Talk:Barack Obama

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Barack Obama page.

Unsourced quotes[edit]

I am fairly new to Wikiquote. I just visited here to drop off a quote I ran into. However, to me the long section of unsourced quotes looks a little strange. If he really said them couldn't a published source be found? For all we know these are things someone made up, wishing Senator Obama had said them. I would recommend removing them. There are plenty of sourced quotes. Thanks. Steve Dufour 14:49, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia policy says that unsourced material about a living person that could be harmful should be removed from an article, and I am guessing that Wikiquote has the same kind of policy. It seems to me that since he is running for office any of these unsourced quotes could be harmful to him since some people might disagree with them or use them in the wrong way. I hope that nobody will object if I remove them. Thanks. I will do the same with Hillary Clinton's page if she has some. Steve Dufour 22:18, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Correction is needed...[edit]

Quote "This is the moment that will define a Generation" in section 2008 (it has an external link not named... it's numbered with 12). The explanation to the quote is wrong! Minnesota didn't hold a primary , they hold a caucaus... and even more important, he didn't give the speech after an election in Minnesota. But he gave the speech in Minnesota, the day he won the nomination... see the source given-- 13:29, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

i will listen to you[edit]

"i will listen to you" "debt to family beyond measure" "new energy to harness" "we as people will get there" "rise or fall as one nation" "dawn of the us leadership at hand" "union can be perfected" "change has come to america"

"this is our moment" president speech! 44 president of USA "this victory belongs to you" "i will listen to you"

more from obama's speech 4 nov[edit]

"strenght comes from ideas" "challenges are grates of lifetime" "america can change"

  • Calm down. Undoubtedly the campaign will release a transcript of the speech, from which the poignant moments can be drawn. Cheers! BD2412 T 07:12, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

"This is your victory" Patio 10:12, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Al Smith dinner[edit]

Obama had some good lines at the Al Smith dinner. Would it be appropriate to put those on this page? Oops. Forgot to sign. DataSnake 13:23, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Why not add the quote

"When your name is Barack Obama, you're always the underdog" From the Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Other Quotes[edit]

Other politicians have their "no-so-perfect" quotes listed as well. What about:

"This was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal" [1]


"I've been to 57 states" [2]

Jmcnamera 20:20, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

This is a free-content encyclopedia. There's nothing to stop you from adding them. ~ S0CO(talk|contribs) 03:31, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
I can't add them because the page is protected. Jmcnamera 17:43, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
I added the first as it had an impartial source, was high-profile, and was significant on the campaign trail. The second was a less notable "gotcha" moment which could have used a better source. ~ S0CO(talk|contribs) 05:43, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

"What is a family? Is it just a genetic chain, parents and offspring, people like me? Or is it a social construct, an economic unit, optimal for child rearing and divisions of labor? Or is it something else entirely: a store of shared memories, say? An ambit of love? A reach across the void?" is from 'Dreams From My Father' but I don't know the page citation. Fashnable1 23:20, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Excerpts from "The Audacity of Hope" and "Dreams of my Father"[edit]

A friendly reminder: Wikiquote:Limits on quotations#Books recommends that no more than five lines of prose be quoted for every ten pages in a copyrighted book. We need to choose excerpts sparingly to try and keep within this limit. Thanks! ~ S0CO(talk|contribs) 23:45, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

I have sparingly quoted from both books. I initially had chosen around 60 quotes from each book and I limited that to only about 30 from each (also made sure that they didn't cross 5 lines; only 2 quotes cross 5 lines [they are 6 lines] in the entirety from both books). the excerpts that i have taken and put in from both books are very memorable and noteworthy. in fact, after examining much of the rest of the material on this page, i find that it is cluttered with non-notable quips and isn't worthy to remain on the page...things like "i'm not interested in the suburbs. the suburbs bore me." serve absolutely no memorable purpose, have close to no meaning, and they are quips that are said at any random moment by absolutely anyone and are more attributions than quotations. just because obama said them doesn't mean they should be added here. tomorrow obama can come out and say his dinner tasted good and that he likes a certain food...that DOES NOT NEED TO BE HERE. much of the material on the page needs to be heavily reduced, but the section from the books isn't among that. i have limited the excerpts to only the best and moral since your last mentioning this. So now, there are only approximately 30 or so excepts from each book and the most memorable ones indeed. the rest of the page is so cluttered with such gibberish, it's not even funny. i don't want to remove anything from the date-modified order...but i want to point out that there's way too much unimportant quips here and there that need to be removed. I won't take any action on my own, but i will point this out as a major issue of clutter, and if anyone else agrees with me here, i'd very much like them to speak out about it. i want to work to make this page well-formatted and accessible, much like most of the other pages i have worked on. - Zarbon 20:06, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
While I agree that there is some trivia on the page, I don't think the example you cite is a good candidate for deletion. Notably, it has been a very, very long time since the U.S. has had a president from an urban background. Whether or not this aspect of his perspective will be significant to his legacy is a question that must await the test of time. It certainly has the potential, as has already been remarked upon in the media. ~ Ningauble 15:33, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I was merely bringing that one up as an example. That shouldn't be taken as the single rubric of which quote should or shouldn't be deleted. What I can do is list every quote that I think should be removed and serves no purpose here and we can deliberate upon which should stay and which should go for each one. It's just such a mess right now it's not even funny. - Zarbon 15:13, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Special Olympics Quote.[edit]

