10
Apr
14

The President’s Civil Rights Summit Speech

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama tour the LBJ Presidential Library with Rep. John Lewis and LBJ Presidential Library Director Mark Updegrove

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Text of the President’s remarks

Thank you.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you so much.  Please, please, have a seat.  Thank you.

What a singular honor it is for me to be here today.  I want to thank, first and foremost, the Johnson family for giving us this opportunity and the graciousness with which Michelle and I have been received.

We came down a little bit late because we were upstairs looking at some of the exhibits and some of the private offices that were used by President Johnson and Mrs. Johnson.  And Michelle was in particular interested to — of a recording in which Lady Bird is critiquing President Johnson’s performance.  (Laughter.)  And she said, come, come, you need to listen to this.  (Laughter.)  And she pressed the button and nodded her head.  Some things do not change — (laughter) — even 50 years later.

To all the members of Congress, the warriors for justice, the elected officials and community leaders who are here today  — I want to thank you.

Four days into his sudden presidency — and the night before he would address a joint session of the Congress in which he once served — Lyndon Johnson sat around a table with his closest advisors, preparing his remarks to a shattered and grieving nation.

He wanted to call on senators and representatives to pass a civil rights bill — the most sweeping since Reconstruction.  And most of his staff counseled him against it.  They said it was hopeless; that it would anger powerful Southern Democrats and committee chairmen; that it risked derailing the rest of his domestic agenda.  And one particularly bold aide said he did not believe a President should spend his time and power on lost causes, however worthy they might be.  To which, it is said, President Johnson replied, “Well, what the hell’s the presidency for?”  (Laughter and applause.)  What the hell’s the presidency for if not to fight for causes you believe in?

Today, as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, we honor the men and women who made it possible.  Some of them are here today.  We celebrate giants like John Lewis and Andrew Young and Julian Bond.  We recall the countless unheralded Americans, black and white, students and scholars, preachers and housekeepers — whose names are etched not on monuments, but in the hearts of their loved ones, and in the fabric of the country they helped to change.

But we also gather here, deep in the heart of the state that shaped him, to recall one giant man’s remarkable efforts to make real the promise of our founding:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Those of us who have had the singular privilege to hold the office of the Presidency know well that progress in this country can be hard and it can be slow, frustrating and sometimes you’re stymied.  The office humbles you.  You’re reminded daily that in this great democracy, you are but a relay swimmer in the currents of history, bound by decisions made by those who came before, reliant on the efforts of those who will follow to fully vindicate your vision.

But the presidency also affords a unique opportunity to bend those currents — by shaping our laws and by shaping our debates; by working within the confines of the world as it is, but also by reimagining the world as it should be.

This was President Johnson’s genius.  As a master of politics and the legislative process, he grasped like few others the power of government to bring about change.

LBJ was nothing if not a realist.  He was well aware that the law alone isn’t enough to change hearts and minds.  A full century after Lincoln’s time, he said, “Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men’s skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.”

He understood laws couldn’t accomplish everything.  But he also knew that only the law could anchor change, and set hearts and minds on a different course.  And a lot of Americans needed the law’s most basic protections at that time.  As Dr. King said at the time, “It may be true that the law can’t make a man love me but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”  (Applause.)

And passing laws was what LBJ knew how to do.  No one knew politics and no one loved legislating more than President Johnson.  He was charming when he needed to be, ruthless when required.  (Laughter.)  He could wear you down with logic and argument.  He could horse trade, and he could flatter.  “You come with me on this bill,” he would reportedly tell a key Republican leader from my home state during the fight for the Civil Rights Bill, “and 200 years from now, schoolchildren will know only two names:  Abraham Lincoln and Everett Dirksen!”  (Laughter.)  And he knew that senators would believe things like that.  (Laughter and applause.)

President Johnson liked power.  He liked the feel of it, the wielding of it.  But that hunger was harnessed and redeemed by a deeper understanding of the human condition; by a sympathy for the underdog, for the downtrodden, for the outcast.  And it was a sympathy rooted in his own experience.

As a young boy growing up in the Texas Hill Country, Johnson knew what being poor felt like.  “Poverty was so common,” he would later say, “we didn’t even know it had a name.”  (Laughter.)  The family home didn’t have electricity or indoor plumbing.  Everybody worked hard, including the children.  President Johnson had known the metallic taste of hunger; the feel of a mother’s calloused hands, rubbed raw from washing and cleaning and holding a household together.  His cousin Ava remembered sweltering days spent on her hands and knees in the cotton fields, with Lyndon whispering beside her, “Boy, there’s got to be a better way to make a living than this.  There’s got to be a better way.”

