I've spend the past several weeks reading the two books which Barack wrote (The Audacity of Hope & Dreams of My Father) and came away impressed with his intelligence, his ability to convey complex ideas easily, his honesty and humility. The whole time I was reading his books, I kept thinking to myself, "Self, I want this man to become President. I feel like he will make a difference in office and I want to support him in that endeavor."
Given this, I'd like to share with you some quotes from The Audacity of Hope which captured my attention and made me read his words with gusto. There's so many more quotes, however, to quote them all, I'd need to cite the entirety of both his books.
"The same goes for competence. Nothing brightens my day more than dealing with somebody, anybody, who takes pride in their work or goes the extra mile -- an accountant, a plumber, a three-star general, the person on the other end of the phone who actually seems to want to solve your problem. My encounters with such competence seem more sporadic lately; I seem to spend more time looking for somebody in the store to help me or waiting for the deliveryman to show. Other people must notice this; it makes us all cranky, and those of us in government, no less than in business, ignore such perceptions at their own peril" (p. 60).
"Like most of my values, I learned about empathy from my mother. She disdained any kind of cruelty or thoughtlessness or abuse of power, whether it expressed itself in the form of racial prejudice or bullying in the schoolyard or workers being underpaid. Whenever she saw even a hint of such behavior in me she would look me square in the eyes and ask, 'How do you think that would make you feel?'" (p. 66).
"So let's be clear. The rich in America have little to complain about. Between 1971 and 2001, while the median wage and salary income of the overage worker showed literally no gain, the income of the top hundredth of a percent went up almost 500 percent...I simply believe that those of us who have benefited most from this new economy can best afford to shoulder the obligation of ensuring every American child has a chance for that same success. And perhaps I possess a certain Midwestern sensibility that I inherited from my mother and her parents, a sensibility that Warren Buffett seems to share: that at a certain point one has enough, that you can derive as much pleasure from a Picasso hanging in a museum as from one that's hanging in your den, that you can get an awfully good meal in a restaurant for less than twenty dollars, and that once your drapes cost more than the average American's yearly salary, then you can afford to pay a bit more in taxes" (pp. 197-98).
There's much more to be said here; however, I think it's best if you discover Obama for yourself. You won't regret reading these two books -- powerful and thought-provoking.