Thursday, March 27, 2008
In the wake of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy, Sen. Barack Obama took to the podium and delivered the speech of his political career. It was a heartfelt, sincere and thought-provoking address on race relations in America. And it worked. Since this critical discourse, Obama's momentum appears to be surging if current polls are any indication. Now it's time for another well-timed, forthright, brilliant speech. For this one, Obama must share the stage with his rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, and issue an impassioned plea to Democrats. The gist of it should be something akin to:
Obama: "Good evening America. We stand before you as the two candidates vying for the 2008 Democratic nomination for president. As many of you know, we have been engaged in a very intense, often bitter campaign. There have been moments where we've made seemingly angry statements directed at each other, and our two camps have certainly traded barbs and added fuel to the fire. There have indeed been times when one side clearly has offended the other. It's be a long, hard, frustrating, stressful and hotly contested struggle. Only one of us will eventually win.
Clinton: Regardless of what you've seen on the campaign trail, each of us has the utmost respect and admiration for the other's experience, dedication, qualifications, patriotism and ability to lead this great nation of ours. We believe that either of us would, on every measurable level, serve our country better than our Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, whether it's in dealing with the war, the fight against terrorism, the struggling economy, health care, education, and in transcending partisan politics so that we can unite Americans under the common goal of living in peace and prosperity.
Obama: Our battle for the nomination may continue in the weeks and months to come. That's politics. This year we have a close race for the first time in 50 or so years. And that's ok. That's ultimately good for the country. The ability to hold free and open elections is the bedrock of our Democracy. But make no mistake about one very important fact: that no matter who stands before you at the Denver convention in August, as the party's eventual nominee, the other will be standing right beside him or her. And we stand before you today pledging that 100%, unequivocal support.
Clinton: If Barack is our nominee, I will do everything in my power, everything humanly possible, to help him win the presidency. I will campaign long and hard for him, and I will dedicate whatever resources I can to ensure his victory.
Obama: And if Hillary wins, I will do exactly the same for her. We stand before you today united. United in our ultimate support for each other; united in our goal to defeat John McCain in November; and united in our commitment to our party, to you, the American voter, and to our great Democracy. And we implore you to do the same. We cannot do this without you. All of you. You can support Hillary or myself until this contest results in victory for one of us, but when that day comes, we need you, our party needs you, America needs you, to move beyond the emotions and tensions raised in the primary campaign and unite alongside with us. I say to my supporters, if Hillary wins, you must vote for her in November against McCain. While she and I have some personal and policy differences as Democratic candidates, one thing I am certain of is that, against John McCain and the Republicans, we are of equal mindset. Our values, our goals for America, our commitment to the poor and middle classes..the elderly...college students...the sick...our veterans....is the same. It is unwaivering. We share the same respect for the Constitution and protecting your civil liberties. We want to end the Iraq war and not let it drag on for 100 years as McCain suggests. I say to you, my supporters, if you believe in me and what I stand for, then you must vote for Hillary in November if she becomes our nominee.
Clinton: And I agree with everything Barack just said. I say to my supporters, no matter the outcome of this primary campaign, no matter if I lose and Barack wins, you must support him. You must stand with me as I stand beside him in our collective fight against the Republicans. We cannot afford four more years, and possibly eight, of a Bush-like Republican administration. We must stand together, united, come November.
Obama: The successful future of our great nation--the achievement of peace and prosperity--rests with Democrats. The survival of our party this year, and in years to come, now rests with you. Again, we stand before you--as political opponents in the current primary contest--but as a brother-and-sister-in-arms--in the November general election. Together, we can unite the party and America, by standing together with you, our supporters. Come November, we again implore you to please join me and Hillary in supporting the other, no matter who wins. Thank you."
It's time we hear a speech like this from the candidates. It would be historic in nature, and do wonders for party unity.