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1992 Democratic Conventio8 - History
1992 Democratic National Convention Address
delivered 14 July 1992, New York, NY
[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio. (2)]
I'm Elizabeth Glaser . Eleven years ago, while giving birth to my first child, I hemorrhaged and was transfused with seven pints of blood. Four years later, I found out that I had been infected with the AIDS virus and had unknowingly passed it to my daughter, Ariel, through my breast milk, and my son, Jake, in utero.
Twenty years ago I wanted to be at the Democratic Convention because it was a way to participate in my country. Today, I am here because it's a matter of life and death. Exactly -- Exactly four years ago my daughter died of AIDS. She did not survive the Reagan Administration. I am here because my son and I may not survive four more years of leaders who say they care, but do nothing. I -- I am in a race with the clock. This is not about being a Republican or an Independent or a Democrat. It's about the future -- for each and every one of us.
I started out just a mom -- fighting for the life of her child. But along the way I learned how unfair America can be today, not just for people who have HIV, but for many, many people -- poor people, gay people, people of color, children. A strange spokesperson for such a group: a well-to-do white woman. But I have learned my lesson the hard way, and I know that America has lost her path and is at risk of losing her soul. America wake up: We are all in a struggle between life and death.
I understand -- I understand the sense of frustration and despair in our country, because I know firsthand about shouting for help and getting no answer. I went to Washington to tell Presidents Reagan and Bush that much, much more had to be done for AIDS research and care, and that children couldn't be forgotten. The first time, when nothing happened, I thought, "They just didn't hear me." The second time, when nothing happened, I thought, "Maybe I didn't shout loud enough." But now I realize they don't hear because they don't want to listen.
When you cry for help and no one listens, you start to lose your hope. I began to lose faith in America. I felt my country was letting me down -- and it was. This is not the America I was raised to be proud of. I was raised to believe that other's problems were my problems as well. But when I tell most people about HIV, in hopes that they will help and care, I see the look in their eyes: "It's not my problem," they're thinking. Well, it's everyone's problem and we need a leader who will tell us that. We need a visionary to guide us -- to say it wasn't all right for Ryan White to be banned from school because he had AIDS, to say it wasn't alright for a man or a woman to be denied a job because they're infected with this virus. We need a leader who is truly committed to educating us.
I believe in America, but not with a leadership of selfishness and greed -- where the wealthy get health care and insurance and the poor don't. Do you know -- Do you know how much my AIDS care costs? Over 40,000 dollars a year. Someone without insurance can't afford this. Even the drugs that I hope will keep me alive are out of reach for others. Is their life any less valuable? Of course not. This is not the America I was raised to be proud of -- where rich people get care and drugs that poor people can't. We need health care for all. We need a leader who will say this and do something about it.
I believe in America, but not a leadership that talks about problems but is incapable of solving them -- two HIV commission reports with recommendations about what to do to solve this crisis sitting on shelves, gathering dust. We need a leader who will not only listen to these recommendations, but implement them.
I believe in America, but not with a leadership that doesn't hold government accountable. I go to Washington to the National Institutes of Health and say, "Show me what you're doing on HIV." They hate it when I come because I try to tell them how to do it better. But that's why I love being a taxpayer, because it's my money and they must feel accountable.
I believe in an America where our leaders talk straight. When anyone tells President Bush that the battle against AIDS is seriously under-funded, he juggles the numbers to mislead the public into thinking we're spending twice as much as we really are. While they play games with numbers, people are dying.
I believe in America, but an America where there is a light in every home. A thousand points of light just wasn't enough: My house has been dark for too long.
Once every generation, history brings us to an important crossroads. Sometimes in life there is that moment when it's possible to make a change for the better. This is one of those moments.
For me, this is not politics. This is a crisis of caring.
In this hall is the future -- women, men of all colors saying, "Take America back." We are -- We are just real people wanting a more hopeful life. But words and ideas are not enough. Good thoughts won't save my family. What's the point of caring if we don't do something about it? A President and a Congress that can work together so we can get out of this gridlock and move ahead, because I don't win my war if the President cares and the Congress doesn't, or if the Congress cares and the President doesn't support the ideas.
The people in this hall this week, the Democratic Party, all of us can begin to deliver that partnership, and in November we can all bring it home.
My daughter lived seven years, and in her last year, when she couldn't walk or talk, her wisdom shone through. She taught me to love, when all I wanted to do was hate. She taught me to help others, when all I wanted to do was help myself. She taught me to be brave, when all I felt was fear. My daughter and I loved each other with simplicity. America, we can do the same.
This was the country that offered hope. This was the place where dreams could come true, not just economic dreams, but dreams of freedom, justice, and equality. We all need to hope that our dreams can come true. I challenge you to make it happen, because all our lives, not just mine, depend on it.
The Truth About Gov. Bob Casey and The 1992 DNC Convention
Back in 1992, Gov. Robert P. Casey of Pennsylvania was a leading figure in the Democratic Party who had just come off a triumphant re-election in 1990 over his Republican opponent. As the 1992 Democratic National Convention approached, Gov. Casey appeared to be an obvious candidate to address the delegation at some point. In fact, Casey himself believed he could have been the keynote speaker. 1 Political allegiances, however, prevented this from ever happening.