It wasn’t until years later when he was teaching at a so-called Mexican school in a tiny town in Texas that he came to understand how much worse the persistent pain of poverty could be for other races in a Jim Crow South.  Oftentimes his students would show up to class hungry.  And when he’d visit their homes, he’d meet fathers who were paid slave wages by the farmers they worked for.  Those children were taught, he would later say, “that the end of life is in a beet row, a spinach field, or a cotton patch.”

Deprivation and discrimination — these were not abstractions to Lyndon Baines Johnson.  He knew that poverty and injustice are as inseparable as opportunity and justice are joined.  So that was in him from an early age.

Now, like any of us, he was not a perfect man.  His experiences in rural Texas may have stretched his moral imagination, but he was ambitious, very ambitious, a young man in a hurry to plot his own escape from poverty and to chart his own political career.  And in the Jim Crow South, that meant not challenging convention.  During his first 20 years in Congress, he opposed every civil rights bill that came up for a vote, once calling the push for federal legislation “a farce and a sham.”  He was chosen as a vice presidential nominee in part because of his affinity with, and ability to deliver, that Southern white vote.  And at the beginning of the Kennedy administration, he shared with President Kennedy a caution towards racial controversy.

But marchers kept marching.  Four little girls were killed in a church.  Bloody Sunday happened.  The winds of change blew.  And when the time came, when LBJ stood in the Oval Office — I picture him standing there, taking up the entire doorframe, looking out over the South Lawn in a quiet moment — and asked himself what the true purpose of his office was for, what was the endpoint of his ambitions, he would reach back in his own memory and he’d remember his own experience with want.

And he knew that he had a unique capacity, as the most powerful white politician from the South, to not merely challenge the convention that had crushed the dreams of so many, but to ultimately dismantle for good the structures of legal segregation.  He’s the only guy who could do it — and he knew there would be a cost, famously saying the Democratic Party may “have lost the South for a generation.”

That’s what his presidency was for.  That’s where he meets his moment.  And possessed with an iron will, possessed with those skills that he had honed so many years in Congress, pushed and supported by a movement of those willing to sacrifice everything for their own liberation, President Johnson fought for and argued and horse traded and bullied and persuaded until ultimately he signed the Civil Rights Act into law.

And he didn’t stop there — even though his advisors again told him to wait, again told him let the dust settle, let the country absorb this momentous decision.  He shook them off.  “The meat in the coconut,” as President Johnson would put it, was the Voting Rights Act, so he fought for and passed that as well.  Immigration reform came shortly after.  And then, a Fair Housing Act.  And then, a health care law that opponents described as “socialized medicine” that would curtail America’s freedom, but ultimately freed millions of seniors from the fear that illness could rob them of dignity and security in their golden years, which we now know today as Medicare.  (Applause.)

What President Johnson understood was that equality required more than the absence of oppression.  It required the presence of economic opportunity.  He wouldn’t be as eloquent as Dr. King would be in describing that linkage, as Dr. King moved into mobilizing sanitation workers and a poor people’s movement, but he understood that connection because he had lived it.  A decent job, decent wages, health care — those, too, were civil rights worth fighting for.  An economy where hard work is rewarded and success is shared, that was his goal.  And he knew, as someone who had seen the New Deal transform the landscape of his Texas childhood, who had seen the difference electricity had made because of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the transformation concretely day in and day out in the life of his own family, he understood that government had a role to play in broadening prosperity to all those who would strive for it.

“We want to open the gates to opportunity,” President Johnson said, “But we are also going to give all our people, black and white, the help they need to walk through those gates.”

Now, if some of this sounds familiar, it’s because today we remain locked in this same great debate about equality and opportunity, and the role of government in ensuring each.  As was true 50 years ago, there are those who dismiss the Great Society as a failed experiment and an encroachment on liberty; who argue that government has become the true source of all that ails us, and that poverty is due to the moral failings of those who suffer from it.  There are also those who argue, John, that nothing has changed; that racism is so embedded in our DNA that there is no use trying politics — the game is rigged.

But such theories ignore history.  Yes, it’s true that, despite laws like the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act and Medicare, our society is still racked with division and poverty.  Yes, race still colors our political debates, and there have been government programs that have fallen short.  In a time when cynicism is too often passed off as wisdom, it’s perhaps easy to conclude that there are limits to change; that we are trapped by our own history; and politics is a fool’s errand, and we’d be better off if we roll back big chunks of LBJ’s legacy, or at least if we don’t put too much of our hope, invest too much of our hope in our government.

