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Guest Speaker Nancy Pelosi   
Guest Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Tomorrow we begin our historic Democratic National Convention. I hope you plan to watch, as we highlight Barack Obama's inspiring American story, the values he holds dear, and his vision for taking our country in a New Direction.

 

Tomorrow night I have the honor of speaking to the Convention. I am excited to discuss some of our proud Democratic achievements and our plans to work with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden next year in ending the Bush-Cheney status quo forever.

 

As one of our best grassroots supporters, I wanted to give you a special preview of my speech tonight. I will speak about some of the progress of our New Direction Congress, including the first minimum wage increase in more than a decade, adopting the 9/11 Commission recommendations, and the largest increase in college aid since 1944.

 

However, I will also speak about the monumental choice confronting America in this election. It is a choice between two roads. One road leads us down the same dangerous path that George Bush's policies have set us on. The other road takes us to a new place of opportunity and innovation under Barack Obama's leadership and a larger Democratic Majority in Congress.

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Guest Paul Begala   
Guest Paul Begala

You just knew it was going to happen. And in a way I can't blame them.

 

If I were a Republican I'd be trying to crash our party as well.

 

Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, John Boehner – a motley crew of Bush-Cheney Republicans who have shown up here in Denver. And I don't think they came just for the Rocky Mountain air.

 

Can you really blame them? While we're all here to celebrate Barack Obama's plans to write the next great chapter for America in the 21st Century, those guys will be stuck next week at their convention having to celebrate the Bush-Cheney record and John McCain's plan to continue it for another eight years. Which party would you rather be at?

 

Don't worry. As the Republicans whine outside in their pathetic display of support for the Bush-McCain agenda, our historic convention is moving along full steam ahead.

 

Last night, Michelle Obama gave an amazing speech and we even heard from Senator Ted Kennedy. Tonight, one of the rising stars of our Party and the next U.S. Senator from Virginia, Mark Warner delivers the keynote address. And then, Hillary Rodham Clinton will take the stage and give an electrifying speech. Trust me, you won't want to miss it.

 

But our convention isn't about watching. It's about acting. Let's act to make sure that Barack Obama becomes our next President, Joe Biden becomes our next Vice President, and most of all, they have the larger Democratic Majority in Congress they'll need to change the direction of our country.

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Luke_Wilbur    5

I just watched Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's speech. In my opinion, it was well written and masterfully delivered. My favorite part was when Senator Clinton asked her democratic followers whether they were in the race for her or were in the race for America's future. I also appreciate her not going over the top and being mean spirited. Senator Clinton gave proper respect to Senator John McCain. She also touched on a common message of the night -- that Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, would offer more of the same types of policies of the Bush administration. Her remark on the how appropriate it was for the Republicans to hold their convention in the Twin Cities, because President Bush and Senator McCain are pretty much twins was quite clever.

 

If you did not get the chance to watch or listen to Senator Clinton's speech here is the transcript:

 

I am honored to be here tonight. A proud mother. A proud Democrat. A proud American. And a proud supporter of Barack Obama.

 

My friends, it is time to take back the country we love.

 

Whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose. We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines.

 

This is a fight for the future. And it's a fight we must win.

 

I haven't spent the past 35 years in the trenches advocating for children, campaigning for universal health care, helping parents balance work and family, and fighting for women's rights at home and around the world . . .

 

to see another Republican in the White House squander the promise of our country and the hopes of our people.

 

And you haven't worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership.

 

No way. No how. No McCain.

 

Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our President.

 

Tonight we need to remember what a Presidential election is really about. When the polls have closed, and the ads are finally off the air, it comes down to you -- the American people, your lives, and your children's futures.

 

For me, it's been a privilege to meet you in your homes, your workplaces, and your communities. Your stories reminded me everyday that America's greatness is bound up in the lives of the American people -- your hard work, your devotion to duty, your love for your children, and your determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles.

 

You taught me so much, you made me laugh, and . . . you even made me cry. You allowed me to become part of your lives. And you became part of mine.

 

I will always remember the single mom who had adopted two kids with autism, didn't have health insurance and discovered she had cancer. But she greeted me with her bald head painted with my name on it and asked me to fight for health care.