The reason that the Democratic National Committee did not invite Gov. Casey to speak to the convention is quite simple: Gov. Casey wished to deliver a fervent pro-life speech in which he would defend the dignity of the unborn and voice opposition to his party's stance on abortion. [Very important note: Casey was not shunned just for his "pro-life views" per se, but for his clear wish to deliver a pro-life speech. This is an important distinction. 2 ]
A speech denouncing abortion would have been a disaster for the Democrats, and convention organizers knew this. Why? A pro-life speech would have turned the convention from an image of unity and strength into one of utter disarray. Imagine the ensuing media coverage: "A Party Divided!" "Casey Scolds Democrats!" "Casey Topples DNC Unity!" In the light of the full context of events, the decision by the DNC to forbid Casey from speaking is completely understandable.
Many Democrats angrily deny that Casey was improperly shunned. But after combing through contemporaneous media reports from 1992, even liberal journalist Kevin Drum (Washington Monthly) has concluded "that the real reason Casey was prevented from speaking was because he wanted to give a pro-life speech. Clinton was keeping a tight lid on the convention and wanted no dissent on an issue that he considered important." Drum also found that "virtually 100% of the news coverage … assumed that Casey's abortion stand was the reason he wasn't allowed to speak." 3 Among the quotes he found:
July 15, 1992, CBS This Morning, Bob Beckel: "It's going to do a &mdash take a lot to repair the damage there, I think. So they could have treated Casey better but don't underestimate &mdash the Democrats are not going to try to fudge it on this issue. You've got to be choice on this issue."
July 15, 1992, Daily Oklahoman: Asked why Casey was not allowed to speak, [James] Carville said, "The convention schedule is set. The Democrats of the country have spoken as to the direction they want the country to go," he said in defending refusal to deviate from Clinton's agenda. 4
In his stirring autobiography called Fighting for Life (1996), Gov. Casey recounts his "banishment" from the 1992 convention, which was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City from July 13 to July 15. Eyewitness accounts also support Casey&rsquos narrative. 5
Historical context is very important in learning the truth about this story. Less than three weeks before the convention, Gov. Casey had been a defendant in the monumental Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania vs. Casey. Casey was sued by Planned Parenthood after signing a law which required a 24-hour waiting period and parental consent (for minors) for abortions. The law also banned abortions for the purpose of gender selection. 6 Gov. Casey's lawsuit nearly brought Roe v. Wade to the point of being overturned.
Needless to say, Gov. Casey was not a popular figure among the NARAL / pro-choice crowd, who was especially vocal during the campaign. The pro-choice movement pulled out all the stops. The Feminist Majority mobilized millions of voters with the immensely popular "Rock for Choice" crusade. Using well-known rock groups who had the ears of impressionable young voters, "Rock for Choice" blared all over the national media, and its mission was not the re-election of President George H.W. Bush. Its objective was political change.
By becoming such a powerful lobbying and political force, the pro-choice movement gained the whole-hearted support of Bill Clinton. Witness the following:
On the very day of the historic Pennsylvania vs. Casey Supreme Court ruling (June 29), candidate Bill Clinton spoke directly with NARAL Pro-Choice America president Kate Michelman. According to Michelman's 2005 chronicle With Liberty and Justice for All, Michelman personally advised Clinton upon the ruling. In turn, Clinton told Michelman (emphasis added), "It's awfully good news that Roe was upheld … I want you to know that you can count on me to continue to stand up for a woman's right to choose." 7
Check out this photo and caption from Michelman's With Liberty and Justice for All
(red and yellow underline added) 8 :
Notice the words "Pro-Choice President" behind Michelman and Clinton.
So here we have a confirmed alliance between candidate Clinton and the pro-choice movement. Is it any wonder why the DNC would not want Gov. Casey to stand in front of the nation and deliver a forceful pro-life address? Such a speech would have thrown the convention into bedlam!
What remains remarkable, however, is how events transpired before the July 13 start of the convention and the utter rudeness that ensued.
According to his autobiography, about a week and a half before the convention, Casey wrote a July 2 letter to Ron Brown, DNC chairman, requesting an opportunity to speak at Madison Square Garden. Casey's letter made it perfectly clear that he wished to address the convention about the Democratic Party's alliance with pro-choice factions. "The platform [committee] draft … has the effect of placing the national party even more squarely within the abortion-on-demand camp. I believe this is a serious mistake for the party and would like the opportunity to present this point of view." (emphasis mine)
Ron Brown never responded to Casey&rsquos letter. 9 Brown was later quoted as having told Casey, "Your views are out of line with those of most Americans." 10
Gov. Casey tried another letter upon arriving at the convention on July 13. This one was addressed to Gov. Ann Richards of Texas, the chairperson of the convention. Richards did not respond either. 11 Said one observer, "Eighty percent of the Pennsylvania delegation were wishing Governor Casey would get lost on the subway." 12
Casey eventually received a carbon-copy of a letter – not even addressed to him – that denied his right to speak because "it was out of order" (Casey&rsquos words).
On July 14, the second day of the convention, a full-page ad which Casey organized was published in the New York Times. Entitled "The New American Compact," it was signed by pro-lifers, both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives. 13 It stated, in part, that,
"[I]n January 1973… [in Roe vs. Wade] seven unelected justices performed the most momentous act of exclusion in our history: they deprived every human being, for the first nine months of his or her life, of the most fundamental human right of all — the right to life."
