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Friday, March 21, 2008

Election 2008 Obama’s Big Speech

Posted by Amy J. Ruiz on Fri, Mar 21 at 10:06 AM

Obama’s up now.

“I am so grateful to be back in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I am grateful to all of you for taking the time to be here. What a magnificent crowd. I am extraordinarily grateful to have the support of [Richardson].”

“Bill Richardson has served in so many different capacities, as a member of Congress, a member of an administration’s cabinet, as a governor of one of our most beautiful states. In each task that has been assigned to him, he’s done extraordinary work.”

“He’s been motivated to make his constituents’ lives a little bit better, and to make America a little bit safer, a little bit stronger, a little more prosperous.”

“On foreign policy, he understands the importance of restoring diplomacy… he understands the need to reach out, not just to leaders we like, but to leaders we don’t. And so not only does he understand it, but he has done it. He has accomplished it. For him to stand here before you today and not just offer you his endorsement, but to offer his confidence that I will perform as commander in chief of the United States… I can’t be more honored.”

Whenever Obama turns, the crowd he faces goes apeshit.

He’s had a number of people ask him, “why are you running at this time, why are you running so soon… you can afford to wait. What I’ve explained to people is I believe in what Dr. King called the ‘fierce urgency of now.’ The belief that there’s such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost upon us. This week we mark the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq [crowd boos]. We have spent well over half a trillion dollars. There are some estimates that by the time this is over, we will have spent three trillion dollars. We have lost thousands of lives. Thousands more have been maimed. And yet we’re not more safe. And our standing in the world is drastically diminished.”

“Our economy is in shambles… all around this country I meet people desperate for health care… all across this country we see schools that despite the slogans are leaving millions of children behind. All across this country you meet people who are working sometimes two, three jobs while their incomes have flatlined. While their costs… have gone up and up and up. In such circumstance, we cannot afford to wait. We cannot wait to fix our schools… to fix our health care system… to end the war in Iraq. We cannot wait. The time is now.”

"So when I got into this race, I know Bill felt the same thing. What we understood was... that the American people were hungry for something different. A politics that wasn't based on tearing people down, but on lifting the country up. A politics that wasn't based on spin and PR... but based on honesty and straight talk, and truthfulness. But most of all, when I decided to run, I was betting on you."

"I came to Chicago after college, because I wanted to work at the grassroots level, to help people in need. I went and worked with these churches setting up job training programs for the unemployed and after school programs for the youth and economic development for the community. It taught me that ordinary people can do extraordinary things when given the chance. Change does not happen from the top down, but from the bottom up, because the American people stand ready for change."

"I was absolutely convinced that if we all came together... if we could all come together to challenge the special interests that dominate Washington... then there'd be no problem we could not solve, no destiny we could not fill... that was the bet I was making 15 months ago. And I am happy to report that after 15 months of criss crossing the country... after kissing hundreds of babies... after eating hundreds of chicken dinners... I am here to report that my bet has paid off. That my faith in the American people has been vindicated. That everywhere I go, Americans are standing up and saying... we want change, we want to write a new chapter in American history."

"So we have been seeing record turn out everywhere we go. People who've never participated, young people, coming out in record numbers like never before. Those who have been disaffected, getting reengaged like never before. Part of the reason everyone's so excited is no matter what happens, people will be going into the polling booths to chose the next president, and the name George W. Bush will not be on the ballot. No Bush."

"The name of my cousin Dick Cheney will not be on the ballot. Some of you read about this. Cheney and I are distant relations. It hurt me in the polls. But people have been forgiving me lately."

"So that means that the era of Scooter Libby justice, and Brownie incompetence... and Karl Rove politics, all that will finally be over next year. But you're not here because you want to be against something. You're here because you want to be for something. [So much] politics are based on 'he's not as bad as that guy.' That's not the path to a more perfect union. It may win elections... but it doesn't tell us who we should be, or what this country should do, the course we should take. And so what I've spent the last 15 months doing, the greatest thing about running for President is, you're in a conversation with the American people... and they've lost trust and confidence in their leaders. They don't feel like they're being heard. They don't feel like anyone's fighting on their behalf. That politics has become a sport. That if we as leaders were really listening, here's what we would do... I love you back [to a girl in the crowd]. We'd hear the voice of the young woman that I met when I was campaigning, is going to school full time, has a sick sister who has cerebral palsy, so she works too...gets up at one in the morning to work at Federal Express... gets three hours of sleep a night... and she's determined to make a better life for herself. She's not looking for a handout, but she doesn't feel like anyone is listening."

