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I am working on the template of this blog today in order to chase down some problems that have developed with my template and widgets.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

2012 DNC Convention: Tuesday Speeches
Live Coverage

Here is live video of the 2012 DNC Convention that is taking place in Charlotte, NC. I will upload videos and texts of speeches to this post as soon as they are released.


Podium Schedule at Time Warner Cable Arena

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM (LOCAL)

Call to Order
The Honorable Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Chair of the Democratic National Committee
Member of the US House of Representatives, Florida
and
Invocation
His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas
Bishop of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Detroit
Presentation of Colors
Disabled American Veterans, The Stanly County Chapter 12 Honor Guard

Pledge of Allegiance
3rd Grade Class, W.R. O’Dell Elementary School
Concord, North Carolina
National Anthem
Amber Riley
Singer/songwriter and ‘Glee’ actress

Remarks
Stephen J. Kerrigan
Chief Executive Officer of the Democratic National Convention Committee

Welcome Video

Presentation of Credentials Committee Report from Co-Chairs
Bishop Vashti McKenzie
First woman elected as bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
The Honorable Julián Castro
Mayor of San Antonio, Texas


Presentation of Rules Committee Report from Co-Chairs
The Honorable Kamala D. Harris
State Attorney General of California
The Honorable Martin O’Malley
Governor of Maryland

Appointment of Convention Officers

Gaveling-in of Permanent Chair
The Honorable Antonio R. Villaraigosa
Chair of the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee
Mayor of Los Angeles, California

Remarks
The Honorable Steny Hoyer
Parliamentarian of the 2012 Democratic National Committee Convention
Democratic Whip and Member of the US House of Representatives, Maryland
Andrew Tobias
Treasurer of the Democratic National Committee
Alice Germond
Secretary of the Democratic National Committee

Roll Call for Attendance

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM (LOCAL)


Platform Committee Remarks
The Honorable Barbara Lee
Member of the US House of Representatives, California
Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy (Retired)
First woman to reach rank of three-star general in the US Army
Platform Video and Remarks
The Honorable Cory A. Booker
Mayor of Newark, New Jersey

Our platform, crafted by Democrats, is not about partisanship but pragmatism; not about left or right, but about moving America and our economy forward. Our platform—and our president—stand firm in the conviction that America must continue to out-build, out-innovate and out-educate the world.
This platform is a clear choice between economic pathways: forward or back, inclusion or exclusion, grow together as a nation or be a country of savage disparities that favor the fortunate few over the greatest driving force of any economy—a large and robust middle class.

We choose forward. We choose inclusion. We choose growing together. We choose American economic might and muscle, standing strong on the bedrock of the American ideal: a strong, empowered and ever-growing middle class. Our platform emphasizes that a vibrant, free and fair market is essential to economic growth.

We also must pull from our highest ideals of justice and protect against those ills that destabilized our economy—like predatory lending, over-leveraged financial institutions and the unchecked avarice of the past that trumped fairness and common sense. Our platform calls for significant cuts in federal spending. Our platform calls for a balanced deficit reduction plan where the wealthy pay their fair share.

And when your country is in a costly war, with our soldiers sacrificing abroad and our nation facing a debt crisis at home, being asked to pay your fair share isn't class warfare—it's patriotism. But we all know—it's common sense—that for an economy built to last we must invest in what will fuel us for generations to come. This is our history—from the Transcontinental Railroad to the Hoover Dam, to the dredging of our ports and building of our most historic bridges—our American ancestors prioritized growth and investment in our nation's infrastructure.


And today our businesses, industries, entrepreneurs and economy realize a return on those investments. Let us not fall prey to rhetoric that seeks to gut investment and starve our nation of critical, common-sense building for our future. And investment must include the real engine of job growth in America: the American small business.

That is why I'm proud that our president has made a profound difference for people and businesses in Newark, New Jersey and our nation by cutting taxes for 100 percent of working families and giving small businesses 18 different tax cuts.

For President Obama, "home of the brave" are not just the last words of our national anthem, but also a call to action. This is why the president's policies and our platform include incentives to train and hire our troops returning home. Not only because of our moral responsibility, but because it makes for a stronger, more secure American economy.

But investing in people doesn't stop with our troops. Our platform and our president make it clear that the most critical investment we can make in a 21st-century, knowledge-based economy is education. Our president has already doubled Pell grants, raised education standards, invested in research and development at our universities and early childhood education in our neighborhoods. Our platform and our president state it clearly: our nation cannot continue to be the world's number one economy if we aren't committed to being the world's number one educator.

Our platform and our president are not interested in petty political arguments. Instead, this platform of big and practical ideas sets forth an emboldened pathway toward the historic hope which has driven generations of Americans forward—it is our most fundamental national aspiration—that no matter who you are, no matter what your color, creed, how you choose to pray or who you choose to love, that if you are an American—first generation or fifth—one who is willing to work hard, play by the rules and apply your God-given talents—that you should be able to find a job that pays the bills.

You should be able to afford health care for your family. You should be able to retire with dignity and respect.

And you should be able to give your children the kind of education that allows them to dream even bigger, go even farther and accomplish even more than you could ever imagine.

This is our platform. This is our American mission. These are the dreams of our fathers and mothers. This is the demand from the next generation, who call to our conscience in a chorus of conviction, in classrooms from north to south, from sea to shining sea, when they proudly proclaim with those sacred words from our most profound pledge, that we are a nation with liberty and justice for all.

