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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-29-09 11:10 PM
Original message
Poll question: what part of Obama's 2004 Keynote address do you best remember?
Edited on Thu Oct-29-09 11:25 PM by FrenchieCat
Democratic National Convention in Boston, Mass.
July 27, 2004

Thank you so much. Thank you so much...

On behalf of the great state of Illinois, crossroads of a nation, Land of Lincoln, let me express my deepest gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention.

Gratitude for Family Heritage

Tonight is a particular honor for me because lets face it my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely. My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. His father my grandfather was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.

But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place, America, that shone as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before.

While studying here, my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor my grandfather signed up for duty; joined Pattons army, marched across Europe.

Back home, my grandmother raised their baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through F.H.A., and later moved west all the way to Hawaii in search of opportunity.

And they, too, had big dreams for their daughter. A common dream, born of two continents.

My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or blessed, believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success.

They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they werent rich, because in a generous America you dont have to be rich to achieve your potential.

They are both passed away now. And yet, I know that, on this night, they look down on me with great pride.

I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents dreams live on in my two precious daughters. I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that, in no other country on earth, is my story even possible.

Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy.

Greatness of America

Our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

That is the true genius of America a faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles:

- That we can tuck in our children at night and know that they are fed and clothed and safe from harm.

- That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door.

- That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe.

- That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted at least, most of the time.

This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and our commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers, and the promise of future generations.

And fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans, Independents I say to you tonight: we have more work to do.

- More work to do for the workers I met in Galesburg, Ill., who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant thats moving to Mexico, and now are having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay seven bucks an hour.

- More to do for the father that I met who was losing his job and choking back the tears, wondering how he would pay $4,500 a month for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits that he counted on.

- More to do for the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her, who has the grades, has the drive, has the will, but doesnt have the money to go to college.

Now dont get me wrong. The people I meet in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks they dont expect government to solve all their problems. They know they have to work hard to get ahead and they want to.
Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they dont want their tax money wasted, by a welfare agency or by the Pentagon.

Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone cant teach our kids to learn they know that parents have to teach, that children cant achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. They know those things.

People dont expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all.

They know we can do better. And they want that choice.

John Kerry

In this election, we offer that choice. Our Party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer. And that man is John Kerry. John Kerry understands the ideals of community, faith, and service because theyve defined his life.

From his heroic service to Vietnam, to his years as a prosecutor and lieutenant governor, through two decades in the United States Senate, he has devoted himself to this country. Again and again, weve seen him make tough choices when easier ones were available.

His values and his record affirm what is best in us. John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded; so instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he offers them to companies creating jobs here at home.

John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves.

John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we arent held hostage to the profits of oil companies, or the sabotage of foreign oil fields.

John Kerry believes in the Constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties, nor use faith as a wedge to divide us.

And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world war must be an option sometimes, but it should never be the first option.

You know, a while back, I met a young man named Seamus in a V.F.W. Hall in East Moline, Ill.. He was a good-looking kid, six two, six three, clear eyed, with an easy smile. He told me hed joined the Marines, and was heading to Iraq the following week. And as I listened to him explain why hed enlisted, the absolute faith he had in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service, I thought this young man was all that any of us might hope for in a child.

But then I asked myself: Are we serving Seamus as well as he is serving us?

I thought of the 900 men and women sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, who wont be returning to their own hometowns.

I thought of the families Ive met who were struggling to get by without a loved ones full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were Reservists.

When we send our young men and women into harms way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why theyre going, to care for their families while theyre gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.

Now let me be clear. Let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued and they must be defeated. John Kerry knows this.

And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not hesitate to risk his life to protect the men who served with him in Vietnam, President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our military might to keep America safe and secure.

John Kerry believes in America. And he knows that its not enough for just some of us to prosper.

For alongside our famous individualism, theres another ingredient in the American saga. A belief that were all connected as one people.

If there is a child on the south side of Chicago who cant read, that matters to me, even if its not my child.

If theres a senior citizen somewhere who cant pay for their prescription drugs, and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if its not my grandparent.

If theres an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

It is that fundamental belief, it is that fundamental belief, I am my brothers keeper, I am my sisters keeper that makes this country work. Its what allows us to pursue our individual dreams and yet still come together as one American family.
E pluribus unum. Out of many, one.

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America theres the United States of America.

The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But Ive got news for them, too:

We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we dont like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States.

We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, weve got some gay friends in the Red States.

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We Are One People

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. In the end, thats what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope?

John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope.

Im not talking about blind optimism here - the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just dont think about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. Thats not what Im talking about. Im talking about something more substantial.

Its the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs. The hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores.

The hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta.

The hope of a millworkers son who dares to defy the odds.

The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.

Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!

In the end, that is Gods greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.

I believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity.

I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair.

I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us.

America! Tonight, if you feel the same energy that I do, if you feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion I do, if you feel the same hopefulness that I do if we do what we must do, then I have no doubts that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as president, and John Edwards will be sworn in as vice president, and this country will reclaim its promise, and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.

Thank you very much everybody. God bless you. Thank you.

Thank you, and God bless America.
http://usliberals.about.com/od/extraordinaryspeeches/a/...

