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Intro to Obama-nomics

Ted Strickland

Mark Warnewr

Brian Schweitzer

Al Gore

Barack Obama



NEWS ARTICLE from The New York Times, 7-24-08, By MICHAEL COOPER

``Senator John McCain was chiding Senator Barack Obama for 'a false depiction of what actually happened' in Iraq in a television interview this week. But in giving his chronology of events in Iraq, Mr. McCain gave what critics said was his own false depiction ...

Mr. McCain bristled in an interview with the CBS Evening News on Tuesday when asked about Mr. Obama's contention that while the added troops had helped reduce violence in Iraq, other factors had helped, including the Sunni Awakening movement, in which thousands of Sunnis were enlisted to patrol neighborhoods and fight the insurgency, and the Iraqi government's crackdown on Shiite militias.

"I don't know how you respond to something that is such a false depiction of what actually happened," Mr. McCain told Katie Couric, noting that the Awakening movement began in Anbar Province when a Sunni sheik teamed up with Sean MacFarland, a colonel who commanded an Army brigade there.

"Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others," Mr. McCain said. 'And it began the Anbar Awakening. I mean, that's just a matter of history." ...

The Anbar Awakening began in the fall of 2006, several months before President Bush even announced the troop escalation strategy, which became known as the surge ...''



POST from The Tribune Interactive, 7-23-08, by Mark Silva

``Sen. John McCain, ``staking his candidacy entirely on the surge in Iraq,'' has shown ``that he does not understand one of the fundamental facts about the surge,'' MSNBC's Keith Olbermann was reporting of the Republican candidate for president last night - ``getting the basic timeline and history of the surge entirely wrong.''

The commentator's assertion stems from an interview that McCain conducted with CBS News, in which anchor Katie Couric pointed out that Sen. Barack Obama, who has just traveled through Iraq, has maintained that, while the increased deployment of troops there had contributed to security, a Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after the militia also contributed - and that security might have improved even without the surge.

McCain replied: "I don't know how you respond ..."

The commander, now-Gen. Sean McFarland, briefed the media on the Anbar awakening on Sept. 29, 2006, months before the surge was even announced by President Bush in January 2007, a point that Olbermann noted in calling McCain "wrong'' on his Countdown broadcast and bloggers have noted as well.

The report ... takes a deep dig at CBS News for not including this segment in the parts of the interview that aired, but rather displaying it on its Website - perhaps not knowing the story it had in its hands:

"The colonel in question is now a one-star general, and his name is Sean MacFarland," the Washington Independent notes. "He was commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, based in Ramadi in 2006 and early 2007 and is a key figure in embracing the Anbar Awakening before it even had that name."

Here MacFarland is explaining what was going on to Pam Hess, then of UPI, on September 29, 2006, at least two months before Bush decided upon the surge, and about three [months] before he announced it to the public:

"With respect to the violence between the Sunnis and the al Qaeda -- actually, I would disagree with the assessment that the al Qaeda have the upper hand," MacFarland said in September 2006. "That was true earlier this year when some of the sheikhs began to step forward and some of the insurgent groups began to fight against al Qaeda ...

"This is a different phenomena that's going on right now. I think that it's not so much the insurgent groups that are fighting al Qaeda, it's the ... fence-sitters, the tribal leaders, are stepping forward and cooperating with the Iraqi security forces against al Qaeda ..."


... The Old Boy is slipping ... What good does all his "experience" do him if his ability to reason and keep track of important facts keeps diminishing?''

Posted by: kg123 | July 23, 2008



The Carpetbagger Report, 7-23-08, by Steve Benen

``CBS covers-up humiliating McCain error, misleads national audience

McCain's confusion on Iraq goes from embarrassing to scandalous

... Whatever the source, the bottom line remains the same: when it comes to Iraq, John McCain is hopelessly incoherent about the basics ... As of yesterday, he doesn't seem to even know what the surge is:

Kate Couric: "Senator McCain, Senator Obama says, while the increased number of US troops contributed to increased security in Iraq, he also credits the Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after militias. And says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What's your response to that?"

McCain: "I don't know how you respond ..."

Remember, according to McCain, he's an expert on foreign policy. The basis of his entire presidential campaign is his ability to handle matters like the war in Iraq, and the notion that his unparalleled expertise makes him uniquely qualified.

Except the man is shockingly confused, and embarrasses himself more and more with each passing day ... And McCain not understanding what the basics of the surge is at least as dramatic.

The surge has, after all, become the raison d'etre of McCain's entire presidential campaign. Why would he announce his belief that the surge prompted the Anbar Awakening' McCain wasn't on the campaign trail in late 2006 and early 2007. He was in the Senate, presumably paying attention to current events, and helping push the Bush administration's policy ...


``On July 23rd, 2008, Racer X said:

We've reached the point at which it's reasonable to wonder if McCain genuinely understands what's going on around him. This is, by any reasonable measure, the kind of mistake that should ruin his chances of winning the White House.

I thought we reached that point when he said (repeatedly) that the radical Shiite nation of Iran was actively supporting the radical Sunni terrorists in Iran. That should have been enough to get the press corpse to wonder ...