"I see SEIU in the house, I see AFSCME in the house. SEIU organized to have each one of us walk a day in the shoes of one of its members..." He worked with a home care worker who cares for an amputee. "Hard work, back breaking work... she does this every day. She cannot take a day off, because she cannot afford it. And talking to her, she's glad to do it. She wasn't looking for a handout. But she's looking for someone who might fight for her so she can have some decent health care, so she can retire with dignity and respect. So maybe she can take a day off once in a while to rest her tired feet."

He meets veterans. "They are proud of their work and rightfully so. They have performed magnificently on behalf of this nation. But they think about the buddies who have been left behind. They worry about being sent on a third or fourth rotation, about the strain on their families.... and sometimes I'll hug mothers after rallies like this one, who weep silently on my shoulder in memory of a son or daughter... and ask me that no mothers have to go through what she has gone through."

"All across this country, people love their country, they are patriots, but they ask me how our standing in the world could have declined so rapidly. They love this country but they are ashamed of Guantanamo, they are ashamed of Abu Graib. They are ashamed of wire tapping... They are ashamed that we're still having a debate about whether this country tortures or not. Those voices aren't heard. All those people on the brink of losing their homes, they don't know if Congress is fighting for them. They know... it's more likely that the bankers get bailed out than they get bailed out."

"And so what this campaign has been about, what this election has been about, what... all of us have to stand for. It's not just a change in parties, its... restoring a sense that this government is working for you and is fighting for you and believes in you and is of and by and for the people of America. That is what this election is about."

"And so, for that vision to become real, to perfect this union, we are going to have to stand up. Not just me, not just Bill. We. All of us are going to have to fight for change. That's why I said at the beginning of this campaign, we will not take PAC money... I want to see the American people fund our campaigns. That's why at the beginning of this campaign when we weren't getting all the endorsements of Washington insiders, I said that's okay—I want to see the American people endorse us."

"The status quo is not going to give up easily. They are cynical and they are resistant. But if you are ready for change, we can tell the fat cats that their days of setting the agenda are over... "

On health care: "I've got a plan that says every American should have health care that's at least as good as members of Congress... if you have health care, we're going to lower your premiums by $2500 a year. If you do not have health care... [you can buy into a government program]. We will do it by the end of my first term as president of the United States of America."

"We can make sure that every child in America has the best education we have to offer... The problem is we don't have the will, we don't have the urgency... [We think, that's a black child, a hispanic child,] that's an immigrant child, we don't have an obligation to him. That's not someone else's kid, those are our kids."

"[We're going to] close the achievement gap. Then we're going to pay our teachers more money, and give them more support. We're going to hold them to the highest standards... we've got to have high standards for our kids, but high standards cannot be measured by a high stakes test... we want our students to learn music and art... and science and poetry... "

"And I don't know about you, but I think it's time we make college affordable for everyone. But you're going to have to do something in return, hours of community service... join the Peace Corps, join the foreign service. We'll invest in you, you'll invest in this country," he says, talking about a $4000 per year tuition credit.

"We can make our economy more fair. We have a short term problem, because of the subprime lending crisis that has now affected the financial markets, the credit markets are frozen... and so the economy is contracted. We've got to act immediately, to shore up the housing market. That's why I've put forward my own plan... so that people can refinance their homes so we can assure that people won't lose their houses... banks will have confidence that people can make their payments... we've got to look and see how we can deal with some of the other problems we are facing. For the last decade the average family has seen their real incomes drop. And the reason was because Bush economic policies were so tilted toward the wealthiest among us.... I believe in economic growth, but when CEOs are making more in ten minutes than ordinary workers make in a year... and CEOs get tax breaks... and when the company goes belly up, the CEO gets a golden parachute and the worker loses his pension, something is broken, something has to be fixed. Just like we need bottom up politics, we need bottom up economics. We need to think about working people. We're going to close those tax breaks that go to companies with workers overseas, we're going to give those tax breaks to people with workers in America."

"We need to invest in science and research and technology. I'm tired of a president that doesn't believe in science. I want an administration that invests in science and research and knowledge. That's how our economy will grow... broadband lines that will connect this country in the way the Interstate connected this country. We have not invested in the infrastructure of this country... [instead, we've invested in the war in Iraq].. I want that money back here, I want that money in Portland, putting Americans back to work."

