Huff | Obama Diary | TALKING POINTS | Palin
OK there is no ULTIMATE stump speech. But Barack and Bill did something in Denver with words that deserves to be used by everyone in this campaign. One size does not fit all, but a consistent, positive message can win this. And with that in mind, I have taken the texts of Bill Clinton’s great Denver address and Barack Obama’s superb acceptance speech and tied them together as seamlessly as I could. The result below is a TEMPLATE for anyone who wants to speak for the Democrats this year. Modular elements that are fail safe.
They work. They resonate. I am not trying for a greatest hits list. I am trying for a useful document that can be virally circulated so anyone who needs something to say to voters. The grand kahuna, from the mouths of a former President and a President-to be. I have edited, elided and so forth. For the originals, simply check here for Bill Clinton and here for Barack.
Bill Clinton said it in Denver
The American dream is under siege at home, and America’s leadership in the world has been weakened. Middle-class and low-income Americans are hurting, with incomes declining, job losses, poverty, and inequality rising, mortgage foreclosures and credit card debt increasing, health care coverage disappearing, and a very big spike in the cost of food, utilities, and gasoline.
And our position in the world has been weakened by too much unilateralism and too little cooperation … by a perilous dependence on imported oil, by a refusal to lead on global warming, by a growing indebtedness and a dependence on foreign lenders, by a severely burdened military, by a backsliding on global nonproliferation and arms control agreements, and by a failure to consistently use the power of diplomacy, from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America to Central and Eastern Europe.
Clearly, the job of the next president is to rebuild the American dream and to restore American leadership in the world.
Now the Republican nominee is a good man who has served our country heroically and who suffered terribly in a Vietnamese prison camp. He loves his country every bit as much as we do. As a senator, he has shown his independence of right-wing orthodoxy on some very important issues.
But on the two great questions of this election — how to rebuild the American dream and how to restore America’s leadership in the world — he still embraces the extreme philosophy that has defined his party for more than 25 years.
It’s a philosophy the American people never actually had a chance to see in action fully until 2001, when the Republicans finally gained control of both the White House and the Congress.
And look what happened.
They took us from record surpluses to an exploding debt; from over 22 million new jobs to just 5 million; from increasing working families’ incomes to nearly $7,500 a year to a decline of more than $2,000 a year; from almost 8 million Americans lifted out of poverty to more than 5.5 million driven into poverty; and millions more losing their health insurance.
Now, in spite of all this evidence, their candidate is actually promising more of the same.
Think about it: more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that will swell the deficit, increase inequality, and weaken the economy; more Band-Aids for health care that will enrich insurance companies, impoverish families, and increase the number of uninsured; more going it alone in the world, instead of building the shared responsibilities and shared opportunities necessary to advance our security and restore our influence.
They actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more.
Now, let’s send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America, a simple message: Thanks, but no thanks.
I don’t believe Sen. McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans. I think he just doesn’t know. John McCain just doesn’t get it.
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 — you’re on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps — even if you don’t have boots. You’re on your own.
But we Democrats 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 down $2,000 as it has under George Bush.
John McCain doesn’t get it.
While Sen. McCain was promoting war with Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats 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.
John McCain doesn’t get it.
John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell — but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.
And a while ago John McCain said he would not referee the attack ads that his campaign put out, and then he started approving attack ads himself.
But once again John McCain just doesn’t get it.
If you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.
Not this time. Not this year.
We have a program that will improve life for all Americans, not just the top five percent.
I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.
I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.
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.
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.
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 ever be outsourced.
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 your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.
That’s what I will do when I am President of the United States of America.
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 jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.
Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and 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 exactly the 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.
Finally, as President:
I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda 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.
I will practice diplomacy first and and use military force only as a last resort.
On Barack for other speakers — surrogates:
Bill Clinton said it in Denver:
“Everything I learned in my eight years as president, and in the work I have done since in America and across the globe, has convinced me that Barack Obama is the man for this job.
“Now, he has a remarkable ability to inspire people, to raise our hopes and rally us to high purpose. He has the intelligence and curiosity every successful president needs. His policies on the economy, on taxes, on health care, on energy are far superior to the Republican alternatives.
“He has shown — he has shown a clear grasp of foreign policy and national security challenges and a firm commitment to rebuild our badly strained military.
“His family heritage and his life experiences have given him a unique capacity to lead our increasingly diverse nation in an ever more interdependent world.
“The long, hard primary tested and strengthened him. And in his first presidential decision, the selection of a running mate, he hit it out of the park.
“With Joe Biden’s experience and wisdom, supporting Barack Obama ’s proven understanding, instincts, and insight, America will have the national security leadership we need.
“Barack Obama is ready to lead America and to restore American leadership in the world.”
Now, Senator Obama’s life is a 21st-century incarnation of the old-fashioned American dream. His achievements are proof of our continuing progress toward the more perfect union of our founders’ dreams. The values of freedom and equal opportunity, which have given him his historic chance, will drive him as president to give all Americans — regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability — their chance to build a decent life and to show our humanity, as well as our strengths, to the world.
We see that humanity, that strength, and our nation’s future in Barack and Michelle Obama and their beautiful children.
We see them reinforced by the partnership with Joe Biden, his fabulous wife, Jill, a wonderful teacher, and their family.
Barack Obama will lead us away from the division and fear of the last eight years back to unity and hope.
So if, like me, you believe America must always be a place called Hope, then join Hillary and Chelsea and me in making Barack Obama the next president of the United States.
Ouch! HT to firedoglake
WILL MCCAIN ruin Palin? GO
FRANK RICH — Obama Consistently Confounds a Blinded Media GO
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