We're not a fragile people. We're not a frightful people. Our power doesn't come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way. We don't look to be ruled.
I've put up with more humiliation than I care to remember.
I never use that word, retire.
I started to like blues, I guess, when I was about 6 or 7 years old. There was something about it, because nobody else played that kind of music.
I'm no good with chords. I'm horrible with chords.
Yes, we've still got more work to do. More work to do for every American still in need of a good job or a raise, paid leave or a decent retirement; for every child who needs a sturdier ladder out of poverty or a world-class education; for everyone who has not yet felt the progress of these past seven and a half years.
I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together: black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young, old; gay, straight; men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance under the same proud flag to this big, bold country that we love. That's what I see. That's the America I know!
After a century of trying, we declared that healthcare in America is not a privilege for a few, it is a right for everybody. After decades of talk, we finally began to wean ourselves off foreign oil. We doubled our production of clean energy. We brought more of our troops home to their families, and we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.
A lot has happened over the years. And while this nation has been tested by war, and it's been tested by recession and all manner of challenges - I stand before you again tonight, after almost two terms as your president, to tell you I am more optimistic about the future of America than ever before.