"I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness - a certain audacity - to this announcement," the freshman U.S. senator said. "I know I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change." - Obama, Feb. 11, 2007
"I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on the job training." - Joe Biden, current running mate for Obama, - stated during a 2007 Democratic debate. [VIDEO]
Previous quotes from Obama on running for president:
- "Pshaw, You know, hooey." - Jul 27, 2004
- "That's way premature. I'm a lowly state senator trying to get to the U.S. Senate." - Sept 29, 2004
- "I am not running for president. I am not running for president in four years. I am not running for president in 2008." - Nov. 3, 2004 "I will serve out my six-year term. You know, Tim, if you get asked enough, sooner or later you get weary and you start looking for new ways of saying things. But my thinking has not changed. I will not. [run for president in 2008] - Nov., 2004 on "Meet the Press"
- "Ridiculous" - Dec. 6, 2004
- "I will not be running for president in '08" - Jan.3, 2005
- "People have asked me this, and I'm sincere when I say it's not on my radar screen." - Jan. 19, 2005
- "It's not something that I'm focused on right now, but it's not something that I would foreclose in the future." - Dec., 2005
- "My attitude about something like the presidency is that you don't want to just be president. You want to change the country. You want to make a unique contribution. You want to be a great president." - Aug, 2006
- "The day after my election to the United States Senate, somebody asked me, am I running in 2008. I said at that time: 'No.' And nothing so far has changed my mind." - Aug., 26, 2006
- "But it's fair to say you're thinking about running for president in 2008?" "It's fair, yes." "I would say that I am still at the point where I have not made a decision to, to pursue higher office, but it is true that I have thought about it over the last several months."- Oct., 2006 on Meet the Press.
- "When the election is over and my book tour is done, I will think about how I can be most useful to the country and how I can reconcile that with being a good dad and a good husband. I haven't completely decided or unraveled that puzzle yet." - Oct., 2006
- "I don't want to be coy about this. Given the responses that I've been getting over the last several months, I have thought about the possibility." - Oct. 26, 2006
- "I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness - a certain audacity - to this announcement," the freshman U.S. senator said. "I know I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change." - Feb. 11, 2007
- "My wife and I were talking the other day, and she said we're not doing this again." [In reference to if he doesn't win the 2008 election.] - Dec. 28, 2007
In a Nov. 4, 2004 Chicago Sun-Times article, Obama was quoted as saying:
"I was elected yesterday," Obama said. "I have never set foot in the U.S. Senate. I've never worked in Washington. And the notion that somehow I'm immediately going to start running for higher office just doesn't make sense.
"So look, I can unequivocally say I will not be running for national office in four years, and my entire focus is making sure that I'm the best possible senator on behalf of the people of Illinois."
"My understanding is that I will be ranked 99th in seniority. ... I'm going to be spending the first several months of my career in the U.S. Senate looking for the washroom and trying to figure out how the phones work."
... and his own plans to establish "a top-flight constituent service office" and travel the state to thank and listen to Democrats and Republicans alike to devise "concrete ways" to improve jobs, education and health care in Illinois.
"And that's my complete and total focus during this new adventure that I'm walking into," he said.
"It's important for me to show the voters of Illinois the degree to which I am concerned with the people of Illinois, because I think that the hype that's surrounded my campaign during this last phase needs to be corrected," he said. "People need to recognize that the job I've applied for and that they have hired me for is to be the best U.S. senator possible for the state of Illinois."
"I am not running for president in 2008," Obama said. "I mean, come on guys. The only reason I'm being definitive is because until I'm definitive you will keep asking me this question, but it's a silly question."
"I am not running for president. I am not running for president in four years. I am not running for president in 2008." - Barack Obama, Nov. 3, 2004, (Chicago Tribune, February 15, 2006)
Let's take a look at a few of the comments that were left on that page, over two years ago.
- "OH NO!!! I consider this man's actions and voting to be near criminal. I can hardly tolerate that the people of this state appreciate him and wonder what happened to this state." - Ricky
- "Obama is just not ripe enough. Two years on the Senate floor is not enough national exposure. ..." - Elbow Roomer
- "While I am an avid supporter of Senator Obama I think 2008 is too early. I think his position of serving at least one full term as Senator is wise not only in appearance but in practice." - Chris
- "I don't think Obama is ready, and is probably too liberal to woo moderate Republicans. He should run for VP instead." - AJP
- "How is Mr. Obama even remotely qualified to be President? What experience does he have other than several unremarkable years as a first-term Senator? He has not run a state as a governor, nor has he run so much as a hot dog stand as a businessman. His only talents, as far as I can tell, is that he is a black man who speaks like a white man while he parrots the party line and looks good in a suit. ... " - Red Stater
- "I hope he runs, but not in 2008. It's too soon." - jlp
- "I'm a Republican, but from what I've seen of Obama so far, I think he might make a fine President. However, I do think he needs to serve out at least one full term as Senator, get some political experience under his belt and do as much as he can for our State." - Rebecca
- "Come on people be for real. Bush has 8 years experience as Governor of the second largest state. I'm not here saying he's a great President, but the idiots saying Obama has similar experience are rediculous." - Stewart
- "Obama's far too short to blow his political keg so quickly. He'll be 54 in 2016, and I think that will be the first time he runs for president. Personally, I'd love to see him run for Illinois governor in 2010. - Jim
- "He's way too liberal to have a chance at winning. I'm amused at the people who don't think he is liberal, what show are they watching?" - Joe
From a Feb. 11, 2007 Chicago Sun-Times article:
"I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness - a certain audacity - to this announcement," the freshman U.S. senator said. "I know I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change."
He provided no details, but Obama offered to try to solve nearly every problem vexing the nation - ending poverty, capping climate-changing greenhouse gases, extending healthcare in his first term, making college more affordable, providing comfortable retirement for workers, reducing dependence on foreign oil and combating terrorism.
"But all of this cannot come to pass until we bring an end to this war in Iraq," he said. "America, it's time to start bringing our troops home."