Couric/McCain Interview:




McCain's Mixed-Up Timeline

Posted by southpaw | July 23, 2008

... Just to step back a second from the bare facts, think about what CBS did tonight. John McCain was asked a question about a crucial issue in our national politics, and he gave an answer that was -- as we've seen -- factually inaccurate and embarrassing even to right wing trolls. CBS suppressed that answer. They played the question being asked and then substituted something else entirely, rather than what McCain actually said in response.

That's really astonishing conduct for a news organization. I'm not sure I can recall anything like that ever happening before ...

Posted by Arun | July 23, 2008

four thoughts:

1. McCain's answer to the direct question was wrong, as usual. The old man is brain dead.

2. Katie missing the mistake, not calling him on it ...

3. CBS' edit addition of a different answer ...

4.The key is the NEW answer. It was the McCain attack on Barack's patriotism ... McCain's sound bite attack on Barack, the new "lose the election, lose the war" sound bite.''



NEWS ARTICLE from The Associated Press. 7-23-08

``... McCain flubs on Iraq timeline

WASHINGTON (AP) -- ... Asked about Obama's contention that a Sunni revolt against al-Qaida combined with the addition of thousands of U.S. combat troops that were sent to Iraq contributed to the improved security situation there, McCain scoffed.

"I don't know how you respond ..."

In March 2007, before the first of the additional troops began arriving in Iraq, Col. John W. Charlton, the American commander responsible for Ramadi, a city in Anbar province, said the newly friendly sheiks, combined with an aggressive counterinsurgency strategy and the presence of thousands of new Sunni police on the streets, had helped cut attacks in the city by half in recent months ...

Obama, who opposed the war from the start and says he will pursue a 16-month timetable for withdrawing combat troops if he is elected, toured the war zone this week ...''



NEWS ARTICLE from The Plain Dealer, 7-23-08, by David Espo, Associated Press

``Obama unmoved by Petraeus on Iraq

AMMAN, JORDAN -- Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama declined on Tuesday [7-22-08] to rate the Bush administration's troop surge in Iraq as a success despite a reduction in violence, and he expressed understanding of Gen. David Petraeus' opposition to a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops ...

Obama made his remarks at a news conference shortly after arriving in Jordan. "But keep in mind, for example, one of Gen. Petraeus' responsibilities is not to think about how could we be using some of that $10 billion a month to shore up a U.S. economy that is really hurting right now," Obama said. "If I'm president of the United States, that is part of my responsibility." ...

The Illinois senator voted against 2002 legislation that authorized military action in Iraq, and he has long called for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops.

He said he would consult with military commanders to determine how many troops to keep in the country to protect diplomatic and humanitarian operations, to train Iraqis and to conduct counterterrorism operations against al-Qaida in Iraq.

He also opposed President Bush's decision to add 30,000 troops more than a year ago, saying it would not succeed ... [none of the political objectives of the surge have been achieved,

  • in particular the oil law giving equity to U.S. companies in the Iraqi oil fields

  • and the status of forces agreement allowing an indefinite U.S. occupation of Iraq]

    Asked for his current assessment, he said, ... "Originally, the administration suggested that the key measure was whether it gave breathing room for political reconciliation. So far, I think we have not seen the kind of political reconciliation that's going to bring about long-term stability in Iraq," [Obama] said.''


    Commentator 1 wrote on 8-2-08:

    ``Just as with his claims about the success of the surge, John McCain is either lying or displaying deep mental confusion. With the U.S. importing 70% of the rock oil it uses, there is no possibility of drilling our way out of dependence on foreign oil. This means that we will continue to send enormous amounts of money to our enemies.

    See www.pickensplan.com/theplan/


    [The Huffington Post, 8-30-08

    ``T. Boone Pickens, Carl Pope and John Podesta -- Sierra Club's Carl Pope himself at a panel with Pickens the oil man and Podesta from the Center for American Progress:

    Pickens on offshore drilling: "This isn't about the oil industry wanting to drill offshore -- they don't think anything's there: just look at what they did and didn't lease when the western gulf tracts were offered up."'']

    We must use alternative fuel for transportation, as proposed by The Pickens Plano (methane), because the only way to get off foreign oil is to get off oil. Do we want to send young Americans to die for oil in Central Asia in the Kazakh War of 2020? A war in Central Asia will be worse than Viet Nam and will make the Iraq War look like a training exercise.

    Getting off rock oil is the highest priority for American national security; and McCain's failure to recognize this is frightening, especially since the majority of Americans seem to have bought his line that we can cure our oil addiction by drilling for more oil.''


    Ron Paul's `Rally for the Republic'


    NEWS ARTICLE from United Press International, 9-3-08

    ``MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas ... kicked off his political action group, Campaign for Liberty, during his Rally for the Republic in Minneapolis while the Republican National Convention ended its second session across the Mississippi River in Minnesota's capital city, St. Paul, CNN reported ...''



    NEWS ARTICLE from The Minnesota Independent, 9-2-08, By Britt Robson

    ``President George W. Bush is ... getting royally roasted. Author Lew Rockwell, who used to be Paul's chief of staff, said of Bush, "He hasn't done a single decent thing for the country," that he "tricked the people into voting for him twice."

    As for the price of gas, Rockwell thundered, in reference to Bush, "your wars, your regulations, your failure to open up the market to anyone but your cronies have resulted in the quadrupling of energy prices."''