Someone should add this Barack Obama Quote:

"It was like the Special Olympics or something." On bowling a 129. -- 23:22, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

  • How does this "qualify as a quote" any more than Karl Rove allegedly authoring a push-poll question stating "Would you be more or less likely to vote for Governor Richards if you knew her staff is dominated by lesbians?" You removed that from the Karl Rove article on the contention that it would not qualify as a quote even if it were sourced. BD2412 T 03:24, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Surely you understand the difference between a quote and a push poll question? Barack Obama actually said the comment about the special olympics. Are you really trying to say that it is not a quote? -- 03:49, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

I guess its ok for George W. Bush's wikiquote page to be full of gaffes and "gotcha" quotes which were picked up on microphone when he didn't know it was on, but there is not one single gaffe on Obama's wikiquote page? C'mon, add the quote about the special olympics it is well sourced and is a genuine quote. By the way I'm the anonymous user from above, created and merged with my wikipedia account. I'm not even sure why this page is locked or why a member can't edit it.--Henrybaker 04:03, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

The only reason I can tell for not including the special olympics quote is because he shouldnt have said it and he regrets saying it. If those are the criteria by which a well sourced authentic quote is to be kept from wikiquote, then there are many quotes on many pages that need to be excised. Or perhaps a better reason can be given or the quote can be added. --Henrybaker 17:54, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

So this page is protected even against registered users editing it, and no response is given to a request by a registered user to add a well sourced authentic quote. This is full of fail.--Henrybaker 23:17, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

You'll get a better response at the Village Pump. BD2412 T 04:41, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

How about you give a reason why that quote shouldnt be included on this page. The fact that it is not flattering to President Obama is not sufficient to exclude it. --Henrybaker 06:43, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

If it was flattering to Obama, it still wouldn't merit inclusion in my opinion. If Obama went on the Tonight Show and recited his grocery list, some people would find things there to praise and others to criticize, but it wouldn't be quoteworthy. Wikiquote:Quotability sets forth a number of factors to be weighed in determining whether either deserves a place in this compendium. These include:
  1. Is the quote itself particularly witty, pithy, wise, eloquent, or poignant?
  2. Is the author of the quote notable? If so, are they very notable, moderately notable, barely notable? Are they notable as a source of quotes (i.e., as a poet, pundit, or Yogi Berra)?
  3. Is the quote itself independently well known (as with proverbs and certain well-reported comments)?
  4. Is the subject of the quote a notable subject? Is it about a broad theme of the human experience such as Love, Justice, or Loneliness? Or is it about a narrow or mundane topic, like porcupines, lunch meat, or that new car smell? If the quote is about another person, is that other person highly notable?
  5. Has the quote stood the test of time?
  6. Is the quote verifiably sourced?
The quote at issue here fails the first, fourth, and fifth factors utterly. Certainly it is not inherently memorable if considered apart from the author. The topic is bowling, which is mundane (or, arguably, the Special Olympics, which is a narrow topic). Per the Quotability guidelines, "any quote made within the past ten years will be scrutinized under the presumption that it is not inherently quotable". If we include everything said by a notable person simply because that person is notable, then we would for example transcribe every word of Shakespeare's plays, duplicating the function of Wikisource while drowning truly poignant comments and notable observations in a sea of chaff. I note that we include Obama's heavily criticized "they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion" remark, which is far more unflattering to Obama than the bowling comment, but which is also (unlike the bowling comment) relevant to his role in society, as a policymaker explicitly addressing things such as guns and religion. BD2412 T 07:16, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the proposition that there are many quotes on many pages that need to be excised. This particular page is receiving special attention not because of partisan favoritism, but because the subject happens to be the most watched person in the world at the moment.
Because the quote is genuine and has been mentioned in the press, it is a suitable subject for Wikinews. However, that does not make it suitable for Wikiquote's purpose of collecting "sparkling gems of wisdom in a handful of well-chosen words" that "will exist forever as a summary of the collective insights of society, communal knowledge passed on from one generation to the next." I am quite confident that some of President Obama's statements will be remembered generations hence, and equally confident that this quote will not be among them. It can be added later if the test of time proves me wrong. ~ Ningauble 14:31, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Which broad theme of love loneliness or justice does it fall into when obama jokes about being superman? --Henrybaker 16:02, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

I just checked back in here and noticed your latest comment, which I hadn't actually noted before making mine below, regarding this quote and another one. I can actually agree that the criteria here have become a bit strained toward exclusions lately, not only on this page but generally, but I actually don't feel a strong urge to support inclusion the Special Olympics quote. I don't feel a strong need to exclude it either, but I do feel the superman jokes were far more notable, as were some of McCain's remarks during the same session of comedic dinner speeches. ~ Achilles 19:57, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

