By Albert R. Hunt
As President Barack Obama prepares to accept his party's nomination for a second term in Charlotte, North Carolina, this week, here are excerpts from his previous addresses to Democratic National Conventions. First, the keynote speech he delivered in 2004 as a candidate for an Illinois U.S. Senate seat that catapulted him to national attention. Then, his speech accepting the presidential nomination at the 2008 convention.
Obama's keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston:
It's that fundamental belief -- I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper -- that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. `E pluribus unum.' Out of many, one.
The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into red states and blue states; red states for Republicans, blue states for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome god in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states. We coach Little League in the blue states and have gay friends in the red states.
[...] We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the Unites States of America.
Obama's acceptance speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver:
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.
These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.
[...] 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.
[...] 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 employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers.
[...] 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.
(Albert R. Hunt is Washington editor at Bloomberg News and a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)
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-0- Sep/02/2012 16:08 GMT