    NEWS ARTICLE from The Capital-Journal, 9-3-08, By Tim Carpenter

    ``... At the request of one adoring guest, Paul signed a copy of a poster with side-by-side images of Paul, with the word PEACE over his head, and Republican presidential nominee John McCain, with the word WAR overhead.''



    NEWS ARTICLE from The Los Angeles Times, 9-3-08, By James Hohmann, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

    ``Ron Paul holds counter-convention

    His 'Rally for the Republic' draws as many as 12,000 disillusioned Republicans and independents, organizers say.

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Ron Paul has no plan to set foot in the Republican convention next door in St. Paul. If he were to try, he said, party officials have told him that he would have to be chaperoned. So the 10-term congressman and presidential candidate held his own party, a nine-hour "Rally for the Republic" that amounted to a one-day counter-convention.

    As many as 12,000 disillusioned Republicans and independents, according to organizers, converged on the Target Center, an NBA basketball arena, for a boisterous push-back against the Republican establishment.

    In a lively speech, Rep. Paul (R-Texas) thanked his supporters and asked them to keep up the fight ...

    Paul, 73, railed against the Patriot Act ... "I understand there's another meeting going on in a nearby town," he said during his speech, accusing the GOP of bending its rules to exclude him ...

    Paul ... did not endear himself to mainstream Republicans. An outspoken opponent of America's military presence abroad, especially in Iraq, he holds many views at odds with McCain's.

    For Tuesday's rally, Internet-organized "Ronvoys" brought people from across the country.

    Nancy Zverev, 56, hates to fly, but she came in from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., for the event. She said she had mostly voted Republican but had fallen for Paul's message and his opposition to the Iraq war after discovering his website in December.

    Wearing a large "Ron Paul 2008" bib she sewed and draped over her floral sundress, Zverev was sharing a hotel room with three people she met at rallies against taxes and for Paul.

    "I cannot vote for McCain," she said. "He doesn't vote for what he says he stands for." ...

    Paul ... suggested that his supporters, who tend to be younger, would support Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, because they see him as more likely to withdraw from Iraq ...''



    Commentator 1 wrote:

    ``I am strongly in favor of energy alternatives to petroleum. This is the most pressing national security problem that we face. We should not be trapped into sending young Americans to die for oil in the Kazakh War of 2020.''



    ``Tuesday night [9-2-08] in Minneapolis, IVAW's [Iraq Veterans Against the War ivaw.org/ ] Adam Kokesh participated in the Rally For The Republic.

    Below is transcription of the remarks Kokesh delivered:

    Adam Kokesh: "Thanks to a few neocon, chicken-hawk draft dodgers I was sent to Falluja in 2004 with the Marine Corps Civil Affairs Team and I found out the hard way that the greatest enemies of the Constitution of the United States of America are not to be found in the sands of some far off land but rather right here at home.

    It's not enough to understand that the war in Iraq is simply unjust, illegal, unconstitutional, costing us a horrendous amount of money and destroying our military. The issues before us today are a matter of life and death.

    I continue to serve my country today as a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace and the Campaign for Liberty ..."''



    Iraq Veterans Against the War

    ``IVAW members have been trying to get John McCain's attention all week. On monday, a formation of 60 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans marched in uniform to the Xcel center to deliver a briefing on veterans issues, but McCain's staff refused even to accept the report.

    Last night, IVAW finally got McCain's attention when Adam Kokesh, IVAW board member, interrupted his speech with a sign reading "McCain Votes Against Vets."

    McCain's record on veterans' issues is extremely poor. He received a "D" rating from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and the Disabled American Veterans reports that he voted for legislation benefiting veterans only 20% of the time.

    IVAW Turned Back from Delivering Briefing to McCain

    A formation of 60 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans marched in uniform to Xcel Energy Center on Monday to deliver a briefing on veterans' issues to Senator McCain on the opening day of the Republican National Convention.

    IVAW member Wes Davey led the march and attempted to deliver the briefing to Senator McCain's staff. Despite numerous mailed, faxed, and in-person invitations to meet, McCain's office refused to send anyone to receive the briefing. When Davey, a retired Army First Sergeant and former St. Paul police officer, attempted to deliver the briefing, he was escorted off the premises.

    Davey is a father of five and grandfather of seven. He served 28 years in the Army, including a tour in Iraq in 2003. His oldest child has served two tours in Iraq. "After being an NCO for all those years, I care deeply about all those still serving in Iraq," said Davey about his reasons for organizing this march.''


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    TRANSCRIPT from The News Hour, 8-26-08

    Intro to Obama-nomics

    ``Apart from hosting the Democratic National Convention, Denver residents are also assessing the possible impacts of Senator Barack Obama's economic policies, including middle class tax cuts and investments in education and alternative energy. Paul Solman examines Obama's plan ...

    PAUL SOLMAN, NewsHour Economics Correspondent: ... Laura Tyson, a chief economist under President Clinton, now advising Senator Obama, came to Denver to tout what's being called "Obama-nomics," ...

    LAURA TYSON, Obama Economic Adviser: I think we've had wonderful, natural experiment. We had the 1990s under President Clinton, the longest and strongest economic expansion in American history.

    PAUL SOLMAN: By contrast, she claims, a near decade of regulatory neglect and tax cuts for the well-heeled have done real damage.

