The nation's first lady introduced President Obama to delegates at the Democratic National Convention last night in Charlotte, N.C., and then he invoked the memory of Gen. George S. Patton.
"Kid Hope," the audacious champion from the streets of Chicago by way of social diversity programs, stepped into the center of the DNC ring surrounded by an impressive emblematic circle to remind voters exactly who occupies the West Wing of the nation's White House today. The president spoke to DNC delegates and voters about troop withdrawals, counterterrorism, nation building, economic expansion and equal opportunities for everyone.
He graduated from Columbia University and then Harvard with a law degree in 1991, after transferring from Jack Kemp's alma mater, Occidental College, in Southern California. He arrived in L.A. as an undergraduate student from Hawaii. That he spent much of his youth in Indonesia seemed a distant memory last night. In fact, the president's worldly view added to the mystique of Barack Obama, the president.
In another historically significant moment, the first African-American commander-in-chief accepted the nomination for a second term in the Oval Office, and then spoke of values and a "future filled with hope."
Text of President Obama's speech to the DNC on Sept. 6.
Michelle, I love you. The other night, I think the entire country saw just how lucky I am. Malia and Sasha, you make me so proud ... but don't get any ideas, you're still going to class tomorrow. And Joe Biden, thank you for being the best Vice President I could ever hope for.
Madam Chairwoman, delegates, I accept your nomination for President of the United States.
The first time I addressed this convention in 2004, I was a younger man; a Senate candidate from Illinois who spoke about hope – not blind optimism or wishful thinking, but hope in the face of difficulty; hope in the face of uncertainty; that dogged faith in the future which has pushed this nation forward, even when the odds are great; even when the road is long.
Eight years later, that hope has been tested – by the cost of war; by one of the worst economic crises in history; and by political gridlock that's left us wondering whether it's still possible to tackle the challenges of our time.
I know that campaigns can seem small, and even silly. Trivial things become big distractions. Serious issues become sound bites. And the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. If you're sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me – so am I.
But when all is said and done – when you pick up that ballot to vote – you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs and the economy; taxes and deficits; energy and education; war and peace – decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children's lives for decades to come.
On every issue, the choice you face won't be just between two candidates or two parties.
It will be a choice between two different paths for America.
A choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.
Ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known; the values my grandfather defended as a soldier in Patton's Army; the values that drove my grandmother to work on a bomber assembly line while he was gone.
They knew they were part of something larger – a nation that triumphed over fascism and depression; a nation where the most innovative businesses turned out the world's best products, and everyone shared in the pride and success – from the corner office to the factory floor. My grandparents were given the chance to go to college, buy their first home, and fulfill the basic bargain at the heart of America's story: the promise that hard work will pay off; that responsibility will be rewarded; that everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules – from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, DC.
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