For a guy who just lost a primary, ’08 Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama sounds like he won. Highlights and remarks follow the video below…
The Illinois senator gave yet another stirring speech, his knack for which is far superior to the rest of the field on either side.
“A few weeks ago, no one imagined that we’d have accomplished what we did here tonight,” began Obama, just after congratulating winner Sen. Hillary Clinton. “For most of this campaign, we were far behind, and we always knew our climb would be steep. But in record numbers, you came out and spoke up for change. And with your voices and your votes, you made it clear that at this moment â€“ in this election â€“ there is something happening in America.”
Obama reiterated this election season’s common theme of “change,” but did it with an inspired finesse and a commanding cadence that recalled Dr. Martin Luther King’s gifted oratory: “There is something happening when people vote not just for the party they belong to but the hopes they hold in common â€“ that whether we are rich or poor; black or white; Latino or Asian; whether we hail from Iowa or New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina, we are ready to take this country in a fundamentally new direction. That is what’s happening in America right now. Change is what’s happening in America.”
Shades of John F. Kennedy were self-evident as Obama declared, “We can harness the ingenuity of farmers and scientists; citizens and entrepreneurs to free this nation from the tyranny of oil and save our planet from a point of no return. And when I am President, we will end this war in Iraq and bring our troops home; we will finish the job against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan; we will care for our veterans; we will restore our moral standing in the world…”
Obama then said, in a punishing Larry Holmes-like jab to the failed Bush administration and desperate GOP candidate Rudy Giuliani, among others, “We will never use 9/11 as a way to scare up votes, because it is not a tactic to win an election, it is a challenge that should unite America and the world against the common threats of the twenty-first century: terrorism and nuclear weapons; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease.”
His speech built up to a crescendo as he exclaimed, “In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible odds; when we’ve been told that we’re not ready, or that we shouldn’t try, or that we can’t, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes we can!”
“Yes We Can” then became the stirring chant of the frenzied crowd; they shouted it often and loudly, in perfect unison.
Obama wasn’t finished. In the best part of his speech, he underscored his mantra and touched on numerous milestones of American history. “It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation. Yes we can. It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom through the darkest of nights. Yes we can. It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness. Yes we can.
“It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballot; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.
“Yes we can to justice and equality. Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity. Yes we can heal this nation. Yes we can repair this world. Yes we can!”
Tremendous. After seven years of darkness in America, forgive this blogger for feeling a bit giddy about the future, even if it’s perhaps the illusory after-effects of a heady political sermon.
The prepared text of this speech is available in full at this link.
There is no doubt that Obama has tapped into a vein of desire that so many of us have felt since the end of the “people power” of the early 70’s that stopped the last stupid war our corporate leaders felt we had to fight. His unswerving belief in the power of hope is inspiring and makes the other candidates seem as if they are nothing but machine politicians.
Here’s hoping that as the campaign continues, Barack and John Edwards join together as a unified force for change.
Combine their vote totals from last night and they easily beat any of the other candidates.
Although Edwards and Obama are different in a lot of ways, the potential good that could come from their uniting forces would be immeasurable. An Obama/Edwards presidency could transform this country.
The man surely can inspire.
I doubt there’s footage of any speech MLK ever gave that Obama hasn’t studied intently. The cadence, the rhetorical structure, everything. It’s remarkable, in a way. And his speechwriters have studied the texts of those speeches thoroughly, as well.
There is a glow of hope here. I am rooting for Edwards, mainly because of his strong anti-corporate stance, even showing in his contribution record. But Barak is also promising, having the speeking eloquence of Bill Clinton and hopefully, the mores of MLK, seeking equality for ALL. I grew up in the Age of Aquarius, but have lived my life in the Age of Mars, in eternal wars and conflicts. It is time we turn in the new direction, away from war, profiteering and destroying our planet and environment, toweward true freedom and equality for all including Gays and Lesbian and transgendered folks. Combining John Edwards and Barak Obama is a promising direction. I would like to see them team up, and, maybe after two terms of Obama, then John will have his turn at America’s stewardship, bringing America back out of this dark age we’ve endured for seven years.
Forgiven. Obama makes even Matt Taibbi weak in the knees.
Martin, I still hold out the same hope.
Is this then Clinton’s last hurrah, or a step towards her nomination?
If the latter, it’s my fist step toward voting for Cynthia McKinney, candidate of the Green Party. (Apologies to Dr. Slammy.)
So… I’m sensing an Obamarama here at S&R…
I’ve been 1. Kucinich, 2. Dodd, 3. Obama for quite some time. Down to just Obama and the Peace Gnome now.
Don’t forget Mike Gravel, yo. My man is still in the race. Fuck the haters. 🙂
For the new campaign, the running candidates innovate and inspire new trends in the government. Their impact has mainstreamed in the society and will have a everlasting effect.
Check out the song we wrote for Obama and the Nation. http://www.myspace.com/bergevinbrothersmusic . Move beyond.