    LAURA TYSON: The median family has actually seen a decline in their real purchasing power, where the single, most important asset for most American families is the value of their house. And we've already seen losses, the equivalent to about $2 trillion to $3 trillion of household wealth loss.

    PAUL SOLMAN: An Obama administration would continue to bail out the housing sector, as in the bill that recently passed Congress.

    LAURA TYSON: Senator Obama has also come out in favor of a second stimulus ...

    PAUL SOLMAN: Just around the corner, Darren and Melinda Connor, with two incomes, two kids, and a house they bought for $230,000, now worth $190,000. And prices around here down 8 percent in the past three months alone. They exemplify a key Obama theme, the middle-class squeeze ... but what can a president do about it?

    LAURA TYSON: I would say, in the short run, we can do a tax rebate based on energy expenditures to help people deal with their unexpectedly high energy bills. And Senator Obama is proposing a middle-class tax cut that would help a family like this about a thousand dollars a year ...

    PAUL SOLMAN: In addition to the energy rebate and tax cut, Obama proposes a long list of measures to take pressure off the middle class, including: a national health plan to cover most of the uninsured; a national retirement plan to create automatic workplace pensions; spending $10 billion to, for now, expand unemployment insurance; spending $60 billion over 10 years to fund transportation infrastructure projects; a new $4,000 college tax credit, making community college free for most Americans. Obama's plan includes aid for those colleges, as well, the victims of dwindling state funding.

    Colorado Community College's president, Nancy McCallin.

    NANCY MCCALLIN, President, Colorado Community Colleges: When the economy is slumping, when gas prices are high, it's a time when there are layoffs that are occurring, and many more people come through our doors. So at the same time, when state revenues are going down and we're having problems getting state funding, we have a surge in our enrollment.

    PAUL SOLMAN: But community college is a high-return investment.

    NANCY MCCALLIN: For the amount of investment the state is making in community college students, based on the taxes that they will pay over their lifetime, they're giving back to the community seven times what the cost of the program was.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Colorado's community colleges train students for a variety of jobs, from drilling for natural gas to responding to medical emergencies.

    NANCY MCCALLIN: In Colorado, we train 90 percent of the first responders, 90 percent of the paramedics. What we do is we have simulated environments.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Simulated car crashes, for example, with kids from the school's film and theater departments. The Obama plan is to grant federal money, says Tyson...

    LAURA TYSON: To partner with outstanding institutions like this one that have very unique programs that can actually be a model for other community colleges to spread them through the system ...

    PAUL SOLMAN: James Mejia is the head of a new preschool program, funded by a one-eighth-of-a-percent sales tax approved by Denver voters. A longtime member of Denver's Board of Ed, Mejia says the earlier you invest in education, the better.

    JAMES MEJIA, Denver Preschool Program: ... now we're hearing 1 out of 3 children who enters kindergarten in Denver isn't prepared for kindergarten.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Thus, the preschool program. Parents getting tuition credits for the school of their choice based on school ratings. Pre-K is an Obama focus, says Tyson.

    LAURA TYSON: He's proposing in the 0-through-5 education age group to spend $10 billion a year of federal money, whether it's to quadruple early Head Start, to give people more tax credits for child care so they can use those credits to basically send their children to preschool ...

    PAUL SOLMAN: If the Obama campaign had a preschool anthem for the last piece of its economic program, it might indeed be "Sunny Days." Jamie Resor sells solar energy systems.

    JAMIE RESOR, Chief Financial Officer, GeoSolar: The largest single component is the cost of these P[hoto]V[oltaic] panels that you see.

    PAUL SOLMAN: A rooftop in Denver, which gets 300 days of free photons from the sun every year. The local utility gives rebates to put in solar panels like these. Obama wants a federal investment in alternative energy of $150 billion over a decade.

    LAURA TYSON: If the government provides an incentive to get people to move faster, you know, they'll drive the cost of these things down, actually, not up, down. So you want to encourage investment in a new technology which is going to reduce dependence on foreign oil, reduce carbon emissions, create jobs, and you want to do it faster.

    JAMIE RESOR: So not only is there helping get the economies of scale going and getting -- building an industry, but particularly now, with the timing of the economy in its difficult situation, it's an amazing stimulus for jobs. And these are good jobs that will remain in the U.S ...

    PAUL SOLMAN: But wait a second. Add the energy program to all the others Obama is proposing, and you're talking... Where is all this money going to come from?

    LAURA TYSON: Well, we can certainly get some money from the cap-and-trade system, which we are going to have to introduce to price carbon appropriately. We are spending hundreds of billions of dollars every year on Iraq. Some estimates run now into the trillions of dollars in total. We are going to be scaling that down.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And last but not least, says Tyson, ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

    LAURA TYSON: That's $300 billion, most of which goes to the top 10 percent, the top 1 percent, and to -- a large amount of which goes to corporations ...

    PAUL SOLMAN: ... ever since Tyson began taking us to the Democrat's convention city back in 1996. The things you've talked to me about in '96, in 2000, in 2004 haven't happened. Why should I think that they're going to happen now? Why should any of our audience think that?

    LAURA TYSON: First of all, some of the problems are now recognized in a way they weren't recognized then. It's one thing to talk about infrastructure investment before you have the New Orleans catastrophe or the [2008] summer of the catastrophe along the rivers in the Midwest or bridges falling down in Minnesota.

