Obama's Remarks in San Antonio, Replying to Clinton
and McCain, as He Still Leads in Delegates
After yesterday's primary election, Barack Obama still
has the lead over Hillary Clinton. He still has 1451 delegates while she
has 1365 delegates. It will take more primary elections for either of
them to get the required 2,025 delegates for the Democratic nomination.
Here's the text of the speech Barack Obama gave
yesterday, at the end of primary elections in Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas,
Sam Graham-Felson - Mar 5th, 2008 at 12:01 am EST
"Well, we are in the middle of a very close race
right now in Texas, and we may not even know the final results until
morning. We do know that Senator Clinton has won Rhode Island, and
while there are a lot of votes to be counted in Ohio, it looks like she
did well there too, and so we congratulate her on those states. We
also know that we have won the state of Vermont. And we know this
no matter what happens tonight, we have nearly the same delegate lead
as we did this morning, and we are on our way to winning this
You know, decades ago, as a community organizer, I learned that the real
work of democracy begins far from the closed doors and marbled halls of
It begins on street corners and front porches; in living rooms and
meeting halls with ordinary Americans who see the world as it is and
realize that we have it within our power to remake the world as it
It is with that hope that we began this unlikely journey the hope that
if we could go block by block, city by city, state by state and build a
movement that spanned race and region; party and gender; if we could
give young people a reason to vote and the young at heart a reason to
believe again; if we could inspire a nation to come together again, then
we could turn the page on the politics that's shut us out, let us down,
and told us to settle. We could write a new chapter in the
We were told this wasn't possible. We were told the climb was too
steep. We were told our country was too cynical that we were
just being naοve; that we couldn't really change the world as it is.
But then a few people in Iowa stood up to say, "Yes we can." And
then a few more of you stood up from the hills of New Hampshire to the
coast of South Carolina. And then a few million of you stood up
from Savannah to Seattle; from Boise to Baton Rouge. And tonight,
because of you because of a movement you built that stretches from
Vermont's Green Mountains to the streets of San Antonio, we can stand up
with confidence and clarity to say that we are turning the page, and we
are ready to write the next great chapter in America's story.
In the coming weeks, we will begin a great debate about the future of
this country with a man who has served it bravely and loves it dearly.
And tonight, I called John McCain and congratulated him on winning the
But in this election, we will offer two very different visions of the
America we see in the twenty-first century. Because John McCain
may claim long history of straight talk and independent-thinking, and I
respect that. But in this campaign, he's fallen in line behind the
very same policies that have ill-served America. He has seen where
George Bush has taken our country, and he promises to keep us on the
very same course.
It's the same course that threatens a century of war in Iraq a third
and fourth and fifth tour of duty for brave troops who've done all we've
asked them to, even while we ask little and expect nothing of the Iraqi
government whose job it is to put their country back together. A
course where we spend billions of dollars a week that could be used to
rebuild our roads and our schools; to care for our veterans and send our
children to college.
It's the same course that continues to divide and isolate America from
the world by substituting bluster and bullying for direct diplomacy by
ignoring our allies and refusing to talk to our enemies even though
Presidents from Kennedy to Reagan have done just that; because strong
countries and strong leaders aren't afraid to tell hard truths to petty
And it's the same course that offers the same tired answer to workers
without health care and families without homes; to students in debt and
children who go to bed hungry in the richest nation on Earth four more
years of tax breaks for the biggest corporations and the wealthiest few
who don't need them and aren't even asking for them. It's a course
that further divides Wall Street from Main Street; where struggling
families are told to pull themselves up by their bootstraps because
there's nothing government can do or should do and so we should give
more to those with the most and let the chips fall where they may.
Well we are here tonight to say that this is not the America we believe
in and this is not the future we want. We want a new course for
this country. We want new leadership in Washington. We want
change in America.
