barack obama
U.S. President Barack Obama smiles while the audience sings "Happy Birthday" to him before he speaks about home ownership at Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Arizona August 6, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing

It is Barack Obama’s second to last birthday as POTUS and as he turns 54 today, the nation celebrates him. Obama has been very clear on how he misses anonymity (which we don’t think will ever come back) but we certainly hope he gets the low-key celebration he would love. As for us, we put together some of the most brilliant quotes he’s stated over the last 7 years of his US leadership. The Hawaii native is well known for his eloquence and cool attitude at all times, and for being what Sean Penn described as “a man of elegance.” Many of his sayings will no-doubt transcend in history, so check out some of our favorites!

  1. “You can’t let your failures define you. You have to let your failures teach you.”
  2. “While we breathe, we will hope.”
  3. “I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting."
  4. “Why can't I just eat my waffle?”
  5. “You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig.”
  6. “Our stories may be singular, but our destination is shared.”
  7. “Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. And it will leave you unfulfilled.”
  8. “Americans still believe in an America where anything's possible - they just don't think their leaders do.”
  9. “No, you can't deny women their basic rights and pretend it's about your 'religious freedom'. If you don't like birth control, don't use it. Religious freedom doesn't mean you can force others to live by your own beliefs.”
  10. “It’s important to make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.”
  11. “Even when folks are hitting you over the head, you can't stop marching. Even when they're turning the hoses on you, you can't stop.”
  12. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
  13. “A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”
  14. “Nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.”
  15. “We don't ask you to believe in our ability to bring change, rather, we ask you to believe in yours.”
  16. “If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress.”
  17. “We are the change we have been waiting for.”
  18. “The future rewards those who press on. I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. I don't have time to complain. I'm going to press on.”
  19. “We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.”
  20. “A good compromise, a good piece of legislation, is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, 'Huh. It works. It makes sense.’”
  21. “I'm inspired by the love people have for their children. And I'm inspired by my own children, how full they make my heart. They make me want to work to make the world a little bit better. And they make me want to be a better man.”
  22. “Any fool can have a child. That doesn’t make you a father. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.”
  23. “I just want to go through Central Park and watch folks passing by. Spend the whole day watching people. I miss that.”
  24. “I will do everything that I can as long as I am President of the United States to remind the American people that we are one nation under God, and we may call that God different names but we remain one nation.”
  25. “My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too.”

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