"I want the next generation to create the kind of energy policy that will mean a sustainable planet for our country and for our children and our grandchildren. We are sending a billion dollars every day to other countries, many who are hostile, [for foreign oil]. We are going to cap emissions, and we are going to charge polluters, and we will invest that money in clean energy... we can put people back to work building windmills, building solar panels, creating the next clean alternative fuel. If we just have a little imagination, there's no reason we can't accomplish it. If we can increase our fuel economy standard to 40 miles per gallon [we can end our dependency on foreign oil]."

In Detroit, "we told them they had to change their ways... part of my job as president will be not just to tell you what you think you want to hear, but to tell you the truth. That will be my job as the president of the United States of America."

"Finally, it's time for us to create a foreign policy we can be proud of. ...As commander in chief, my job will be to keep you safe. And I will do whatever is required... I've got two little girls, nine and six, who I've got to protect along with your children and your grandchildren... that means we're training our troops properly and equipping them properly... and we're treating them properly when they come home... no more homeless veterans, no more disabled veterans begging for their benefits... "

"It means using our military wisely. It means when you answer that phone call at 3 am, that you're not trigger happy, that you get a diverse range of opinions, that you act on your best judgment. That's what leadership is... It's being tough by being smart and being disciplined... about the use of American military power. The war in Iraq was unwise. I said in 2002, this will distract us from going after real enemies in Afghanistan. It will fan the flames of anti-American sentiment.... it will cost us hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives, and will not make us more safe. It has not made us more safe. That's why I opposed it in 2002. That's why I will bring this war to an end in 2009. We will end this war in Iraq. But I don't want to just end the war. I want to end the mindset that got us into war. I am tired of the politics of fear, that uses 9-11 as a way to scare up votes instead of a way to bring the country together. I don't like seeing the politics of fear being used in our own party... it is not the way to solve our problems. I want to implement what Bill Richardson understands so well from his years of experience. We can't just talk to our friends, we've got to talk to our enemies."

"There are those like Senator Clinton and Senator McCain and President Bush who say you can't do that. I say 'watch me.' Watch me, because I remember what John F. Kennedy once said—we can never negotiate out of fear.... we reach out to our adversaries, tell our adversaries where we stand... that is the essence of wisdom. And when we do that, we can go before the world community and say America is back, and we are ready to leave. We will lead hunting down terrorists, but also... ending nuclear stockpiles... we will also lead by bringing an end to the genocide in Darfur. We will also lead by having the highest standards of human rights and civil rights... we will close Guantanamo, and restore habeus corpus and say no to renditions, because you will have a president who has taught the Constitution and... will obey the Constitution of the United States. I've gone too long, let me wrap up by saying this. We are on the bring of doing something special. But it is hard. It is hard because we're used to division. We saw this over the last several days. I gave a speech about it. We are divided in many ways... we're divided along partisan lines... there are difference believe rural beliefs and urban beliefs, there are differences among hot button social issues... the central issue of the 21st century, the color line, that has always been with us."

"All of us are complicit in these divisions. I talked about my former pastor... his believe that this country was inevitably locked into racism, and his... [belief that it couldn't change]. I'm not immune from them, you're not immune from them... they make for good soundbites, they make for good talk show host fodder. They don't help a child get a decent education. They don't help that senior citizen pay for her prescription drugs. They don't help that worker who suddenly lost his job because his ... went overseas. It doesn't save our planet from global warming. Those old habits, they just lock us down. And we don't change. And in the meantime we don't see these problems start spinning out of control."

"If we don't have the courage, the wisdom to say not this time... we don't give up this time, we won't be divided this time, we won't let the politics of division overcome the politics of unity this time... if we lock arm in arm, if we seize this moment, and say we are all Americans and we all believe in a better future and we're all willing to fight for it... we will not just win this nomination, we will not just win the general election, but you and I together will change this nation, we will change this world."

Comments

Observations:

Its interesting. He isn't even addressing Hillary. Its as tho he passed her by completely.

Is it just me or is the Guv looking a little VP-ish today?

Thoroughly impressed w/ Amy's typing skills...that's a lot to keep up with

did you study dictation? you can type that fast with correct grammar and capitalization? woah.

I am also envious of Amy and her mad typing skills. I'm sorry I missed the speech so I'm grateful that Amy is so diligent at her reporting. Thanks Amy, as always you rock!

Thanks, guys! The audio is up now, download at http://www.mediafire.com/?yrdnhfdxlxj

We'll have a streaming version up soon. Check for the newer post.

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