Time to Take Back the
Country We Love
Text of Hillary
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.
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
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 Administration.
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.
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. Our 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
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
To create a
world class education system and make college
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
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
To bring fiscal
sanity back to Washington and make our government an
instrument of the public good, not of private
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
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
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
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
We need a
President who understands that the genius of America
has always depended on the strength and vitality of
the middle class.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
. . .
and less affordable health care.
More high gas
. . .
and less alternative energy.
getting shipped overseas
. . .
and fewer jobs created
. . . home foreclosures
. . .
mounting bills that are crushing our middle class
More war . . .
More of a
government where the privileged come first ... and
everyone else comes last.
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
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
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
If you hear the
dogs, keep going.
If you see the
torches in the woods, keep going.
shouting after you, keep going.
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.
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
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
Thank you so
much. God bless America and Godspeed to you all.
Hillary Clinton at the 2008 DNC (video)
* * *
So Many Miles From Selma—When
Clinton came to the convention floor during Wednesday's roll call and
asked that Obama be nominated "by acclamation," I got a lump in my
throat. I knew that it wouldn't be official until Obama had given his
acceptance speech, according to party rules, but there was something
about the word "acclamation" that hit me. It implied an acceptance of
leadership, a recognition of merit. African-Americans have been an
integral part of this nation since its birth and certainly don't need
anyone's validation. Still, it feels as if this obvious historical fact
has finally been acknowledged in a way that many of us felt we'd never
witness in our lifetimes.
A black man is running as the
Democratic candidate for president of the United States. Can you believe
Whether Obama wins or loses in
November is important, to say the least; this feels like one of those
potential turning-point moments for our nation, full of both peril and
* * *
* * * * *
Super Rich: A Guide to Having it All
By Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons knows firsthand that
wealth is rooted in much more than the
market. True wealth has more to do with
what's in your heart than what's in your
wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons
became one of America's shrewdest
entrepreneurs, achieving a level of
success that most investors only dream
about. No matter how much material gain
he accumulated, he never stopped lending
a hand to those less fortunate. In
Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare
blend of spiritual savvy and
street-smart wisdom to offer a new
definition of wealth-and share timeless
principles for developing an unshakable
sense of self that can weather any
financial storm. As Simmons says, "Happy
can make you money, but money can't make
* * * * *
The New Jim Crow
Mass Incarceration in the Age of
By Michele Alexander
Contrary to the
rosy picture of race embodied in Barack
Obama's political success and Oprah
Winfrey's financial success, legal
scholar Alexander argues vigorously and
persuasively that [w]e have not ended
racial caste in America; we have merely
redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial
segregation has been replaced by mass
incarceration as a system of social
control (More African Americans are
under correctional control today... than
were enslaved in 1850). Alexander
reviews American racial history from the
colonies to the Clinton administration,
delineating its transformation into the
war on drugs. She offers an acute
analysis of the effect of this mass
incarceration upon former inmates who
will be discriminated against, legally,
for the rest of their lives, denied
employment, housing, education, and
public benefits. Most provocatively, she
reveals how both the move toward
colorblindness and affirmative action
may blur our vision of injustice: most
Americans know and don't know the truth
about mass incarceration—but her
carefully researched, deeply engaging,
and thoroughly readable book should
* * * * *
The White Masters of the
The World and Africa, 1965
By W. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois’
Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization
* * *
Ancient African Nations
* * * * *
If you like this page consider making a donation
* * * * *
Negro Digest /
Browse all issues
* * * * *
The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Only a Pawn in Their Game
Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for
George Jackson /
* * *
The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg
Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804
January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of
* * * * *
* * *
(Books, DVDs, Music, and more)
posted 29 August 2008