Gov. Casey was determined to voice his "strong dissent based on the party&rsquos historic commitment to protecting the powerless." 14
What actually transpired at the convention itself, however, was simply a humiliation of Gov. Casey. "I would be publicly humiliated by my own party," wrote Casey. 15
From his "nosebleed" seats far, far back in the arena, Gov. Casey watched as Kathy Taylor, a pro-choice activist from Pennsylvania, spoke to the convention. Less than two years earlier, the Republican Taylor had worked on behalf of Casey&rsquos gubernatorial opponent, Barbara Hafer, whom Casey defeated to win reelection! 16 Recalled Casey,
And so from my seat in the outer reaches of the Garden, I watched a pro-choice Republican supporter of my pro-choice Republican opponent, whom I had defeated by a million votes to be re-elected as Democratic governor, proudly proclaiming her allegiance to the pro-choice forces. 17
The humiliation did not end there. After her address, in which she shared the podium with five other pro-choice women, DNC officials sent Taylor along with a camera crew to search for Casey and further humiliate him. 18 Luckily, Casey was tipped off, and he avoided more national embarrassment.
The spectacle was so pathetic that the next day Al Gore called Gov. Casey to apologize. 19
And there were even more insults. Karen Ritter, a Pennsylvania legislator, sold large buttons at the convention featuring a picture of Casey dressed as the Pope. 20 Classy, eh?
"But, wait!" you cry. "Casey did not endorse Bill Clinton! That was the real reason Casey did not speak."
This fake "reason" was rebutted years ago, by Gov. Casey himself. Again, from his autobiography (emphasis mine):
The official line from the convention publicity machine was that I was not permitted to speak because I hadn&rsquot endorsed Clinton. But if that&rsquos the case, why had Kathleen Brown, state treasurer of California and sister of presidential hopeful Jerry Brown, been permitted to address the convention? She hadn&rsquot endorsed the nominee, either. 21
In addition, only three days after the convention ended, the New York Times quoted Gov. Casey, "I support the ticket, period, end of quote." 22
So there you have it: The truth about Gov. Bob Casey and the 1992 Democratic National Convention.
1 Nat Hentoff, &ldquoLife of the Party,&rdquo New Republic, June 19, 2000. Downloaded January 2006 from http://swiss.csail.mit.edu/
2 In fact, a number of pro-life Democrats did address the DNC convention, but no one stirred the abortion issue .
3 Kevin Drum, "Political Animal: The Curious Incident of the Governor Who Didn't Speak at the Convention," Washington Monthly, March 6, 2005. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_03/005787.php. (Note: Hentoff and Drum are both avowed liberals. Hentoff is pro-life. Drum: "My conclusion: In fact, [Casey] was prevented from speaking because he wanted to give a pro-life speech.")
6 Gov. Robert P. Casey, Jr., Fighting for Life (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1996), pp. 149-150.
7 Kate Michelman, With Liberty and Justice For All (New York: Hudson Street Press, 2005), p. 112.
8 Ibid. The copyrighted NARAL/Pro-Choice America photo is shown here and with the intended application and accordance of the "fair use" doctrine.
9 Casey, Fighting for Life, p. 186.
10 Nat Hentoff, &ldquoLife of the Party,&rdquo New Republic, June 19, 2000. Downloaded January 2006 from http://swiss.csail.mit.edu/
rauch/no-violence/civil/hentoff_casey.html. See also Kevin Drum, "Political Animal: The Curious Incident of the Governor Who Didn't Speak at the Convention," Washington Monthly, March 6, 2005. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_03/005787.php. (Note: Hentoff and Drum are both avowed liberals. Hentoff is pro-life. Drum: "My conclusion: In fact, [Casey] was prevented from speaking because he wanted to give a pro-life speech.")
11 Casey, Fighting for Life, p. 186.
12 Michael Decourcy Hinds, "The 1992 Campaign: Pennsylvania Democratic Ticket Heads Into Fertile Territory," New York Times, July 19, 1992, section 1, page 20.
13 The text of the actual New York Times ad can be viewed at http://prolife.liberals.com/articles/compact.html.
14 Casey, Fighting for Life, p. 186.
18 Hentoff, &ldquoLife of the Party.&rdquo
19 Hentoff, &ldquoLife of the Party.&rdquo The phone call is also recounted in Casey, Fighting for Life, p. 191.
20 Casey, Fighting for Life, p. 190.
22 Michael Decourcy Hinds, "The 1992 Campaign: Pennsylvania Democratic Ticket Heads Into Fertile Territory," New York Times, July 19, 1992, section 1, page 20.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS Transcript of Speech by Clinton Accepting Democratic Nomination
Following is the speech by Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas to the Democratic National Convention last night accepting the party's Presidential nomination, as transcribed by The New York Times.
Governor Richards, Chairman Brown, Mayor Dinkins, our great host, my fellow delegates and my fellow Americans.
I am so proud of Al Gore. He said he came here tonight because he always wanted to do the warm-up for Elvis. Well, I ran for President this year for one reason and one reason only: I wanted to come back to this convention and finish that speech I started four years ago.
Last night, Mario Cuomo taught us how a real nominating speech should be given. He also made it clear why we have to steer our ship of state on a new course.
Tonight I want to talk with you about my hope for the future, my faith in the American people, and my vision of the kind of country we can build, together.
I salute the good men who were my companions on the campaign trail: Tom Harkin, Bob Kerrey, Doug Wilder, Jerry Brown and Paul Tsongas. One sentence in the platform we built says it all: "The most important family policy, urban policy, labor policy, minority policy and foreign policy America can have is an expanding, entrepreneurial economy of high-wage, high-skill jobs."
And so, in the name of all those who do the work, pay the taxes, raise the kids and play by the rules -- in the name of the hard-working Americans who make up our forgotten middle class, I proudly accept your nomination for Presidency of the United States.
