60 Barack Obama quotes about change, education, and equality

Looking for inspirational Barack Obama quotes from his speeches, interviews and books?

Barack Obama has accomplished things that most people can only dream of.

He was the first African American to assume the presidency and served for two terms.

Obama is also a bestselling author and philanthropist.

Who is Barack Obama?

Barack Obama came from humble beginnings before rising up to be one of the most powerful people in the world.

During his youth, Obama played basketball and took his studies seriously.

Due to his intelligence and hard work, he achieved a full scholarship to Harvard University.

After graduating at the top of his class, Obama became a journalist in New York City.

Barack Obama recognized that he could become a successful journalist if he worked his way up the ladder.

He was a skilled writer and a hard worker.

However, he had different ambitions.

He knew that he could make a difference through politics.

Before getting into politics, he lectured at the University of Chicago.

During this time, he also worked on his first book, Dreams from My Father, a memoir about Obama’s past and the influence his race had on his life.

He also served on the board of a law firm.

Barack Obama had his eyes on the White House for years.

He was determined to make a difference in the world and knew that being the president of the United States would be the best way to make an impact.

He became the “people’s candidate”.

He had a very high approval rating and received record-breaking amounts of campaign funds.

While the election against John McCain seemed close in the beginning, Barack Obama comfortably defeated him and became president of the United States.

He proceeded to beat Mitt Romney, thus securing his second term in office.

Looking for Barack Obama quotes?

Whether you agree with his politics or not, you have to admire his success story.

In that light, we hope you get some new insights through these Barack Obama quotes.

Also check out these wise presidential quotes from past presidents.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration. 

Our inspirational quote category page has even more inspirational and educational quotes.

Barack Obama quotes about hope

1. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about hope

2. “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America’s about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don’t contract them.” – Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes on marriage

3. “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” – Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about right path

4. “We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don’t want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential.” – Barack Obama

president Barack Obama quotes about clearing proverty of ambition

5. “We, the People, recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense.” – Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes from america

6. “The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.” – Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about the future

7. “Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq. We did. I promised to refocus on the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11. We have. We’ve blunted the Taliban’s momentum in Afghanistan, and in 2014, our longest war will be over. A new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.” – Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about Iraq war

8. “It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today. The 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, family leave, health insurance, Social Security, Medicare, retirement plans. The cornerstones of the middle-class security all bear the union label.” – Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about movement

9. “There is probably a perverse pride in my administration…that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who’s occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can’t be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion.” – Barack Obama

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famous Barack Obama quotes

10. “I began feeling the way I imagine an actor or athlete must feel when, after years of commitment to a particular dream…he realizes that he’s gone just about as far as talent or fortune will take him. The dream will not happen, and he now faces the choice of accepting this fact like a grownup and moving on to more sensible pursuits, or refusing the truth and ending up bitter, quarrelsome, and slightly pathetic.” – Barack Obama

Barack Obama quote about success

Also check out these immigration quotes exploring the social issue.

Inspiring Barack Obama quotes on leadership and life

11. “I think what you’re seeing is a profound recognition on the part of the American people that gays and lesbians and transgender persons are our brothers, our sisters, our children, our cousins, our friends, our co-workers, and that they’ve got to be treated like every other American. And I think that principle will win out.” – Barack Obama

Inspiring Barack Obama quotes on love

12. “If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost.” – Barack Obama

Inspiring Barack Obama quotes on leadership and life

13. “When we don’t pay close attention to the decisions made by our leaders, when we fail to educate ourselves about the major issues of the day, when we choose not to make our voices and opinions heard, that’s when democracy breaks down. That’s when power is abused. That’s when the most extreme voices in our society fill the void that we leave. That’s when powerful interests and their lobbyists are most able to buy access and influence in the corridors of power – because none of us are there to speak up and stop them.” – Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about democracy

14. “Participation in public life doesn’t mean that you all have to run for public office – though we could certainly use some fresh faces in Washington. But it does mean that you should pay attention and contribute in any way that you can. Stay informed. Write letters, or make phone calls on behalf of an issue you care about. If electoral politics isn’t your thing, continue the tradition so many of you started here at Michigan and find a way to serve your community and your country – an act that will help you stay connected to your fellow citizens and improve the lives of those around you.” – Barack Obama

Inspiring Barack Obama quotes on participation in public life

15. “Today we are engaged in a deadly global struggle for those who would intimidate, torture, and murder people for exercising the most basic freedoms. If we are to win this struggle and spread those freedoms, we must keep our own moral compass pointed in a true direction.” – Barack Obama

president obama quotes on leadership

16. “In a world of complex threats, our security and leadership depends on all elements of our power – including strong and principled diplomacy.” – Barack Obama

Inspiring Barack Obama quotes on life

17. “On every front, there are clear answers out there that can make this country stronger, but we’re going to break through the fear and the frustration people are feeling. Our job is to make sure that even as we make progress, that we are also giving people a sense of hope and vision for the future.” – Barack Obama

barack obama quotes about future

18. “With patient and firm determination, I am going to press on for jobs. I’m going to press on for equality. I’m going to press on for the sake of our children. I’m going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I am going to press on.” – Barack Obama

Inspiring Barack Obama quotes from Barack Obama

19. “We didn’t become the most prosperous country in the world just by rewarding greed and recklessness. We didn’t come this far by letting the special interests run wild. We didn’t do it just by gambling and chasing paper profits on Wall Street. We built this country by making things, by producing goods we could sell.” – Barack Obama

barack obama quotes about most prosperous country in the world

20. “In December, I agreed to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans because it was the only way I could prevent a tax hike on middle-class Americans. But we cannot afford $1 trillion worth of tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. We can’t afford it. And I refuse to renew them again.” – Barack Obama

Inspiring Barack Obama quotes on leadership

More Barack Obama quotes about education and change

21. “The shift to a cleaner energy economy won’t happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way. But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.” – Barack Obama

barack obama quotes about education and change

22. “The thing about hip-hop today is it’s smart, it’s insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable.” – Barack Obama

Insightful Barack Obama quotes

23. “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes,’ he said, his voice rising as applause and cheers mounted. ‘Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.” – Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about take off your bedroom slippers

24. “Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference.” – Barack Obama

barack obama quotes about money makes a difference

25. “We have an obligation and a responsibility to be investing in our students and our schools. We must make sure that people who have the grades, the desire and the will, but not the money, can still get the best education possible.” – Barack Obama

Barack Obama quotes about best education

Barack Obama quotes that will elevate your thinking

26. “My identity might begin with the fact of my race, but it didn’t, couldn’t end there. At least that’s what I would choose to believe.” – Barack Obama

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27. “When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk.” – Barack Obama

28. “I’m the president of the United States. I’m not the emperor of the United States.”  – Barack Obama

29. “Change is never easy, but always possible.” – Barack Obama

30. “The cynics may be the loudest voices – but I promise you, they will accomplish the least.” – Barack Obama

31. “You can’t let your failures define you. You have to let your failures teach you.” – Barack Obama

32. “Nothing in life that’s worth anything is easy.” — Barack Obama

33. “We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it.” — Barack Obama

If you’re enjoying this article, make sure to also check out these quotes by famous people about life, love and success.

Barack Obama quotes to inspire and teach

34. “In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?” – Barack Obama

35. “If you run you stand a chance of losing, but if you don’t run you’ve already lost.” — Barack Obama

36. “The value of social movements and activism is to get you at the table, get you in the room, and then to start trying to figure out how is this problem going to be solved.” — Barack Obama

37. “I think when you spread the wealth around it’s good for everybody.” — Barack Obama

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38. “Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. And it will leave you unfulfilled.” ― Barack Obama

39. “Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail.” — Barack Obama

40. “If you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like or who you love.”— Barack Obama

41. “Keep exploring. Keep dreaming. Keep asking why. Don’t settle for what you already know. Never stop believing in the power of your ideas, your imagination, your hard work to change the world.” — Barack Obama

42. “We are the change we have been waiting for.” ― Barack Obama

Other insightful Barack Obama quotes

43. “We need to keep making our streets safer and our criminal justice system fairer – our homeland more secure, our world more peaceful and sustainable for the next generation.” – Barack Obama

44. “Michelle’s like Beyoncé in that song. ‘Let me upgrade ya!’ She upgraded me.” — Barack Obama

45. “We don’t turn back. We leave no one behind. We pull each other up.” — Barack Obama

46. “What Washington needs is adult supervision.” – Barack Obama

47. “Where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can.” — Barack Obama

48. “You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig.” ― Barack Obama

49. “When times get tough, we don’t give up. We get up.” — Barack Obama

50. “We may not be able to stop evil in the world, but how we treat one another is entirely up to us.” ― Barack Obama

Barrack Obama quotes we can relate to

51. “Why can’t I just eat my waffle?” — Barack Obama

52. “I’m a warrior for the middle class.” — Barack Obama

53. “I just miss – I miss being anonymous.” — Barack Obama

54. “I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money.” — Barack Obama

55. “Issues are never simple. One thing I’m proud of is that very rarely will you hear me simplify the issues.” — Barack Obama

56. “We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.” — Barack Obama

57. “My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too.” — Barack Obama

58. “We proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things and tackling our biggest challenges.” — Barack Obama

59. “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and latino America and asian America – there’s the United States of America.” — Barack Obama

60. “Now, as a nation, we don’t promise equal outcomes, but we were founded on the idea everybody should have an equal opportunity to succeed. No matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, you can make it. That’s an essential promise of America. Where you start should not determine where you end up.” — Barack Obama

What are your favorite Barack Obama quotes?

Barack Obama is known for being different than most politicians.

He emphasized that he was going to work to change things for the better throughout his campaign and presidency.

Though Congress turned down many of his laws, he passed important bills, including the health care reform.

He also removed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the military, gave marriage rights to all, raised minimum wage, and worked to release nonviolent criminals to give them another chance at life.

What other Barack Obama quotes would you add to the list?

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1 Comment
  1. Fallou SENE

    October 27, 2019 at 11:59 AM

    Actually, mister president Obama is a man full of knowledge and compassion. I really adore him that’s why I’m modeling myself on him.

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