 

I will always remember the young man in a Marine Corps t-shirt who waited months for medical care and said to me: "Take care of my buddies; a lot of them are still over there….and then will you please help take care of me?"

 

I will always remember the boy who told me his mom worked for the minimum wage and that her employer had cut her hours. He said he just didn't know what his family was going to do.

 

I will always be grateful to everyone from all fifty states, Puerto Rico and the territories, who joined our campaign on behalf of all those people left out and left behind by the Bush Administrtation.

 

To my supporters, my champions -- my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits – from the bottom of my heart: Thank you.

 

You never gave in. You never gave up. And together we made history.

 

Along the way, America lost two great Democratic champions who would have been here with us tonight. One of our finest young leaders, Arkansas Democratic Party Chair, Bill Gwatney, who believed with all his heart that America and the South could be and should be Democratic from top to bottom.

 

And Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a dear friend to many of us, a loving mother and courageous leader who never gave up her quest to make America fairer and smarter, stronger and better. Steadfast in her beliefs, a fighter of uncommon grace, she was an inspiration to me and to us all.

 

ur heart goes out to Stephanie's son, Mervyn, Jr, and Bill's wife, Rebecca, who traveled to Denver to join us at our convention.

 

Bill and Stephanie knew that after eight years of George Bush, people are hurting at home, and our standing has eroded around the world. We have a lot of work ahead.

 

Jobs lost, houses gone, falling wages, rising prices. The Supreme Court in a right-wing headlock and our government in partisan gridlock. The biggest deficit in our nation's history. Money borrowed from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis.

 

Putin and Georgia, Iraq and Iran.

 

I ran for President to renew the promise of America. To rebuild the middle class and sustain the American Dream, to provide the opportunity to work hard and have that work rewarded, to save for college, a home and retirement, to afford the gas and groceries and still have a little left over each month.

 

To promote a clean energy economy that will create millions of green collar jobs.

 

To create a health care system that is universal, high quality, and affordable so that parents no longer have to choose between care for themselves or their children or be stuck in dead end jobs simply to keep their insurance.

 

To create a world class education system and make college affordable again.

 

To fight for an America defined by deep and meaningful equality - from civil rights to labor rights, from women's rights to gay rights, from ending discrimination to promoting unionization to providing help for the most important job there is: caring for our families. To help every child live up to his or her God-given potential.

 

To make America once again a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.

 

To bring fiscal sanity back to Washington and make our government an instrument of the public good, not of private plunder.

 

To restore America's standing in the world, to end the war in Iraq, bring our troops home and honor their service by caring for our veterans.

 

And to join with our allies to confront our shared challenges, from poverty and genocide to terrorism and global warming.

 

Most of all, I ran to stand up for all those who have been invisible to their government for eight long years.

 

Those are the reasons I ran for President. Those are the reasons I support Barack Obama. And those are the reasons you should too.

 

I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?

 

We need leaders once again who can tap into that special blend of American confidence and optimism that has enabled generations before us to meet our toughest challenges. Leaders who can help us show ourselves and the world that with our ingenuity, creativity, and innovative spirit, there are no limits to what is possible in America.

 

This won't be easy. Progress never is. But it will be impossible if we don't fight to put a Democrat in the White House.

 

We need to elect Barack Obama because we need a President who understands that America can't compete in a global economy by padding the pockets of energy speculators, while ignoring the workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas. We need a President who understands that we can't solve the problems of global warming by giving windfall profits to the oil companies while ignoring opportunities to invest in new technologies that will build a green economy.

 

We need a President who understands that the genius of America has always depended on the strength and vitality of the middle class.

 

Barack Obama began his career fighting for workers displaced by the global economy. He built his campaign on a fundamental belief that change in this country must start from the ground up, not the top down. He knows government must be about "We the people" not "We the favored few."

 

And when Barack Obama is in the White House, he'll revitalize our economy, defend the working people of America, and meet the global challenges of our time. Democrats know how to do this. As I recall, President Clinton and the Democrats did it before. And President Obama and the Democrats will do it again.