I reject such thinking.  (Applause.)  Not just because Medicare and Medicaid have lifted millions from suffering; not just because the poverty rate in this nation would be far worse without food stamps and Head Start and all the Great Society programs that survive to this day.  I reject such cynicism because I have lived out the promise of LBJ’s efforts.  Because Michelle has lived out the legacy of those efforts.  Because my daughters have lived out the legacy of those efforts.  Because I and millions of my generation were in a position to take the baton that he handed to us.  (Applause.)

Because of the Civil Rights movement, because of the laws President Johnson signed, new doors of opportunity and education swung open for everybody — not all at once, but they swung open.  Not just blacks and whites, but also women and Latinos; and Asians and Native Americans; and gay Americans and Americans with a disability.  They swung open for you, and they swung open for me.  And that’s why I’m standing here today — because of those efforts, because of that legacy.  (Applause.)

And that means we’ve got a debt to pay.  That means we can’t afford to be cynical.  Half a century later, the laws LBJ passed are now as fundamental to our conception of ourselves and our democracy as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  They are foundational; an essential piece of the American character.

But we are here today because we know we cannot be complacent.  For history travels not only forwards; history can travel backwards, history can travel sideways.  And securing the gains this country has made requires the vigilance of its citizens.  Our rights, our freedoms — they are not given.  They must be won.  They must be nurtured through struggle and discipline, and persistence and faith.

And one concern I have sometimes during these moments, the celebration of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, the March on Washington — from a distance, sometimes these commemorations seem inevitable, they seem easy.  All the pain and difficulty and struggle and doubt — all that is rubbed away.  And we look at ourselves and we say, oh, things are just too different now;  we couldn’t possibly do what was done then — these giants, what they accomplished.  And yet, they were men and women, too.  It wasn’t easy then.  It wasn’t certain then.

Still, the story of America is a story of progress.  However slow, however incomplete, however harshly challenged at each point on our journey, however flawed our leaders, however many times we have to take a quarter of a loaf or half a loaf — the story of America is a story of progress.  And that’s true because of men like President Lyndon Baines Johnson.  (Applause.)

In so many ways, he embodied America, with all our gifts and all our flaws, in all our restlessness and all our big dreams.  This man — born into poverty, weaned in a world full of racial hatred — somehow found within himself the ability to connect his experience with the brown child in a small Texas town; the white child in Appalachia; the black child in Watts.  As powerful as he became in that Oval Office, he understood them.  He understood what it meant to be on the outside.  And he believed that their plight was his plight too; that his freedom ultimately was wrapped up in theirs; and that making their lives better was what the hell the presidency was for.  (Applause.)

And those children were on his mind when he strode to the podium that night in the House Chamber, when he called for the vote on the Civil Rights law.  “It never occurred to me,” he said, “in my fondest dreams that I might have the chance to help the sons and daughters of those students” that he had taught so many years ago, “and to help people like them all over this country.  But now I do have that chance.  And I’ll let you in on a secret — I mean to use it.  And I hope that you will use it with me.”  (Applause.)

That was LBJ’s greatness.  That’s why we remember him.  And if there is one thing that he and this year’s anniversary should teach us, if there’s one lesson I hope that Malia and Sasha and young people everywhere learn from this day, it’s that with enough effort, and enough empathy, and enough perseverance, and enough courage, people who love their country can change it.

In his final year, President Johnson stood on this stage, racked with pain, battered by the controversies of Vietnam, looking far older than his 64 years, and he delivered what would be his final public speech.

“We have proved that great progress is possible,” he said.  “We know how much still remains to be done.  And if our efforts continue, and if our will is strong, and if our hearts are right, and if courage remains our constant companion, then, my fellow Americans, I am confident, we shall overcome.”  (Applause.)

We shall overcome.  We, the citizens of the United States.  Like Dr. King, like Abraham Lincoln, like countless citizens who have driven this country inexorably forward, President Johnson knew that ours in the end is a story of optimism, a story of achievement and constant striving that is unique upon this Earth.  He knew because he had lived that story.  He believed that together we can build an America that is more fair, more equal, and more free than the one we inherited.  He believed we make our own destiny.  And in part because of him, we must believe it as well.