John McCain and Senator Clinton echo each other in dismissing this call
for change. They say it is eloquent but empty; speeches and not
solutions. And yet, they should know that it's a call that
did not begin with my words. It began with words that were spoken
on the floors of factories in Ohio and across the deep plains of Texas;
words that came from classrooms in South Carolina and living rooms in
the state of Iowa; from first-time voters and life-long cynics; from
Democrats and Republicans alike.
They should know that there's nothing empty about the call for
affordable health care that came from the young student who told me she
gets three hours of sleep because she works the night shift after a full
day of college and still can't pay her sister's medical bills.
There's nothing empty about the call for help that came from the mother
in San Antonio who saw her mortgage double in two weeks and didn't know
where her two-year olds would sleep at night when they were kicked out
of their home.
There's nothing empty about the call for change that came from the
elderly woman who wants it so badly that she sent me an envelope with a
money order for $3.01 and a simple verse of scripture tucked inside.
These Americans know that government cannot solve all of our problems,
and they don't expect it to. Americans know that we have to work
harder and study more to compete in a global economy. We know that
we need to take responsibility for ourselves and our children that we
need to spend more time with them, and teach them well, and put a book
in their hands instead of a video game once in awhile. We know
But we also believe that there is a larger responsibility we have to one
another as Americans.
We believe that we rise or fall as one nation as one people.
That we are our brother's keeper. That we are our sister's keeper.
We believe that a child born tonight should have the same chances
whether she arrives in the barrios of San Antonio or the suburbs of St.
Louis; on the streets of Chicago or the hills of Appalachia.
We believe that when she goes to school for the first time, it should be
in a place where the rats don't outnumber the computers; that when she
applies to college, cost is no barrier to a degree that will allow her
to compete with children in China or India for the jobs of the
We believe that these jobs should provide wages that can raise her
family, health care for when she gets sick and a pension for when she
We believe that when she tucks her own children into bed, she should
feel safe knowing that they are protected from the threats we face by
the bravest, best-equipped, military in the world, led by a
Commander-in-Chief who has the judgment to know when to send them into
battle and which battlefield to fight on.
And if that child should ever get the chance to travel the world, and
someone should ask her where she is from, we believe that she should
always be able to hold her head high with pride in her voice when she
answers "I am an American."
That is the course we seek. That is the change we are calling for.
You can call it many things, but you cannot call it empty.
If I am the nominee of this party, I will not allow us to be distracted
by the same politics that seeks to divide us with false charges and
meaningless labels. In this campaign, we will not stand for the
politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon.
I owe what I am to this country I love, and I will never forget it.
Where else could a young man who grew up herding goats in Kenya get the
chance to fulfill his dream of a college education? Where else
could he marry a white girl from Kansas whose parents survived war and
depression to find opportunity out west? Where else could they
have a child who would one day have the chance to run for the highest
office in the greatest nation the world has ever known? Where
else, but in the United States of America?
It is now my hope and our task to set this country on a course that will
keep this promise alive in the twenty-first century. And the eyes
of the world are watching to see if we can.
There is a young man on my campaign whose grandfather lives in Uganda.
He is 81 years old and has never experienced true democracy in his
lifetime. During the reign of Idi Amin, he was literally hunted
and the only reason he escaped was thanks to the kindness of others and
a few good-sized trunks. And on the night of the Iowa caucuses,
that 81-year-old man stayed up until five in the morning, huddled by his
television, waiting for the results.
The world is watching what we do here. The world is paying
attention to how we conduct ourselves. What will we they see?
What will we tell them? What will we show them?
Can we come together across party and region; race and religion to
restore prosperity and opportunity as the birthright of every American?
Can we lead the community of nations in taking on the common threats of
the 21st century terrorism and climate change; genocide and disease?
Can we send a message to all those weary travelers beyond our shores who
long to be free from fear and want that the United States of America is,
and always will be, 'the last best, hope of Earth?'
We say; we hope; we believe yes we can."
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