Best Speeches of
Barack Obama
through his 2009 Inauguration

Most Recent Speeches are Listed First

• Barack Obama -
Election Night Victory / Presidential Acceptance Speech - Nov 4 2008

Barack Obama - Night Before the Election - the Last Rally - Manassas Virginia - Nov 3 2008

• Barack Obama - Democratic Nominee Acceptance Speech
2008 National Democratic Convention

Barack Obama - "A World that Stands as One" - Berlin Germany - July 2008

• Barack Obama - Final Primary Night:
Presumptive Nominee Speech

• Barack Obama - North Carolina Primary Night

• Barack Obama - Pennsylvania Primary Night

• Barack Obama - AP Annual Luncheon

• Barack Obama - A More Perfect Union
“The Race Speech”

• Barack Obama - Texas and Ohio Primary Night

• Barack Obama - Potomac Primary Night

• Barack Obama - Super Tuesday

Barack Obama - Iowa Caucus Night

Barack Obama - California Democratic Convention - April 28, 2007

Barack Obama - Announcement For President - Feb 10 2007

Barack Obama - Floor Statement on Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007

Barack Obama - The Time Has Come for Universal Health Care

Barack Obama - Floor Statement on President's Decision to Increase Troops in Iraq

Barack Obama - Race Against Time - World AIDS Day Speech

Barack Obama - A Way Forward in Iraq

Barack Obama - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Groundbreaking Ceremony

Barack Obama - Military Commission Legislation

Barack Obama - Floor Statement on the Habeas Corpus Amendment

Barack Obama - Energy Independence: A Call for Leadership

Barack Obama - An Honest Government, A Hopeful Future

Barack Obama - Xavier University Commencement Address

Barack Obama - AFSCME National Convention

Barack Obama - Vote against the Gulf of Mexico Energy Bill

Barack Obama - Support of H.R. 9, the Voting Rights Act

Barack Obama - Statement of Support for Stem Cell Research

Barack Obama - Campus Progress Annual Conference

Barack Obama - “Call to Renewal” Keynote Address

Barack Obama - Iraq Debate

Barack Obama - Northwestern University Commencement Address

Barack Obama - Katrina Reconstruction

Barack Obama - Take Back America

Barack Obama - Network Neutrality

Barack Obama - Federal Marriage Amendment

Barack Obama - University of Massachusetts at Boston Commencement Address

Barack Obama - General Michael Hayden Nomination

Barack Obama - Opposition to the Amendment Requiring a Photo ID to Vote

Barack Obama - Employment Verification Amendment for the Immigration Bill

Barack Obama - Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Commencement Address

Barack Obama - Honoring Our Commitment to Veterans

Barack Obama - EMILY's List Annual Luncheon

Barack Obama - A Real Solution for High Gas Prices

Barack Obama - Immigration Rallies

Barack Obama - Amendment to Stop No-Bid Contracts for Gulf Coast Recovery and Reconstruction

Barack Obama - Updates on Darfur, Immigration, Gas Prices

Barack Obama - Immigration Reform

Barack Obama - Energy Independence and the Safety of Our Planet

Barack Obama - Immigration Reform

Barack Obama - Improving Chemical Plant Security

Barack Obama - 21st Century Schools for a 21st Century Economy

Barack Obama - Meals Amendment

Barack Obama - Debate on Lobbying and Ethics Reform

Barack Obama - Energy Security is National Security - Governor's Ethanol Coalition

Barack Obama - Floor Statement S.2271 - PATRIOT Act Reauthorization

Barack Obama - Darfur: Current Policy Not Enough

Barack Obama - Foreign Relations Committee regarding Lugar-Obama legislation S.1949

Barack Obama - Hurricane Katrina Child Assistance Amendment

Barack Obama - Supreme Court Nomination of Samuel Alito - Podcast

Barack Obama - Confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito, Jr. - Speech

Barack Obama - Lobbying Reform Summit National Press Club

Barack Obama - Meeting on Iraq with President Bush

Barack Obama - Remarks: Honest Leadership and Open Government

Barack Obama - From the Road: Israel and the Palestinian territories

Barack Obama - From the Road: Speaking with American Troops in Iraq

Barack Obama - The PATRIOT Act

Barack Obama - Moving Forward in Iraq - Chicago Council on Foreign Relations

Barack Obama - Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award Ceremony

Barack Obama - National Women's Law Center

Barack Obama - "Sex on TV 4" Report

Barack Obama - Non-Proliferation and Russia: The Challenges Ahead

Barack Obama - Chicago White Sox

Barack Obama - Death of Rosa Parks

Barack Obama - Teaching Our Kids in a 21st Century Economy

Barack Obama - Avian Flu

Barack Obama - Confirmation of Judge John Roberts

Barack Obama - Resources for the Future

Barack Obama - Statement on Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts

Barack Obama - AFL-CIO National Convention

Barack Obama - Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill and the Avian Flu

Barack Obama - American Legion Conference

Barack Obama - Literacy and Education in a 21st-Century Economy

Barack Obama - Pritzker School of Medicine Commencement

Barack Obama - Nomination of Justice Janice Rogers Brown

Barack Obama - Knox College Commencement

Barack Obama - Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery

Barack Obama - America’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Policy Remarks

Barack Obama - Rockford Register Star Young American Awards

Barack Obama - NAACP Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner

Barack Obama - National Press Club

Barack Obama - SIUC College of Agriculture's 50th Anniversary

Barack Obama - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Barack Obama - Amendment for Meals/Phone Service to Wounded Veterans

Barack Obama - The Nuclear Option

Barack Obama - Confirmation Hearing of John Bolton

Barack Obama - Herblock Foundation Annual Lecture

Barack Obama - American Legion Legislative Rally

Barack Obama - CURE Keynote Address

Barack Obama - Remarks of TechNet

Barack Obama - S256, the Bankruptcy Abuse & Prevention Act of 2005

Barack Obama - John Lewis's 65th Birthday Gala

Barack Obama - Keynote Address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention

Barack Obama - 2002 Speech Against the Iraq War

  Obama's Floor Statement on Meals Amendment

TOPIC: Ethics & Lobbying Reform
March 8, 2006
Senator Obama's Floor Statement on Meals Amendment
Complete Text

I rise today in support of Senator Feingold's amendment to eliminate a loophole in this bill that would still allow members and staff to receive free meals from lobbyists up to $50 in value.

Now, of all the ethics reforms we take up this week, this should be an easy one. Because I can't think of a single reason in the world why we shouldn't be paying for our own lunches in Washington.

In cities and towns all across America, people pay for their own lunches and their own dinners. People who make far less than we do. People who can't afford their medical bills or their mortgages or their kids' tuition.

You ask them if they think that the people they send to Congress should be able to rack up a $50 meal on a lobbyists' dime. You ask them if they think we should be able feast on free steak dinners at fancy restaurants while they're working two jobs just to put food on their table.

I don't think we need to put a poll in the field to find out the answer to that one.

Now, in no way do I think that any of my colleagues or staffers would exchange votes for meals. But that's not the point. It's not just the meal that's the problem, it's the perception. It's the access that meal gets you.

In the current Washington culture, lobbyists are expected to pick up the tab when they meet with members or staff. It is simply understood by all sides that the best way to get face time with a member or staffer in order to express your ideas on legislation is to buy them a meal.

But you don't see many members eating $50 meals with constituents who are in town to talk about the issues on their mind or with policy experts who are discussing the latest economic theories. Most of these meals are with high-priced lobbyists who are advocating on behalf of a specific interest. The appearance is that they can afford the access, so they get it.

This culture has been around for some time, but it wasn't always that way. One of the first reforms that Newt Gingrich passed when the Republicans took control of the House in 1995 was an absolute gift and meal ban. During the debates on this subject, then-Speaker Gingrich said, "The simplest, the cleanest and the clearest standard is to say, 'No gifts'. There's no way around it. You didn't get the gift before you were elected. You ain't gonna get the gift after you leave."

Newt Gingrich was right. He was right then, and he's right today. The only reason members and staff are receiving these free meals is because of who they are. That's not the way we should be doing business in this town - and that's why we should bring the ban back.

This isn't about preventing us from interacting with lobbyists who have legitimate business to discuss, and it isn't about preventing staff from getting the information they need to help us pass better policy. We can still do all of this if the ban passes, and we can even do it over lunch or dinner.

All we're asking here is to take out your wallet, pull out your credit card, and pay for your own meal. Everyone else in this country does it - we can do it too.

The American people will be watching and reading about what we do here today. Eating expensive steak dinners is not why all of us decided to pursue public service, and it's certainly not why the American people elected us to represent them in Washington. Our constituents expect more from us, and this is our opportunity to live up to those expectations. That's why I will be voting for Senator Feingold's amendment and that's why I expect my colleagues to do the same.

I thank the Chair and I yield the floor.


You can only imagine how many different ways people type the name Barack Obama. Here is a sampling for his first name: Barac, Barach, Baracks, Barak, Baraka, Barrack, Barrak, Berack, Borack, Borak, Brack, Brach, Brock even, Rocco. There are just as many for his last name: Abama, Bama, Bamma, Obma, Obamas, Obamma, Obana, Obamo, Obbama, Oboma, Obomba, Obombma, Obomha, Oblama, Omaba, Oblamma and (ready for this?) Ohama. And of course there's Barack Obama's middle name, Hussein. Here are some of the ways it comes out: Hissein, Hussain, Husein, Hussin, Hussane and Hussien.