 

He'll transform our energy agenda by creating millions of green jobs and building a new, clean energy future. He'll make sure that middle class families get the tax relief they deserve. And I can't wait to watch Barack Obama sign a health care plan into law that covers every single American.

 

Barack Obama will end the war in Iraq responsibly and bring our troops home – a first step to repairing our alliances around the world.

 

And he will have with him a terrific partner in Michelle Obama. Anyone who saw Michelle's speech last night knows she will be a great First Lady for America.

 

Americans are also fortunate that Joe Biden will be at Barack Obama's side. He is a strong leader and a good man. He understands both the economic stresses here at home and the strategic challenges abroad. He is pragmatic, tough, and wise. And, of course, Joe will be supported by his wonderful wife, Jill.

 

They will be a great team for our country.

 

Now, John McCain is my colleague and my friend.

 

He has served our country with honor and courage.

 

But we don't need four more years . . . of the last eight years.

 

More economic stagnation …and less affordable health care. More high gas prices …and less alternative energy. More jobs getting shipped overseas …and fewer jobs created here. More skyrocketing debt ...home foreclosures …and mounting bills that are crushing our middle class families. More war . . . less diplomacy.

 

More of a government where the privileged come first …and everyone else comes last. John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound. John McCain doesn't think that 47 million people without health insurance is a crisis. John McCain wants to privatize Social Security. And in 2008, he still thinks it's okay when women don't earn equal pay for equal work.

 

With an agenda like that, it makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities. Because these days they're awfully hard to tell apart.

 

America is still around after 232 years because we have risen to the challenge of every new time, changing to be faithful to our values of equal opportunity for all and the common good.

 

And I know what that can mean for every man, woman, and child in America. I'm a United States Senator because in 1848 a group of courageous women and a few brave men gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, many traveling for days and nights, to participate in the first convention on women's rights in our history.

 

And so dawned a struggle for the right to vote that would last 72 years, handed down by mother to daughter to granddaughter – and a few sons and grandsons along the way.

 

These women and men looked into their daughters' eyes, imagined a fairer and freer world, and found the strength to fight. To rally and picket. To endure ridicule and harassment. To brave violence and jail.

 

And after so many decades – 88 years ago on this very day – the 19th amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote would be forever enshrined in our Constitution.

 

My mother was born before women could vote. But in this election my daughter got to vote for her mother for President.

 

This is the story of America. Of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.

 

How do we give this country back to them?

 

By following the example of a brave New Yorker , a woman who risked her life to shepherd slaves along the Underground Railroad. And on that path to freedom, Harriett Tubman had one piece of advice.

 

If you hear the dogs, keep going.

 

If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.

 

If they're shouting after you, keep going.

 

Don't ever stop. Keep going.

 

If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.

 

Even in the darkest of moments, ordinary Americans have found the faith to keep going.

 

I've seen it in you. I've seen it in our teachers and firefighters, nurses and police officers, small business owners and union workers, the men and women of our military – you always keep going.

 

We are Americans. We're not big on quitting.

 

But remember, before we can keep going, we have to get going by electing Barack Obama president.

 

We don't have a moment to lose or a vote to spare. Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hang in the balance. I want you to think about your children and grandchildren come election day. And think about the choices your parents and grandparents made that had such a big impact on your life and on the life of our nation. We've got to ensure that the choice we make in this election honors the sacrifices of all who came before us, and will fill the lives of our children with possibility and hope. That is our duty, to build that bright future, and to teach our children that in America there is no chasm too deep, no barrier too great – and no ceiling too high – for all who work hard, never back down, always keep going, have faith in God, in our country, and in each other.

 

Thank you so much. God bless America and Godspeed to you all.

Edited by wiley

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Guest Obama Supporter   
Guest Obama Supporter

It really was an incredible moment for our party and for America. Hillary absolutely loves our country. If you do not want to read the transcript, check out this video of her address:

 

 

 

I will be more than happy to vote for her when President Obama has completed his 8 years.

