"My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or blessed, believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success."
"Half the time I feel like I'm appealing to the downer freaks out there. We start to play one downer record after another until I begin to get down myself. Give me something from 1960 or something let me get up again. The music of today is for downer freaks, and I'm an upper."
"You're not human if you don't feel fear. But I've learnt to treat fear as an emotion that sharpens me. It's there to give me that edge for what I have to do."
"I went nearly 30 years without being able to really seriously entertain marriage or a family. In fact, the word 'marriage' would actually give me a shake when it was brought up."
"This may sound funny, but as much as the 'Today' show matured me, it also was something of a cocoon. I'd been happy there. I never went into the boss's office and pounded my fist on the desk, saying, 'Give me more money! Give me a prime-time show!'"
"As a novelist, I tell stories and people give me money. Then financial planners tell me stories and I give them money."
"Patrick Henry did not say, 'Give me absolutely safety or give me death.' America is supposed to be about freedom."
"The reason why I'm here today is to explain why I am running and what I will do if you give me the honor and the privilege of representing you in the United States Senate. Now I'm running for the United State Senate for a simple reason, and that is...I want to win a Nobel Peace prize."
"Stories have always been the things that entertain me and make me feel happy and sad and move me and give me the experience of being able to live many lives in one lifetime. It's the best thing about being alive."
"God's mercy and grace give me hope - for myself, and for our world."