Obama hopes Thanksgiving spirit can ease partisan gridlock
November 24th, 2011
09:35 AM ET

Obama hopes Thanksgiving spirit can ease partisan gridlock

Wishing Americans a Happy Thanksgiving, President Obama said he hopes Democrats and Republicans will carry forward the spirit of the holiday when they return to Washington:

With all the partisanship and gridlock here in Washington, it’s easy to wonder if such unity is really possible. But think about what’s happening at this very moment: Americans from all walks of life are coming together as one people, grateful for the blessings of family, community, and country.

If we keep that spirit alive, if we support each other, and look out for each other, and remember that we’re all in this together, then I know that we too will overcome the challenges of our time.

The comments were part of the presidents weekly radio address. Full Transcript below.

From my family to yours, I’d like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Like millions of Americans, Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I will spend the day eating great food, watching a little football, and reflecting on how truly lucky we truly are.

As Americans, each of us has our own list of things and people to be thankful for. But there are some blessings we all share.

We’re especially grateful for the men and women who defend our country overseas. To all the service members eating Thanksgiving dinner far from your families: the American people are thinking of you today. And when you come home, we intend to make sure that we serve you as well as you’re serving America.

We’re also grateful for the Americans who are taking time out of their holiday to serve in soup kitchens and shelters, making sure their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay. This sense of mutual responsibility – the idea that I am my brother’s keeper; that I am my sister’s keeper – has always been a part of what makes our country special. And it’s one of the reasons the Thanksgiving tradition has endured.

The very first Thanksgiving was a celebration of community during a time of great hardship, and we have followed that example ever since. Even when the fate of our union was far from certain – during a Civil War, two World Wars, a Great Depression – Americans drew strength from each other. They had faith that tomorrow would be better than today.

We’re grateful that they did. As we gather around the table, we pause to remember the pilgrims, pioneers, and patriots who helped make this country what it is. They faced impossible odds, and yet somehow, they persevered. Today, it’s our turn.

I know that for many of you, this Thanksgiving is more difficult than most. But no matter how tough things are right now, we still give thanks for that most American of blessings, the chance to determine our own destiny. The problems we face didn’t develop overnight, and we won’t solve them overnight. But we will solve them. All it takes is for each of us to do our part.

With all the partisanship and gridlock here in Washington, it’s easy to wonder if such unity is really possible. But think about what’s happening at this very moment: Americans from all walks of life are coming together as one people, grateful for the blessings of family, community, and country.

If we keep that spirit alive, if we support each other, and look out for each other, and remember that we’re all in this together, then I know that we too will overcome the challenges of our time.

So today, I’m thankful to serve as your President and Commander-and-Chief. I’m thankful that my daughters get to grow up in this great country of ours. And I’m thankful for the chance to do my part, as together, we make tomorrow better than today.

Thanks, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Topics: The News

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. rla

    Maybe he and the democrats will get over their pompous attitude and stop trying to shove the most unrealistic presidency ever down our throuts! 15 trillion and counting and he doesn't think we have a spending problem. Oh that's right his only problem is getting reelected!

    November 24, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • jim in tx

      how can you be so stupid as to blame the president for the total debt. The real problem is that your republicans have all taken a stupid pledge not to raise taxes and they are trapped into following along or else.

      November 28, 2011 at 9:43 pm |
  2. Howard

    obama showed the occupiers that you don't have to achieve anything to get ahead .. you could just show up to vote present 127 times, and still get the Nobel Prize ... what a great example ... Now, the least productive members of our society are DEMANDING a redistribution of other people's hard earned income.

    November 24, 2011 at 11:28 am |
    • GaboonViper67

      Indeed, the "audacity of hope" for a free ride, for Obama to pay your rent. Let's just all join hands, sing Kumbaya and do what ever Obama says in the name of the spirit of Thanksgiving. I think Obama's confusing Thanksgiving with the Socialist theology's Holiday of Thanksgetting; as in getting something for nothing.

      November 24, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • GaboonViper67

      Let's just all join hands, sing Kumbaya and do what ever Obama says in the name of the spirit of Thanksgiving. I think Obama's confusing Thanksgiving with the Socialist theology's Holiday of Thanksgetting; as in getting something for nothing.

