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The launch of the Obama-Biden ticket in Springfield. Obama speech text.

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DENVER--Barack Obama is speaking right now in Springfield, Ill., introducing his new running mate, Joe Biden. Here's the text, and Obama is pretty much following it. Obama is stressing that Biden "never moved to Washington" --letting Biden's daily Amtrak commute answer critics who may wonder how Obama can run against Washington and have Biden--a senator since 1973--on the ticket.

Embargoed Until Delivery
Remarks of Senator Barack Obama--as prepared for delivery
Vice President Announcement
Springfield, Illinois
August 23, 2008

Nineteen months ago, on a cold February day right here on the steps of the Old State Capitol, I stood before you to announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America.

We started this journey with a simple belief: that the American people were better than their government in Washington - a government that has fallen prey to special interests and policies that have left working people behind. As I've travelled to towns and cities, farms and factories, front porches and fairgrounds in almost all fifty states - that belief has been strengthened. Because at this defining moment in our history - with our nation at war, and our economy in recession - we know that the American people cannot afford four more years of the same failed policies and the same old politics in Washington. We know that the time for change has come.

For months, I've searched for a leader to finish this journey alongside me, and to join in me in making Washington work for the American people. I searched for a leader who understands the rising costs confronting working people, and who will always put their dreams first. A leader who sees clearly the challenges facing America in a changing world, with our security and standing set back by eight years of a failed foreign policy. A leader who shares my vision of an open government that calls all citizens - Democrats, Republicans and Independents - to a common purpose. Above all, I searched for a leader who is ready to step in and be President.

Today, I have come back to Springfield to tell you that I've found that leader - a man with a distinguished record and a fundamental decency - Joe Biden.

Joe Biden is that rare mix - for decades, he has brought change to Washington, but Washington hasn't changed him. He's an expert on foreign policy whose heart and values are rooted firmly in the middle class. He has stared down dictators and spoken out for America's cops and firefighters. He is uniquely suited to be my partner as we work to put our country back on track.

Now I could stand here and recite a list of Senator Biden's achievements, because he is one of the finest public servants of our time. But first I want to talk to you about the character of the man standing next to me.

Joe Biden's many triumphs have only come after great trial.

He was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania. His family didn't have much money. Joe Sr. worked different jobs, from cleaning boilers to selling cars, sometimes moving in with the in-laws or working weekends to make ends meet. But he raised his family with a strong commitment to work and to family; to the Catholic faith and to the belief that in America, you can make it if you try. Those are the core values that Joe Biden has carried with him to this day. And even though Joe Sr. is not with us, I know that he is proud of Joe today.

It might be hard to believe when you hear him talk now, but as a child he had a terrible stutter. They called him "Bu-bu-Biden." But he picked himself up, worked harder than the other guy, and got elected to the Senate - a young man with a family and a seemingly limitless future.

Then tragedy struck. Joe's wife Neilia and their little girl Naomi were killed in a car accident, and their two boys were badly hurt. When Joe was sworn in as a Senator, there was no ceremony in the Capitol - instead, he was standing by his sons in the hospital room where they were recovering. He was 30 years old.

Tragedy tests us - it tests our fortitude and it tests our faith. Here's how Joe Biden responded. He never moved to Washington. Instead, night after night, week after week, year after year, he returned home to Wilmington on a lonely Amtrak train when his Senate business was done. He raised his boys - first as a single dad, then alongside his wonderful wife Jill, who works as a teacher. He had a beautiful daughter. Now his children are grown and Joe is blessed with 5grandchildren. He instilled in them such a sense of public service that his son, Beau, who is now Delaware's Attorney General, is getting ready to deploy to Iraq. And he still takes that train back to Wilmington every night. Out of the heartbreak of that unspeakable accident, he did more than become a Senator - he raised a family. That is the measure of the man standing next to me. That is the character of Joe Biden.

Years later, Senator Biden would face another brush with death when he had a brain aneurysm. On the way to the hospital, they didn't think he was going to make it. They gave him slim odds to recover. But he did. He beat it. And he came back stronger than before.

Maybe it's this resilience - this insistence on overcoming adversity - that accounts for Joe Biden's work in the Senate. Time and again, he has made a difference for the people across this country who work long hours and face long odds. This working class kid from Scranton and Wilmington has always been a friend to the underdog, and all who seek a safer and more prosperous America to live their dreams and raise their families.