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Guest Always Red   
Guest Always Red

That is fine. But, you fail to mention how horrible your keynote speaker was. I could not figure out whether Warner is a closet Republican or Democrat. LOL

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Guest human_*   
Guest human_*

The part of tech central "broadband and all of that stuff" that warner spoke about was laid out by the republicans. He is trying to take credit for work that others did, and not himself.

 

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That is fine. But, you fail to mention how horrible your keynote speaker was. I could not figure out whether Warner is a closet Republican or Democrat. LOL

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Former President William Jefferson Clinton speech closed the final chapter of the rift between the Barack and Hillary supporters tonight. President Clinton lacked the charisma of his wife, but he removed all doubt that he is still the Patriarch of the DNC. He immediately started off by endorsing Senator Obama's decision of Joe Biden and adding that his wife and her 18 million supporters do as well. Clinton's strongest banter came when he stated that Americans had not fully understood the Republicans extreme philosphy until 2001 when the party had control of Congress and the White House. "They actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more. Now, let's send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America, a simple message: Thanks, but no thanks."

 

Here is a transcript of Bill Clinton's Convention Speech

 

CLINTON: I love Joe Biden, and America will, too.

 

What a year we Democrats have had. The primary began with an all-star line up. And it came down to two remarkable Americans locked in a hard-fought contest right to the very end. That campaign generated so much heat, it increased global warming.

 

(LAUGHTER)

 

Now, in the end, my candidate didn't win. But I'm really proud of the campaign she ran.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

I am proud that she never quit on the people she stood up for, on the changes she pushed for, on the future she wanted for all our children. And I'm grateful for the chance Chelsea and I had to go all over America to tell people about the person we know and love.

 

Now, I am not so grateful for the chance to speak in the wake of Hillary's magnificent speech last night.

 

(LAUGHTER)

 

But I'll do the best I can.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

Last night, Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she is going to do everything she can to elect Barack Obama.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

That makes two of us.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

Actually, that makes 18 million of us...

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

... because, like Hillary, I want all of you who supported her to vote for Barack Obama in November.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

And here's why. And I have the privilege of speaking here, thanks to you, from a perspective that no other American Democrat, except President Carter, can offer.

 

Our -- our nation is in trouble on two fronts. The American dream is under siege at home, and America's leadership in the world has been weakened. Middle-class and low-income Americans are hurting, with incomes declining, job losses, poverty, and inequality rising, mortgage foreclosures and credit card debt increasing, health care coverage disappearing, and a very big spike in the cost of food, utilities, and gasoline.

 

And our position in the world has been weakened by too much unilateralism and too little cooperation...

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

... by a perilous dependence on imported oil, by a refusal to lead on global warming, by a growing indebtedness and a dependence on foreign lenders, by a severely burdened military, by a backsliding on global nonproliferation and arms control agreements, and by a failure to consistently use the power of diplomacy, from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America to Central and Eastern Europe.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

Clearly, the job of the next president is to rebuild the American dream and to restore American leadership in the world.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

And here's what I have to say about that. Everything I learned in my eight years as president, and in the work I have done since in America and across the globe, has convinced me that Barack Obama is the man for this job.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

Now, he has a remarkable ability to inspire people, to raise our hopes and rally us to high purpose. He has the intelligence and curiosity every successful president needs. His policies on the economy, on taxes, on health care, on energy are far superior to the Republican alternatives.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

He has shown -- he has shown a clear grasp of foreign policy and national security challenges and a firm commitment to rebuild our badly strained military.

 

His family heritage and his life experiences have given him a unique capacity to lead our increasingly diverse nation in an ever more interdependent world.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

The long, hard primary tested and strengthened him. And in his first presidential decision, the selection of a running mate, he hit it out of the park.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

With Joe Biden's experience and wisdom, supporting Barack Obama's proven understanding, instincts, and insight, America will have the national security leadership we need.

 

And so, my fellow Democrats, I say to you: Barack Obama is ready to lead America and to restore American leadership in the world.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

Barack Obama is ready to honor the oath, to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

Barack Obama is ready to be president of the United States.

 

(APPLAUSE) As president, he will work for an America with more partners and fewer adversaries. He will rebuild our frayed alliances and revitalize the international institutions which helped to share the cost of the world's problems and to leverage the power of our influence.