I am a product of that middle class. And when I am President you will be forgotten no more.
We meet at a special moment in history, you and I. The cold war is over Soviet Communism has collapsed, and our values -- freedom, democracy, individual rights, free enterprise -- they have triumphed all around the world. And yet just as we have won the cold war abroad, we are losing the battles for economic opportunity and social justice here at home. Now that wehave changed the world, it's time to change America.
I have news for the forces of greed and the defenders of the status quo: your time has come -- and gone. It's time for a change in America.
Tonight, 10 million of our fellow Americans are out of work. Tens of millions more work harder for lower pay. The incumbent President says unemployment always goes up a little before a recovery begins. But unemployment only has to go up by one more person before a real recovery can begin -- and Mr. President, you are that man.
This election is about putting power back in your hands and putting government back on your side. It's about putting people first.
You know, I've said that all across America. And whenever I do, someone comes back at me, as a young man did justthis week at a town meeting at the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan: He said: "That sounds good, Bill. But you're a politician. Why should I trust you?" Taught to Fight and Unify By Mother and Grandfather
Tonight, as plainly as I can, I want to tell you who I am, what I believe and where I want to lead America.
He was killed in a car wreck on a rainy road three months before I was born, driving home from Chicago to Arkansas to see my mother.
After that, my mother had to support us. So we lived with my grandparents while she went away to Louisiana to study nursing .
I can still see her clearly tonight through the eyes of a 3-year-old: kneeling at the railroad station and weeping as she put me back on the train to Arkansas with my grandmother. She endured that pain because she knew her sacrifice was the only way she could support me and give me a better life.
My mother taught me. She taught me about family and hard work and sacrifice. She held steady through tragedy after tragedy. And she held our family, my brother and I, together through tough times. As a child, I watched her go off to work each day at a time when it wasn't always easy to be a working mother.
As an adult, I've watched her fight off breast cancer. And again she has taught me a lesson in courage. And always, always she taught me to fight.
That's why I'll fight to create high-paying jobs so that parents can afford to raise their children today. That's why I'm so committed to make sure every American gets the health care that saved my mother's life. And that women's health care gets the same attention as men's. That's why I'll fight to make sure women in this country receive respect and dignity -- whether they work in the home, out of the home, or both. You want to know where I get my fighting spirit? It aIl started with my mother. Thank you, Mother. I love you.
When I think about opportunity for all Americans, I think about my grandfather.
He ran a country store in our little town of Hope. There were no food stamps back then, so when his customers -- whether they were white or black -- who worked hard and did the best they could came in with no money, well, he gave them food anyway. Just made a note of it. So did I. Before I was big enough to see over the counter, I learned from him to look up to people other folks looked down on.
My grandfather just had a high-school education -- a grade-school education. But in that country store he taught me more about equality in the eyes of the Lord than all my professors at Georgetown more about the intrinsic worth of every individual than all the philosophers at Oxford, more about the need for equal justice under the law than all the jurists at Yale Law School.
If you want to know where I come by the passionate commitment that I have to bringing people together without regard to race, it all started with my grandfather. Building an America That Values Every Family
I learned a lot from another person, too. A person who for more than 20 years has worked hard to help our children. Paying the price of time to make sure our schools don't fail them. Someone who traveled our state for a year. Studying, learning, listening. Going to PTA meetings, school board meetings, town hall meetings. Putting together a package of school reforms recognized around the nation. Doing it all while building a distinguished legal career and being a wonderful loving mother.
Hillary taught me. She taught me that all children can learn, and that each of us has a duty to help them do it. So if you want to know why I care so much about our children and our future, it all started with Hillary. I love you.
Frankly, I'm fed up with politicians in Washington lecturing the rest of us about "family values." Our families have values. But our Government doesn't.
I want an America where "family values" live in our actions, not just in our speeches. An America that includes every family. Every traditional family and every extended family. Every two-parent family, every single-parent family, and every foster family. Every family.
I do want to say something to the fathers in this country who have chosen to abandon their children by neglecting their child support: Take responsibility for your children or we will force you to do so. Because governments don't raise children parents do. And you should.
And I want to say something to every child in America tonight who's out there trying to grow up without a father or a mother: I know how you feel. You're special, too. You matter to America. And don't you ever let anybody tell you you can't become whatever you want to be. And if other politicians make you feel like you're not a part of their family, come on and be part of ours. Putting People Back to Work And America Back in Front
The thing that makes me angriest about what's gone wrong in the last 12 years is that our Government has lost touch with our values, while our politicians continue to shout about them. I'm tired of it.
I was raised to believe the American dream was built on rewarding hard work. But we have seen the folks in Washington turn theAmerican ethic on its head. For too long, those who play by the rules and keep the faith have gotten the shaft. And those who cut corners and cut deals have been rewarded. People are working harder than ever, spending less time with their children, working nights and weekends at their job instead of going to PTA andLittle League or Scouts, and their incomes are still going down, their taxes are going up, and the cost of health care, housing and education are going through the roof. Meanwhile, more and more of our best people are falling into poverty -- even though they work 40 hours a week.
Our people are pleading for change, but government is in the way. It's been hijacked by privileged, private interests. It's forgotten who really pays the bills around here. It's taking more of your money and giving you less in service.
We have got to go beyond the brain-dead politics in Washington and give our people the kind of government they deserve: a government that works for them.