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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mth44sc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-29-09 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. What I remember most
was thinking this guy is going to be our President some day...
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jezebel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-29-09 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. I couldn't have dreamed that, but I remember being so inspired. I was just getting into politics and
remember thinking that this is what I wanted to fight for. This America.
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-29-09 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. And my "oh my goodness! who IS this person!!!" head grabbing moment was....
If theres an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. coupled with, John Kerry will never sacrifice our basic liberties, nor use faith as a wedge to divide us.
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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-29-09 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. His background was unique and that caught my eye right away.
And his speech was incredible for someone so new to the scene.
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-29-09 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. was it his "background" Jenni?
or his BACK GROUND?

i know I know ....... FOCUS! :)

(you pickin' up what I'm puttin down? lol)
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Sebass1271 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-29-09 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. ha ha ha.. i think it was more of his Back Ground.. : )
Edited on Thu Oct-29-09 11:29 PM by Sebass1271
that she liked.. : )

I must say that i was mesmerized that night. I was thinking, who is this guy? i rewatched his speech on C-span like three times.
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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 05:36 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. Well, there was that.....
}( Kind of hard to miss, you know?
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HopeOverFear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. down, girl! LOL
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-29-09 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
7. I think he is now practicing exactly what he preached back then.....
Edited on Thu Oct-29-09 11:39 PM by FrenchieCat
and what he later wrote in his book, the Audacity to Hope.

Those who don't understand why Barack Obama is attempting to listen
to even his sworn enemies, do not understand him, what he is about,
and how he will get things done in a long run.

This speech was his platform, and he is not about to become an angry ideologue,
just to scratch some people's back. That's just not how he operates,
and I think that his way will work better than fighting hate with hate.
That's what will make him a successful President,
just like what has made him a successful person,
he does what is hardest, and what is less obvious to most
in order to get things done.
It's easy to dog people out and bark out orders,
hell, the Right does it everyday.

Fighting fire with fire, will only burn the house down, and nothing more.
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. "he is not about to become an angry ideologue,"
.... that line was so spot on it needed to be repeated.

Seriously, I believe it was Valerie Jarret who said, in the almost 15 years she's known him, has never even heard him yell.

As he wrote in his book (that at least you and I have read lol) his candidacy was a blank slate for everyone project their hopes and dreams onto. This can be a good thing, but unless we truly understand the man we are making demands on, we may be setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Practically everything the man has touched in his life has turned to gold ..... call me a cheerleader if you like, but I'm afraid my threshold of doubt in him is a bit higher than the one I might have in the average bear. If anyone has a problem with that, then need to find me someone who can do it better.

This cheerleader has NEVER been a fan of armchair quaterbacks.
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-29-09 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
8. Not so much the speech itself as the effect it seemed to have.
I remember people talking about the speech in the days following more than the speech itself. It was clear then that he would be someone heading for bigger things within the party, though I admit I didn't think it would be the presidency as I truly didn't think America was ready to elect a black man any time soon (nice to be wrong on that one). I thought Hillary was the one to beat all the way until Super Tuesday. It was clear that the Clinton campaign was totally caught by surprise, and that in turn surprised me and made me realize that she could be beaten, and that Obama was the one who would do it.
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 09:22 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. I think it's ironic......
..... that, in the early days, we (notice I include myself) had doubt in his candidacy because we didn't think, with our grand liberal wisdom, that America would vote for an African American man just yet. We failed to realize that Americans WILL do the right thing when our backs are against the wall, that our basic faith in the liberty and brotherhood of man is truly what unites us as a people.

Turns out that perhaps the ones who were biased were us "libs." Funny isn't it?
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Good point.
My cynicism about Americans was definitely proven wrong. I had no doubt Obama would beat McCain (I think almost all our candidates would have), but I didn't see him surviving the primaries. But his campaign turned out to be one of the most solid and smart runs I've seen in my life, and his supporters were as dedicated and proactive as any I've seen in awhile (Dean supporters were very similar).
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Whisp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-29-09 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
9. I didn't know Obama then so
Edited on Fri Oct-30-09 12:21 AM by Whisp
the speech that made me jump up and down and know who the right one for the job was is the New Hampshire one. the one Yes we Can the vid was based on. It felt like finding something that was lost for a long time. It felt great.

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damonm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
14. All of it, really...
Because, after we watched that speech, I told my wife "the Republicans should be VERY afraid of this man - he'll be President in 8-12 years, and he's gonna show us what a President SHOULD be like."

But if I HAFTA pick, I'd say it was the "I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper" that grabbed me hardest.
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HopeOverFear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
16. I just remember not being able to STOP talking about it the day after
Edited on Fri Oct-30-09 12:30 PM by HopeOverFear
I forget if I was watching the DNC, but I DO remember that the day after it was all everyone was talking about


"Yo! Did you see that cat in Boston yesterday??? He tore it UP!" :rofl:

oh and the part that touched me the most was the "politics of cynicism or hope" line. That's the one I voted for.

You know how during those convention speeches no one in the audience is really paying attention and they're talking during them? By the time Obama was finished that day in July, he had EVERYONE's rapt attention...remember that?
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
17. sorry but there IS a liberal America and a conservative America.
those are pretty words as far as political speeches go but it's complete denial of reality. the country is divided.
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. +1
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