    Second of all, I think we're going to have a Democratic Congress and a Democratic president. We are going to have support for this approach to dealing with the economy ...''

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    PolitickerOH TRANSCRIPT of Convention Speech by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, 8-26-08

    ``Earlier today, we had a moment of silence to remember the life of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Right now, let's have a moment of celebration for everything she's given us. The state she helped represent -- the great state of Ohio -- has a bit of almost everything this great nation has to offer.

    But along with the beauty and promise of America, a big, diverse state like Ohio also lives with the challenges of the American economy. And tonight, at kitchen tables across Ohio and the heartland, mothers and fathers are worried. They're worried because DHL just said it was planning to cut 8,200 jobs, and they wonder if their jobs are going to be next.

    They're worried because they have a child in Iraq, risking life and limb in a war that has taken too many lives, cost too much money and injured too many families. And when their child returns to America, they worry that their child might have to leave their hometown again to find a job ...

    And while families are losing sleep tonight trying to figure out some way to make their paycheck stretch through one more day, John McCain is sleeping better than ever. He's sleeping better than ever because he thinks "Americans, overall, are better off..." thanks to President Bush.

    And would you believe he said last week that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. He has no problem hitting the snooze button on the economy, because he's never been a part of the middle class. And I would say to him: Senator McCain, it's time for your wake-up call. Because we just can't afford more of the same ...

    If John McCain doesn't know the economic policies he's been supporting for eight years have failed the heartland -- and failed this country -- he's destined to repeat those mistakes ... Stuck-in-the-past policies that mean Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest men in America, pays a lower rate of income tax than his secretary, and he'll be the first to tell you, that's wrong.

  • Stuck-in-the-past trade deals that mean a father has to give up his high-skilled job manufacturing refrigeration equipment, for a low-wage job, stocking the freezer aisle at a grocery store;

  • a stuck-in-the-past energy policy that can't look beyond old fuels like oil to new sources like wind and solar, because oil lobbyists wrote the policy;

  • and a war that sends 10 billion of our tax dollars per month to build the Iraqi economy, while bridges and roads collapse here at home ...

    Barack Obama will give a $1,000 tax cut for the middle class, and end the tax cuts that encourage corporations to send jobs overseas. He'll invest in advanced manufacturing and green industries. He'll work to bring down the cost of health care and make college more affordable. He'll remove roadblocks in front of new small businesses and start-up companies.

    For Ohio and for the nation, there's more than hope in these ideas--there are jobs. Investing in advanced energy industries will create 5 million green jobs across this country. In Ohio alone, investing in wind power could boost wages by more than $3.5 billion by 2020. That's the change we need ...

    It's time for a president who will bring our jobs back and bring our troops home. For the change we need, it's time for Barack Obama. ...''

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    CNN TRANSCRIPT of Convention Speech by former Virginia Governor Mark Warnewr, 8-26-08

    ``My fellow Democrats. My fellow Americans. The most important contest of our generation has begun ... Yes, the race for the future is on, and it won't be won if only some Americans are in the running. It won't be won with yesterday's ideas and yesterday's divisions. And it won't be won with a president who is stuck in the past ...

    In America, everyone should get a fair shot. Barack Obama understands this, because he's lived it. And Barack Obama is running to restore that fair shot for every American ...

    How many kids have the grades to go to college but not the money? How many families thought their home would always be their safest investment? How many of our soldiers come back from their second or third tour of duty wondering if the education and health care benefits they were promised will actually be there?

    Two wars, a warming planet, an energy policy that says let's borrow money from China to buy oil from countries that don't like us. How many people look at these things and wonder what the future holds for them? Their children? Their country? How many? In George Bush and John McCain's America, far too many ...

    Think about it: After September 11, had there been a call from the president to get us off foreign oil, so we may no longer be funding the very terrorists who had just attacked us, every American would have said, "How can I do my part?" This administration failed to believe in what we can achieve as a nation, when all of us work together.

    John McCain promises more of the same. A plan that would explode the deficit and leave that to our kids. No real strategy to invest in our infrastructure. And he would continue spending $10 billion a month in Iraq ...

    You know, America has never been afraid of the future, and we shouldn't start now. If we choose the right path, every one of these challenges is also an opportunity. Look at energy. If we actually got ourselves off foreign oil, we can make our country safer. We'll start to solve global warming. And with the right policies, within 24 months, we'll be building 100 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrid vehicles right here with American technology and American workers.

    Look at health care. If we bring down costs and cover everyone, not only will America be healthier, we'll be more competitive in the global economy. Just think about this: In four months, we will have an administration that actually believes in science! And then we can again lead the world in live-saving and life-changing cures.

    Think about education. If we recruit a new army of teachers and actually give our schools the resources to meet our highest standards, not only will every child in America be given that fair shot, the American economy will be given a shot in the arm. Whether they want to be an engineer or an electrician, every kid will be trained for the jobs of the 21st century ...

    When I became governor, this is what Virginia faced: a massive budget shortfall, an economy that wasn't moving, gridlock in the capital. Does that sound familiar?