Thank you.  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

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142 Responses to “The President’s Civil Rights Summit Speech”


  1. 1 Nerdy Wonka
    April 10, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    Hello

  2. April 10, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    ‘Twas lovely and moving

  3. April 10, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    “Johnson developed his skills in an institution that now has an approval rating in the low double digits. It’s hard to imagine that today’s electorate, which has such a foul view of Washington and the unprincipled politicians who work there, would vote for such an operator. It’s also hard to imagine that Johnson could rise intact as a public figure in today’s saturated media environment. Johnson’s skills for understanding human needs came from his own deep neediness. His vindictiveness, penchant for bragging, and bouts of paranoia would never have been confined to the back offices the way they were in his day. They’d be the subject of vast Vanity Fair and New Yorker profiles, and consume endless hours of cable talk……

    …..But let’s imagine that someone with Johnson’s skills could sneak into office. He’d have a tough time working his magic. He would find it difficult to engage a willing partner in such a partisan age. Lyndon Johnson had a pool of Republicans who felt a moral pull to pass civil rights legislation. There was no such large group that wanted to pass universal health care so much that they were willing to buck their party. Members of one party who might want to work with the opposite party have to worry about the outside groups—often backed by wealthy donors—that punish collaborators. In Johnson’s day, on most legislation he was working to get 51 votes. The increased use of the filibuster has raised that bar to 60.

    In the 24-hour news environment Johnson’s little payoffs and punishments would be exposed immediately. It’s not just that the microscope is more powerful. The public takes a dim view of legislation used for personal reasons rather than the good of the country. Others think the government can never work for the good of the country and see inside dealing as feather-nesting, not a necessary tactic to break a deadlock and produce effective government. When Obama tried to buy the vote of Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson on health care, the “Cornhusker kickback” was discovered, publicized, and removed from the bill. Given these obstacles, is it time to stop looking for someone with Johnson’s skills and rethink what it means to be effective in Washington? Obama supporters argue passage of the stimulus in 2009, the Affordable Care Act, and Wall Street reform are all signs of the president’s effectiveness. Those measures were passed without Johnson era bipartisan majorities, which means that while Obama didn’t achieve a new era of cooperation, he may have discovered the tactics to win in the new era…….”

    …..a nice fact ditto-heads conveniently leave out: LBJ had Dem supermajorities during his “arm twisting” days-> Senate (68-32) House (295-140)

    • 6 jacquelineoboomer
      April 10, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      And LBJ couldn’t be Barack Obama today.

    • 10 jackiegrumbacher
      April 10, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      Excellent analysis, LP. There is absolutely NO comparison between the political world in Washington in the 1960’s and the DC political world today. Johnson could not have operated in today’s context. His methods were strictly those of a time long gone. Not Lincoln, nor Teddy Roosevelt or FDR or Truman or John Kennedy or LBJ could have been successful with today’s extreme, anti-government Republicans, not to mention our completely corporate controlled, biased media.

    • 11 nathkatun7
      April 11, 2014 at 12:40 am

      Bravo, LP! Excellent analysis. I also wanted to put in my two cents. I was 18 when LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act. This was less than 5 months after JFK was assassinated; less than 10 months after the assassination of Medgar Evers; less than 8 months after the March On Washington; and less than 7 months after the Birmingham, AL church bombing that took the lives of 4 innocent black girls. It was the climate of the times, even more so than overwhelming Democratic majorities in Congress, that enabled LBJ to pass this law. Moreover, in 1964, there were still many liberal and moderate members of Congress in the Republican party. I can’t recall in my lifetime when another President has faced such a hostile opposition party, like President Obama has, which says NO, NO, NO, to everything the president proposed. In my humble opinion, it’s simplistic, and dishonest, to try to compare President Obama with LBJ, or FDR, or any the other Presidents before him.

    • 12 sjterrid
      April 11, 2014 at 1:56 am

      LP, This comment is great. You should post it on your blog. I see a white line after you said that LBJ had a supermajorities in the House and Senate did you write anything else.

  4. 14 Nerdy Wonka
    April 10, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    This is a wonderful summary of the event.

    Thanks, Chips.

  5. April 10, 2014 at 8:14 pm
  6. April 10, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Thank you so much Chips! This so wonderfully presented…… one of those days I won’t forget.

    ICYMI: Incredible Civil Rights Act of ’64 exhibit hosted via the Google Cultural Institute: By the Presidential Libraries and Museums of the National Archives & Records Administration…. includes videos, documents, pictures/slides, and a plethora of historical artifacts…. all in one place!

