“If we build it, they will come. But we have to build it”

Hi guys,

First, I want to say how much I appreciate the manner in which the slightly-heated previous thread developed. I could not be more proud of you all.

Now, video of the president’s visionary-optimistic-all-around-awesome speech at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan, is here. Photos are, well, here:


75 thoughts on ““If we build it, they will come. But we have to build it”

  1. I don’t think people who live in urban/suburban areas realize just how little a real area broadband exists in. Rural areas are not just lacking wireless, They don’t even have it available in the wired type.

  2. It was a fabulous speech.. and for me, its his dreams and belief in our abilities as a country to move mountains together.

    His enthusiasm- especially for science and technology- is contagious. He puts me in mind of when I was a kid, listening to JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcolm X- I hear the same sort of expectation, the sense of movement, of common cause, of the obvious rightness.

  3. His speech is so disjointed. I can only imagine how dejected those protesters must be right now. He said he is not going to bow to international pressure. Wow.

  4. The thing that really makes me wild about Our President is that he just keeps on moving. He is focused on what he said he was going to do. It is as if he knows he got to do it now or it won’t get done. He really wants us to be FIRST and so do I.

  5. Total arrogance on Mubarak’s part. This will not bode well for him, I’m sure. I hope the people can remain calm, but – quite frankly – I’m not sure how they could at this point.

    I guess all the yes men around Mubarak were there until the bitter end, convincing him to stay (so they could stay).

  6. He’s trying to blame outsiders. President Obama playing it so low key takes away that attack point.

  7. He’s tried every tactic in the book. First he tried to use his police to cause destruction to blame on the protesters. That didn’t fly.

    To my mind, he has just made the Egyptian people angrier.

    Screws need to be put on that allegedly $70 billion he’s got stashed away.

    The guy is freaking 82 years old. He can’t blame anyone, but himself, even if he tries.

  8. Let’s just get ready for the all the “it is POTUS’s fault.” Now that we know what to expect, let’s not get angry about it, instead take action.

    For my part, for each news person I hear trying to blame POTUS for any of this, they will hear from me.

  9. As much as I enjoy seeing the President in situations like this, with the sincere openness on his face, I think I enjoy looking at the faces of those people he interacts with just as much.

    Northern Michigan is not a bastion of liberal/progressive values and I wouldn’t be surprised if there isnn’t a high percentage of Fox viewers there. But when you look at those faces you just know he is winning them over, one person at a time.

    These people will remember these moments, and will talk about them with neighbors, friends and relatives.

    Talk about winning from the bottom up.

  10. Anyone else get the feeling Mubarak is looking for a way to anger the protestors into violence, and so that he can have an excuse to crack down on them?

    Such arrogance, just galling to me right now.

  11. I am telling you all that the Saudis have a roll in this! Last week, the saudi prince told the POTUS that if he cuts off support to egypt that he will finance mubarak!
    Bet Mubarak got several phone calls from his buds in saudi arabia!
    This is getting ugly!
    MSM fail! their reporting was shitty!

  12. Well they are now planning to march directly to the Presidential Palace tomorrow. I pray that this does not get out of control.

  13. He reminded me more of McCain, old, old, old and way out of touch.

    Thanks, BWD for posting the video!

  14. Yeah, they love our president very much. They know this isn’t George W. Bush. It has no power to attack the United States. He’s blowing in the wind.

  15. That’s exactly what Mubarak is trying to do. He wants violence by the peaceful protesters so the military has a reason to react.

  16. That guy in Egypt is really a pain in the butt for the freedom fighters in Tahrir Sq.

    From my timeline:

    RT @baratunde: Mubarak: so we’ll meet here tomorrow right? same time, same place? #egypt #jan25

  17. I may be totally mistaken but I get the impression that President Obama thought Mubarak would resign. There had been certain statements by the military who indicated that. Then something must have happened at the last minute. You may have a point. Mubarak must have received some support from Arab leaders. His saying that he wouldn’t succomb to western pressure is very telling.

    Those people in Tahrir square are ANGRY. Watching AlJazeera, I heard a couple of commentators blaming the USA. Frustrating because I really believe the WH is NOT happy right now.

  18. Because we have a President that know when to speak and how to speak. Now the world see he can’t blame the west which now makes him looks delusional. President Obama played this well and should get credit for it.

  19. I had a patron at the reference desk make the same observation. The Mubarak speech was intended to do nothing else but infuriate the protesters. And, as far as Jovie saying that the Saudis are willing to bankroll the regime if the US pulls the plug on assistance, I wouldn’t be surprised; all the autocrats in the ME are surely looking at what’s happening in Egypt with dread, and are not going to go down without fighting.

  20. I believe the protesters have learned that hitting the regime in the pocket is the way to go. This is why the strikes in labor started. Egypt is losing 300 million a day. This is how the boycott was won thru the losing of money in transportation. Having the strikes will make it harder. Tourism has already lost and will continue until the country is back to normal.

  21. Me either. I think earlier Obama said let’s see. When he gave his speech I didn’t hear that in in voice or tone that this thing was over, I felt that he was a little distracted.