 

He will put us back in the forefront of the world's fight against global warming and the fight to reduce nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

He will continue and enhance our nation's commendable global leadership in an area in which I am deeply involved: the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, including -- including -- and this is very important -- a renewal of the battle against HIV and AIDS here at home.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

A President Obama will choose diplomacy first and military force as a last resort.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

But, in a world troubled by terror, by trafficking in weapons, drugs and people, by human rights abuses of the most awful kind, by other threats to our security, our interests, and our values, when he cannot convert adversaries into partners, he will stand up to them.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

Barack Obama also will not allow the world's problems to obscure its opportunities.

 

CLINTON: Everywhere, in rich and poor countries alike, hard- working people need good jobs, secure, affordable health care, food and energy, quality education for their children and economically beneficial ways to fight global warming.

 

These challenges cry out for American ideas and American innovation. When Barack Obama unleashes them, America will save lives, win new allies, open new markets, and create wonderful new jobs for our own people.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

Most important of all, Barack Obama knows that America cannot be strong abroad unless we are first strong at home.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

Look...

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

Look at the example the Republicans have set.

 

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

 

In this decade, American workers have consistently given us rising productivity. That means, year after year, they work harder and produce more.

 

Now, what did they get in return? Declining wages, less than one-fourth as many new jobs as in the previous eight years, smaller health care and pension benefits, rising poverty, and the biggest increase in income inequality since the 1920s.

 

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

 

American families by the millions are struggling with soaring health care costs and declining coverage.

 

I will never forget the parents of children with autism and other serious conditions who told me on the campaign trail that they couldn't afford health care and couldn't qualify their children for Medicaid unless they quit work and starved or got a divorce.

 

Are these the family values the Republicans are so proud of?

 

What about the military families pushed to the breaking point by multiple, multiple deployments? What about the assault on science and the defense of torture? What about the war on unions and the unlimited favors for the well-connected?

 

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

 

And what about Katrina and cronyism?

 

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

 

My fellow Democrats, America can do better than that.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

And Barack Obama will do better than that.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

Wait a minute. But first...

 

AUDIENCE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

 

CLINTON: Yes, he can, but, first, we have to elect him.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

The choice is clear. The Republicans in a few days will nominate a good man who has served our country heroically and who suffered terribly in a Vietnamese prison camp. He loves his country every bit as much as we do. As a senator, he has shown his independence of right-wing orthodoxy on some very important issues.

 

But on the two great questions of this election -- how to rebuild the American dream and how to restore America's leadership in the world -- he still embraces the extreme philosophy that has defined his party for more than 25 years.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

And it is, to be fair to all the Americans who aren't as hard- core Democrats as we, it's a philosophy the American people never actually had a chance to see in action fully until 2001, when the Republicans finally gained control of both the White House and the Congress.

 

Then we saw what would happen to America if the policies they had talked about for decades actually were implemented. And look what happened.

 

They took us from record surpluses to an exploding debt; from over 22 million new jobs to just 5 million; from increasing working families' incomes to nearly $7,500 a year to a decline of more than $2,000 a year; from almost 8 million Americans lifted out of poverty to more than 5.5 million driven into poverty; and millions more losing their health insurance.

 

Now, in spite of all this evidence, their candidate is actually promising more of the same.

 

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

 

Think about it: more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that will swell the deficit, increase inequality, and weaken the economy; more Band-Aids for health care that will enrich insurance companies, impoverish families, and increase the number of uninsured; more going it alone in the world, instead of building the shared responsibilities and shared opportunities necessary to advance our security and restore our influence.

 

They actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more.

 

AUDIENCE: No!

 

CLINTON: Now, let's send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America, a simple message: Thanks, but no thanks.

 

In this case...

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

In this case, the third time is not the charm.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

My fellow Democrats, 16 years ago, you gave me the profound honor to lead our party to victory and to lead our nation to a new era of peace and broadly shared prosperity.

 

Together, we prevailed in a hard campaign in which Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

Sound familiar?

 

AUDIENCE: Yes!

