2008-02-01

Obama: The future is what we decide

I was unable to attend Barack Obama's visit to the University of Denver's campus, but I was able to find a YouTube video of his speech and read through the full text of his speech.

I'd definitely recommend reading the speech or watching the video yourself, but if it's a summary you want....

Obama was welcomed to the city and the stage by notable individuals such as Rod Smith and Caroline Kennedy. His message - as always - was one of hope: "The future is what we decide it is going to be. That's what America's all about."

He sprinkled his speech in places with comical commentary such as: "Whatever else happens, the name 'George W. Bush' will not be on the ballot." A line to which the crowd cheered long and hard. However, he quickly pointed out that "It's easy to be against something. The choice before you is about what comes next. Because we need to do more than just turn the page on the failed Bush-Cheney policies, we need to turn the page on the politics which made those policies possible."

His speech continued, addressing many of the ailments which currently plague our nation. Eventually he came to the turmoil within the Democratic party during this primary season and came straight the point about what it means to select him as the Democratic presidential candidate.
We can be a party that tries to beat the other side by practicing the same do-anything say-anything divisive politics that have stood in the way of progress; or we can be a party that puts an end to it.

I am running for president because I believe that we don't just need small change, we need fundamental change in America. Not just a change of party in the White House, but change in Washington the American people can believe in. Unity instead of division, hope instead of fear, a politics that leaves behind the fights of the past so we can finally take hold of our future.


Barack also drew a parallel between what has been said to him throughout the race and what was said to then-candidate-for-President John F. Kennedy.
There was also a time when Caroline Kennedy's father was counseled by a former President to "be patient," and to step aside for "someone with greater experience." But John F. Kennedy responded to Harry Truman by saying, "The world is changing. The old ways will not do...It is time for a new generation of leadership. It is time for a new generation of leadership, because the old politics just won't do. I am running for President - right now - because I have met Americans all across this country who cannot afford to wait another day for change.


As he concluded his speech, Obama energized the crowd with these words of encouragement:
This is our moment. This is our message - the same message we had when we were up, and when we were down. The same message that we will carry all the way to the convention. And in seven months time - right here in Denver - we can realize this promise; we can claim this legacy; we can choose new leadership for America. Because there is nothing we cannot do if the American people decide it is time.
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