      November 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  3. jerry

    this president (I use the word loosely) has done more to create gridlock than any other president in the history of this country. This is evidenced by the democrats he put on the 12 member debt committee...5 were far leftist and one a moderate...the GOPers were three moderates and three far right...we have got to get rid of this fraud (obama) noobama 2012!

    November 24, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Obama has to lead the country out of shameand blame not into it

      November 25, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  4. Joey

    Obama is thankful for Bill Ayers, Rev Wright, Frank Marshall Davis, Tony Rezko and Karl Marx. Who knows, Michelle "may" even be proud of her country today.

    November 24, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Don't forget Maxine Waters, The Reverend Jackson, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi... what a list of "feel Good" politicians

      November 25, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  5. george of the jungle

    again a bunch of idiots wrote in.Thats ok . we just skip past your dumb remarks. Happy thanksgiving to everyone. best wishes to the Obama family. Two great kids. And classy parents.

    November 24, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Georgette of The Jungle

      Add one more idiot to the list, YOU!

      November 24, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  6. duce

    Happy Thanksgiving to those that are unemployed, homeless because of foreclosure and those on food stamps. Obama hasn't helped you at all but maybe the next president will.

    November 24, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
  7. Free Man in Texas

    END GRIDLOCK:
    Make OBAMA KING and establish Socialism forever in America

    November 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  8. GaboonViper67

    Thank you for putting Tony Rezko, Obama's old friend, in jail. We know Obama will pardon him before his sentence is over, but that will come as no surprise, after all that crook did to help fund the election of the most anti-American President in the history of the United States.

    November 24, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
  9. truindep

    one minute Obama blames the repubs the next his calling for an end to partisian bickering , Mr. pres say what you mean , but mean what you say

    November 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      It has to START with him.... I don't believe he is capable

      November 25, 2011 at 11:43 am |
  10. arale norimaki

    Thanksgiving means family and togetherness. Thanksgiving came about when the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. The Indians greeted them, provided them shelter, taught them how to grow corn and how to prepare for the winter, and went on to cook one of the greatest meals the pilgrims ever ate. And in their appreciation for showing them how to prosper and survive in this brave new world, the pilgrims killed the Indians and created a holiday in their honor. So, on this Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for my family, my friends, but most importantly, I'm thankful that I'm not a Native American

    November 24, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Georgette of The Jungle

      Actually it was Lincoln that designated Thanksgiving a holiday. Read some history lefty.

      November 24, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
      • jean2009

        I think you probably should do a little more research.

        Although President Lincoln gave the proclamation for Thanksgiving, and after that it became an annual custom, that was not the first and only celebration of a day of Thanksgiving. George Washington proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving in 1789. Franklin Roosevelt actually set the current date up a week to the 3rd Thursday, in November, instead of the last Thursday....so as to create a longer Christmas shopping season. It took a 40 year campaign of magazine articles and letters, to many governors and presidents for Sarah Josepha Hale to achieve our country having a national day of Thanksgiving.

        Take it from this lefty.
        Obama-Biden 2012!

        I would suggest reading:The Thanksgiving Story @http://willstar.com/holidays/thankstr.html

        November 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
      • Trace

        Wow...we all feel better now.... hearing history factoids from a member of a party whose entire ideology is based upon misrepresenting the facts, or out right lying. I feel better...how about everybody else? LOL

        November 26, 2011 at 11:53 am |
      • Trace

        Funny you Repub-Tea Pee Pants a Tards, can remember a century old enactment of a holiday, but can't remember in 2008 this country nearly went into a 2nd depression behind the leadership of Dubya and Cheney.....rather you people blame Obama for all of it.

        Its just incredulous for us intelligent people to even imagine you GOP/Tea-turd types finished a critical thinking course, or even high school for that matter.

        November 26, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Joey

      Thanksgiving was made a national holiday by President Lincoln, so you're about 100 years off. The pilgrim stuff was added way later. I am thankful we don't depend on you for history lessons.