 

CLINTON: It didn't work in 1992, because we were on the right side of history. And it will not work in 2008, because Barack Obama is on the right side of history.

 

(APPLAUSE)

 

Now, Senator Obama's life is a 21st-century incarnation of the old-fashioned American dream. His achievements are proof of our continuing progress toward the more perfect union of our founders' dreams. The values of freedom and equal opportunity, which have given him his historic chance, will drive him as president to give all Americans -- regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability -- their chance to build a decent life and to show our humanity, as well as our strengths, to the world.

 

We see that humanity, that strength, and our nation's future in Barack and Michelle Obama and their beautiful children.

 

We see them reinforced by the partnership with Joe Biden, his fabulous wife, Jill, a wonderful teacher, and their family.

 

Barack Obama will lead us away from the division and fear of the last eight years back to unity and hope.

 

So if, like me, you believe America must always be a place called Hope, then join Hillary and Chelsea and me in making Barack Obama the next president of the United States.

 

Thank you, and God bless you. Thank you.

Edited by Luke_Wilbur

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Raven    0
Former President William Jefferson Clinton speech closed the final chapter of the rift between the Barack and Hillary supporters tonight. President Clinton lacked the charisma of his wife, but he removed all doubt that he is still the Patriarch of the DNC. He immediately started off by endorsing Senator Obama's decision of Joe Biden and adding that his wife and her 18 million supporters do as well. Clinton's strongest banter came when he stated that Americans had not fully understood the Republicans extreme philosphy until 2001 when the party had control of Congress and the White House. "They actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more. Now, let's send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America, a simple message: Thanks, but no thanks."

 

Here is a transcript of Bill Clinton's Convention Speech

With both speeches by Senator Clinton, and former President Clinton I think the supporters who back Hilary will throw their support to Obama. The question is will Senator Obama if elected follow through with what Senator Clinton wanted started or has started for the people of the United States.

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Guest Jesselee   
Guest Jesselee

Hillary and Bill are going to do what is best for the party and country. I am sure the loss hurt, but the two were praised throughout the convention.

 

I personally thought Kerry's speech was the best. The Maverick is gone, what is now left is just a Bush Sidekick with Rove to handle the personal attacks.

 

*****************************************************************

 

Thank you so much. Four years ago, you gave me the honor of fighting our fight. I was proud to stand with you then, and I am proud to stand with you now, to help elect Barack Obama as President of the United States.

 

In 2004, we came so close to victory. We are even closer now, and let me tell you, this time we’re going to win. Today, the call for change is more powerful than ever, and with more seats in Congress, with more people with more passion engaged in our politics, and with a President Obama, we stand on the brink of the greatest opportunity of our generation to move this country forward.

 

The stakes could not be higher, because we do know what a McCain administration would look like: just like the past, just like George Bush. And this country can’t afford a third Bush term. Just think: John McCain voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time. Ninety percent of George Bush is just more than we can take.

 

Never in modern history has an administration squandered American power so recklessly. Never has strategy been so replaced by ideology. Never has extremism so crowded out common sense and fundamental American values. Never has short-term partisan politics so depleted the strength of America’s bipartisan foreign policy.

 

George Bush, with John McCain at his side, promised to spread freedom but delivered the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time. They misread the threat and misled the country. Instead of freedom, it’s Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban and dictators everywhere that are on the march. North Korea has more bombs, and Iran is defiantly chasing one.

 

Our mission is to restore America’s influence and position in the world. We must use all the weapons in our arsenal, above all, our values. President Obama and Vice President Biden will shut down Guantanamo, respect the Constitution, and make clear once and for all, the United States of America does not torture, not now, not ever.

 

We must listen and lead by example because even a nation as powerful as the United States needs some friends in this world. We need a leader who understands all our security challenges, not just bombs and guns, but global warming, global terror and global AIDS. And Barack Obama understands there is no way for America to be secure until we create clean energy here at home, not with a little more oil in five, 10 or 20 years, but with an energy revolution starting right now.

