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President Obama to Candidates: Boost Community, Hope, Optimism, Dynamism and Change

NPR’s Steve Inskeep wrapped up his year-end interview with President Barack Obama with a question about what the leader of the free world would ask the current Presidential candidates. The President’s response carries good advice not only for Presidential candidates but for anyone running for office (Legislative candidates, listen up!) and for all of us voting in 2016:

…what I can tell you I ask myself every single day is, how can I be useful in creating an America that is more tolerant, more prosperous, provides greater opportunity, is safer.

So I might just ask somebody, why do you want to do this? And I suppose they’d give a cliché answer because that’s what candidates do, but I will tell you as president, if you are interested just because you like the title or you like the trappings or you like the power or the fame or the celebrity, that side of it wears off pretty quick. At least it has for me.

And what sustains me, what lasts, what makes me happy, proud, frustrated sometimes, is the recognition that if you want this job then you really need to love this country and have a very clear vision and idea of what it is that you want to do to help make this country work even better.

I don’t think this country works best on fear. I don’t think this country works best on hate. I don’t think this country works best on cynicism. I think this country works best on community and hope and optimism and dynamism and change [President Barack Obama, interview with Steve Inskeep, “Watch President Obama Put a Question to the Candidates for His Job,” NPR, 2015.12.28].

Run for office in South Dakota to expand tolerance, prosperity, opportunity, and safety. Vote for leaders who speak not of fear and hate but of community, hope, optimism, dynamism, and change.

South Dakota neighbors, how well does that platform fit into your New Year wishes?


  1. Porter Lansing 2015-12-31 14:06

    How many times have we heard our President Obama derided for having lived in a Muslim country? That must be a part of his love for USA. I’m old. I remember when you could drink beer on the streets of Deadwood during the Days of 76, way before gambling. I remember how much the services cost at Pam’s Place above the Ranger Bar. I remember our house on the hill above the Silver Dollar in Central City. I remember logging red-tops for Whitewood Post and Pole. I don’t remember a President I’ve been so proud of.

  2. mike from iowa 2015-12-31 14:49

    Obama should’ve been in line for hazardous duty pay these past seven years. Seriously,I am amazed no one has shot him or shot at him with all the hate out there for him.

  3. Winston 2015-12-31 15:28

    Let me guess what Trump will say about his question…It will go something like this…..”That is the stupidest question I have ever heard. No wonder the Chinese and the Mexicans own us…. In December of 2023, my question for candidates in 2024 will be ‘What color are you going to paint the wall next? Hopefully, not taupe, there is too much taupe in our landscape as it is….We need less taupe….”

    Say Porter, the heck with the President (Although, seriously I am very proud to have him as our President), I want to know more about Pam’s Place…. Happy New Year everyone!!!!!!!

  4. Porter Lansing 2015-12-31 15:44

    This isn’t really the proper forum although I can say there were four doors on Main Street “. Yellow, Brown, Green and Purple. Pam’s was purple and the only one available if you had long hair. Apparently the Homestake miners, who were probably 95% of the business didn’t feel comfortable socializing with us hippies. Pam did buy Deadwood a fire engine, I remember.

  5. Porter Lansing 2015-12-31 15:47

    I believe I commented on this before and one of the angry, old, white males who stagnate here knew more. Whether it was personal knowledge or just urban legend you’ll have to decide.

  6. Porter Lansing 2015-12-31 15:49

    Was anyone here at the Red Willow concerts in the meadow near Nemo in the early 70’s?

  7. Winston 2015-12-31 15:54

    I wasn’t really expecting you to comment, but things for the history. Oh yah, by the way, was the fire engine yellow, brown, green, or purple? Or was it “red?”

  8. Porter Lansing 2015-12-31 15:59

    I’ve said enough. Save the stories for the next book, huh? I’ll bet it was a red fire truck, though.

  9. Roger Cornelius 2015-12-31 16:07

    President Obama is likely to go down in history as one of the most relevant presidents of modern times. and in large part thanks to the republicans and tea party.
    For a president to remain as the world’s Most Admired Man (Hillary is the Most Admired Woman) going into his final year is an achievement by itself.
    None of the bullshit and fears they said would happen if Obama was elected happened. From Orley Taitz birther scare to Obama is going to take you guns, all has proven childish and irrelevant
    The republicans will never acknowledge the long list of President Obama’s accomplishments, and that’s okay, history will overrule them.
    President Obama has endured one manufactured scandal after another, leaving republicans red faced and costing our democracy millions of dollars.

  10. bearcreekbat 2015-12-31 16:17

    Porter, I attended several of the Nemo concerts in the 70’s (never did get to Pam’s though). We used to camp under my cousin’s huge parachute, which we fashioned into a tent. Remember Single Jim (RIP) and Shep the wonder dog (macaw)? They put on the funniest shows and Jim was an awesome Mandolin player, probably the best in the Hills for many years. The Red Willow Band and the Dry Mustard Band were also great. And the piles of beer cans at the end of the concert were enormous. Climbing Twin Peaks while semi-intoxicated wasn’t my brightest idea, but it sure made for memories, as did the pretty nude hippie gals bathing in the creek.