A President ought to be a powerful force for progress. But right now I know how President Lincoln felt when General McClellan wouldn't attack in the Civil War. He asked him, "If you're not going to use your army, may I borrow it?" And so I say, George Bush, if you won't use your power to help America, step aside. I will.
Our country is falling behind. The President is caught in the grip of a failed economic theory. We have gone from first to 13th in the world in wages since Reagan and Bush have been in office. Four years ago, candidate Bush said America is a special place, not just "another pleasant country somewhere on the U.N. roll call, between Albania and Zimbabwe." Now, under President Bush, America has an unpleasant economy stuck somewhere between Germany and Sri Lanka. And for most Americans, Mr. President, life's a lot less kind and a lot less gentle than it was before your Administration took office.
Our country has fallen so far, so fast, that just a few months ago the Japanese Prime Minister actually said he felt "sympathy" for the United States. Sympathy! When I am your President, the rest, the rest of the world won't look down on us with pity but up to us with respect again.
What is George Bush doing about our ca's economic problems?
Well, four years ago he promised 15 million new jobs by this time, and he's over 14 million short. Al Gore and I can do better.
He has raised taxes on the people driving pickup trucks and lowered taxes on the people riding in limousines. We can do better.
He promised to balance the budget, but he hasn't even tried. In fact, the budgets he has submitted to Congress nearly doubled the debt. Even worse, he wasted billions and reduced our investments in education and jobs. We can do better.
So if you are sick and tired of a Government that doesn't work to create jobs, if you're sick and tired of a tax system that's stacked against you, if you're sick and tired of exploding debt and reduced investments in our future, or if, like the great civil rights pioneer Fannie Lou Hamer you're just plain old sick and tired of being sick and tired, then join us, work with us, win with us -- and we can make our country the country it was meant to be. Vowing to Accomplish What Bush Has Not
Now George Bush talks a good game. But he has no game plan to rebuild America, from the cities to the suburbs to the countryside so that we can compete and win again in the global economy. I do.
He won't take on the big insurance companies and the bureaucracies to control health costs and give us affordable health care for all Americans, but I will.
He won't even implement the recommendations of his own Commission on AIDS, but I will.
He won't streamline the Federal Government and change the way it works cut 100,000 bureaucrats and put 100,000 newpolice officers on the streets of American cities, but I will.
He's never balanced a government budget, but I have. Eleven times.
He won't break the stranglehold the special interests have on our elections and the lobbyists have on our government, but I will.
He won't give mothers and fathers the simple chance to take some time off from work when a baby is born or a parent is sick, but I will.
We're losing our farms at a rapid rate and he has no commitment to keep family farms in the family, but I do.
He's talked a lot about drugs, but he hasn't helped people on the front line to wage that war on drugs and crime, but I will.
He won't take the lead in protecting the environment and creating new jobs in environmental technologies for the 21st century, but I will.
And you know what else? He doesn't have Al Gore, and I do.
Just in case -- just in case you didn't notice, that's Gore with an ɾ' on the end.
And George Bush -- George Bush won't guarantee a woman's right to choose. I will. Hear me now: I am not pro-abortion. I am pro-choice, strongly. I believe this difficult and painful decision should be left to the women of America. I hope the right to privacy can be protected and we will never again have to discuss this issue on political platforms. But I am old enough to remember what it was like before Roe v. Wade, and I do not want to return to the time when we made criminals of women and their doctors.
Jobs. Education. Health care. These are not just commitments from my lips. They are the work of my life.
Our priorities must be clear: we will put our people first again. But priorities without a clear plan of action are just empty words. To turn our rhetoric into reality we've got to change the way Government does business, fundamentally. Until we do, we'll still be pouring billions of dollars right down the drain. Envisioning Change Within Party and Nation
The Republicans have campaigned against big government for a generation. But have you noticed? They've run this big government for a generation, and they haven't changed a thing. They don't want to fix government, they still want to campaign against it, and that's all.
But, my fellow Democrats, it's time for us to realize that we've got some changing to do, too. There is not a program in government for every problem. And if we really want to use government to help people, we have got to make it work again.
Because we are committed in this convention and in this platform to making these changes, we are as Democrats, in the words that Ross Perot himself spoke today, a revitalized Democratic Party. I am well aware that all those millions of people who rallied to Ross Perot's cause wanted to be in an army of patriots for change. Tonight I say to them: join us, and together we will revitalize America.
Now, I don't have all the answers. But I do know the old ways don't work. Trickle down economics has sure failed. And big bureaucracies, both public and private, they've failed too.
That's why we need a new approach to government. A government that offers more empowerment and less entitlement, more choices for young people in the schools they attend, in the public schools they attend. And more choices for the elderly and for people with disabilities in long-term care they receive. A government that is leaner, not meaner, a government that expands opportunity, not bureaucracy, a government that understands that jobs must come from growth in a vibrant and vital system of free enterprise. I call this approach a New Covenant, a solemn agreement between the people and their government, based not simply on what each of us can take, but what all of us must give to our nation.
We offer our people a new choice based on old values. We offer opportunity. We demand responsibility. We will build an American community again. The choice we offer is not conservative or liberal in many ways it's not even Republican or Democratic. It's different. It's new. And it will work.
It will work because it is rooted in the vision and the values of the American people. Of all the things George Bush has ever said that I disagree with, perhaps the thing that bothers me most is how he derides and degrades the American tradition of seeing and seeking a better future. He mocks it as "the vision thing." But just remember what the Scripture says: "Where there is no vision, the people perish."