How about this guy: How does America find its way in this new, global economy? What will our place in history be? Like so much of the American story, once again, we face a choice. Once again, there are those who believe that there isn’t much we can do about this as a nation. That the best idea is to give everyone one big refund on their government—divvy it up by individual portions, in the form of tax breaks, hand it out, and encourage everyone to use their share to go buy their own health care, their own retirement plan, their own child care, their own education, and so on. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society. But in our past there has been another term for it—Social Darwinism—every man or woman for him or herself. It’s a tempting idea, because it doesn’t require much thought or ingenuity. It allows us to say that those whose health care or tuition may rise faster than they can afford—tough luck. It allows us to say to the Maytag workers who have lost their job—life isn’t fair. It let’s us say to the child who was born into poverty—pull yourself up by your bootstraps. And it is especially tempting because each of us believes we will always be the winner in life’s lottery, that we’re the one who will be the next Donald Trump, or at least we won’t be the chump who Donald Trump says: “You’re fired!” But there is a problem. It won’t work. It ignores our history. It ignores the fact that it’s been government research and investment that made the railways possible and the internet possible. It’s been the creation of a massive middle class, through decent wages and benefits and public schools that allowed us all to prosper. Our economic dependence depended on individual initiative. It depended on a belief in the free market; but it has also depended on our sense of mutual regard for each other, the idea that everybody has a stake in the country, that we’re all in it together and everybody’s got a shot at opportunity. That’s what’s produced our unrivaled political stability.

Certainly not pithy. not well known as a quote. I've read the quote 3 times, and I can't say theres one single theme of the quote. This quote has not, and will not, stand the test of time. It is not a sparkling gem of wisdom contained in a few well chosen words. It is not, in fact, a quotation. It is a speech or at least a major portion thereof. All I am saying is that the self appointed protectors of this page are applying a double standard to what can be included and what cannot be included. So if we truly want to strictly apply the standard to the quote that I suggested, lets apply to every quote on this page, and every quote on every page.--Henrybaker 21:45, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the lengthy passage cited above is a poor quality quote. It would be better to excerpt a couple strong, succinctly stated points, even if they are not entirely original. If I were really interested in editing this article, I would probably trim it. I only dropped in to share an opinion.
Nobody here is self-appointed. If you continue to participate you will soon be automatically promoted from newcomer status, and will be able to edit this and other semiprotected articles. ~ Ningauble 22:54, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
That quote, as it happens, is 367 words, which is about 117 past our limit for quotes (250 words) absent a community consensus to allow a longer quote because of its particular significance (such as the Gettysburg Address, which is over by abut 25 words). However, with pages like Noam Chomsky out there, we obviously have higher priorities for quote trimming. BD2412 T 01:36, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
How about we unprotect this page, and people can, y'know, edit it as they see fit. Kinda the whole point of a wiki as I recall. --Henrybaker 01:55, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Because the notability of the subject is such that, if unprotected, we would get an endless stream of this sort of vandalism. Which is why we limit editing to trusted editors. Which you could become if you were to contribute in a diverse enough capacity to demonstrate understanding of the policies that guide our efforts to gather the most useful observations of generations. We have some 15,000 articles, and all you've done so far is make a handful of edits on a talk page lobbying for inclusion of a quote of questionable value. I mean, will anyone have any reason to quote this in 100 years? I ask you to put some time in to helping us to put together some of our entries on people and topics entirely unrelated to politics and current events. In doing that, you'll gain the perspective of what we're trying to accomplish, and earn the right to make additions to articles where mischief is of greater concern. Cheers! BD2412 T 03:58, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

I guess this quote is out of the question too "How long are we going to go? Are we going to just keep on going until you know, the entire Muslim world and Arab world despises us? Do we think that's really going to make us safer? I don't know a lot of thoughtful thinkers, liberal or conservative who think that that was the right approach."

If the above criteria were applied to the George Bush (either), Dan Quayle, or Ronald Reagan quote pages, then none of their gaffes would be included either. Is the fact that Dan Quayle used the school's (mis-)spelling of the word potato (potatoe was written on the card he was handed from the teacher) going to be memorable 100 years from now. Fair is fair - either allow the gaffes on all pages or on none. Good, verifiable information is what I expect from the Wiki projects, not censorship based upon political bias. Eschudy (And I'm not afraid to use my real name)

57 rather than 47 states gaffe[edit]

First I want to note that I greatly admire Obama as probably the most intelligent person to hold US Presidential office since at least Eisenhower, and in many ways capable of being perhaps the wisest and most effective administrator since long before that, as he certainly seems to me one of the least idiotic politicians and social leaders of these times, but to borrow a bit of Australian slang Douglas Adams famously used, I think the criteria that people have been applying to exclude a lot of things here lately, from quotes to entire pages, is about as palatable as a load of fetid dingo's kidneys.

I especially dislike the extremely presumptuous bit of arrogance "any quote made within the past ten years will be scrutinized under the presumption that it is not inherently quotable." That could eliminate most recent politician's pages altogether.

Quoting the page cited in the above section more fully one finds this bit of verbage, which I CANNOT entirely agree with, as it greatly inflates the nobility and constrains or belittles the more mundane, whimsical, and amusing reasons or objectives people have in collecting and repeating quotes: "Quotations are at once mundane and sublime. Whatever the philosophical stance of those who say them, and from whatever country, race, or religion they come; whether they be serious or whimsical; whether the authors are famous or infamous, controversial or celebrated: viewed in the right light quotations are sparkling gems of wisdom in a handful of well-chosen words."

On the quote in question above "It was like the Special Olympics or something." I really don't care much whether we include it or not — I concur that it doesn't seem all that notable, but I just looked at some of the recent history and restored and corrected one that I feel definitely should be retained:

  • Over the last fifteen months we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in states... I think one left to go. One left to go — Alaska and Hawaii I was not allowed to go to, even though I really wanted to visit — but my staff would not justify it.