    That said, I totally admire Obama’s goals and his efforts to reach those goals despite almost overwhelming Republican hatred and opposition. South Dakota Democrats should embrace Obama’s philosophy and celebrate his successes, making so much noise that our voters can’t miss it.

  11. Porter Lansing 2015-12-31 16:30

    I do remember the big parachute and the beer cans. Nice memories … only on New Year’s Eve, huh? PS … Pam’s days were about ten years earlier though, in the late 60’s. During the Days of 76 the cans would be nearly knee deep and the saloons never closed. The Hell’s Angels had a piece of land they camped on for a couple weeks until Sturgis started. Gambling ruined it all.

  12. Dave L. 2015-12-31 19:01

    I think the President needs to take his own advice. Both he an Republicans have done a horrible job of bringing people together. We have a do nothing congress under Republicans and an executive order only president, who doesn’t try to get congress to work together. You can’t expect legislators in this state or any other to look for optimism and hope when at the federal level both democrats and republicans are doing the opposite of creating that optimism and hope. Again I dislike the president and the republicans, they have all done a crappy job bringing this country together or frankly even trying, they have failed. In 2016 my hope is we can put aside the liberal and conservative tags on people and ideas and simply evaluate ideas on their merit to help all American people including the rich, middle class, poor and everyone in between, this is a country where everyone should be able to succeed!!! This will happen when we see unicorns, I get it, but our politicians in both parties are so bad I think they are draining American’s of hope and optimism. Hey politicians at every level, for 2016 pull your head out of your ass and listen to the people for a change! Happy 2016, thanks Corey for being an honest blogger who puts time in to your stories. I don’t agree with you all of the time and rarely ever comment, however you at least put effort into you posts and that’s appreciated..

  13. moses 2015-12-31 21:20

    Dark side,long gone any one who votes against medical care for people even have a conscience.

  14. Porter Lansing 2015-12-31 21:39

    Good one, Moses.

  15. Dana P 2015-12-31 23:01

    Here, here, Roger! Clink of the glass to you.

  16. Roger Cornelius 2015-12-31 23:52

    Thanks Dana, Cheers to you too.

  17. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-01-01 08:10

    Thank you, Dave, for being able to recognize honesty amidst disagreement! If we want to set the tags aside and focus on debating policy and promoting the general welfare, for whom do we vote?

  18. Porter Lansing 2016-01-01 09:09

    Right on, Dave L.

  19. mike from iowa 2016-01-01 09:14

    Obama has had to resort to executive actions to move this nation forward. He has had the most hostile/racist congress any Potus has faced in my lifetime. How many other bunches of traitorous opposition party congressvarmints openly defied their president and tried to derail his Iran Nuke deal? How many times have they threatened Obama with impeachment? How many times must leaders like Mitch McCTurtle say he wants to limit Obama to one term and prevent him from accomplishing anything as Potus before you fence sitters get tired of sore nuts and decide for yourselves that the problems lie with wingnuts,not Obama?

  20. bearcreekbat 2016-01-01 10:27

    I am with mfi on this one – blaming Obama for not getting along with the right is like blaming a victim of domestic violence with not getting along with her abuser.

  21. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-01-01 10:55

    Roger, I agree—we will likely be fighting a battle with crank-conservative revisionist historians—will we call them “Obama deniers,” just like Holocaust deniers?—who will try to make President Barack Obama’s two terms sound like an assault on freedom and prosperity.

  22. leslie 2016-01-01 12:08

    dave- “executive order president ” is off by a mile. it is the republicans who are DEEPLY at fault. you have to read a lot of news to understand this. Obama is the best thing, at the right time, that could have happened to us and the world. The right leader at the right time.

    Our children will thank us eventually. that he was elected by the majority of voters is amazing; that such a fractious system (as you correctly point out) could produce a right result. we know however that the system produced a “george bush”, a severely under-achieving president two terms before, so it is clear we are on a VERY steep precipice. thank you for commenting.

  23. jerry 2016-01-02 11:26

    The Bibi Netanyahoo way is what President Obama should do in dealing with congress. bribe them. It is now reported that during the Iran vote that our own bought and paid for Congress, was tainted by bribes from Israel. Talk about treason, what more proof do we need to show that these people are not representing us, but are only looking out for their big pockets. Someone should ask our congress critters how much of a Christmas bonus early did they get for being so dickish. Here is what they asked the bums. “A U.S. intelligence official familiar with the intercepts said Israel’s pitch to undecided lawmakers often included such questions as: “How can we get your vote? What’s it going to take?”

  24. Leslie 2016-01-03 13:38

    The depth of obama bashing by the right in office in the state, need only be briefly reviewed in frmr rep. Hickey’s 12.06.15 blog exchange on Dave newquist’s Beacon
    , still dissing his U Chi Constl law position.

    Frightful detachment.

  25. Roger Cornelius 2016-01-03 16:14


    Hickey has been using hateful memes about President Obama for weeks on Facebook.
    Just another example of how the Christian right behaves

  26. jerry 2016-01-03 17:34

    Perhaps Hickey knows that he is just a couple of steps from indictment on voter fraud and wants to make sure his bases are covered on who to blame, you know, the Christian way.

  27. larry kurtz 2016-01-03 20:29

    President Obama: rewild the West.

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