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Bill Clinton's Speech at the '08 Democratic Convention

Why Obama Must Be Elected

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Bill Clinton's Speech at the '08 Democratic Convention

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Text of the astute, and surprisingly succinct, speech delivered by by Bill Clinton, 42rd President of the United States, on August 27, 2008 at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Leading Us Away from Fear, Division of the Last Eight Years

I am honored to be here tonight to support Barack Obama. And to warm up the crowd for Joe Biden, though as you'll soon see, he doesn't need any help from me. I love Joe Biden, and America will too.

What a year we Democrats have had. The primary began with an all-star line up and came down to two remarkable Americans locked in a hard fought contest to the very end. The campaign generated so much heat it increased global warming.

In the end, my candidate didn't win. But I'm very proud of the campaign she ran: she never quit on the people she stood up for, on the changes she pushed for, on the future she wants for all our children. And I'm grateful for the chance Chelsea and I had to tell Americans about the person we know and love.

I'm not so grateful for the chance to speak in the wake of her magnificent address last night. But I'll do my best.

Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she'll do everything she can to elect Barack Obama. That makes two of us.

Actually that makes 18 million of us - because, like Hillary, I want all of you who supported her to vote for Barack Obama in November. Here's why.

America Is In Trouble on Two Fronts
Our nation is in trouble on two fronts: 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 big spike in the cost of food, utilities, and gasoline.
Our position in the world has been weakened by:
  • too much unilateralism and too little cooperation;
  • a perilous dependence on imported oil;
  • a refusal to lead on global warming;
  • a growing indebtedness and a dependence on foreign lenders;
  • a severely burdened military;
  • a backsliding on global non-proliferation and arms control agreements; and
  • 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 restore America's standing in the world.

Everything I learned in my eight years as President and in the work I've done since, in America and across the globe, has convinced me that Barack Obama is the man for this job.

"Barack Obama Is the Man for the Job"
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, taxes, health care and energy are far superior to the Republican alternatives. He has shown a clear grasp of our foreign policy and national security challenges, and a firm commitment to repair our badly strained military.

His family heritage and life experiences have given him a unique capacity to lead our increasingly diverse nation and to restore our leadership 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, insight, and good instincts, America will have the national security leadership we need.

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