I certainly can agree the disputed quote here isn't a sparkling gem of wisdom — but neither are many of the statements of criteria for inclusion lately. Obama did make the remark, it was widely reported, and especially widely noted and repeated by his critics, and whatever weariness of the campaign process might have produced such a gaffe, it certainly does deserve to be reported here just as much as any of George W. Bush's numerous gaffes.

I definitely wish Obama well, and would like this to simply be remembered as one of the most absurd comments to ever come from him during his entire career, and clear proof that nobody is perfect or infallible, especially when working relentlessly at a grueling pace on a political campaign, but I don't expect that it is going to be forgotten any more than any of Bush's or Dan Quayle's most famous gaffes, is humorous, and should definitely be included here. ~ Achilles 16:07, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Citing examples of human foibles is just too easy, for they are ubiquitous. Finding quotes about them that are "particularly witty, pithy, wise, eloquent, or poignant" is a more sporting challenge, one that is "at once mundane and sublime." ~ Ningauble 19:39, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Why not just add this yourself? Eschudy

This quote was actually retained, after the restoration of it by Achilles noted above. ~ Kalki 05:13, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

You're right. Thank you Achilles and Kalki Eschudy 21:16, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Did someone forget the Anonymous quote[edit]

Remember, remember the 4th of November when obama the ballots won I see no reason why this election season should ever be forgotten.

i believe it is how it goes, someone should take a look

Quote and source drop-off[edit]

"But while our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken; though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before." -Joint Message to Congress (2.24.2009)

"I'm not interested in the suburbs. The suburbs bore me"[edit]

the entire AP article

First Black Heads Harvard Journal - 17 APRIL 1990 - AP

Jdbsa05 12:25, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

I wouldn't object to including that quote. However it could have been said by almost any notable person. We fans of the suburbs don't often get elected president. :-) Steve Dufour 15:15, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, this is part of a quote already listed in the article, and it was previously discussed above. ~ Ningauble 16:24, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

the speech is not full[edit]

there should be a lot more

UN Speech Sept 09[edit]

We must remember that the greatest price of this conflict ist not paid by us. It is paid by the Israeli girl in Sderot who closes her eyes in fear that a rocker will take her life in the night. It is paid by he Palestinian boy in Gaza who has no clean water and no country to call his own. These [all] are God's children. And after all of the politics and all of the posturing, this is about the right of every humand being to live with dignity and security. This is a lesson embedded in the three great faiths that call one small slice of Earth the Holy Land.

United Nations, General Debate of the 64th Session (2009), United States of America, H.E. Mr. Barack Obama, President p. 6 The part in brackets is not in the transcript but I'm sure that's what he actually said in the speech.

Too Many Quotes?[edit]

This is not very selective. The user has just taken quotes from a book they have liked the look of. Are there any signs of people referring to the quotes used? 07:42, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

  • With pages on quotes by people, once we get past copyright limitations, we really have no restriction on the number of quotes (see, e.g., Alexander Pope, which has numerous subpages of material). BD2412 T 16:10, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Obama Quotes[edit]

A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, 'Huh. It works. It makes sense.' Barack Obama

After a century of striving, after a year of debate, after a historic vote, health care reform is no longer an unmet promise. It is the law of the land. Barack Obama

Al Qaeda is still a threat. We cannot pretend somehow that because Barack Hussein Obama got elected as president, suddenly everything is going to be OK. Barack Obama

America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings. Barack Obama

Americans... still believe in an America where anything's possible - they just don't think their leaders do. Barack Obama

And I will do everything that I can as long as I am President of the United States to remind the American people that we are one nation under God, and we may call that God different names but we remain one nation. Barack Obama

And so our goal on health care is, if we can get, instead of health care costs going up 6 percent a year, it's going up at the level of inflation, maybe just slightly above inflation, we've made huge progress. And by the way, that is the single most important thing we could do in terms of reducing our deficit. That's why we did it. Barack Obama

And we have done more in the two and a half years that I've been in here than the previous 43 Presidents to uphold that principle, whether it's ending "don't ask, don't tell," making sure that gay and lesbian partners can visit each other in hospitals, making sure that federal benefits can be provided to same-sex couples. Barack Obama

As a nuclear power - as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon - the United States has a moral responsibility to act. Barack Obama

As I've said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hopes for Iraqis' future. Barack Obama

But do I think that our actions in anyway violate the War Powers Resolution, the answer is no. Barack Obama

These sandwiches are fantastic! I like cheese. Barrack Obama

Assuming you could source it, why would someone find that interesting? ~ Robin Lionheart (talk) 15:27, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

But if you - if what - the reports are true, what they're saying is, is that as a consequence of us getting 30 million additional people health care, at the margins that's going to increase our costs, we knew that. Barack Obama

But what we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people, and do our best to help them find their own grace. That's what I strive to do, that's what I pray to do every day. Barack Obama

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

Community colleges play an important role in helping people transition between careers by providing the retooling they need to take on a new career. Barack Obama

Contrary to the claims of some of my critics and some of the editorial pages, I am an ardent believer in the free market. Barack Obama

Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may make you feel like you're flying high at first, but it won't take long before you feel the impact. Barack Obama

Even when folks are hitting you over the head, you can't stop marching. Even when they're turning the hoses on you, you can't stop. Barack Obama

Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential. Barack Obama

For more than four decades, the Libyan people have been ruled by a tyrant - Moammar Gaddafi. He has denied his people freedom, exploited their wealth, murdered opponents at home and abroad, and terrorized innocent people around the world - including Americans who were killed by Libyan agents. Barack Obama

"I am a fierce supporter of domestic-partnership and civil-union laws. I am not a supporter of gay marriage as it has been thrown about, primarily just as a strategic issue. I think that marriage, in the minds of a lot of voters, has a religious connotation. ..." Barack Obama in Windy City Times, February 2004 10:29, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

The only people that don't want to disclose the truth, are people with something to hide.