I hope, I hope nobody in this great hall tonight or in our beloved country has to go through tomorrow without a vision. I hope no one ever tries to raise a child without a vision. I hope nobody ever starts a business or plants a crop in the ground without a vision. For where there is no vision, the people perish.
One of the reasons we have so many children in so much trouble in so many places in this nation is because they have seen so little opportunity, so little responsibility, so little loving, caring community that they literally cannot imagine the of life we are calling them to lead. And so I say again: Where there is no vision, America will perish. Offering a New Covenant Based on Responsibility
What is the vision of our New Covenant?
An America with millions of new jobs and dozens of new industries moving confidently toward the 21st Century. An America that says to entrepreneurs and business people: We will give you more incentives and more opportunity than ever before to develop the skills of your workers and create American jobs and American wealth in the new global economy. But you must do your part: you must be responsible. American companies must act like American companies again -- exporting products, not jobs. That's what this New Covenant is all about.
An America in which the doors of college are thrown open once again to the sons and daughters of stenographers and steelworkers. We'll say: Everybody can borrow the money to go to college. But you must do your part. You must pay it back, from your paychecks, or better yet, by going back home and serving your communities. Just think of it. Think of it: millions of energetic young men and women, serving their countryby policing the streets, or teaching the children, or caring for the sick, or working with the elderly and people with disabilities, or helping young people stay off drugs and out of gangs, giving us all a sense of new hope and limitless possibilities. That's what this New Covenant is all about.
An America in which health care is a right, not a privilege. In which we say to all our people: Your government has the courage, finally, to take on the health care profiteers and make health care affordable for every family. But you must do your part: preventive care, prenatal care, childhood immunization saving lives, saving money, saving families from heartbreak. That's what the New Covenant is all about.
An America in which middle-class incomes -- not middle-class taxes -- are going up. An America, yes, in which the wealthiest few, those making over $200,000 a year, are asked to pay their fair share. An America in which the rich are not soaked -- but the middle class is not drowned, either. Responsibility starts at the top that's what the New Covenant is all about.
An America where we end welfare as we know it. We will say to those on welfare: "You will have, and you deserve, the opportunity, through training and education, through child care and medical coverage, to liberate yourself.
But then, when you can, you must work, because welfare should be a second chance, not a way of life. That's what the New Covenant is all about.
An America with the world's strongest defense, ready and willing to use force, when necessary. An America at the forefront of the global effort to preserve and protect our common environment, and promoting global growth. An America that will not coddle tyrants, from Baghdad to Beijing. An America that champions the cause of freedom and democracy, from Eastern Europe to Southern Africa, and in our own hemisphere in Haiti and Cuba.
The end of the cold war permits us to reduce defense spending while still maintaining the strongest defense in the world. But we must plow back every dollar of defense cuts into building American jobs right here at home. I know well that the world needs a strong America, but we have learned that strength begins at home. But the New Covenant is about more than opportunities and responsibilities for you and your families. It's also about our common community. .
Tonight, every one of you knows deep in your heart that we are too divided. Rejecting Idea of 'Them,' With Arkansas as Model
Itis time to heal America.
And so we must say to every American: Look beyond the stereotypes that blind us. We need each other. All of us -- we need each other. We don't have a person to waste. And yet for too long politicians have told the most of us that are doing all right that what's really wrong with America is the rest of us. Them. Them, the minorities. Them, the liberals. Them, the poor. Them, the homeless. Them, the people with disabilities. Them, the gays. We've gotten to where we've nearly themed ourselves to death. Them and them and them. But this is America. There is no them there's only us. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice, for all. That is our Pledge of Allegiance, and that's what the New Covenant is all about.t
How do I know we can come together and make change happen? Because I have seen it in my own state. In Arkansas we're working together and we're making progress. No, there's no Arkansas miracle. But there are a lot of miraculous people. And because of them, our schools are better, our wages are higher, our factories are busier, our water is cleaner and our budget is balanced. We're moving ahead.
I wish, I wish I could say the same thing about America under the incumbent President. He took the richest country in the world and brought it down. We took one of the poorest states in America and lifted it up.
And so I say to all those in this campaign season who would criticize Arkansas: Come on down. Especially, especially if you're from Washington, come on down. Sure, you'll see us struggling against some of the problems we haven't solved yet. But you'll also see a lot of great people doing amazing things. And you might even learn a thing or two.
In the end, my fellow Americans, this New Covenant simply asks us all to be Americans again. Old-fashioned Americans for a new time. Opportunity. Responsibility. Community. When we pull together, America will pull ahead. Throughout the whole history of this country, we have seen time and time and time again when we are united, we are unstoppable. We can seize this moment, make it exciting and energizing and heroic to be an American again. We can renew our faith in each other and in ourselves. We can restore our sense of unity and community. As the Scripture says, our eyes have not yet seen, nor our ears heard nor our minds imagined what we can build.
But I, I can't do this alone. No President can. We must do it together. It won't be easy, and it won't be quick. We didn't get into this mess overnight, and we won't get out of it overnight. But we can do it, with commitment, creativity, diversity and drive. We can do it. We can do it. We can do it. We can do it. We can do it. We can do it. We can do it.
I want every person in this hall and every person in this land to reach out and join us in a great new adventure to chart a bold new future. Giving Children a Future Of Boundless Hope
As a teen-ager I heard John Kennedy's summons to citizenship. And then, as a student at Georgetown, I heard that call clarified by a professor named Carroll Quigley, who said to us that America was the greatest nation in the history because our people have always believed in two things: that tomorrow can be better than today, and that every one of us has a personal, moral responsibility to make it so.