 

I have known and been friends with John McCain for almost 22 years. But every day now I learn something new about candidate McCain. To those who still believe in the myth of a maverick instead of the reality of a politician, I say, let’s compare Senator McCain to candidate McCain.

 

Candidate McCain now supports the wartime tax cuts that Senator McCain once denounced as immoral. Candidate McCain criticizes Senator McCain’s own climate change bill. Candidate McCain says he would now vote against the immigration bill that Senator McCain wrote. Are you kidding? Talk about being for it before you’re against it.

 

Let me tell you, before he ever debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself. And what’s more, Senator McCain, who once railed against the smears of Karl Rove when he was the target, has morphed into candidate McCain who is using the same “Rove” tactics and the same “Rove” staff to repeat the same old politics of fear and smear. Well, not this year, not this time. The Rove-McCain tactics are old and outworn, and America will reject them in 2008.

 

So remember, when we choose a commander-in-chief this November, we are electing judgment and character, not years in the Senate or years on this earth. Time and again, Barack Obama has seen farther, thought harder, and listened better. And time and again, Barack Obama has been proven right.

 

When John McCain stood on the deck of an aircraft carrier just three months after 9/11 and proclaimed, “Next up, Baghdad!”, Barack Obama saw, even then, “an occupation of “undetermined length, undetermined cost, undetermined consequences” that would “only fan the flames of the Middle East.” Well, guess what? Mission accomplished.

 

So who can we trust to keep America safe? When Barack Obama promised to honor the best traditions of both parties and talk to our enemies, John McCain scoffed. George Bush called it “the soft comfort of appeasement.” But today, Bush’s diplomats are doing exactly what Obama said: talking with Iran.

 

So who can we trust to keep America safe? When democracy rolled out of Russia, and the tanks rolled into Georgia, we saw John McCain respond immediately with the outdated thinking of the Cold War. Barack Obama responded like a statesman of the 21st century.

 

So who can we trust to keep America safe? When we called for a timetable to make Iraqis stand up for Iraq and bring our heroes home, John McCain called it “cut and run.” But today, even President Bush has seen the light. He and Prime Minister Maliki agree on guess what? a timetable.

 

So who can we trust to keep America safe? The McCain-Bush Republicans have been wrong again and again and again. And they know they will lose on the issues. So, the candidate who once promised a “contest of ideas,” now has nothing left but personal attacks. How insulting to suggest that those who question the mission, question the troops. How pathetic to suggest that those who question a failed policy doubt America itself. How desperate to tell the son of a single mother who chose community service over money and privilege that he doesn’t put America first.

 

No one can question Barack Obama’s patriotism. Like all of us, he was taught what it means to be an American by his family: his grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line in World War II, his grandfather who marched in Patton’s army, and his great uncle who enlisted in the army right out of high school at the height of the war. And on a spring day in 1945, he helped liberate one of the concentration camps at Buchenwald.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama’s uncle is here with us tonight. Please join me in saluting this American hero, Charlie Payne. Charlie, your nephew, Barack Obama, will end this politics of distortion and division. He will be a president who seeks not to perfect the lies of Swift boating, but to end them once and for all.

 

This election is a chance for America to tell the merchants of fear and division: you don’t decide who loves this country; you don’t decide who is a patriot; you don’t decide whose service counts and whose doesn’t.

 

Four years ago I said, and I say it again tonight, that the flag doesn’t belong to any ideology. It doesn’t belong to any political party. It is an enduring symbol of our nation, and it belongs to all the American people. After all, patriotism is not love of power or some cheap trick to win votes; patriotism is love of country.

 

Years ago when we protested a war, people would weigh in against us saying, “My country right or wrong.” Our answer? Absolutely, my country right or wrong. When right, keep it right. When wrong, make it right. Sometimes loving your country demands you must tell the truth to power.

 

This is one of those times, and Barack Obama is telling those truths.

 

In closing, let me say, I will always remember how we stood together in 2004, not just in a campaign, but for a cause. Now again we stand together in the ranks, ready to fight. The choice is clear; our cause is just; and now is our time to make Barack Obama the next President of the United States.

 

Thank you

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Guest ALWAYS RED   
Guest ALWAYS RED

Before you get all high and mighty read what the Obama campaign did to the Democrats oldest living president.

