November 27th, 2008
11:28 AM ET
5 months ago

Obama: 'a new and brighter day is yet to come'

President-elect Obama notes in his latest weekly address that the Thanksgiving holiday was established by President Abraham Lincoln during a time of great division and turmoil in the country.
President-elect Obama notes in his latest weekly address that the Thanksgiving holiday was established by President Abraham Lincoln during a time of great division and turmoil in the country.

(CNN) – As the nation enters the traditional holiday shopping season in the midst of a financial crisis and is reminded of its own potential vulnerability by the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, President-elect Barack Obama called on Americans to come together for the sake of the country’s future.

Watch: Obama reflects on the meaning of Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving “takes place at a time of great trial for our people,” Obama says in his weekly Saturday radio address which his transition team released Thursday morning.

Listen: Obama's weekly radio address

“Across the country, there were empty seats at the table, as brave Americans continue to serve in harm’s way from the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq s. “At home, we have an economic crisis of historic proportions,” he says.

“But this Thanksgiving, we are reminded that the renewal of our economy won’t come from policies and plans alone – it will take the hard work, innovation, service, and strength of the American people,” Obama says.

“So this weekend – with one heart, and one voice, the American people can give thanks that a new and brighter day is yet to come.”

Obama will spend Thanksgiving in Chicago with his wife and daughters, according to his transition team, and Vice President-elect Joe Biden will spend the holiday in Nantucket, Massachusetts with family.

(full text of Obama’s weekly address after the jump)

Full text of President-Elect Barack Obama’s weekly radio address for Nov. 29, 2008:

Good morning.

Nearly 150 years ago, in one of the darkest years of our nation’s history, President Abraham Lincoln set aside the last Thursday in November as a day of Thanksgiving. America was split by Civil War. But Lincoln said in his first Thanksgiving decree that difficult times made it even more appropriate for our blessings to be – and I quote – “gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American people.”

This week, the American people came together with families and friends to carry on this distinctly American tradition. We gave thanks for loved ones and for our lasting pride in our communities and our country. We took comfort in good memories while looking forward to the promise of change.

But this Thanksgiving also takes place at a time of great trial for our people.

Across the country, there were empty seats at the table, as brave Americans continue to serve in harm’s way from the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq. We honor and give thanks for their sacrifice, and stand by the families who endure their absence with such dignity and resolve.

At home, we face an economic crisis of historic proportions. More and more Americans are worried about losing a job or making their mortgage payment. Workers are wondering if next month’s paycheck will pay next month’s bills. Retirees are watching their savings disappear, and students are struggling with the cost of tuition.

It’s going to take bold and immediate action to confront this crisis. That’s why I’m committed to forging a new beginning from the moment I take office as President of the United States. Earlier this week, I announced my economic team. This talented and dedicated group is already hard at work crafting an Economic Recovery Plan that will create or save 2.5 million new jobs, while making the investments we need to fuel long-term economic growth and stability.

But this Thanksgiving, we are reminded that the renewal of our economy won’t come from policies and plans alone – it will take the hard work, innovation, service, and strength of the American people.

I have seen this strength firsthand over many months – in workers who are ready to power new industries, and farmers and scientists who can tap new sources of energy; in teachers who stay late after school, and parents who put in that extra hour reading to their kids; in young Americans enlisting in a time of war, seniors who volunteer their time, and service programs that bring hope to the hopeless.

It is a testament to our national character that so many Americans took time out this Thanksgiving to help feed the hungry and care for the needy. On Wednesday, I visited a food bank at Saint Columbanus Parish in Chicago. There – as in so many communities across America – folks pitched in time and resources to give a lift to their neighbors in need. It is this spirit that binds us together as one American family – the belief that we rise and fall as one people; that we want that American Dream not just for ourselves, but for each other.

That’s the spirit we must summon as we make a new beginning for our nation. Times are tough. There are difficult months ahead. But we can renew our nation the same way that we have in the many years since Lincoln’s first Thanksgiving: by coming together to overcome adversity; by reaching for – and working for – new horizons of opportunity for all Americans.

So this weekend – with one heart, and one voice, the American people can give thanks that a new and brighter day is yet to come.

soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. cool onlooker

    A new Lincoln is born!

    I really appreciate Obama's optimism, and this is exactly the spirit that has led him to the path of White House. Like the hours before sunbreak, there is darkness. Definitely there will be a bounce to upbeat the economy in America.

    In Hope we trust.

    November 27, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. Dana (Maryland)

    AMEN.

    November 27, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Deborah

    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! May your day be one to reflect on all that is positive in your life. As I head out to join four generations of my family for Thanksgiving, I know mine will be.