  22. I think that this analysis is correct. And I think that each side is looking to obtain the moral legitimacy of painting the other side as an agent of the United States.

  23. Mubarak=narcissistic personality in my opinion. I am no shrink, but he is just too full of himself. The U.S media should have reserved more caution, and not had “breaking” news until they actually heard what he was going to say. Now they have egg on their faces once again. All they needed to report was that he would be making a statement. I know many people reported that he was stepping down, but I heard a report today that said that all of those “people were wrong and that he would not be stepping down,” and obviously the person that said that knew what they were talking about.

  24. Me, too, Symmetry. I really hope so. I just think that if Mubarak cares for the country, he will try to not allow any kind of breakdown.

  25. Can I just say how much I haaaaate the stupid media? I have blubbering Matthews on in the background and some stuuuuupid woman is saying the Saudis are mad at President Obama blah, blah, blah. Imbeciles!

    And Richard Engel is supposed to be soooo smart and know sooooo much about the region and he was sooooooooo wrong.

    On a light note (if there is one), when I saw Mubarak speaking all I could think of was the song that Jennifer Hudson sang in the movie “Dreamgirls” — “and I am telling you, I’m not going–“

  26. like when they reported that wisner was a lobbysits for egypt! Then 2 days later they found out he was NOT!
    Sad reporting!

  27. Let us all close our eyes for just a moment and send positive thoughts of peace and healing to the people of Egypt. If you are a praying person, then pray that these good people be spared from violence.

    May Spirit protect all in Egypt and bring them safely through this crisis. May they find justice and strength to renew their country in peace and hope.

  28. The protestors have already won. No one in the current regime is going to stick their neck out for a deeply unpopular octogenarian.

  29. By Sam Youngman – 02/10/11 05:42 PM ET

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is scheduled to introduce Vice President Biden at an event in Kentucky on Friday.

    According to Biden’s office, the vice president will be a guest speaker at the University of Louisville as part of the McConnell Center’s lecture series.

    Oh boy!

  30. That would require restraint and professionalism that our MSM does not possess. Being first is more important than being right.

  31. Pulled these two comments about a Washington Post story about Rick Santorum’s CPAC speech. He did the usual repub thing — bash the president. But it seems no one was listening. Too funny.

    “Santorum spoke to a mostly empty conference room after a lunch break, sporting a pair of glasses that he doesn’t generally wear.”

    oh dayum……if a tree falls in a the forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

    Yeah, he’s front runner material alright. Can’t even get a couple a dozen people to listen to him of their own free will.

  32. Obama flew to Marquette, Mich., on Thursday to speak about wireless Internet and the economy, and before his speech, he stopped for lunch at a diner-like eatery. As he was contemplating what kind of sandwich to get — an Obama Burger or a less sloppy meal — the woman behind the counter showed him some dark and milk chocolate caramels.

    “I’m going to have to get one of these,” Obama said, according to the pool. “Nice. Way to bribe me.”

    This week, Michelle Obama celebrated the anniversary of her “Let’s Move!” initiative to steer kids away from sweets and get healthier lunches in schools.

    “Over this past year, we’ve seen the first signs of a fundamental shift in how we live and eat,” the first lady said this week. “We’ve seen changes at every level of our society – from classrooms, to boardrooms, to the halls of Congress.”

    Well, maybe not everywhere.


  33. And possible Israel as well, they don’t want Mubarak to go either. Everyone is looking at self interest.

  34. Like FLOTUS said, she’s not asking for this to be an all or nothing approach.

    Leave it to Politico to stir up stuff.

  35. Silly article. Show me someone who has religiously worked out every day and has quit smoking while handling more world crises than anyone before him – and I’ll show you a guy who deserves to eat those chocolates without an ounce of guilt.

  36. I just want to be that woman who is having PBO sign one of his books. That is something I dream of.

  37. Truly, if that article doesn’t point out the sheer high school mentality of most of the DC press corps, I don’t know what does. PBO is the cool, accomplished, no-stress kid that makes everyone jealous. The media needs to start acting like the “fourth branch of government” they claim to be, and help to solve the problems this country faces by actually educating people, rather than feeding them a steady diet of Lindsay Lohan’s shoplifting and Charlie Sheen’s hookers.

  38. Thank you, BWD for the link to that speech at Marquette. That’s one of the most fun speeches I’ve heard him give. Great sense of humor…the Professor in da house…the story telling was entrancing. I kept thinking…he’s talking about MY America…the America I grew up believing in.

    Then, interestingly, I had a memory overtake me that surprised me. It was sparked by seeing one of the Secret Service men in the audience (in the audience, mind you). Suddenly I remembered the only time I ever had the privilege of seeing then Senator Barack Obama at a fund-raiser/speech that I volunteered for. Alas, it was during the point in the campaign when he was utterly exhausted, and his voice was raspy, but he bucked up and spoke with all his heart. I got to be in the crowd for part of the speech, we were packed in tightly and straining to hear. Then slowly like an unstoppable force, a man in a black overcoat, with one of those ear-piece wires down his neck moved through the crowd right in front of me and I was struck by how quiet and determined and focused he was. Here was a man whose personal strength just vibrated from his core and I knew immediately, he was Secret Service. We all did. It was awe-inspiring. Our President is in very, very good hands. The sheer professionalism these people exhibit is a point of pride.

