President Obama's Full Acceptance Speech


Now we will disagree, sometimes fiercely how to get there – as it has for more than two centuries progress will come in fits and starts it's not always a straight line, it's not always a smooth path. By itself the recognition we have common hopes and dreams won't end all the gridlock, or solve all our problems or substitute for all the painstaking work for building our consensus or making the difficult compromises to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin. Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over. And whether I earned your vote or not I have listened to you, I have learned from you and you've made me a better president and with your stories and your struggles I return to the White House more determined and more inspired about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead. (Applause)

Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together; reducing our deficit, reforming our tax code, fixing our immigration system, freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We've got more work to do!

But that doesn't mean your work is done. The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America has never been about what can be done for us it's about what can be done by us by the hard, frustrating but necessary work of self government. That is the principle we were founded on. This country has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich.

We have the most powerful military in history but that's not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture, are all the envy of the world but that's what keeps the world coming to our shores. What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth, the belief that our destiny is shared, that this country only works when we except certain obligations to one another and the future generations so that the freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for comes with responsibilities as well as rights and among those are love, and charity, and duty, and patriotism. That's what makes America great. *cheers*

I am hopeful tonight because I've seen the spirit at work in America. I have seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. I've seen it in the soldiers who reenlist after losing a limb and in those SEALS that charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back *cheers*.

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