The Audacity of Hope

With 12 days left before the American election, I thought I would share my insights into this powerful book.   In 2004 when John Kerry and John Edwards was running on the Democratic ticket, a young Illinois Senator was asked to give the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention that year.  If you want to be moved, go to and watch the 17 minute address.  The Audacity of Hope was the title of that speech, and went on to become the title of his second book, which became a best seller on the New York Times non-fiction list.

I would like to take an excerpt from that speech, which I believe gives us all reason to dream and hope.

I’m not talking about blind optimism here — the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don’t talk about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. No, I’m talking about something more substantial. It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker’s son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too. Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!”

A man who is says he is inspired by the people he meets on his travels, Barack Obama talks about many of the topics that have become instrumental in his run for the United States Presidency. 

If you look up the word ‘Audacity’ in the dictionary, it is defined as “fearless, daring, and a bold heedlessness of restraints”.  Isn’t that synonymous with the man running for the position of Commander in Chief of the United States?   The Audacity of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes he has a place in America.  The Audacity of a man born of a Kenyan Father and a Kansas Mother to believe he could be President of the United States… the Audacity of Hope!  Isn’t that what dreams are made of…  To teach our children that they can be anything they want to be if they work hard and believe!

A great book about change, from what I believe is a great man who inspires change.  The Audacity of Hope is a must read.


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