Obama: Hope Possible by Training a ‘Million Baracks and Michelles’

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: Former U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama participate in the unveiling of their official portraits during a ceremony at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, on February 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. The portraits were commissioned by the Gallery, for Kehinde Wiley to …
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Former President Barack Obama said Monday that hope is possible for the future if the next generation of leaders is modeled after himself and former first lady Michelle Obama.

Speaking at the Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, Canada, Obama detailed plans for creating a “university for social change” aimed at developing the skills of young people from around the world who harbor cynicism towards “old institutions.”

“If we train them — if we give them skills, support, financing, media training, spotlights, then they’re the ones that are going to carry forward the solutions that we so desperately need,” the former president said, according to the Washington Examiner.

“If we could form a network of those young leaders, not just in the United States, but around the world, then we got something,” he continued before adding, “if we can train a million Baracks and Michelles who are running around thinking they can change the world,” hope is attainable.

The call to action reportedly garnered loud applause from the audience.

Obama knocked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) during his remarks about the importance of political participation to usher in societal change.

“If citizens participate, then that’s how change happens,” the 44th president began. “If they do not, then this isn’t going to be solved because suddenly — to take a U.S. example, Mitch McConnell suddenly comes to his senses and says, ‘You know what, I feel bad about not cooperating with Barack because, actually, he was pretty reasonable.”

“The Affordable Care Act wasn’t a particularly radical proposition. It was just providing people healthcare using the existing market-based system,'” he added.

Obama is presently making several stops in Canada, and is speaking at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, on Tuesday afternoon. He is scheduled to visit Vancouver Tuesday evening.


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