 

 

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http://www.forward.com/articles/14110/

 

Former president Jimmy Carter’s controversial views on Israel cost him a place on the podium at the Democratic Party convention in late August, senior Democratic operatives acknowledged to the Forward.

 

Breaking with the tradition of giving speech time to living former presidents, convention organizers honored Carter with only a short video clip highlighting his work with Hurricane Katrina victims and a brief walk across the Pepsi Center stage.

 

The sidelining of Carter was driven by recognition in the Obama camp and among Democratic leaders that giving the former president a prominent convention spot might alienate Jewish voters.

 

“What more could we do to diss Jimmy Carter?” said a Democratic official who was involved in deliberations on how to handle the former president’s presence at the convention. The treatment Carter received, the official added, “reflects the bare minimum that could be done for a former president.”

 

Although Carter says limiting his presence at the convention was his idea, denying him a speaking opportunity ends a two-year struggle for the party over how to deal with the controversial former president. Since Carter published a book in November 2006 accusing Israel of practicing apartheid against the Palestinians, Democrats have been trying to distance themselves from the former president and to convince Jewish activists that he does not represent the party line.

 

Carter’s status at the convention was an issue for the Democratic leadership going back to the early preparation stages, a party official said. The solution to what one Democratic official referred to as “the Carter problem,” however, was not found until the final run-up to the Denver convention.

 

Carter, according to party insiders, was initially scheduled to speak at the event, though organizers insisted he focus only on issues relating to domestic policy and not touch on foreign affairs. During his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention in Boston, Carter mentioned Israel, but he only touched in general terms on the need to bring peace to the region.

 

As the Denver convention drew near, organizers grew uneasy with the idea of having Carter speak even on domestic issues. In the end, the decision was made to have what the official convention schedule described as a “President Jimmy Carter segment,” which included a video presentation of the former president’s work in New Orleans. The video was followed by a brief appearance by Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, who walked across the stage to the sound of Ray Charles’s “Georgia on My Mind.” The assembled delegates showered Carter with applause and a standing ovation.

 

Jewish Democrats approved of Carter’s limited presence at the convention, as they have argued that embracing the former president could tarnish the party in November.

 

“You can’t give him a podium, because people will draw the conclusion” that the Democratic Party supports Carter’s views on the Middle East, said Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York. “I wouldn’t let him within 100 miles of the convention center, because it would be used by an unscrupulous Republican Party that doesn’t care about the truth in character assassination against our candidate.”

 

While Carter did come to Denver, he downplayed suggestions that he had been silenced.

 

In an August 26 interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Carter said that the idea not to speak at the convention was his own.

 

“Michelle spoke last night, Barack is going to speak Thursday night and the other two nights are for the Clintons,” Carter said. “So, I didn’t want to intrude…. I didn’t need to get on the stage and make a speech.”

 

Delegates from Carter’s home state of Georgia did not seem to take much offense at the former president not being among the conventions’ speakers.

 

“I didn’t think much of it at all,” delegate Freddie Mitchell said. “He has spoken at a number of these things in the past.”

 

Among some of Jewish delegates to the convention, however, denying Carter a speech but offering him a video tribute was not nearly sanction enough.

 

“He hasn’t shown respect to Israel and many of the Jewish constituencies here based on the things he has done,” said Nan Rich, a Florida state senator who left the hall in protest before Carter’s appearance onstage.

 

Although staunch critics of Carter may not have been won over by the Obama campaign’s sidelining of the former president, at least one one Jewish Democratic official says the episode reflects the degree to which the presidential hopeful is concerned about shoring up Jewish support before November.

 

“I think it’s hard to ask a political party to take a former president and say, ‘We’re not going to hear you at all,’” said Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council. “The party is very sensitive to the American Jewish community, and it’s very sensitive to ever conveying that this is anything but a pro-Israel party.”

 

And though Rich chose to protest Carter’s inclusion, she was among the critics who appreciated the decision to minimize his role.

 

“It shows the party gets it and Barack Obama’s campaign gets it,” she said.

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