    So what did we do? Working together -- a Democratic governor with a 2-to-1 Republican legislature and a whole lot of good folks who didn't see themselves as Democrats or Republicans but as Virginians -- we closed the budget gap, and Virginia was named the best-managed state in the nation.

    We made record investments in education and in job training. We got 98 percent of eligible kids enrolled in our children's health care program.

    We delivered broadband to the most remote areas of our state, because in this global economy, if you can send a job to Bangalore, India, you sure as heck can send one to Danville, Virginia, and Flint, Michigan, and Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Peoria, Illinois. Because in a global economy, you should not have to leave your hometown to find a world-class job ...

    Tonight, looking out at all of you, and with a deep faith in the character and resolve of the American people, I am more confident than ever that we will win that race and make the future ours.

    Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.''

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    TRANSCRIPT from Forbes, 8-26-08,

    2008 Democratic National Convention: Remarks by Brian Schweitzer, Governor of Montana

    ``I'm a rancher who has made my living raising cattle and growing wheat, barley and alfalfa in Montana, a beautiful place with soaring peaks, pristine rivers and endless prairies ...

    We face a great new challenge, a world energy crisis that threatens our economy, our security, our climate and our way of life. And until we address that energy crisis, our problems will only get worse. For eight long years, the White House has led us in the wrong direction. And now Senator McCain wants four more years of the same ...

    Right now, the United States imports about 70 percent of its oil from overseas. At the same time, billions of dollars that we spend on all that foreign oil seems to end up in the bank accounts of those around the world who are openly hostile to American values and our way of life.

    This costly reliance on fossil fuels threatens America and the world in other ways, too. CO2 emissions are increasing global temperatures, sea levels are rising and storms are getting worse.

    We need to break America's addiction to foreign oil. We need a new energy system that is clean, green and American-made. And we need a president who can marshal our nation's resources, get the job done and deliver the change we need.

    That leader is Barack Obama. Barack Obama knows there's no single platform for energy independence. It's not a question of either wind or clean coal, solar or hydrogen, oil or geothermal. We need them all to create a strong American energy system, a system built on American innovation.

    After eight years of a White House waiting hand and foot on big oil, John McCain offers more of the same. At a time of skyrocketing fuel prices, when American families are struggling to keep their gas tanks full, John McCain voted 25 times AGAINST renewable and alternative energy. AGAINST clean biofuels. AGAINST solar power. AGAINST wind energy.

    This not only hurts America's energy independence, it could cost American families more than a hundred thousand jobs. At a time when America should be working harder than ever to develop new, clean sources, John McCain wants more of the same and has taken more than a million dollars in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry. Now he wants to give the oil companies another 4 billion dollars in tax breaks. Four billion in tax breaks for big oil?

    That's a lot of change, but it's not the change we need.

    In Montana, we're investing in wind farms and we're drilling in the Bakken formation, one of the most promising oil fields in America. We're pursuing coal gasification with carbon sequestration and we're promoting greater energy efficiency in homes and offices.

    Even leaders in the oil industry know that Senator McCain has it wrong. We simply can't drill our way to energy independence, even if you drilled in all of John McCain's backyards, including the ones he can't even remember ...

    America consumes 25 percent of the world's oil, but has less than 3 percent of the reserves. You don't need a $2 calculator to figure that one out. There just isn't enough oil in America, on land or offshore, to meet America's full energy needs.

    Barack Obama understands the most important barrel of oil is the one you don't use. Barack Obama's energy strategy taps all sources and all possibilities. It will give you a tax credit if you buy a fuel-efficient car or truck, increase fuel-efficiency standards and put a million plug-in hybrids on the road.

    Invest $150 billion over the next 10 years in clean, renewable energy technology. This will create up to 5 million new, green jobs and fuel long- term growth and prosperity. Senator Obama's plan will also invest in a modern transmission grid to deliver this new, clean electricity from wind turbines and solar panels to homes, offices and the batteries in America's new plug-in hybrid cars.''

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    CNN TRANSCRIPT of Convention Speech by former Vice President Al Gore, 8-28-08

    ``One of the greatest gifts of our democracy is the opportunity it offers us every four years to change course ...

    That's why I came here tonight: to tell you why I feel so strongly that we must seize this opportunity to elect Barack Obama President of the United States of America.

    Eight years ago, some said there was not much difference between the nominees of the two major parties and it didn't really matter who became president. Our nation was enjoying peace and prosperity, and some assumed we would continue both, no matter the outcome.

    But here we all are in 2008, and I doubt anyone would argue now that election didn't matter.

    Take it from me, if it had ended differently,

  • We would not be bogged down in Iraq; we would have pursued bin Laden until we captured him.

  • We would not be facing a self-inflicted economic crisis; we would be fighting for middle income families.

  • We would not be showing contempt for the Constitution; we'd be protecting the rights of every American regardless of race, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation.

  • And we would not be denying the climate crisis; we'd be solving it.

    Today, we face essentially the same choice we faced in 2000, though it may be even more obvious now, because John McCain, a man who has earned our respect on many levels, is now openly endorsing the policies of the Bush-Cheney White House and promising to actually continue them, the same policies all over again.

    Hey, I believe in recycling, but that's ridiculous.

    With John McCain's support, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have led our nation into one calamity after another because of their indifference to fact; their readiness to sacrifice the long-term to the short-term, subordinate the general good to the benefit of the few and short-circuit the rule of law ...