      November 24, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
      • Trace

        @joey,

        Does anyone see the stupidity of this post but me? "....the pilgrims were added later"??? really? What did we use the Delorean (SIC) from back to the future to "add the pilgrims" to the plymouth rock story?

        We are talking revisionist history , courtesy GOP/Tea peeps at its most innane.

        Maybe we can blame Obama for the fact the unemployment rate was about 80% right?

        November 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
  11. m

    Get over the "hope" thing Barry. Hoping just isn't going to cut it.

    November 24, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  12. m

    I am thankful for being rich, avoiding my share of taxes and having the ability to look down on the rest of you swine. Happy Thanksgiving losers.

    November 24, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  13. Karl Marx

    I am thankful for the guy in the white house. Power to the people!! Workers of the world unite!!

    November 24, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Then your "handle" is most appropriate

      November 25, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  14. george of the jungle

    what rymes with repo a-hole

    November 25, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  15. Bill in STL

    Then ir STARTS with you Mr. President. Stop rejecting out of hand any ideas that are not your own.

    November 25, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Trace

      @Bill in STL,

      Ok, we can identify the brain dead among us...That would be you.

      Most lefties are complaining that Obama is using too many formally Republican policy ideas. There are really are too many instances he's done this to name. But, Alot of Obama's policies are Republican ideas! The Republicans only started rejecting their own ideas, when Obama said these were good ideas. GO FIGURE!

      Are you that vapid, you've never heard that? You sir need to read a little something every now and then, instead of sitting your fat bottom infront of the tv watching Sean Hannity give you bumper sticker slogans.

      November 26, 2011 at 11:49 am |
      • Bill in STL

        AND you sir need to grow that one thing that is in short supply in this country. A Brain! You constantly rant rave and reject any comments or ideas other than your own. YOU are just like our beloved president..... So sold on your own ideas that no others can exists. How sad that only1 idea at a time can exist for you and your president. How sad that you are so single minded that you will pass up the entire loaf for a few crumbs.

        November 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  16. jean2009

    Obama-Biden 2012

    November 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  17. Liz Carter in Georgia

    @Georgette of The Jungle...so what are you saying? Lincoln may have designated or set aside the day but @arale norimaki was describing the essence of Thanksgiving and its origin! Are you trying to say he/she is wrong? If you are...you need to read or re-read your history RGHTY!

    November 26, 2011 at 12:44 am |
  18. Trace

    It is so disappointing these mush minds from the GOP cabal (i.e. trolls), continually push the idea that they have any answers to the problems this nation is facing. Rather, We are continually bombarded with the bumper sticker criticisms of the president.

    When will we see intelligent , thoughtful, realistic posts from these people? Ok...that's asking way too much

    November 26, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      as soon as you stop assuming you are the only person with any valid ideas... But that would mean you would have to accept the possibility that others may be right ( as in correct). You certainly seem to be a legend in your own mind when i comes to politics. You also seem to thinkthat all people should feel the same way you do .... for a member of the diverse party you seem to be extremely limited in the scope of your thoughts.

      November 26, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  19. Liz Carter in Georgia

    You go Trace...that's telling them. I agree...but again, do you see how hard it is NOT to address these braindead conservative trolls who have literally and obviously turned their heads away from the truth and closed their eyes to reasonableness, to the detriment of us ALL, just to disgrace, degrade, and denounce OBAMA and his work as an 'elected' President of the United States?!? THEY'RE THE WORST! It's just flabbergasting and unreal! If I'd been told we'd be here 15 years ago, I'd have called them a liar!

    November 26, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      No liz.... sorry... but you are wrong. My intention has always been to speak my mind about policies that offend me ... not the person....Unlike you who insist that it is alll personal. I think maybe that you are sticking your nose in to where it does not belong..... The president is a grown man with a family and he probably does not need a nursemaid ... You seem to thnk he does though....

      November 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  20. Bill in STL

    Trace's lament

    When will we see intelligent , thoughtful, realistic posts from these people?

    Trace's Words

    Funny you Repub-Tea Pee Pants a Tards,
    you GOP/Tea-turd types

    A Shinning example of liberal intellegent thoughts,,,,

    November 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm |