The Heart Has Reasons by Mark Klempner

Remarks By Barack Obama to Organizing for America Activists on What He Has Accomplished in His First Seven Months

Date: August 20, 2009

But just so you don't lose heart as we enter into probably our toughest fight, let's just recall what we've already gotten done. Not one month into this administration, we responded to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression by putting in place a sweeping economic recovery program that has already made an enormous difference in people's lives. You've got millions of people who have unemployment insurance and got COBRA so they could keep their health insurance, and states who've been able to avoid layoffs of teachers and firefighters; a tax cut for 95 percent of working families, a commitment we made during the campaign that we have already fulfilled; thousands of people being put back to work all across the country rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our hospitals.

As a consequence of everything that we did, just in that first month, we've been able to see a stabilization of the financial system where a lot of economists thought that we were going to be dipping into a Great Depression. Obviously we're not out of the woods yet, but we've taken steps to address the housing crisis and keep people in their homes. We made some tough choices to keep the financial and the automotive sectors from collapsing, which would have further shocked our economy.

That's on the economic side. In the meantime, we lifted the ban on stem cell research; we expanded health insurance programs to 11 million more children across the country. (Applause.) We passed a national service bill that will give thousands of Americans opportunities to serve. (Applause.) (Coughing.) I get all choked up just talking about it. (Laughter.)

We passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- (applause) -- to make sure that women are treated the same way as men. We passed legislation to protect consumers from unfair rate hikes and abusive fees for credit card companies, and some of those rules went into effect today. (Applause.) We passed laws to protect our children from marketing by tobacco manufacturers. We've prohibited torture. We've begun to leave Iraq to its people. We've taken the fight to al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We've rebuilt our military and we're restoring our alliances and our standing the world. So not a bad track record. (Applause.)

These remarks were referred to in a Huffington Post article by Mark Klempner entitled Standing With Obama Over the Long Haul.

Click here to read the entire text of Obama's speech to Organizing for America activists.

Copyright © 2009 Mark Klempner