- I don't know where and when exactly he said that but it's everywhere ( , ) and I'm looking for source info if anyone has 13:03, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

See here. ~ DanielTom (talk) 13:18, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

"Rumor" not "rumour"[edit]

As an American, Barack Obama uses American English, in which the word is spelled "rumor." There are two instances on this page where it is spelled "rumour" incorrectly.

Medical marijuana[edit]

Here can be found quotes with good reference sources:

Quotes listed by a newspaper editorial board:

--Timeshifter (talk) 02:35, 21 July 2012 (UTC)


The "quotes about" section features American Thinker before M. Ahmadinejad. Needs re-sorting 14:35, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Yes, you are correct. I'll fix that now. BD2412 T 17:44, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Link to Snopes re spurious quotations?[edit]

Snopes has a detailed analysis of an email purporting to present damning quotations from Obama. Some of the quotations in the email are taken out of context, and others have had the wording changed to make an anti-Obama point. I suggest that we add to the "External links" section a link to the Snopes piece, in this form:

"Coil of Rage" - analysis of purported Obama quotations

Emails of this sort often have wide currency, and many readers might come here in search of information about "quotations" not in our article because they are phonies. Jim Lane (talk) 02:29, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

I've added the fabricated quotes to Misattributed. ~ Robin Lionheart (talk) 10:53, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Presidential Memorandum -- National Insider Threat Policy[edit]

...deter, detect, and mitigate actions by employees who may represent a threat to national security. These threats encompass potential espionage, violent acts against the Government or the Nation...

Was posted a month before ?

SAndy Hook happened in 2013.[edit]

But thats not what the table of contents say.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

No, it happened in December 2012. (Time flies.) ~ DanielTom (talk) 17:00, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

it actually happened 2013—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

what happened to "if you like the plan you have you can keep it"?[edit]

quoted from here and lots more like that:

  • President’s weekly address, June 6, 2009: "If you like the plan you have, you can keep it. If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too. The only change you’ll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold."
  • Town hall in Green Bay, Wis., June 11, 2009: "No matter how we reform health care, I intend to keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you'll be able to keep your doctor; if you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan."

These and similar quotes are very well known and widely cited in discussion of Obamacare, I am surprised that they are not explicitly mentioned here. 20:06, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

No one has bothered to add it yet. I am not particularly interested in doing so, any more than I would be in removing it. Anyone is welcome to add it, in properly formatted and placed way. ~ Kalki·· 20:20, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
I certainly think that the quotes are notable enough to merit inclusion. BD2412 T 21:34, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
"If you like the quote you can add it." ~ DanielTom (talk) 21:46, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
I like the quote, but I can't add it since the page is protected. Can someone add the quote, it is notable. Fdr2001 (talk)

President Obama’s Climate Action Plan (2014)[edit]

President Obama’s Climate Action Plan June 25 , 2014

P3Y229 Obama's name is in the title of the reference document and thus in my opinion it can we quoted with his name. [3] Watti Renew (talk) 16:29, 2 June 2014 (UTC) ref. * While no single step can reverse the effects of climate change, we have a moral obligation to future generations to leave them a planet that is not polluted and damaged. Through steady, responsible action to cut carbon pollution, we can protect our children’s health and begin to slow the effects of climate change so that we leave behind a cleaner, more stable environmenʈ.<bɾ>

This should be addressed in my opinion in the quotes. According to British Lord Stern: "These new plans should help the US achieve its target of reducing annual emissions of greenhouse gases by 17% by 2020, compared with 2005. This represents real leadership." [4] Watti Renew (talk) 16:51, 2 June 2014 (UTC)
I oppose the inclusion of the above mentioned quote. While it's quoteworthy, the quote doesn't stem from Barack Obama. If one reads the introduction of the reference document clearly and fully, one recognizes that the cited quote wasn't written by Obama, but instead by someone of his stuff within the Executive Office of the President. --P3Y229 (talk) 08:18, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree with P3Y229. The name in the title does not signify authorship. On the contrary, Mr. Obama is not in the habit of referring to himself in the third person. ~ Ningauble (talk) 15:49, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Islamic imagery[edit]

DanielTom and I have a dispute regarding Islamic images on the page.

DanielTom had added five images accompanying quotations about Islam; see: [5], [6], [7], [8]

I removed four of them, considering them to be giving a disproportionate prominence to the subject of Islam; Notice that Christian and other religious imagery is not included elsewhere on the page.

Also, DanielTom, I would like to ask what is your motivation to include these quotations? I wonder if these images have been added to highlight what you consider to be foolish statements, and that by highlighting them you seek to subtly disparage Obama. That is speculation, and I may be wrong, but you have been harshly critical of Barack Obama and John Kerry elsewhere; Could you please address my concerns? For example, what do you think of this quotation which you added an image to: "Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance."?