That, that kind of future entered my life the night our daughter Chelsea was born. As I stood in the delivery room, I was overcome with the thought that God had given me a blessing my own father never knew: the chance to hold my child in my arms.
Somewhere at this very moment, a child is being born in America. Let it be our cause to give that child a happy home, a healthy family and a hopeful future. Let it be our cause to see that that child has a chance to live to the fullest of her God-given capacities. Let it, let it be our cause to see that child grow up strong and secure, braced by her challenges, but never struggling alone with family and friends and a faith that in America, no one is left out no one is left behind.
Let it be, let it be our cause that when this child is able, she gives something back to her children, her community and her country. Let it be our cause that we give this child a country thatis coming together, not coming apart, a country of boundless hopes and endless dreams, a country that once again lifts its people and inspires the world.
Let that be our cause, our commitment and our New Covenant.
My fellow Americans, I end tonight where it all began for me: I still believe in a place called Hope.
Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey wanted to speak at the convention, but did not speak. Casey maintained that he was denied a speaking spot because he intended to give a speech about his opposition to abortion, while the Clinton camp said that Casey did not speak because he had not endorsed the Clinton/Gore ticket. ΐ] After the convention was over, Casey told the New York Times, "I support the ticket. Period." Α] Other Democrats opposing abortions such as Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Senators John Breaux and Howell Heflin, and five anti-abortion Democratic governors did speak. While Democratic officials said that these speakers were not barred from discussing their opposition to abortion, they nonetheless did not address the issue in their speeches. ΐ]
Casey asked both DNC Chairman Ron Brown and Texas Governor Ann Richards, the convention's chairwoman, for a speaking spot. Neither responded directly, and Casey later received a letter explaining that he would not receive a spot. Β]
Controversy regarding Casey's treatment at the 1992 Convention was frequently cited in media coverage of his son Bob Casey, Jr.'s successful 2006 Pennsylvania Senate campaign against Republican incumbent Rick Santorum. Β] Γ] Δ]
This is the 1992 Democratic National Convention at Madison Square Garden.
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Roosevelt’s reforms raised hackles across the South, which generally didn’t favor the expansion of labor unions or federal power, and many Southern Democrats gradually joined Republicans in opposing further government expansion.
Then in 1948, after President Harry Truman (himself a Southern Democrat) introduced a pro-civil rights platform, a group of Southerners walked out of the party’s national convention. These so-called Dixiecrats ran their own candidate for president (Strom Thurmond, governor of South Carolina) on a segregationist States Rights ticket that year he got more than 1 million votes.
Most Dixiecrats returned to the Democratic fold, but the incident marked the beginning of a seismic shift in the party’s demographics. At the same time, many Black voters who had remained loyal to the Republican Party since the Civil War began voting Democratic during the Depression, and would continue to do so in greater numbers with the dawn of the civil rights movement.
Pennsylvania Governor Bob Casey wanted to speak at the convention, but did not speak. Casey maintained that he was denied a speaking spot because he intended to give a speech about his opposition to abortion, while the Clinton camp said that Casey did not speak because he had not endorsed the Clinton/Gore ticket. [ 2 ] After the convention was over, Casey told the New York Times, "I support the ticket. Period." [ 3 ] Other Democrats opposing abortions such as Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Senators John Breaux and Howell Heflin, and five anti-abortion Democratic governors did speak. While Democratic officials said that these speakers were not barred from discussing their opposition to abortion, they nonetheless did not focus on the issue in their speeches. [ 2 ]
Casey asked both DNC Chairman Ron Brown and Ann Richards, the convention's chairwoman, for a speaking spot. Neither responded directly, and Casey later received a letter explaining that he would not receive a spot. [ 4 ]
Controversy regarding Casey's treatment at the 1992 Convention was frequently cited in media coverage of his son Bob Casey, Jr.'s successful 2006 Pennsylvania Senate campaign against Republican incumbent Rick Santorum. [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ]
Miller fires up the Democrats
Clinton’s old ally blasts wealth of Bush, Perot
By Scott Shepard and A.L. May, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 14, 1992
New York — A once-poor, fatherless Southerner held the spotlight of the buoyant Democratic convention Monday night to portray a Bush administration aloof and uncaring for the common man.
Georgia Gov. Zell Miller turned his life story - and its parallels to Democrat Bill Clinton's - into a weapon against three wealthy men of politics: President Bush, Vice President Dan Quayle, and particularly independent Ross Perot.
Using the litany, "And George Bush doesn't get it," Mr. Miller thundered against a president who he said doesn't understand Americans' frustrations over rising taxes and falling services, inadequate health- care coverage, increasing crime and economic stagnation.
"He doesn't see it, he doesn't feel it and he's done nothing about it," Mr. Miller said as Georgia delegates chanted and waved signs urging him to "give 'em hell, Zell." The speech, which began slowly and led to a hard-hitting finale, was the buzz of post-convention pundits.
Mr. Miller joined former Rep. Barbara Jordan of Texas and New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley in keynoting a brassy, optimistic opening of a four-day session that will end in the nomination of Mr. Clinton, the governor of Arkansas.
Mr. Miller helped deliver a crescendo of attacks on Mr. Bush as a failed president and defined Mr. Clinton as the candidate of desperately needed political change. He was instrumental in the evening's strategy to portray Mr. Clinton in terms of his modest roots, not his Ivy League education and Rhodes scholarship.