    November 27, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Texas Latina

    And a good Thanksgiving to you, too, President-elect Obama. The thinking nation is particularly thankfor for your infusion of new leadership. May all your efforts bear fruit.

    November 27, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  5. vicki

    Very well said, Barack. Wishing you very Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving.

    November 27, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. Patty, SoCal

    Were all the typos on purpose to make him look a little less cerebral and a lot more like bush?

    November 27, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. FAYE, NV

    Wishing you and your family, President elect Obama a Happy Thanksgiving Day. My prayer are send out for those people Mumbai.

    To you CNN Happy Thanksgiving.

    November 27, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. Somebody Save Us

    At some point the President Elect Obama is going to have to realize that actions speak louder than words.
    The motivational articulate speeches got Obama elected, now lets see if he can deliver on his promises and back up what he preaches.

    So far Obama has not past the test, he promised the American people change and then picks a cabinet full of Washington insiders and people who served under the Clinton Administration. Is this the "Change We Can Believe In"?

    For the Countrys sake, I hope not.

    November 27, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. Ray Fisher

    Because of President Obama, America now has hope even though his tasks will be difficult. By simply being open to suggestions from others and entertaining ideas, he has lightened the load upon all Americans. While not intending to place more pressure upon his shoulders he has given Americans a reason to forge ahead and adopt the Never Quit mantra. No adminitration can be expected to be perfect and the only adminstrations which come close to perfect are the ones which never accomplish anything. I think President Obama will be great for America because he is willing to try which is the first step to change!!!

    November 27, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. Not even president yet

    He is saying "our people" rather than the American People!!! how dare he.

    November 27, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. A Really Conservative Realist

    BO is most thankful for...

    1. Lazy folks who voted for the "Handout" candidate,
    2. the blind faith of uninformed college students and coffee-shoppers,
    3. the fact that black people voted color,
    4. the fact that most (not all) liberals are intilectually incapable of thinking outside the context of themselves (think abortion),
    5. and most of all.... George Bush.

    November 27, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. ken

    "... the American people can give thanks that a new and brighter day is yet to come.”

    Are we supposed to give thanks to him?

    November 27, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  13. Betsy

    Finally, someone who asks of us more than just to spend money.

    November 27, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  14. chuck

    President Elect Obama is reflecting the meaning of Thanksgiving while President Inept George Bush is trying to find out the meaning of Thanksgiving.

    November 27, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. Ravi

    Thank you President-elect Obama! You have filled so many of us with a new sense of hope and joy. There's no doubt in my mind that you're going to be a terrific president, especially with President Lincoln serving as an inspiration to you.

    November 27, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. carol

    This man shows more and more every day what a great President he will make....he is right, we do have a brighter future ahead....it won't be easy and it won't be quick but I do feel more confidence knowing that we will have a new President in the New Year.
    God Bless him and his family and Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    November 27, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Observer north of the 49th

    All the best on your Thankgiving day from your neighbors to the North, it appears that you have an outstanding leader to move your nation ahead through these difficult times.

    November 27, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Coherent1

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, as well as, to the American People. We will overcome our current adversities!! Happy Thanksgiving to all and let's get ready to rumble!!!!

    November 27, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. virginia for obama

    Thank You! President Elect Obama. America wishes you and Vice President Elect Biden a Happy Thanksgiving.

    P.S. I also would like to wish ALL the bloggers good or bad ones a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

    November 27, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  20. Linda

    Yes, a new day has come.
    We wish you God's Speed.
    This republican and her family was proud to vote for you.

    November 27, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. Watermann

    How can so many dumb people not recognize this honest man, his dignity and his authentic way of life? Is our world that full of cynicism, hate and selfishness? God bless all of us and may he protect the life of your President-elect Barack Obama and his family.

    November 27, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  22. Sue

    Were Obama a Bible believing Christian, as he has said he is, he would know that the days ahead are not brighter, and Obama cannot change the course of the world as God has already told us it is going to be. Obama and his Marxist ideals is setting the stage for the end of the USA as it has always stood proud in this world. We are on the verge of destruction from American moral decay and also for international terrorism because we have stood as a nation with Israel.
    Thanks be to Almighty God for our blessings as we know them today, and Obama had nothing to do with these blessings.

    November 27, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  23. Gisele from NY

    Thank you, President-Elect Obama for giving us hope and great leadership.

    November 27, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  24. KLEE

    we all need each other – for balance if nothing else...do well in your beliefs but above all do not hate!

    November 27, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  25. Dale

    I have been paying attention to the appointments and speeches made by the president-elect and i continue to be impressed. Not only with the intelligence and diversity of the appointments, but in his direct and honest approach about the difficulties that face us and how we can look for brighter days ahead. This speech is another such example and it gives me hope for the future of our country...

    November 27, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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