Thanks, and understand I speak in good faith. IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 16:48, 16 January 2016 (UTC)

No, I don't think they are "foolish" statements – Obama carefully considered them. (It's not my fault if you think they are foolish.) Currently, the page has over 200 images, so 3 or even 5 images highlighting Obama's notable quotations on Islam would be 5/200*100=2.5% of images – I think not to include them is what would violate NPOV. If you personally want more Christian imagery, you can go ahead and add them yourself (e.g., use the quote, "I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ."). The images I added from the Cairo speech are of Obama at Cairo University delivering the speech – but feel free to replace the other images with more appropriate ones, if you can find them. ~ DanielTom (talk) 17:54, 16 January 2016 (UTC)
I still disagree, but don't want to commence an unholy edit war. Do you think we could suspend the images' inclusion until we reach a consensus from further dialogue?, adhering to the maxim in dubio abstine, or "When in doubt abstain".
I call on others to please voice their opinions. IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 18:23, 16 January 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I don't plan on adding more. (But if you mean removing the ones I already added: no, unless you can show they violate some policy that the other couple hundred images don't.) ~ DanielTom (talk) 18:35, 16 January 2016 (UTC)

Quotability question[edit]

DanielTom and I are in a dispute regarding this entry (

I feel it is both insufficiently quotable ( and also added primarily to discredit Barack Obama. Regarding the latter accusation see here

IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 22:04, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Also, in response to the edit revision comment: "this was quoted all over the news yesterday as well as today, both in news TV channels and newspapers; I provided links to two" [9], see: Wikipedia:Recentism

IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 22:27, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Yeah. You really need to stop trying to suppress sourced quotes that you personally believe "discredit" Obama. So, according to you, we can't quote Obama if he discredits himself by what he says? How is that a valid reason? My edit summaries (or purported motivation) are equally irrelevant. The relevant questions are: Did Obama say it? (Yes.) Was it widely quoted in multiple media outlets? (Yes.) Is it adequately sourced? (Yes.) I once again note that you only seem to remove "recent" quotes that you feel make Obama look bad. All the other recent quotes you don't have a problem with. But unfortunately for you, Wikiquote is not politically censored. Nice try, though. ~ DanielTom (talk) 22:59, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
The problem with many of the quotes of various people as used by the most ardent polemicists and fanatics of ANY factions is they tend to naively or cynically promote and foster various forms of naïve absolutism in regard to individuals or groups of people.
Of course anyone can misspeak or seem to misspeak, in various ways, and many do not misspeak at all but can seem to, when very deficient presentations are provided from extensive speeches and addresses.
I do not have time to deal extensively with this current dispute, nor the ways this may have been abbreviated from a more general and expansive statement, as I must soon be leaving, but will note that I usually find a very short extension of the most apparently absurd and "discrediting" statements of those made by people of generally good will and disposition reveals how obtuse, unjust or moronically stupid, have been the use of very short selections of quotes by people with intent to discredit them or diminish their apparent prestige in various ways. In the larger context often provided by just a brief extension, often a great deal more of the forms of character exhibit by the quoted and the quoter are revealed.
As an absurdist familiar with MANY of the uses and misuses of language, and statements made with many forms of them, I tend to recognize the provisionality of the wisest ranges of assertions and believe that I thus can honor them properly, and also recognize the absolutist arrogance and naiveté of the most foolish ranges of assertions, and thus can forgive them and transcend them, even while passionately or dispassionately repudiating many aspects of them.
Just prior to checking in here and noting this dispute I had written in my own notes to myself: "Angelic Enlightenment involves awareness and appreciation of the vital need for PROPER PROVISIONALITY of ANY and ALL typification." This is something which many often ignore, neglect or are entirely oblivious to, as they are duped or seek to dupe others led on by their own narrow, shallow, and very limited perceptions, prejudices and presumptions.
I said more as relates to such issues, in these very brief notes to myself, but that is about all I have time to present at this point, as I must be leaving VERY soon. So it goes Blessings. ~ Kalki·· 12:44, 11 July 2016 (UTC) + tweaks
I agree with Kalki's observation about taking quotes out of context. See the transcript of the press conference to appreciate what the president was saying about the shooter's state of mind. I also agree with IOHANNVSVERVS about lack of quotability, insofar as this sentence by itself conveys nothing of substance.

I also agree with IOHANNVSVERVS about "recentism". See also Wikiquote:Quotability#Recentism vs. the Test of Time. A bunch of ardent polemicists (Kalki's phrase) jumping on this in a single 24 hour newsopinion cycle says more about them than about anything else. I am quite confident that this remark will be completely unremarked ten years after the president has left office.

DanielTom's assertion that opinionated edit summaries are irrelevant is not entirely correct. They shed some light on the practice of linking to biased sources. (The sources at least had the decency to provide enough context, omitted here, to indicate the president was saying the shooter was nuts.) Some attempt to claim or insinuate that statements by the shooter somehow contradict the president's point by explaining what motivates this sort of behavior. One went so far as to offer the scurrilous opinion that the president was defending the shooting. Why on earth would anyone link to this sort of rubbish, if not for polemical purposes?

