July 27, 2004 in Politics

Great Political Speeches

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I watched the CNN coverage of the Democratic convention last night and really enjoyed the speech given by former President Clinton. I know some of you don’t care for the man, but he is perhaps one of the best political orators. Now can’t wait to hear Ted Kennedy tonight. Sure he is a relic of the past, but he too is a great orator. Perhaps one of my favorite political speeches of all time was Senator Kennedy’s consession speech at the 1980 Democratic Convention. Below is an excerpt:

Well, things worked out a little different from the way I thought, but let me tell you, I still love New York.
My fellow Democrats and my fellow Americans, I have come here tonight not to argue as a candidate but to affirm a cause. I’m asking you–I am asking you to renew the commitment of the Democratic Party to economic justice.
I am asking you to renew our commitment to a fair and lasting prosperity that can put America back to work.
This is the cause that brought me into the campaign and that sustained me for nine months across 100,000 miles in 40 different states. We had our losses, but the pain of our defeats is far, far less than the pain of the people that I have met.
We have learned that it is important to take issues seriously, but never to take ourselves too seriously.
The serious issue before us tonight is the cause for which the Democratic Party has stood in its finest hours, the cause that keeps our Party young and makes it, in the second century of its age, the largest political party in this republic and the longest lasting political party on this planet.
Our cause has been, since the days of Thomas Jefferson, the cause of the common man and the common woman.
Our commitment has been, since the days of Andrew Jackson, to all those he called “the humble members of society–the farmers, mechanics, and laborers.” On this foundation we have defined our values, refined our policies and refreshed our faith.
Now I take the unusual step of carrying the cause and the commitment of my campaign personally to our national convention. I speak out of a deep sense of urgency about the anguish and anxiety I have seen across America.
I speak out of a deep belief in the ideals of the Democratic Party, and in the potential of that Party and of a President to make a difference. And I speak out of a deep trust in our capacity to proceed with boldness and a common vision that will feel and heal the suffering of our time and the divisions of our Party.

For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

One Comment

  1. July 28, 2004 at 10:45 am


    i love bill clinton, and am absolutely unashamed to admit it. the entire duration of his speech at the dnc had me feeling goosebumps. he’s so intelligent and articulate and can break things down simplistically.. and make so much damn sense!
    if only i were more political minded back when he was president, i would’ve enjoyed him so much more.

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