EMBARGOED UNTIL DELIVERY
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Barack Obama and I took very different journeys to this destination, but we share a common story.
Mine began in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and then Wilmington, Delaware, with a dad who fell on hard economic times, but who always told me: “Champ, when you get knocked down, get up… get up.”
My mother's creed is the American creed: no one is better than you. You are everyone's equal, and everyone is equal to you.
My parents taught us to live our faith and treasure our family. We learned the dignity of work, and we were told that anyone can make it if they try.
That was America's promise.
For those of us who grew up in middle class neighborhoods like Scranton and Wilmington, that was the American dream – and we knew it.
You can learn an awful lot about a man campaigning with him, debating him, and seeing how he reacts under pressure. You learn about the strength of his mind. But even more importantly, you learn about the quality of his heart.
I watched how he touched people, how he inspired them, and I realized he has tapped into the oldest American belief of all: we don't have to accept a situation we cannot bear. We have the power to change it.
The choice in this election is clear. These times require more than a good soldier – they require a wise leader. A leader who can deliver change. The change everybody knows we need.
Barack Obama will deliver that change.
As we gather here tonight, our country is less secure and more isolated than at any time in recent history. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has dug us into a very deep hole, with very few friends to help us climb out.
Should we trust John McCain’s judgment when he says there can be no timelines to drawdown our troops from Iraq – that we must stay indefinitely?
Or should we listen to Barack Obama, who says shift responsibility to the Iraqis – and set a time to bring our combat troops home?
Now, after six long years, the Bush administration and the Iraqi government are on the verge of setting a date to bring our troops home.
John McCain was wrong. Barack Obama was right.