  7. 20 vcprezofan2
    April 10, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    SIX minutes too late! Rats! Story of my life?

    • 21 vcprezofan2
      April 10, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      Just listened to ‘We Shall Overcome'; couldn’t tell if people were swaying throughout or if it only seemed that way because I couldn’t see clearly.

  8. 22 Dudette
    April 10, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Wonderful summary! Thank you soooo much!

  9. April 10, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    thanks so much for this, and for the terrific coverage of today.

    TOD – you NEVER let us down!

  10. 24 Ladyhawke
    April 10, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Can presidents still do ‘big things’?

    By Steve Benen

    —————————————-

    Indeed, those who wonder why Obama can’t be more like Johnson often forget what Johnson saw on Capitol Hill. The 89th Congress, which governed in 1965 and 1966, approved Medicare, Medicaid, the Voting Rights Act, Higher Education Act, and the Freedom of Information Act, among other things. Was it because LBJ was such a persuasive guy who believed in “leading more”? Maybe, or perhaps it was because Johnson’s party enjoyed overwhelming supermajorities in the House and Senate, and governed in an era in which filibusters were extremely rare (as opposed to being imposed on literally every piece of important legislation).

    Obama’s legislative victories from his first two years were so impressive, he already has more breakthrough accomplishments on his record than most modern presidents. History will likely be kind. But those who remain “frustrated” he hasn’t been able to do more should direct their attention to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

    ——————————————–

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/can-presidents-still-do-big-things

  11. April 10, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    This was a phenomenal day. The speech is magnificent and it’s a great pleasure to see PBO, FLOTUS & Rep. John Lewis tour the library together, each one with their own significant perspective on these moments. BEAUTIFUL round-up, Chips. Thank you.

  12. April 10, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Free clinic went from serving 300 a month in January to 3 in March!

  13. April 10, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Elegantly done, Chips. Thank you!

    #TrustBarack

  14. 38 Ladyhawke
    April 10, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Thank you Chips for this beautiful place that sustains me each and every day. Love you madly. LH

  15. 39 Dudette
    April 10, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    LL, I left something for you at the end of the previous post :-)

  16. April 10, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    POTUS and VP Biden tomorrow in the Rose Garden at 11:00am to make HHS announcement.

    • 43 hopefruit2
      April 10, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      They’re going to shut the GOP media up….

    • 44 jacquelineoboomer
      April 10, 2014 at 8:43 pm

      Kathleen is resigning? Wow, I really haven’t paid attention today!

      • 45 vcprezofan2
        April 10, 2014 at 9:25 pm

        So you feel a bit out of the loop too? Not my favourite feeling.

        • 46 jacquelineoboomer
          April 10, 2014 at 9:29 pm

          Luckily, here’s a place we can catch up quickly!

          • 47 vcprezofan2
            April 10, 2014 at 9:37 pm

            The joy of it!!! :) ;) :)

            Wonder if Chips knows how much stress she has lifted from how many shoulders because WE KNOW we don’t have to worry if we absolutely cannot watch some important event? Chips is actually PBO’s pre-Obamacare!

            • 48 jacquelineoboomer
              April 10, 2014 at 9:39 pm

              And post-Obamacare, ’cause we’re not going anywhere!

              • 49 vcprezofan2
                April 10, 2014 at 9:41 pm

                We’ll call her PBO’s Co-Obamacare Advantage.

                • 50 jacquelineoboomer
                  April 10, 2014 at 9:43 pm

                  Of course, I didn’t mean to “speak for” Chips when I implied that just because we’re not going anywhere, she’ll stay with this huge undertaking forevah.

                  But that is my wish, for as long as she wants!

            • 53 nathkatun7
              April 11, 2014 at 12:57 am

              Yes Indeed VC! I started boycotting MSM news, and in particular TV networks and 24-7 Cable News, back in mid 2009. But because of TOD I’ve never missed watching important events. Words are not enough to express how grateful I am for what chips and her fellow BT have done to keep me informed. Although I am always here late, I never miss out on all the important things that take place during normal working hours.

  17. 55 jacquelineoboomer
    April 10, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Chips – Thanks so much for all of the coverage here of today’s event. It was quite the day.

  18. 56 Dudette
    April 10, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Nobody sings like Mavis Staples!

    • 57 jacquelineoboomer
      April 10, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      This is still my favorite:

      • 58 Dudette
        April 10, 2014 at 8:52 pm

        Mine too!

