Obama Summons "Spirit of America," Seeks Support for Initiatives
By Scott Wilson
President Obama today invoked the "spirit of America" to argue for health care, energy and education reform in a July 4 radio address that compared this moment in U.S. history to the turning points of past generations.
"We are not a people who fear the future. We are a people who make it," Obama said in his weekly radio address. "And on this July 4th, we need to summon that spirit once more. We need to summon the same spirit that inhabited Independence Hall two hundred and thirty-three years ago today."
Obama's health care and energy reform plans are moving through Congress, and raising concerns on both sides of the aisle regarding their cost and impact.
He has asked Congress to send him legislation on both issues this fall, an ambitious timetable lawmakers may not be able to meet.
In his address, Obama called the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, economic recession, escalating health care costs, the U.S. reliance on foreign oil and the poor state of public education "an array of challenges on a scale unseen in our time."
But he said that his political opponents have not grasped the urgency of resolving these problems. He rejected the frequent criticism that he is trying to take on too many issues at once, recalling the early revolutionaries in defending his ambitions.
"These naysayers have short memories," Obama said. "That we, as a people, did not get here by standing pat in a time of change. We did not get here by doing what was easy. That is not how a cluster of 13 colonies became the United States of America."
Posted at 6:00 AM ET on Jul 4, 2009
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