Mr. Miller also delivered the convention's first major attack on Mr. Perot, bringing Madison Square Garden to its feet. "If Ross Perot is an outsider, folks, I'm from Brooklyn," Mr. Miller intoned in his heavy North Georgia accent.
The speech was written by Mr. Miller, with the assistance of Paul Begala, Mr. Clinton's top speechwriter.
The Democrats choreographed their multiracial, populist message with the pure soprano of youngster Reggie Jackson, who sang the national anthem the Gabriel-like riffs of trumpeter-singer Phil Driskell and a giant high-tech video screen that served as a backdrop. There was even a leggy chorus line.
The crowd was spirited and upbeat, making an effort to unite around a candidate about whom many have reservations.
Using a bit of Broadway and high-tech, the Democrats aired an electronic haze to blot out from television screens the dissension that did raise its head on the floor. The delegates of former California Gov. Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown tried to disrupt speeches by chanting "Let Jerry speak," protesting the fact that he wasn't given a time slot for a speech.
Mr. Miller is a top supporter of Mr. Clinton and leveled a tough attack on behalf of the Arkansas governor during the nadir of his presidential primary campaign.
"Listen to this voice," Mr. Miller twanged as he told of growing up poor in the Appalachian mountains of North Georgia, raised by his widowed mother. Mr. Miller's father died when he was two weeks old in 1932. Likewise, Mr. Clinton's father died four months before he was born in Hope, Ark., almost 46 years ago.
Recounting a story he has told many times on the Georgia stump, Mr. Miller told of his mother carrying stones from a stream to build a house.
"She pressed her pride, and her hopes and her dreams deep into my soul," Mr. Miller said. "So, you see, I know what Dan Quayle means when he says it's best for children to have two parents. You bet it is. And it would be nice to have trust funds, too," he said, referring to Mr. Quayle's inherited wealth.
"I'm for Bill Clinton because he is a Democrat who does not have to read a book or be briefed about the struggles of single-parent families, or what it means to work hard for everything he's ever received in life," Mr. Miller said.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Have You Applied For A Job With The Obama Administration?
WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com
If you have applied, you answered 63 questions. One of which asked about your blog posts, e-mails, and Facebook page. Along with others that asked all sorts of personal information.
Have you wondered where that information will end up?
The legal chain of custody of the paperwork is clear .
According to the National Archives, all documents created by the presidential transition are the personal property of the president-elect, not the federal government. In theory, transition staff could pack up all of the applications on Jan. 19 and send them to Chicago to be stored in Obama’s Hyde Park home.
But what’s most likely to happen is that the papers will be turned over to the Obama White House, where they’ll become official presidential records and be subject to the Presidential Records Act.
All such papers must eventually be turned over to the National Archives. Staff there will request the Obama team eventually turn over all papers only used by the transition, too, although it will be under no legal obligation to do so.
If you get to the next phase of application, you'll have to provide full financial information, which will be public. But don't worry if you get past that stage, your FBI background check is kept private. Your FBI file, however, is available under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Tom Tancredo Retiring
WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com
The AP is reporting that Representative Tom Tancredo (R-CO) is done. They are unclear whether he means to retire at the end of the current term or sooner. (Yes, I know, but hope springs eternal.) They indicate that he may either plan to run for Governor of Colorado, or go back to a right wingnut think tank.
Tom has been one of the most vocal anti-immigration voices ever heard in America. He has represented the South Denver suburbs since 1999. He ran for president last year.
I wish to take a moment to repeat my favourite Tancredo quote , which was always a nice mantra on down days earlier this year:
While we are of course aware that he didn't run for relection this year, we just wanted to point out that every additional day with Tancredo not in Congress is like a day with lots of sunshine.
How Much Do You Work?
WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com
Here in the U.S.A. most people work a 5-day work week, 50 weeks a year. (Yes, I know, there's a recession and so those numbers may not be static next year). The House of Representatives, when controlled by the Republicans? Not so much.
Steny Hoyer has released the House schedule for next year, The House will be in session for 11 weeks of 5-day sessions, and 18 weeks of 4-day sessions, for the term that starts in January, and adjourns on 30 October.
The Office of the Clerk of the House has a neat table showing the sessions. The list of "days" indicates the total number of days during the stated session dates, and the far right column lists the dates that the House was not in session. The first official break was in December of 1800. As you go through the list, you'll get a sense of when the House was in session, and when they went home. List is here.
It appears that, under recent Republican control, the House didn't meet all that much. In fact, when the Democrats returned to power in 2007, "actually working" was a goal of the new leadership.
For example, in 2006, the House didn't meet in January, and in February met for three days, plus another three where there were no votes before 6:30 p.m. During those dark Bush years, the number of actual working days fell to below 250 (including those "no votes until 6:30" days, hearkening back to when Harry Truman referred to the 80th Congress as "do-nothing".
There are a number of reasons that Congress meets less now than they used to. First, it used to be a real schlep to get to DC: think horses and carriages. You came, you stayed. Eventually, you sent telegrams in lieu of messengers. Now, there is air travel, trains and cars, so it's easier to come and go. "Going home" is important to raise money, meet with constituents, and attend local meetings and events.
Well, it's important if you need to spend a lot of your time on running for re-election over staying in DC to undertake the job to which you were elected.
There is also this, written about the Republican Congress in 2006:
We'll see if that still applies in a Democratic Congress paired with a Democratic administration.