Friday, August 29, 2008

Convention Coverage: Two Amazing Speeches

There was no one with more pressure on her speech than Michelle Obama. She had something to prove to the hatemongers that have killed her in the press as an "angry black woman." The first part of the speech was for them. But, when she gets going she proves she is the second best orator at the convention.

And as I tuck that little girl and her little sister into bed at night, I think about how one day, they'll have families of their own. And one day, they — and your sons and daughters — will tell their own children about what we did together in this election. They'll tell them how this time, we listened to our hopes, instead of our fears. How this time, we decided to stop doubting and to start dreaming. How this time, in this great country — where a girl from the South Side of Chicago can go to college and law school, and the son of a single mother from Hawaii can go all the way to the White House — we committed ourselves to building the world as it should be.

Hillary's speech to me was the most impressive in the first couple of nights because it was so unexpected and so inspirational. And it could not have been easy to give. Her career is certainly not done and I regained profound respect for her. Amazing. It doesn't take away many of the awful things that were said by her, her husband and her campaign, but she put tears in my eyes and her speech will be remembered in defeat as Ted Kennedy's was remembered in 1980. Simply astonishing. Below is my favorite part. If you don't want to watch the entire thing start at minute 16.

My mother was born before women could vote. But in this election my daughter got to vote for her mother for President.

This is the story of America. Of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.
How do we give this country back to them?
By following the example of a brave New Yorker , a woman who risked her life to shepherd slaves along the Underground Railroad.
And on that path to freedom, Harriett Tubman had one piece of advice.
If you hear the dogs, keep going.
If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.
If they're shouting after you, keep going.
Don't ever stop. Keep going.
If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.
Even in the darkest of moments, ordinary Americans have found the faith to keep going.
I've seen it in you. I've seen it in our teachers and firefighters, nurses and police officers, small business owners and union workers, the men and women of our military - you always keep going.
We are Americans. We're not big on quitting.
But remember, before we can keep going, we have to get going by electing Barack Obama president.

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