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Barack Obama On Dads: "We Need Fathers To Step Up"

07/20/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

In many ways, I came to understand the importance of fatherhood through its absence--both in my life and in the lives of others. I came to understand that the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill. We can do everything possible to provide good jobs and good schools and safe streets for our kids, but it will never be enough to fully make up the difference.

That is why we need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one.

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