Fifteen years ago, too many American communities were plagued by violence and insecurity. So Joe Biden brought Democrats and Republicans together to pass the 1994 Crime Bill, putting 100,000 cops on the streets, and starting an eight year drop in crime across the country.

For far too long, millions of women suffered abuse in the shadows. So Joe Biden wrote the Violence Against Women Act, so every woman would have a place to turn for support. The rate of domestic violence went down dramatically, and countless women got a second chance at life.

Year after year, he has been at the forefront of the fight for judges who respect the fundamental rights and liberties of the American people; college tuition that is affordable for all; equal pay for women and a rising minimum wage for all; and family leave policies that value work and family. Those are the priorities of a man whose work reflects his life and his values.

That same strength of character is at the core of his rise to become one of America's leading voices on national security.

He looked Slobodan Milosevic in the eye and called him a war criminal, and then helped shape policies that would end the killing in the Balkans and bring him to justice. He passed laws to lock down chemical weapons, and led the push to bring Europe's newest democracies into NATO. Over the last eight years, he has been a powerful critic of the catastrophic Bush-McCain foreign policy, and a voice for a new direction that takes the fight to the terrorists and ends the war in Iraq responsibly. He recently went to Georgia, where he met quietly with the President and came back with a call for aid and a tough message for Russia.

Joe Biden is what so many others pretend to be - a statesman with sound judgment who doesn't have to hide behind bluster to keep America strong.

Joe won't just make a good Vice President - he will make a great one. After decades of steady work across the aisle, I know he'll be able to help me turn the page on the ugly partisanship in Washington, so we can bring Democrats and Republicans together to pass an agenda that works for the American people. And instead of secret task energy task forces stacked with Big Oil and a Vice President that twists the facts and shuts the American people out, I know that Joe Biden will give us some real straight talk.

I have seen this man work. I have sat with him as he chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and been by his side on the campaign trail. And I can tell you that Joe Biden gets it. He's that unique public servant who is at home in a bar in Cedar Rapids and the corridors of the Capitol; in the VFW hall in Concord, and at the center of an international crisis.

That's because he is still that scrappy kid from Scranton who beat the odds; the dedicated family man and committed Catholic who knows every conductor on that Amtrak train to Wilmington. That's the kind of fighter who I want by my side in the months and years to come.

That's what it's going to take to win the fight for good jobs that let people live their dreams, a tax code that rewards work instead of wealth, and health care that is affordable and accessible for every American family. That's what it's going to take to forge a new energy policy that frees us from our dependence on foreign oil and $4 gasoline at the pump, while creating new jobs and new industry. That's what it's going to take to put an end to a failed foreign policy that's based on bluster and bad judgment, so that we renew America's security and standing in the world.

We know what we're going to get from the other side. Four more years of the same out-of-touch policies that created an economic disaster at home, and a disastrous foreign policy abroad. Four more years of the same divisive politics that is all about tearing people down instead of lifting this country up.

We can't afford more of the same. I am running for President because that's a future that I don't accept for my daughters and I don't accept it for your children. It's time for the change that the American people need.

Now, with Joe Biden at my side, I am confident that we can take this country in a new direction; that we are ready to overcome the adversity of the last eight years; that we won't just win this election in November, we'll restore that fair shot at your dreams that is at the core of who Joe Biden and I are as people, and what America is as a nation. So let me introduce you to the next Vice President of the United States of America...


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5 Comments

Thank God Joe BIden is THe VP Now Hillary supporters, can down right not even vote for Obama,, On Politico new,,, Hillary was never once consider for the VP slot, not once,, Barack Obama & Pelosi were trying to Force Hillary to back and transfer all her voters over but did not Realize Hilllary Voters have there own agenda,, 1/2 to half of Hillary Voters are not going to Vote at all or vote for McCain,

I will vote for McCain,,, To me its who better for the Job, its not Barack,, No matter how much the MEdia CNN or Msnbc propaganda him,, THe only thing I remember is on CNN how Barack backers on the AIR 6 months ago saying if Obama don't win the primary all OBama VOter will vote for McCain, ,,, since then I refuse to vote for Obama,,

