Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Brother Bill & Fightin' Joe

The Big Dog warmed up the crowd for Joe Biden this evening. He was, as always, great on the stump. He said "Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she'll do everything she can to elect Barack Obama. That makes two of us." And then he caught himself and said, "actually, that makes 18 million of us." It was a nice line. He then went on to say what he needed to say -- that he's convinced that Obama is the man for the job, and he enumerated Obama's qualifications. He also gave Biden a hat tip by saying that when it came to choosing a running mate, Obama hit it out of the park. And as far as the Republicans are concerned, Bill had plenty to say, including this: "they actually want us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more. Let's send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America: Thanks, but no thanks."

The crowd went wild when Bill came out and wouldn't let him speak for the first several minutes he was on the stage. Clearly, he's as popular as ever with the party faithful, and his speech demonstrated one reason why. Bill Clinton, is one of the greatest public speakers in modern politics. He still takes my breath away.

Here're a the key lines from Clinton's remarks this evening: "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" and "Barack Obama is ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world. Ready to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Barack Obama is ready to be President of the United States."

You can read his remarks as prepared here and watch the video here.

And then Joe Biden came out. Wow. What a bio. His beautiful mother, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden was there in the crowd to hear him speak -- what a rock and an inspiration! Joe speaks like regular people and is a great storyteller. He slipped at one point and started to call John McCain "George" -- an honest slip, I think, but also quite on-message.

Joe talked about dignity and respect. He discussed Barack Obama's accomplishments in Illinois and DC, as well as how he learned about Obama when they were both on the campaign trail together. He also talked about his friend, John McCain, who wants to take this country "in the wrong direction."
Here's my nomination for the line of the night: "These times require more than a good soldier. They require a wise leader." And then he really got rolling...
As we gather here tonight, our country is less secure and more isolated than at any time in recent history. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has dug us into a very deep hole with very few friends to help us climb out. For the last seven years, this administration has failed to face the biggest forces shaping this century: the emergence of Russia, China and India as great powers; the spread of lethal weapons; the shortage of secure supplies of energy, food and water; the challenge of climate change; and the resurgence of fundamentalism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the real central front against terrorism.

In recent days, we’ve once again seen the consequences of this neglect with Russia’s challenge to the free and democratic country of Georgia. Barack Obama and I will end this neglect. We will hold Russia accountable for its actions, and we’ll help the people of Georgia rebuild.

I’ve been on the ground in Georgia, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and I can tell you in no uncertain terms: this Administration’s policy has been an abject failure. America cannot afford four more years of this.

Now, despite being complicit in this catastrophic foreign policy, John McCain says Barack Obama isn’t ready to protect our national security. Now, let me ask you: whose judgment should we trust? Should we trust John McCain’s judgment when he said only three years ago, “Afghanistan—we don’t read about it anymore because it’s succeeded”? Or should we trust Barack Obama, who more than a year ago called for sending two additional combat brigades to Afghanistan?

The fact is, al-Qaida and the Taliban—the people who actually attacked us on 9/11—have regrouped in those mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan and are plotting new attacks. And the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff echoed Barack’s call for more troops.

John McCain was wrong. Barack Obama was right.

Should we trust John McCain’s judgment when he rejected talking with Iran and then asked: What is there to talk about? Or Barack Obama, who said we must talk and make it clear to Iran that its conduct must change.

Now, after seven years of denial, even the Bush administration recognizes that we should talk to Iran, because that’s the best way to advance our security.

Again, John McCain was wrong. Barack Obama was right.

Should we trust John McCain’s judgment when he says there can be no timelines to draw down our troops from Iraq—that we must stay indefinitely? Or should we listen to Barack Obama, who says shift responsibility to the Iraqis and set a time to bring our combat troops home?

Now, after six long years, the Bush administration and the Iraqi government are on the verge of setting a date to bring our troops home.

John McCain was wrong. Barack Obama was right.

Again and again, on the most important national security issues of our time, John McCain was wrong, and Barack Obama was proven right.

Folks, remember when the world used to trust us? When they looked to us for leadership? With Barack Obama as our president, they’ll look to us again, they’ll trust us again, and we’ll be able to lead again.
Here are the prepared remarks, and more videos.

And as if that weren't enough to work the Democrats into a frenzy, then Barack Obama, his badass self, showed up! He thanked the entire Biden family for being on board, complemented his wife on her great convention opener, gave Hillary props for "rock[ing] the house the other night," and then gave Bill Clinton mad props as well. And then Barack and the whole Biden family filled the stage as the room rocked out to Bruce Springsteen.

Wow. What a night. Tomorrow, Obama will turn it up to eleven...

1 comment:

June said...

I agree, two great speeches! Bill's back in my good graces...