      • 59 Nena20409
        April 10, 2014 at 8:52 pm

        I <3 this song. It will be running endlessly in my head for days now ;)

        • 60 jacquelineoboomer
          April 10, 2014 at 9:08 pm

          I’ve been playing it in my head for two years, since I first heard it again, so good luck with the “days” part! :)

      • 61 nathkatun7
        April 11, 2014 at 1:02 am

        Nice selection, JOB! I have this LP, sadly my turn table no longer works.

        • 62 jacquelineoboomer
          April 11, 2014 at 1:07 am

          Get another one! Ha.

          • 63 nathkatun7
            April 11, 2014 at 3:33 am

            Seriously?Are there places I can still purchase a turntable! Please help me out. After I couldn’t find a place to repair the one I have, I just took it for granted that there is no one still selling turn tables. I have all these incredible records that are sitting there collecting dust.

            • 64 Nena20409
              April 11, 2014 at 10:08 am

              Radio Schack, Pawn shops, Ebay, perhaps, Amazon too. I bought my newest from Target in 2008. It is still unopened for my Pioneer set is still doing fantastic.

              Good Luck. They are not that hard to be found now.

            • 65 jacquelineoboomer
              April 11, 2014 at 3:52 pm

              You might try Craig’s List in your area. My son gave me one a few years ago, but I think I foolishly gave it back! Not sure about new ones, though. Hope you find one!

  19. 66 Nena20409
    April 10, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Bruno Mars sang: You are amazing.

    Yes. you really are Chips <3 Chips <3 Chips <3

    Beautifully done indeed :)

  20. 69 Nena20409
    April 10, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Wishing HHS Kathleen Sebelius well and a great thank you for all she has done.

  21. 70 hopefruit2
    April 10, 2014 at 8:43 pm
  22. 76 TrumpDog
    April 10, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I’m glad Kathleen resigned on HER terms and did not succumb to the right wing pressure earlier on to resign or that the president did not fire her. I was not impressed by her speaking abilities (felt she was not as strong as she could have been) but I do admire her perseverence in the eye of relentless attacks.
    A big fuck you to the emos at DailyKos and an extra special one to Robert Gibbs.

    • 77 jacquelineoboomer
      April 10, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      I appreciate and admire her for FULLY supporting President Obama, which I’m sure will continue post her departure (unlike fuckface Robert Gibbs). She’s also a political brat, I believe (like Nancy Pelosi, who has politics and serving the people in her blood), and a classy lady. But I think in the trenches, she’s fierce.

      • 78 jackiegrumbacher
        April 10, 2014 at 10:01 pm

        JOB, I wonder if she will go back to Kansas and work her magic on that state again. She was the best governor they ever had.

        • 79 jacquelineoboomer
          April 10, 2014 at 10:11 pm

          Great idea. Hoping she gets a little rest, first! Can you just imagine working for and with President Obama? I’d be so busy trying to do my utmost best for him, I’d burn myself out!

  23. 80 hopefruit2
    April 10, 2014 at 8:50 pm
  24. 81 Dudette
    April 10, 2014 at 8:50 pm
    • 82 anniebella
      April 10, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      Well Rachel Maddow is putting her know it all two cent into the Sebelius resigning, and I’m not crazy about what she is saying. She seem to think POTUS is getting rid of Ms. Sebelius,and why is he doing it now?

  25. April 10, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    Secretary Sebelius faced ALL the ugly and mean-spirited lies and distortions day in and day out throughout her term. She took it in stride and she took on the RWNJs and held her head high. She deserves our credit and admiration.

  26. 85 vcprezofan2
    April 10, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Ms Chips, thanks ever so much for front paging the PBO LBJ CR speech at this time. I walked in and was encouraged to listen straight away without having to hunt it down. Thank you, and your team, for your continued success in keeping the acts of members of this admin front and centre, no matter what the MSM is not doing! A day like today, when I was more out than in brings it home again for me. You deliver so consistently, that we here are spoiled – we are not unappreciative, however.
    :star: :star: :star: HUMUNGOUS THANKS :star: :star: :star: for your contributions today!!!

    • 86 jacquelineoboomer
      April 10, 2014 at 9:06 pm

      *that we here are spoiled – we are not unappreciative, however*

      X 2

      Thanks, VC and Chips!

      • 87 vcprezofan2
        April 10, 2014 at 9:09 pm

        Hi, neighbour! Did you have your nap time today? Hopefully not during speech time?

