8 of Barack Obama's best quotes

8 of Barack Obama's best quotes

It's almost time to say goodbye to Barack Obama. The 55-year-old will be handing over his job to billionaire Donald Trump on Jan 20, 2017 (US time).

The outgoing 44th president of the United States of America, who took office in 2009 and was re-elected in 2012, will forever be remembered not only for the changes he made, but most significantly, for being the first African-American president of the nation.

Through the years, Barack Obama has gained fans through maintaining a personable public image, being active on social media and also, with his refreshing sense of humour.

Here is a look back at 8 of the most memorable things he has said during his presidency:

"Seek out people who don't agree with you. It will teach you to compromise. It will also help you if you get married."

Photo: AFP

At a town hall event with young UK leaders in April last year, the President Obama was asked about increasingly polarised politics, and how he can inspire others to commit to compromise. After encouraging the young leaders to learn how to compromise, he emphasised that compromising did not mean they had to surrender their beliefs.

"It just means that you are recognising the truth, the fact that these other people who disagree with you or this other political party, or this other nation - that they have dignity too, that they have worth as well, and you have to hear them and see them. And sometimes we don't," he said.

Source: White House

"Why can't I just eat my waffle?"

Photo: Giphy

Sometimes all a man wants to do is eat his waffle, so you should let him - especially if he's going to be the next president of the United States.

When Obama was still campaigning for the hot seat in 2008, a reporter interrupted his breakfast break to ask about his opinion on former President Jimmy Carter's meeting with Hamas officials. The then-senator replied sternly: "Why can't I just eat my waffle? Just let me eat my waffle right now."

Some media outlets called his reaction "testy".

Source: New York Daily News

"People keep pointing out how the presidency has aged me. I look so old John Boehner's already invited Benjamin Netanyahu to speak at my funeral."

Photo: Giphy

When Barack Obama first became President at 47 years old, he was energetic and looked ready to take on the world. Eight years later, his hair has turned salt and pepper, while time and age have left deep impressions on his face.

Obama made fun of himself at the 2015 White House Correspondents' Association dinner by referencing comments made about how much he has aged during his time in office. "Meanwhile, Michelle hasn't aged a day. I ask her what her secret is and she just says 'fresh fruits and vegetables.' It's aggravating," he added.

Source: Washington Post

"Obama out"

Photo: Giphy

At his final White House Correspondents' Association dinner, the outgoing president (who is also a basketball fan) made sure he ended his speech with a bang.

After thanking his colleagues for working with him during his two terms as President, Obama cooly said: "And with that, I just have two more words to say - Obama out". He then put two fingers to his lips before doing the mic drop to thunderous applause and cheers from the audience.

NBA fans were probably the first to get the joke. Just two weeks before, legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant bowed out of his final game in almost exactly the same fashion.

The Los Angeles Lakers former player had famously said: "Mamba out," before kissing two fingers, and placed the microphone on the floor before walking away.

"America isn't about 'yes he will.' It's about 'yes we can.'"

Photo: Giphy

At his address in a Democratic Convention Speech in July last year in Philadelphia, Obama highlighted presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's qualifications in her run for president.

He also said: "Hillary Clinton is that woman in the arena. She's been there for us - even if we haven't always noticed. And if you're serious about our democracy, you can't afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue. You've got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn't a spectator sport. America isn't about 'yes he will.' It's about 'yes we can.'"

"Yes we can" is probably the most famous quote by Obama and the slogan throughout his 2008 presidential campaign, in hope that this powerful rhetoric would have lent Clinton a helping hand in her electoral bid.

Source: Time

"Don't boo. Vote."

Photo: Giphy

Besides highlighting the potential of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the Democratic Convention Speech last year, Obama brought up real estate mogul and Republican candidate, Donald Trump's name. After the audience boo-ed, he simply said: "Don't boo. Vote."

Once again reinforcing his 2008 campaign slogan, Obama also said: "Yes, we can. Not yes, she can. Not yes, I can. Yes, we can." He also spoke of healthcare and fighting climate change in his speech.

Source: The Guardian

"If there's even one thing we can do, if there's just one life we can save - we've got an obligation to try."

US President Barack Obama shed tears while talking about gun violence on Jan 5.
Photo: AFP

Obama said this in Minneapolis when he was giving a speech on preventing gun violence in Feb 2013 ahead of his State of the Union. He also posted a tweet about it.

on Twitter

In his speech, he added: "A few years back, you suffered a spike in violent crime involving young people. You launched a series of youth initiatives that have reduced the number of young people injured by guns by 40 per cent. So when it comes to protecting our children from gun violence, you've shown that progress is possible. We've still got to deal with the 60 per cent that remains, but that 40 per cent means lives saved - parents whose hearts aren't broken, communities that aren't terrorised and afraid."

Source: White House

"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."

Photo: AFP

In 2011, Obama wanted to reduce unemployment among African Americans, which stood at a startling 16.7 per cent, double the national average.

At the Black Caucus dinner and some time before running for the second term as President, he urged Americans to "put on your marching shoes" to fight for jobs and opportunities.

Obama brought up the civil rights struggle and a reminder of the difficulties the African Americans had to go through. Today, the unemployment rate among African Americans is 8.6 per cent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Source: Various sources

Read also: 9 things US President Barack Obama will be remembered for

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