I voted Hilary Clinton, and only support Hilary Clinton, No matter what Hilary Does suspend her campaign concede her campaign. No matter what Hilary does she could even support Obama and campaign for Obama I will never Vote for Barack Obama, I do think America is ready for a black president, just not Barack Obama,,, The way The Democratic party handle this election with the Corporate Media propaganda the whole election, Turned this election upside down,, Obama could of ran over someone,, like Haley Berry, No one would care and still vote,, Obama..
There several million Voter right now like my self, will not ever vote for Barack Obama, Many like my self will be Voting for McCain, my reason is simple,, the Obama voter came on CNN & MSNBC and said if obama does not win the primary, Obama supporter will vote for McCain, Democratic party did not do anything to the obama camp to stop ,, why is obama party splitting the party in half, Now pelosi and many other are blaming Hilary and kept on with the propaganda Corporate Media, Obama Said on the new so many time,, does not Matter, if your Democrat or Republican,, you want the right person for the right Job,, He is so right,,when He said that we wanted Hilary,, Well Congrats to Obama his supporter got him to the primary,,,but He will never win the election,, for President, I will not stop with my blogging,, who is the best man for the job between Barack & McCain,, will vote for McCain he will be way better than Barack Obama, I can put up for McCain for 4 years and Hilary Can run again, Pelosi and the rest of the democrat party,, days are number at this point, For pushing Hilary out and ruining her Career, Even now During Clinton Exit speech,, Democratic party Told Hilary if she does not back there little puppet Barack Obama they will ruin her career,, In my opinion They all ready Ruined Hilary Clinton Career, Right Now I am going listen to one thing Barack Obama said, and that is, like I said, it does not matter if your Democrat or republican who is the right person for the job,,,, Hillary supporter need to stick together, Vote for McCain or just not vote for we need the right person,,, Hilary is up on stage right now saying what pelosi and the democratic party are telling her what to do,, or Economy is down and the way the propaganda Media is,, we are turning into a 3rd world country,, by rigging the election thru the media, Hilary Supporter who really want Hilary to be president Need to vote for McCain or just not Vote for Barack Obama, let McCain win,, there nothing more he can do as president, Congress will not let him it Congress who controls everything,, not the president, Pelosi and the a lot of the democratic party ruined Hilary Career, If all Hilary Voter, stick together, than We can restore Hilary Career and make her President, in 4 years. if you vote for Obama we have to wait maybe 8 years or 4 years and republican will be office, if Obama wins the presidency he will only be 4 year term,,, I say give all your supporter not to the democratic party, but to Hilary Clinton.. democratic party needs all of them need to leave office and get fresh people in there, who can unite the party not keep it separated and force unity, to who they want not who the voter want,, Hilary would of won this election, DNC screwed her with Florida and Michigan if those vote were counted at the beginning she would of won this race along time ago..and for the sexist Media, Like CNN & MSNBC… will continue to not report the new but Make it up as they see fit, All Hilary supporter need to unit together.. and stick together,, Margaret Thatcher was prime Minister 30 years ago,, but American Men and New Bias, is keeping woman down for personal gain, Like Keith Oberman, & Chris Mathews Who are the biggest Sexist on this MSNBC stations

Obama = bad for business and my employees.

My dry cleaning business has sixteen hourly employees. I told them that I would immediately fire two employees if Obama was elected, to use their salaries to pay for the new taxes. And, no one was getting any more overtime. Now, I believe that I just got sixteen more votes for McCain!

Excellent speech and a wise choice.

HEY MARVIN DO YOU REALLY HAVE A BUSINESS?
YOU SOUND LIKE A GUY THAT MADE UP A STORY, DID
KARL ROVE TELL YOU TO BLOG!
HEY MARVIN YOU PROBABLY DIDN'T PAY YOUR EMPLOYEES
A FAIR WAGE ANYWAY!
BARACK OBAMA AND JOE BIDEN WILL HELP YOU IN THE
FUTURE, IF YOU REALLY HAVE A BUSINESS!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on August 23, 2008 2:09 PM.

With a click on a laptop at Obama's Chicago headquarters, the Obama-Biden ticket is born was the previous entry in this blog.

At the Brown Palace Hotel, waiting for Pelosi, listening to Obama speech. is the next entry in this blog.

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