Of course, DanielTom is not alone in doing this sort of thing. Many of our pages on contemporary public figures are filled with similarly forgettable and cherry-picked remarks that cannot pass the test of time. ~ Ningauble (talk) 14:50, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Your concern that this quote will not pass the test of time I can at least appreciate, because I believe it to be genuine (and not a flagrant double-standard or politically motivated, unlike IOHANNVSVERVS' or Obama-loving Kalki's). However, I think you must realize and accept that what Obama goes on to say in that speech in no way contradicts his first sentence. And it was his first sentence that was quoted all over the place. I can't really see how it is in any important way taken out of context (and even if it were, links are provided for further details). You may not accept this, but it is a significant quote (part of a long pattern in Obama's public speeches, as remarked by many political analysts, whether you consider them "rubbish" or not), and I really think removing it would amount to outrageous political censorship (first time I say this – no need to strawman me). For the record, I almost always link to; in this particular case, the reason I linked to articles from The Daily Caller, The Weekly Standard, Western Journalism, The Washington Times, WorldNetDaily and The Daily Wire (could also mention Townhall and Breitbart News) was precisely to show that many publications considered that quote significant enough to be featured in the titles of their articles, and I think we should go with them, rather than with your opinion. ~ DanielTom (talk) 18:38, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Ningauble is wrong when he claims that "this sentence by itself conveys nothing of substance". First of all, if it conveys nothing of substance, why was it quoted so widely? (I gave examples of 8 different newspapers that quoted it in their articles' titles – which, by the way, disproves its so-called "lack of quotability" too.) But I don't even need to argue that it is substantial because it was explicitly about a racist black person who had just killed 5 white cops and who said he "wanted to kill white people, especially white officers". Indeed, even if it had been something vaguer (e.g, "I think it's very hard to untangle the motives of any shooter"), it would still be of substance, for it would tell us (if nothing else) that the President of the United States is one of these people who goes into it sure that no one really believes what they say. ~ DanielTom (talk) 00:13, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
You leap to conclusions. As I said below "Obama does not deny, nor surely is he unaware of the racist motives of the attack and even compares it to the Charleston church shooting and the 2015 San Bernardino attack"; the quotation in context "First of all, I think it's very hard to untangle the motives of this shooter. As we've seen in a whole range of incidents with mass shooters, they are, by definition, troubled. By definition, if you shoot people who pose no threat to you -- strangers -- you have a troubled mind." suggesting Obama is perplexed at what motivates a person to massacre others, especially when they are strangers.
As Kalki writes "I agree with the others, that the quote as it stands is rather trivial as well as misleading"; I shall remove the entry. If you disagree please dialogue further and/or find other editors who support it's inclusion before reverting again. IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 01:54, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
DanielTom, you claim that removing this quotation "would amount to outrageous political censorship", but it seems to me the statement is devoid of any political ideology whatsoever. To say "it's very hard to untangle the motives of this shooter" appears to be a truism.
Some appear to consider the statement a denial by Barack Obama of the shooter's racist motives; as shown in the juxtaposing of the quotation with the Dallas Police Chief's statement "The suspect said he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers." This interpretation is a distortion and a good example of taking a statement out of context. Obama does not deny, nor surely is he unaware of the racist motives of the attack and even compares it to the Charleston church shooting and the 2015 San Bernardino attack.
I intend to remove the quotation for unnotability (see: Wikiquote:Quotability and Wikiquote:Quality and Quantity) and recentism, with Kalki and Ningauble agreeing the quotation does not belong.
Also, please do not accuse me of censorship, it is not true. IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 23:10, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Does Kalki agree that the quote should be removed? ~ DanielTom (talk) 23:13, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
I've just reviewed the above discussion, and have no strong objection to the quote being removed. As I had indicated, my general preference in such matters is to extend such excerpts for clarification of greater context, but I am currently juggling quite a number of activities, and don’t have the time to attend to even examining the matter of this particular quote very closely right now. I agree with the others, that the quote as it stands is rather trivial as well as misleading, and don’t believe that simply removing it would be all that grievous an act at this point. Had I the time, I might try extending it, but I expect to be VERY busy attending to MANY matters and to have very little time at all to spend here until at least Friday. I rather doubt that I will spend even as much as a half hour a day active here until then. I've been attending to other things between my edits here, and expect to be turning off my browser soon, and definitely spending very little time online for most of the next several days. ~ Kalki·· 00:45, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Re. DanielTom's remark, "what Obama goes on to say in that speech in no way contradicts his first sentence ... I can't really see how it is in any important way taken out of context"[10] (Please refer to the transcript linked above.):  (1) The quote is from a Q&A after the speech. The only thing he said about the shooter himself in his opening speech was to call him a "demented individual". (2) The questioner, Kathleen Hennessey of AP, asked whether the motive, the reason this happened, should be understood as "domestic terrorism" or "a hate crime" or "a mentally ill man with a gun"? This question is the context of the quoted reply. (3) Someone given to glibness might have answered "all of the above", but the president responded more soberly (with a truism, in IOHANNVSVERVS's words) that this is difficult to untangle. (4) He elaborated (somewhat contradicting himself by untangling it a bit) that this can be understood as the act of someone with a troubled mind (consistent with his original remark about being demented), but that he would "leave that to psychologists and people who study these kinds of incidents". (5) The president went on to say, at considerable length, emphasizing a point from his opening remarks, that the shooter is not representative of any movement or ideology in the body politic.

My conclusion is that when asked to explain the incident in terms of political hot-button issues, the president declined to be baited into assigning any political significance to whatever was going on in this deranged individual's mind. That was the substance of his reply. Focusing on a prefatory statement, to the effect that is not so simple as the questioner suggested, is most definitely a case of taking an insubstantial remark out of context.

