moment calls for.

  2. Anonymous September 7, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    Obama just gave the speech the left’s wanted since he left office
    “It’s manufactured by the powerful and the privileged who want to keep us divided.”

    …Barack Obama delivered a campaign-style speech Friday that shattered the norm against ex-presidents criticizing their successors, openly accusing President Trump of threatening American norms, institutions, and even lives. But he urged Democrats to think of Trump not as a disruptive force but as a defender of the powers that be, a clown whose antics distract from the need to fundamentally reform the status quo.

    Speaking, as he often does, about the long arc of history and America’s troubled efforts to live up to its founding doctrines, Obama observed that “each time we’ve gotten closer to those ideals, somebody somewhere has pushed back. The status quo pushes back.” He allowed that “sometimes the backlash comes from people who are genuinely, if wrongly, fearful of change,” but argued that “more often, it’s manufactured by the powerful and the privileged who want to keep us divided and keep us angry and keep us cynical because it helps them maintain the status quo and keep their power and keep their privilege.”

  3. Anonymous September 7, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Obama to Trump: “How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad.”
    Obama makes the case for everyone joining the resistance.

    –In the past year, Republicans have downplayed investigations into Trump’s campaign and presidency and excused Trump’s racism, xenophobia, and misconduct. They’ve watched Trump abandon conservative beliefs on trade and immigration and have been forced to spin the president’s often politically incoherent ideas. They’ve tolerated Trump sowing distrust among the key pillars of American democracy, from freedom of the press to the judiciary and intelligence agencies.

  4. Anonymous September 7, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Trump responds to Obama’s speech by calling him boring: ‘I watched it but I fell asleep’

    Too many big words, most likely.

  5. Anonymous September 7, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    I have been waiting for Obama to get fed up and to start speaking out. It looks like that day has finally arrived.

    • Anon September 7, 2018 at 4:38 pm

      I want to celebrate. I feel more calm listening to him. Perhaps other past Presidents will speak out too.

  6. Anonymous September 7, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    GOP bails on pledge not to use stolen emails to attack opponents

    Republicans refuse to rule out help from Russians.

  7. Anonymous September 7, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Fox News Hosts Shepard Smith, Chris Wallace Pile On Trump at End of ‘Embarrassing’ Week
    ‘If Donald Trump thinks he’s under fire, it’s because he is,’ Chris Wallace said on Friday.

    Shepard Smith and Chris Wallace have never been President Donald Trump’s biggest fans at Fox News, but rarely have this seemed as fed up as they did Friday.

    “I have to say, it’s kind of been a 1-2-3 punch for Donald Trump this week,” Wallace said on on the network Friday afternoon. “First you had the Bob Woodward book, and as if that weren’t bad enough you had the anonymous op-ed piece in The New York Times. And now you have Barack Obama getting off the political sidelines and back into the arena, taking some powerful shots, unusually powerful shots for a former president against the current president.”

    “If Donald Trump thinks he’s under fire, it’s because he is,” Wallace added.

  8. Anonymous September 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Nice to hear complete sentences again. I miss my President. The Patriots will win. GeorgiaPeach

  9. Anonymous September 7, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Yeah. Nice to hear from Obama. A very articulate speaker. Not filled with craziness that we see from the one in the white house who sez he fell asleep. That is not comforting.

  10. Beaglemom September 8, 2018 at 3:50 am

    President Obama’s speech even warranted front page coverage in the Washington Post! I was amazed. He was largely ignored his presidency although less so than candidate Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign! Maybe even the media realizes that Americans deserve to hear the truth once in a while. Maybe, after two years or so of being vilified by the current administration, members of the print media are starting to realize that they should have been paying more attention to those Democrats who were trying to talk to the country. Not bleat at it.

  11. Anon September 8, 2018 at 6:31 am

    Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said that Democrats are attending the Kavanaugh hearing “under protest” and will not rule out releasing more documents later this month as the hearings continue.
    “I hereby reserve the right to release documents before any confirmation vote, so that my colleagues can see what THE TRUTH IS,”

    • Anonymous September 8, 2018 at 7:56 pm

      Where was this sudden chutzpah when they fast tracked the confirmation of those 15 lifetime judges just so they could have a long weekend to campaign. I don’t consider that an acceptable trade off. No wonder the Republicans assume they can steamroll all over the Democrats. It’s because they can. They’ve done it successfully in the past and have no reason to doubt they can continue to successfully do so. We lost our democracy in 2000.

  12. anon September 8, 2018 at 6:44 am

    Payoff>Money alone does not WIN elections, but it helps.

  13. Anon September 8, 2018 at 6:55 am

    “Nine “miners” greeted him backstage. They were “tough guys,” “seriously tough cookies,” men he wouldn’t want to fight. But eight of the nine were crying. “Crying out of happiness,” “Because they’re back.”
    “Another moving moment, in his telling, occurred when he was walking into the room.

    “A strong man came up to me, tough kind of a guy, and said: ‘I want to thank you, Mr. President, for saving our country.’ And he had tears coming down his eyes,”This wasn’t just a statement, because he had tears coming down. Unless he was a real wise guy. But he had tears coming down his eyes.” THEN>

    Trump flew from North Dakota to South Dakota. There, he repeated the story from eight days prior in Indiana, almost word for word, about how he had encountered nine men, eight of whom were crying.

    But there was something odd about this version. This time the nine men were “steelworkers,” not miners, and the encounter happened “at the opening of one of the big plants for United States Steel,”
    “The crying characters in Trump’s stories tend to share three characteristics: they are male, they are “tough” or “strong,” and they do not have names”

    “Trump says the last time he “experienced true bliss” was “when I saw my poll numbers last week.”

    • Anonymous September 9, 2018 at 8:58 am

      He’s living in the past where there was no video to document what you said or internet to immediately compare and share. His base is stupid and doesn’t care. Everyone else is simply beaten down tired of the constant barrage of lies. It’s not complacency so much as nothing can be done. Short of impeachment I guess.

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