        • 88 jacquelineoboomer
          April 10, 2014 at 9:26 pm

          Ha. Oh, yes, I watched the speech and cried through it! (Also got my nap, of course, so I can stay up until 1 am-ish – one of my guilty pleasures here in retirementland!)

          • 89 vcprezofan2
            April 10, 2014 at 9:32 pm

            I actually saw snippets of it at work, JO’B, and at the time I thought PBO seemed to be in a reflective, almost hurting, kind of place. I was quite moved. However, listening to it now in its entirety I didn’t have the same impression, so maybe I imagined it (to fill the holes for not being able to watch properly and fully?).

            • 90 jacquelineoboomer
              April 10, 2014 at 9:38 pm

              Perhaps. Although I think we’ll never really see his “reflective, almost hurting” feeling fully, he must go there inside. Love that man!

            • 91 SUE DUVALL SMITH
              April 10, 2014 at 9:53 pm

              I LISTENED TO PBO’S SPEECH TODAY,PROFOUND AND HEARTWARMING AND CERTAINLY GENEROUS WITH REGARD TO LBJ’S TERM IN OFFICE. HOWEVER, AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED…PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA WILL BE THE GREATEST EXAMPLE OF TRUE AND JUST LEADERSHIP IN THIS COUNTRY. EVER SINCE HE ENTERED THE OVAL OFFICE HE HAS HAD TO FIGHT WARS ON PENNSYLVANIA AVE. AND HE HAS DONE SO WITH COURAGE AND INTEGRITY. HE IS THE PRESIDENT WHO WILL NOT NEED A MUSEUM TO DEMONSTRATE OR CHARACTERIZE HIS STATURE…BECAUSE NOONE ELSE CAN WALK IN HIS SHOES.

          • 96 COS
            April 10, 2014 at 10:09 pm

            I feel ya Jacqueline. Nothing like retirement. :)

            • 97 jacquelineoboomer
              April 10, 2014 at 10:13 pm

              Of course, it took me 34 years in an office and 9 years telecommuting to get here, but luckily I enjoyed all that and LOVE where it got me! :)

    • 98 nathkatun7
      April 11, 2014 at 1:11 am

      Here is my resounding second to everything you said VC! I came home late, but I was so elated to be able to watch our President’s wonderful speech! A huge thank you to Ms. Chips!

  27. 99 Nena20409
    April 10, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    6.1 earthquake in Nicaragua.

  28. April 10, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    #CRUSHKOCHSTERS2014

    Yes We WILL

  29. 105 hopefruit2
    April 10, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    So Rachel Maddow is pushing the “Sebellius got fired” meme, facts be damned. Glad I stopped watching MSNBC years ago…

    • 106 amk for obama
      April 10, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      Yup, bbc too. Pathetic.

      • 107 hopefruit2
        April 10, 2014 at 9:58 pm

        The entire media had their talking points lined up…AJAM, BBC, etc…funny they skipped over the more recent ACA target enrollment in favor of the 6 month-old website. Funny we NEVER ever heard speculation from the media when previous HHS resigned – most of whom served no more than 4 years.

        Ronald Reagan’s first two out of his three HHS secretaries quit after only two years – and I’m sure there was no major media “story” associated with any of those events.

    • 109 Ladyhawke
      April 10, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      HF, you beat me to it. I was just going to post that Rachel Maddow was bellyaching about the ‘timing’ of Kathleen Sebeilus’ resignation. Apparently, in her mind, the administration is stepping on the good news from last week. smdh. Seriously, after five years of busting her arse to implement the ACA and enduring the disrespect of the GOP exactly when would be the appropriate time for her to resign? I basically find MSNBC unwatchable. I watch The Reid Report because I think Joy is the best political analyst on the network. I usually just watch Rachel in the evening. But Rachel is starting to get on my one last nerve with this nonsense.

    • April 10, 2014 at 9:57 pm
      • April 10, 2014 at 10:06 pm

        Ms Maddow is often not the #NEWSTAINER. When she flops into #NEWSTAINER mode she does only damage to her credibility. She’s still quite young. Maybe she’ll catch a clue. We should all certainly try to help her do so.

        • 112 jacquelineoboomer
          April 10, 2014 at 10:27 pm

          Not sure she’ll catch a clue, but guess there’s hope for everyone! Thanks for calling her out, Bob, when needed.

  30. 113 amk for obama
    April 10, 2014 at 10:01 pm
  31. April 10, 2014 at 10:08 pm
  32. 119 hopefruit2
    April 10, 2014 at 10:09 pm
    • 120 COS
      April 10, 2014 at 10:15 pm

      This is his opinion and he is trying to make other folks feel the same. I refuse to believe his swill.