Re. DanielTom's remark, "many publications considered that quote significant enough to be featured in the titles of their articles"[11]:  (1) The fact that an opposition polemical echo chamber briefly reverberated with this headline indicates only that they would have preferred a different response, specifically, one that lays blame on some movement or ideology they believe is responsible. If some of them might not be satisfied with any response other than "The black lives movement is out to kill us all!", their disappointment does not make the quoted prefatory demurrer in any way a remarkable quote. (2) The attempt to sensationalize this with a headline is all about their attitude toward what the president did not and will not say, not about the substance of what he did say. It is a bit like complaining about someone saying "No comment", but worse because after rejecting the terms of the question the president actually did comment on the subject at length.

Re. DanielTom's remark, "removing it would amount to outrageous political censorship"[12]:  (1) Doing so would not in any way constitute suppression of the quoted person's political views. (2) Declining to link to "very deficient presentations" in "obtuse, unjust or moronically stupid" sources using "very short selections of quotes by people with intent to discredit them" (Kalki's phrases) is not censorship either. They can still be quoted if they ever have something notably quoteworthy to say for themselves. ~ Ningauble (talk) 17:40, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

Should I respond? You are strawmanning as predicted (although I expected something more intelligent). I didn't say this is a First Amendment issue. I say it is political censorship because you are suppressing what Barrack Obama's response to terror attacks is – how he consistently refuses to acknowledge inconvenient truths that contradict his narrative about the terrorists' motivations, be it racism by blacks against whites or Islamism (a month ago, the perpetrator of the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since 9/11, Omar Mateen, said he "did it for ISIS"; Obama's unsurprising response: "We've reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer"). Although most of my edits are not to political pages, I don't know if I can in good conscience continue to contribute to a wiki that is politically censured. It bothers me that this remark, with citations from many established newspapers (and which has been quoted far more times than almost any other currently standing in the Barack Obama page) has been removed so easily. I'll have to think about it. Kalki's response disappointed me. ~ DanielTom (talk) 20:58, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
The president's opinions on these matters are no secret to anyone, and are certainly not being suppressed here. Nor are his detractor's opinions being suppressed when they have something of their own to say rather than just chanting "hard to untangle" in unison.

If you are going to throw uncivil political dog whistles around in your edit summaries[13] then perhaps it is indeed time for you to move along to some other venue. ~ Ningauble (talk) 22:25, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

This is not political censorship, DanielTom. The quotation removed is petty, unnotable and in fact empty of political meaning. IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 22:55, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Also, the quotation "We've reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer" was spoken the day of the shooting at a press briefing. And in context reads: "We are still learning all the facts. This is an open investigation. We’ve reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer. The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terrorism." Quotations which discredit Obama are certainly not prohibited, and indeed are encouraged; we need to represent the full spectrum of a person's thoughts; the good, the bad and the ugly. But add a legitimate quotation, for example: "By refusing to say ‘radical Islamic terrorism’, Obama is trying to create a reality where all the world's great religions are on the same side." [14] or: Obama is "one of these people who goes into it sure that no one really believes what they say". But decontextualizing and deliberately misinterpreting unnoteworthy statements is below the quality of the Wikiquote. IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 22:55, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
He said that after everyone knew about Mateen's call to 911 where he pledged allegiance to ISIS – the transcript of which was at first censored by the Obama administration too (full transcript later released), the same way the White House censored the French President François Hollande for saying "Islamist terrorism" (video). But by all means keep sleeping. ~ DanielTom (talk) 23:33, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

Another quotability problem[edit]

I've reverted this entry of DanielTom for lacking quotability. Please see:

This is not censorship. It is not for political reasons the quotation is removed but because the quotation is petty, overlong and of low quality. If there is a quotation about Obama like, for example "Barack Obama is disrespectful and makes jokes during speeches about tragedies" then this would be perfectly allowable. But the quotation added is of no value as the joke doesn't even come across in text, being expressed by verbal nuance and a grin.

IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 19:12, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

That's your opinion, but that quote has had full articles in mainstream press dedicated to it, and has been by far more widely quoted than probably 99% of the other quotes currently on the Barrack Obama page. Your removal is again political – you complain that it is "overlong", when it is actually shorter than most of the quotes directly below it. ~ DanielTom (talk) 19:31, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

As DanielTom has restored the quotation I call for community contributions to help resolve this dispute. P3Y229, Kalki, Illegitimate Barrister, UDScott, Ningauble; the most active[15] recent editors of the Obama page, I ask for your input. Thanks to all IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 19:47, 24 July 2016 (UTC) + tweak, IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 18:36, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

a.k.a. Censorship Committee. That sounds like a great idea. Let's have anonymous Internet users vet the quotes that respected journalists of major publications wrote whole articles about. After all, quotes that make Obama look bad (even if they are by Obama himself) must not be tolerated. ~ DanielTom (talk) 19:59, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Parts of the quote are quotable. I highlighted these parts. I therefore suggest to keep the quote in this form. --P3Y229 (talk) 00:36, 27 July 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, after further thought, I think I have made a mountain of a molehill in my protest. The quote is arguably unnotable, but as DanielTom pointed out already there are less quotable entries already present on the page. IOHANNVSVERVS (talk) 20:55, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

Last Election quote[edit]

Hard to believe this quote isn't on the page:

“This is my last election,” Obama interjects. “After my election, I have more flexibility.”

This was from a discussion with Russian President Medvedev caught on an open-mike.