    Fast-forward to today (four years from the day I began volunteering for Our President), and this great speech. My favorite line: “Out hustle the Rest of the World.” Yes, sir.

  39. Africa, put away that silly little nuance thing. Advocating healthier lifestyles means that FLOTUS must have turned into a rabid fundamentalist looking to steal joy and snatch candy, burgers & apple pie from the mouths of every American. Gosh, you can’t mean that she is telling people to try to be healthier without going overboard with it, could you?

  40. BWD: The speech was sooo good. I like him professorly, so long as he is talking in lay-person language, which he did. I loved having my history of America refreshed on the issue of how we connect up this vast nation, what it has meant to our past and what it will mean to our future.

    You are a kind of a treasure for your selflessness in doing this for all of us.

  41. Wow. Just, wow.

    This is a bit of interesting information from the poll: Meanwhile, 50 percent of voters think the Obama administration has created new jobs. That includes 21 percent who think the administration has mainly created private sector jobs, 14 percent mainly government jobs and 15 percent who say both.

    If the voters believe that PBO has created jobs, 2012 will be yet another watershed election.

  42. If I had to guess, I bet the GOP will try some deal making. They’ll confirm Diamond, if Obama nominates another hawk to the board to replace Warsh.

    Now if we could just get Scalia or Kennedy to retire – imagine that pitched battle.

  43. So McConnell is no longer interested in making Joe Biden a “one-term VP” as his top priority?

  44. I found out about the strikes today, and I found it very comforting to know that it’s not only unskilled laborers that are striking, either. Professionals willing to walk away from their jobs to support the protesters has got to rattle Mubarak’s cage. I like that the president enlisted the assistance of our allies in helping the Egyptians to find their way as they move toward reforming their government.

  45. I have lived to see and hear 11 presidents in my life time where I was actually interested in what was taking place in our world, and I must say this is one of the most kind, gentle, firm, calm, and intellectual Presidents I have had the honor of following.

    I know that you all are in good hands, if you continue to help President Obama and Vice President Biden get relect in 2012. I pray to God that I am alive and able to see it happen. There is so much of the wonderful things this young President wants for this next generation. I have not seen anything like it since J. F. Kennedy. Let us move forward with this wonderful gift.

  46. This morning on the first news report I heard on the progressive radio station by ABC that Mubarak was stepping down then in the very next hour news report they said Mubarak had not confirmed it yet.
    I always think the MSM is too quick to report the news these days. They just worry about being first instead of being right. They also constantly criticize our President for being slow to get on things instead of appreciating that he is gathering all opinions and information to make the best decision possible.
    On another note, tonight on the entertainment show with Mario Lopez on it Donald Trump was on it talking about how embarrassed he is about how we are viewed in the world right now and is thinking of probably run for the Presidency. I had heard the possibility on the OFA blog but thought it would be unlikely. I was teed off when I heard him say that world comment as I feel he is totally off base there. I worry about his running though as he has so much money and public recognition. I hate his arrogant attitude and the way he conducts business. I know he himself has been bankrupt many times. He was gathering voter promises and talking up the Hispanic vote. Anyhow, talk me down! I don’t like this nervous feeling.

  47. Obama’s District Court Nominee to Be Sole Native American on Federal Bench
    Obama’s District Court Nominee to Be Sole Native American on Federal Bench

    National Congress of American Indians calls for swift confirmation of Assistant U.S. Attorney Arvo Mikkanen to Federal District Court Judgeship

    Washington, D.C. – The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) commends the Obama Administration’s nomination of Assistant U.S. Attorney Arvo Mikkanen to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma. NCAI, the nation’s oldest and largest American Indian and Alaska Native organization, is calling on the Senate to move quickly to confirm the appointment and fill the federal district court vacancy.

    “Assistant U.S. Attorney Mikkanen has served our country for many years as a federal prosecutor, and with his vast experience in both federal and tribal law, he is an excellent choice for the Federal District Court in Northern Oklahoma,” said Jefferson Keel, President of NCAI, and Lt. Governor of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma. “We urge the Senate to act swiftly to confirm Mr. Mikkanen’s nomination and make the federal judiciary more representative of all citizens of this country, including Native Americans.”


  48. I feel the same way Sheri about President Obama. I was a bit older than you during their times, but I remember how inspiring the men you listed were. In 1968, during the Oregon primary, thanks to a college friend who was part of his campaign, I was lucky to be able to shake RFK’s hand. Unfortunately, he lost the primary in Oregon to Eugene McCarthy. I will never forget the horror of RFK’s assassination because all of us supporters were watching him on T.V give his victory speech after he won California. Of course 1968 was such a horrific year because two months before we had lost MLK.

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