    • April 10, 2014 at 10:22 pm
    • 122 jacquelineoboomer
      April 10, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      Good tweet! Added a little jab to it:

      • 123 vcprezofan2
        April 10, 2014 at 11:00 pm

        I clicked on google (re senate committee questioning Sebelius /ACA) and was saddened to see how many negatively toned articles [all] were listed. Each willing to destroy the last years of this woman’s career as HHS. Simply looking at their initial hype, if I hadn’t been around myself I would have been convinced that she was a hopeless incompetent. This is so not right! By the time they are done they will have rewritten Sebelius’ true history.

        • 124 jacquelineoboomer
          April 10, 2014 at 11:07 pm

          She will know. We will know. She’ll be in the history books.

          The others who wrote and talked about her will have their own careers go down in smoke. They’ll be left to sit at home, reading the history books. It’s just a matter of time. Good eventually wins out over evil.

    • 128 nathkatun7
      April 11, 2014 at 1:26 am

      WTF is David Nather? I am almost certain that he will never make it to the footnotes of history books; not even with an asterisk next to his name?

      • 129 hopefruit2
        April 11, 2014 at 7:52 am

        Indeed Nath. All of these media idiots who got where they are not because of their talents but because of who they know or sleep with, and because the demand for “pundiotry” became abnormally high since 2009, will find themselves without a job in 2017.

  33. 130 anniebella
    April 10, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    I thank Kathleen Sebelius for the wonderful job she has done.

    • 131 vcprezofan2
      April 10, 2014 at 10:53 pm
    • 132 nathkatun7
      April 11, 2014 at 1:32 am

      Me to Annibella! She was an excellent Governor and she has been an excellent Sec. of HHS! I personally think she deserves a rest after a job well done!

  34. 133 amk for obama
    April 10, 2014 at 10:17 pm
  35. 134 amk for obama
    April 10, 2014 at 10:27 pm
  36. 135 hopefruit2
    April 10, 2014 at 10:29 pm
  37. 137 amk for obama
    April 10, 2014 at 10:33 pm
  38. April 10, 2014 at 10:34 pm
  39. April 10, 2014 at 10:42 pm
  40. 141 carolyn
    April 10, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    President Obama’s speech was, as usual, cogent, to the point, and clear. He was particularly gracious to LBJ, I think, but this is the man we love.
    I worked in the Senate when LBJ was vice-president…..he was not loved, feared by many, but not loved.
    My husband asked me how he could wield such power when he was such an awful speaker (to my husband’s west coast ears, who did not like to hear Texan twang). I told him, and I still believe this is true: “He knew where the bodies were buried.” He held more over more people’s heads than anyone else ever had time to find out, and he NEVER forgot. He was the kind who got to you, before you got to him.
    I’m glad he was able to use this power for good.

  41. 142 HZ
    April 11, 2014 at 2:38 am

    Sec. Sebelius will write her own history for this nation. Those who will continue to try to put a stain of pure hatred around her will not be remembered for the goodness that they did for millions of people because of her work from day one. Sec., Sebelius used her expertise as a former Insurance Commissioner and Gov., gave hope and medical peace to so many. Those actions will out number any negative words by the so call, ‘no it all’ will end up looking like fools.

    I am most grateful that Sec. Kathleen Sebelius departed on her terms and on her time schedule. I am also most elated that President Obama made sure that her departure was also on their plan and not the RW nuts and so called no it all talking hears. Most of these people still have not figured out that they do not push POB one inch in his decisions. He is a man who listen, allow everyone to speak, and he makes his decisions.

    I am so please that Sec. Sebelius wrote her own script. RM can work the nerves. I use my time to entertain friends who are working with me to engage others in how we will work to further help POB with his agenda. RM does not know the thoughts of President Barack Obama. Her pushy talking does not control President Barack Obama. I do not like over bearing people with their know it all attitude. It gets us no place especially when there is an attitude of ungratefulness in the matter.

    May Sec. Sebelius get some rest, and relax with her husband and children. The stress of her hubby being on the Bench is enough to keep moving with an attitude of togetherness in love, compassion, and patience. She is a great person, and she has been there all the way with POB. I give thanks for all of her hard work.

    Good night TOD family, and thanks again, Chips and all of the great contributors who work so beautifully with our Chips to make this a great place to come to daily.HZ


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