Obama Vows To Deliver A Better Future For America

Published on
by
Press Association/UK

Obama Vows To Deliver A Better Future For America

by

People wave flags and posters of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama on day four of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. Obama told Americans their "dreams can be one" if they unite in a stirring new crusade for change, in a riotous finale to the historic Democratic National Convention. (AFP/Getty Images/Mark Wilson)

The American Dream is alive and the nation can be better than it has been
during the last eight years of President George Bush, Barack Obama said as
he accepted the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Delivering the most important speech of his life to more than 80,000 people at
an open-air stadium in Denver, Colorado, Mr Obama left no doubt America was
ready for change and said it was time for voters to stand up and say: "Eight
is enough!"

"I get it," he said. "I realise that I am not the likeliest
candidates for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't
spent my career in the halls of Washington.

"But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is
stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has
never been about me. It's about you."

Mr Obama confronted every criticism made by Mr McCain and the Republicans of
his campaign and the Democrats head-on, from his ego and rock star status to
his lack of foreign policy experience and his tax policies.

"If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and
judgment, to serve as the next commander-in-chief, that's a debate I'm ready
to have," Mr Obama declared, referring to his rival's notorious temper
and criticism of his own lack of experience.

"America, we are better than these last eight years," he said. "We
are a better country than this."

Mr Obama, who made history on Wednesday as the first African American US
presidential nominee of a major party, said: "This moment - this
election - is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise
alive."

The 47-year-old Illinois senator said his Republican rival John McCain, a
former Vietnam prisoner of war, had "voted with George Bush 90 per cent
of the time".

"I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a 10 per cent chance
on change," he said.

Mr Obama, whose keynote address at the party's 2004 convention shot him to
fame, gave his 44-minute acceptance speech last night 45 years to the day
after Martin Luther King Jr inspired the world with his "I Have a Dream"
speech.

"America, we cannot turn back," he said.

The final day of the convention was moved outside to the Invesco Field stadium
in a bid to show his candidacy extends beyond the politicians who have
dominated the convention so far.

Ten supporters, including some who donated only $5 (£2.72), were invited to
join Mr Obama backstage beforehand and watched his speech from the front
row.

At the end of a convention dominated by the issue of unity between Mr Obama
and his former rival Hillary Clinton, the Democrat received the loudest
applause when he embraced the idea of coming together.

Watch Barack Obama's speech

"The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same
partisan playbook," he said.

"The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and
Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled
together and some died together under the same proud flag.

"They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served
the United States of America."

Mr Obama said America needed to restore its "sense of higher purpose"
and "the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and
grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort."

The Democrat also confronted the McCain campaign's accusations over his ego
and celebrity status.

He said his grandmother Sarah in Kenya had worked hard so that he could have a
better life and "poured everything she had into me".

"I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities
lead, but this has been mine," he said.

Striving to dismiss criticisms that his lofty, inspirational campaign
consisted of empty rhetoric, he set out "exactly what change would mean
if I am president".

He pledged to cut taxes for 95 per cent of all working families, end US
dependence on oil from the Middle East within 10 years and create jobs for
Americans.

America's troubled economy and its national security were his central focus.

He said he had "made clear we must take out Osama bin Laden and his
lieutenants if we have them in our sights" and added: "John McCain
likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't
even go to the cave where he lives."

Mr Obama went on: "As commander-in-chief I will never hesitate to defend
this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear
mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in
battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home."

He offered details of his plans for energy and education, health and the
climate crisis and pre-empted criticism he was a liberal who believed in "spend,
spend, spend".

"I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate
loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow," he said.

Mr Obama added that America's failure to respond to its challenges were "a
direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of
George W Bush".

It was time for Republicans to "own their failure", he said.

"It's time for us to change America. And that's why I'm running for
President of the United States."

Fireworks erupted over the stadium as Mr Obama was joined by his wife Michelle
and daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, seven, at the end of his speech.

A bid to get most of those packed into the stadium to form the world's largest
phone bank - text-messaging thousands more to boost voter registration for
November's general election - also underscored how the Obama campaign has
harnessed modern technology to garner support in what polls indicate will be
a close race between Mr Obama and Mr McCain for a place in history as the
44th president of the United States.

At the end of a convention dominated by the issue of unity between Mr Obama
and his former rival Hillary Clinton, the Democrat received the loudest
applause when he embraced that theme.

"One of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea
that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and
patriotism," he said.

"The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same
partisan playbook.

"So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and
so do you, and so does John McCain.

"The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and
Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled
together and some died together under the same proud flag.

"They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served
the United States of America."

Mr Obama said America needed to restore its "sense of higher purpose".

"This too is part of America's promise," he said.

"The promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to
bridge divides and unite in common effort."

He explained: "We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on
reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.

"The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio
than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we
can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of
criminals.

"I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can
agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the
person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination.

"Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a
mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American
wages by hiring illegal workers."

He said some critics dismissed such suggestions as "happy talk", but
he said that when rivals did not have any fresh ideas, they "use stale
tactics to scare the voters".

"If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as
someone people should run from," he said.

"You make a big election about small things."

Mr Obama used his speech to confront every criticism made by Mr McCain and the
Republicans of his campaign and the Democrats.

"If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and
judgment, to serve as the next commander-in-chief, that's a debate I'm ready
to have," Mr Obama said, referring to his rival's notorious temper and
criticism of his own lack of experience.

The Democrat also confronted the McCain campaign's accusations over his ego
and celebrity status.

He said his grandmother Sarah in Kenya had worked hard so that he could have a
better life and "poured everything she had into me".

"I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities
lead, but this has been mine," he said.

"These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on
their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive
as President of the United States."

He also described his former rival Hillary Clinton as "a champion for
working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours".

He even echoed Mrs Clinton's passionate speech on Tuesday night when he said: "I
stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring.
What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been
about me. It's about you."

Striving to dismiss criticisms that his lofty, inspirational campaign
consisted of empty rhetoric, he set out "exactly what change would mean
if I am president".

America's troubled economy and its national security were his central focus,
with pledges to cut taxes for 95 per cent of all working families, end US
dependence on oil from the Middle East within 10 years and create jobs for
Americans.

"We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't
tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that
Democrats won't keep us safe.

"As commander-in-chief I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I
will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred
commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and
benefits they deserve when they come home."

He also detailed his plans on energy and education, health and the climate
crisis.

Mr Obama then pre-empted criticism he was a liberal who believed in "spend,
spend, spend".

"I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate
loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow," he said.

Mr Obama added that America's failure to respond to its challenges were "a
direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of
George W Bush".

It was time for Republicans to "own their failure", he said.

"It's time for us to change America. And that's why I'm running for
President of the United States."

 

Share This Article

More in: