I was thinking that Obama's speech last night would unveil a new keyword or slogan, or be built on his new campaign, Forward, but he went back to his Hope and Change keywords of the 2008 campaign. I was a bit hmmm...at first, but by the end of his speech, I got it. I hope he wins come November. The guy has met a lot of the goals he set for himself during the last campaign, he has a vision for the four years he's asking for, and I like that he's such a community/grassroots person.
There was something Biden, the VP said in his own speech that struck me, he said "...the 'Bain Way' may bring your firm the highest profits, but it’s not the way to lead our country from the highest office." So true. Below are some parts I really liked from President Obama's speech.
Now, the first time I addressed this convention, in 2004, I was a younger man — (laughter) — a Senate candidate from Illinois who spoke about hope, not blind optimism, not 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 even possible to tackle the challenges of our time. I know campaigns can seem small, even silly sometimes.
Trivial things become big distractions. Serious issues become sound bites. The truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. And if you're sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am I. (Laughter, cheers, applause.)
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. (Cheers.) Over the next few years big decisions will be made in Washington on jobs, the economy, taxes and deficits, energy, education, war and peace — decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and on our children's lives for decades to come.
And on every issue, the choice you face won't just be 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 — (cheers, applause) — 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 turn out the world's best products, and everyone shared in that pride and success from the corner office to the factory floor.
My grandparents were given the chance to go to college and buy their home — their own 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, D.C. (Cheers, applause.)
And I ran for president because I saw that basic bargain slipping away. I began my career helping people in the shadow of a shuttered steel mill at a time when too many good jobs were starting to move overseas. And by 2008 we had seen nearly a decade in which families struggled with costs that kept rising but paychecks that didn't, folks racking up more and more debt just to make the mortgage or pay tuition, put gas in the car or food on the table. And when the house of cards collapsed in the Great Recession, millions of innocent Americans lost their jobs, their homes, their life savings, a tragedy from which we're still fighting to recover.
Now, I won't pretend the path I'm offering is quick or easy. I never have. You didn't elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. (Cheers, applause.)
And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. It'll require common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one. (Cheers, applause.)
And by the way, those of us who carry on his party's legacy should remember that not every problem can be remedied with another government program or dictate from Washington.
But know this, America: Our problems can be solved. (Cheers, applause.) Our challenges can be met. (Applause.) The path we offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place, and I'm asking you to choose that future. (Applause.)
I'm asking you to rally around a set of goals for your country, goals in manufacturing, energy, education, national security and the deficit, real, achievable plans that will lead to new jobs, more opportunity and rebuild this economy on a stronger foundation. That's what we can do in the next four years, and that is why I am running for a second term as president of the United States. (Cheers, applause.)
And now you have a choice. We can gut education, or we can decide that in the United States of America, no child should have her dreams deferred because of a crowded classroom or a crumbling school. No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don't have the money. (Cheers, applause.) No company should have to look for workers overseas because they couldn't find any with the right skills here at home. (Cheers, applause.) That's not our future. That is not our future. (Cheers, applause.)
A government has a role in this. But teachers must inspire. Principals must lead. Parents must instill a thirst for learning. And students, you've got to do the work. (Cheers, applause.) And together, I promise you we can outeducate and outcompete any nation on earth. (Cheers, applause.)
So help me. Help me recruit a hundred thousand math and science teachers within 10 years and improve early childhood education. (Cheers, applause.) Help give 2 million workers the chance to learn skills at their community college that will lead directly to a job. Help us work with colleges and universities to cut in half the growth of tuition costs over the next 10 years.
We can meet that goal together. (Cheers, applause.) You can choose that future for America. (Cheers, applause.) That's our future.
Now, I'm still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission. No party has a monopoly on wisdom. No democracy works without compromise. I want to get this done, and we can get it done.
We don't think the government can solve all of our problems, but we don't think the government is the source of all of our problems — (cheers, applause) — any more than our welfare recipients or corporations or unions or immigrants or gays or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles — (cheers, applause) — because — because America, we understand that this democracy is ours.
We, the people — (cheers) — recognize that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which asks only, what's in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defense. (Cheers, applause.)
As citizens, we understand that America is not about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us, together — (cheers, applause) — through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. That's what we believe.
So you see, the election four years ago wasn't about me. It was about you. (Cheers, applause.) My fellow citizens — you were the change. (Cheers, applause.)
If you turn away now — if you turn away now, if you buy into the cynicism that the change we fought for isn't possible, well, change will not happen. If you give up on the idea that your voice can make a difference, then other voices will fill the void, the lobbyists and special interests, the people with the $10 million checks who are trying to buy this election and those who are trying to make it harder for you to vote, Washington politicians who want to decide who you can marry or control health care choices that women should be making for themselves. (Cheers, applause.) Only you can make sure that doesn't happen. Only you have the power to move us forward.
You know, I recognize that times have changed since I first spoke to this convention. Times have changed, and so have I. I'm no longer just a candidate. I'm the president. (Cheers, applause.)
And while I'm proud of what we've achieved together — (cheers) — I'm far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, "I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go." , for I have held in my arms the mothers and fathers of those who didn't return. I've shared the pain of families who've lost their homes, and the frustration of workers who've lost their jobs. If the critics are right that I've made all my decisions based on polls, then I must not be very good at reading them. And while I'm proud of what we've achieved together, I'm far more mindful of my own failings, knowing exactly what Lincoln meant when he said, "I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go." (Cheers, applause.)
But as I stand here tonight, I have never been more hopeful about America. (Cheers, applause.) Not because I think I have all the answers. Not because I'm naive about the magnitude of our challenges.
I'm hopeful because of you.
America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won't promise that now. Yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place. (Cheers.) Yes, our road is longer, but we travel it together. (Cheers.)
We don't turn back. We leave no one behind. (Cheers.) We pull each other up. (Cheers, applause.) We draw strength from our victories. (Cheers, applause.) And we learn from our mistakes. But we keep our eyes fixed on that distant horizon knowing that providence is with us and that we are surely blessed to be citizens of the greatest nation on earth.
Thank you, God bless you and God bless these United States.
Source : NPR
PS: Is it just me, or does anyone else wish Nigerian politicians could display this sense of vision for the country?