    Barack Obama is telling us exactly what he will do: launch a bold new economic plan to restore America's greatness:

  • Fight for smarter government that trusts the market but protects us against its excesses.

  • Enact policies that are pro-choice, pro-education and pro-family.

  • Establish a foreign policy that is smart as well as strong.

  • Provide health care for all and solutions for the climate crisis.

    So why is this election so close?

    Well, I know something about close elections, so let me offer you my opinion.

    I believe this election is close today mainly because the forces of the status quo are desperately afraid of the change Barack Obama represents.

    There is no better example than the climate crisis. As I have said for many years throughout this land, we're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the future of human civilization. Every bit of that has to change.

    Oil company profits, as you know, have soared to record levels, and gasoline prices have gone through the roof ...

    Many scientists predict -- shockingly -- that the entire North Polar ice cap may be completely gone during summer months during the first term of the next president.

    Sea levels are rising; fires are raging; storms are stronger. Military experts warn us our national security is threatened by massive waves of climate refugees destabilizing countries around the world, and scientists tell us the very web of life is endangered by unprecedented extinctions ...

    In spite of John McCain's past record of open-mindedness and leadership on the climate crisis, he has now apparently allowed his party to browbeat him into abandoning his support of mandatory caps on global warming pollution.

    And it just so happens that the climate crisis is intertwined with the other two great challenges facing our nation: reviving our economy and strengthening our national security. The solutions to all three require us to end our dependence on carbon-based fuels.

    Instead of letting lobbyists and polluters control our destiny, we need to invest in American innovation.

    Almost a hundred years ago, Thomas Edison, our most famous inventor, said, "I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power!" he continued. "I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that."

    Well, now, in 2008, we already have everything we need to use the sun, the wind, geothermal power, conservation and efficiency to solve the climate crisis -- everything, that is, except a president in the White House who inspires us to believe, "Yes, we can." But we know how to fix that.

    So how did this no-brainer become a brain-twister? Because the carbon fuels industry ... have a 50-year lease on the Republican Party, and they are drilling it for everything it's worth.

    And this same industry has spent a half a billion dollars this year alone trying to convince the public they are actually solving the problem, when they are, in fact, making it worse every single day.

    This administration and the special interests who control it lock, stock and barrel after barrel have performed this same sleight-of-hand on issue after issue. Some of the best marketers have the worst products, and this is certainly true of today's Republican Party ...

    The last eight years demonstrate that the special interests, who have come to control the Republican Party, are so powerful that serving them and serving the national well-being are now irreconcilable choices.

    So what can we do about it? ...

    We can tell Republicans and independents, as well as Democrats, exactly why our nation so badly needs a change from the approach of Bush, Cheney and McCain.

  • After they wrecked our economy, it is time for a change.

  • After they abandoned the search for the terrorists who attacked us and redeployed the troops to invade a nation that did not attack us, it's time for a change.

  • After they abandoned the principle first laid down by Gen. George Washington, when he prohibited the torture of captives because it would bring, in his words, "shame, disgrace and ruin" to our nation, it's time for a change.

  • When as many as three Supreme Court justices could be appointed in the first term of the next president, and John McCain promises to appoint more Scalias and Thomases and end a woman's right to choose, it is time for a change ...

    There are times in the history of our nation when our very way of life depends upon awakening to the challenge of a present danger, shaking off complacency and rising, clear-eyed and alert, to the necessity of embracing change.

    A century and a half ago, when America faced our greatest trial, the end of one era gave way to the birth of another.

    The candidate who emerged victorious in that election is now regarded by most historians as our greatest president.

    Before he entered the White House, Abraham Lincoln's experience in elective office consisted of eight years in his state legislature in Springfield, Illinois, and one term in Congress ...

    The experience that Lincoln's supporters valued most in that race was his powerful ability to inspire hope in the future at a time of impasse.

    He was known chiefly as a clear thinker and a great orator with a passion for justice and a determination to heal the deep divisions of our land.

    He insisted on reaching past partisan and regional divides to exalt our common humanity.

    In 2008, once again, we find ourselves at the end of an era with a mandate from history to launch another new beginning.

    And once again, we have a candidate whose experience perfectly matches an extraordinary moment of transition.

    Barack Obama had the experience and wisdom to oppose a popular war based on faulty premises ...

    His experience has also given him genuine respect for different views and humility in the face of complex realities that cannot be squeezed into the narrow compartments of ideology ...

    His life experience embodies the essence of our motto -- "e pluribus unum" -- out of many, one ...

    Let us leave here tonight and take the message of hope from Denver to every corner of our land and do everything we can to serve our nation, our world and our children and their future by electing Barack Obama president of the United States of America.''

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    TRANSCRIPT of Senator Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, from The New York Times, 8-28-08

    ``To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin, and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation, with profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for presidency of the United States ...

    Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story, of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

    It is that promise that's always set this country apart, that through hard work and sacrifice each of us can pursue our individual dreams, but still come together as one American family ...

    We meet at one of those defining moments, a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

    Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit cards, bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach ...

    America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this ...

    This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

    We're a better country than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment that he's worked on for 20 years and watch as it's shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

    We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty, that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes ...

    Next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third ...

    Let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and our respect.

    And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

    But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time.

    Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but, really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than 90 percent of the time? ...

    The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives -- on health care, and education, and the economy -- Senator McCain has been anything but independent.

    He said that our economy has made great progress under this president. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong.

    And when one of his chief advisers [Phil Gramm], the man who wrote his economic plan, was talking about the anxieties that Americans are feeling, [Gramm] said that we were just suffering from a mental recession and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners." [See Foreclosure Phil

    A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made.

    Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third, or fourth, or fifth tour of duty.

    These are not whiners. They work hard, and they give back, and they keep going without complaint. These are the Americans I know.

    Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans; I just think he doesn't know.

    Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under $5 million a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies, but not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans?

    How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

    It's not because John McCain doesn't care; it's because John McCain doesn't get it.

    For over two decades -- for over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy: Give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else.

    In Washington, they call this the "Ownership Society," but what it really means is that you're on your own.

    Out of work? Tough luck, you're on your own.

    No health care? The market will fix it. You're on your own.

    Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, even if you don't have boots. You are on your own.

    Well, it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America. And that's why I'm running for president of the United States.

    You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

    We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage, whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma.

    We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was president, when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of go down $2,000, like it has under George Bush.

    We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off and look after a sick kid without losing her job, an economy that honors the dignity of work ...

    In the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the G.I. Bill.

    In the face of that young student, who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree, who once turned to food stamps, but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.

    When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

    And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business or making her way in the world, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman.

    She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight and that tonight is her night, as well ...

    What is that American promise? It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have obligations to treat each other with dignity and respect.

    It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, to look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road ...

    Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves: protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools, and new roads, and science, and technology.

    Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.

    That's the promise of America, the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation, the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper.

    That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now.

    So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am president.

    Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

    You know, unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

    I'll eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

    I will -- listen now -- I will cut taxes -- cut taxes -- for 95 percent of all working families, because, in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle class.

    And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as president: In 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

    We will do this. Washington has been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years. And, by the way, John McCain has been there for 26 of them.

    And in that time, he has said NO to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, NO to investments in renewable energy, NO to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil than we had on the day that Senator McCain took office.

    Now is the time to end this addiction and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution, not even close ...

    As president, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America.

    I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars.

    And I'll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy -- wind power, and solar power, and the next generation of biofuels -- an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced.

    America, now is not the time for small plans. Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy.

    You know, Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance.

    I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries, and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability.

    And we will keep our promise to every young American: If you commit to serving your community or our country, we will make sure you can afford a college education ...

    Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American.

    If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves.

    And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

    Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their job and caring for a sick child or an ailing parent.

    Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses, and [NOW is] the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

    And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have the exact same opportunities as your sons.

    Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime: by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow.

    But I will also go through the federal budget line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less, because we cannot meet 21st-century challenges with a 20th-century bureaucracy ...

    Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient.

    Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents, that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework, that fathers must take more responsibility to provide love and guidance to their children.

    Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility, that's the essence of America's promise. And just as we keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad.

    If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament and judgment to serve as the next commander-in-chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.

    For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats that we face.

    When John McCain said we could just muddle through in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights.

    You know, John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the gates of Hell, but he won't even follow him to the cave where he lives.

    And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learned that Iraq has $79 billion in surplus while we are wallowing in deficit, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

    That's not the judgment we need; that won't keep America safe. We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

    You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances.

    If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice, but that is not the change that America needs ...

    The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans, Democrats and Republicans, have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

    As commander-in-chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

    I will end this war in Iraq responsibly and finish the fight against Al Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts, but I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression.

    I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation, poverty and genocide, climate change and disease.

    And I will restore our moral standing so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

    These -- these are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.

    But what I will not do is suggest that the senator takes his positions for political purposes, because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and each other's patriotism.

    The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain.

    The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and independents, but they have fought together, and bled together, and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a red America or a blue America; they have served the United States of America.

    So I've got news for you, John McCain: We all put our country first.

    America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices. And Democrats, as well as Republicans, will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past, for part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose, and that's what we have to restore.

    We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.

    The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than they are for those plagued by gang violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals.

    I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in a hospital and to live lives free of discrimination.

    You know, passions may fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers.

    But this, too, is part of America's promise, the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

    I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk ...

    And that's to be expected, because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters.

    If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things.

    And you know what? It's worked before, because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping and settle for what you already know.

    I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.

    But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the naysayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me; it's about you.

    For 18 long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said, "Enough," to the politics of the past. You understand that, in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same, old politics with the same, old players and expect a different result.

    You have shown what history teaches us, that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington.

    Change happens because the American people demand it, because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time ...

    You know, this country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

    Instead, it is that American spirit, that American promise, that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

    That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night and a promise that you make to yours, a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west, a promise that led workers to picket lines and women to reach for the ballot.

    And it is that promise that, 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

    The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustrations of so many dreams deferred.

    But what the people heard instead -- people of every creed and color, from every walk of life -- is that, in America, our destiny is inextricably linked, that together our dreams can be one.

    "We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."

    America, we cannot turn back, not with so much work to be done; not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for; not with an economy to fix, and cities to rebuild, and farms to save; not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend.

    America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone.

    At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise, that American promise, and in the words of scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

    Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.''

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