And this November, with the re-election of President Barack Obama, this generation of Americans will ever expand upon the hope, the truth and the promise of America.

Mr. Chairman, I am very pleased to move for the adoption of the 2012 Democratic National Platform.

Thank you.







Remarks
The Honorable Bev Perdue
Governor of North Carolina
American Hero Video: Education

American Voices Remarks
Ryan Case

Remarks
Mary Kay Henry
International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)



Remarks from Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
The Honorable Charles Gonzalez
Member of the US House of Representatives, Texas
Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
The Honorable Nydia M. Velázquez
Member of the US House of Representatives, New York

Remarks
The Honorable Pat Quinn
Governor of Illinois
Remarks
Doug Stern
Cincinnati, Ohio Firefighter

Remarks
The Honorable Tim Kaine
Candidate for the US Senate, Virginia
Former Governor of Virginia
Former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee


It's great to be here, especially with my friends from Virginia! A few years ago, few imagined that Virginia would be a battleground state. Virginia had last voted for a Democrat for president in 1964, but we proudly cast our electoral votes in 2008 for President Obama. In 2006 and 2008, we elected two outstanding senators—Jim Webb and Mark Warner. And together, we're going to win again in 2012!
How did Virginia go from red to purple? We did it with grassroots excitement and hard work. And we showed Virginians that Democrats get results. When I was governor, during the worst recession since the Great Depression, Virginia maintained one of the lowest unemployment rates in America. We kept our AAA bond rating. We were named most business-friendly state, best managed state and best state to raise a child.

We cut billions from the state budget, while making critical investments in schools, roads and bridges. We worked with Democrats, Republicans and independents to get results.

Over the last four years, the GOP pushed ideology and wedge issues. Last week, they passed a platform demanding privacy for Super PACs and denying privacy to women making health care decisions. Meanwhile, Democrats fought for the middle class.

We cut taxes for 95 percent of American families. We went from 25 months of job losses to 29 straight months of private-sector job growth. The auto industry is back. Manufacturers are hiring again, but we've got to do more. And there's a real choice.


The other side fights to protect subsidies for Big Oil. We want to invest in our small businesses. They want bigger tax cuts for those who need it least. We want to invest in our communities—the roads, bridges and infrastructure that will make us more competitive. They want to slash education and job training. We want to invest in our future.

There's just as stark a choice when it comes to fixing our budget. The last time they were in charge, the other side turned a record surplus into a massive deficit with two wars, trillions in tax breaks, loopholes and entitlements they wouldn't pay for. Now, they're pushing budget-busting tax cuts and economy-busting spending cuts.

To pay for their plan, they'd slash middle-class tax breaks, raising taxes on the middle class. They'd turn Medicare into a voucher system. And rather than raise taxes on the wealthy by a single penny, they'd put thousands of defense jobs at risk. Let's be clear: That's not fiscally responsible. That's fiscally reckless.

We can't afford to try it again! We need to move forward, because while we've made progress, we still have a long way to go. We'll only get there if we elect leaders who put results ahead of ideology.

I support President Obama, because he's that kind of leader. He said he'd end the war in Iraq, and he has. He said he'd draw down troops in Afghanistan, and today every Virginia National Guard unit is home for the first time in a decade. He said he'd go after bin Laden and take out al-Qaida. He did, and a SEAL team earned our nation's gratitude.

He said he'd pass health care reform, and he did. He promised he'd fight for equal pay for women, college affordability for students and fair treatment for LGBT Americans—and he's kept his word. He's a tough leader who gets results.

Next week, we commemorate the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Many Virginians lost their lives at the Pentagon that day and in the wars we've fought since. As governor, I went to funerals of Virginia Guard members. I know people who lost their kids and soldiers who returned, their lives forever changed. Their sacrifice reminds us we're not Democrats or Republicans first. We're Americans first.

We've been through tough times, but we're tough people. Tough times don't last. Tough people do. Let's come together, show how tough we are and prove our best days will always be ahead of us.

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM (LOCAL)


Remarks
The Honorable Anthony R. Foxx
Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina
The Honorable Harry Reid
Democratic Majority Leader and Member of the US Senate, Nevada

My name is Harry Reid, the majority leader of the United States Senate and the senator from Searchlight, Nevada. It has been my honor to support and work with President Barack Obama, a man who has brought courage and character to the presidency. President Obama's strength of character leads him to do the right thing, even when it isn't the easy thing.
Some said he shouldn't save Detroit. But President Obama made the tough and right call to save more than a million American jobs in an important, iconic industry.

Some said he shouldn't move heaven and earth to get bin Laden. But President Obama made the tough and right call to bring the world's worst terrorist to justice.

Some said he couldn't take on the big banks that brought our economy to its knees. But President Obama made the tough and right call so taxpayers will never again be on the hook for Wall Street's risky bets.

Some said he couldn't take on the insurance companies that were ripping us off. But President Obama made the tough and right call to save lives, save Medicare and ensure no one goes broke just because they get sick.

His whole life, there have been so many who told him what he shouldn't or couldn't do. But America has a president who knows what we must do.


President Obama has also faced down another group of naysayers. In addition to the crowd of "couldn'ts" and "shouldn'ts," the Republican Party has become the party of the "wouldn'ts" and the "won'ts." They pledged on day one they wouldn't lift a finger to help. And they haven't.

In the depth of the Great Recession, as millions of Americans were struggling to find work, the Republican leader of the senate, Mitch McConnell, said Republicans' number one goal was to make Barack Obama a one-term president. They wouldn't cooperate to create jobs. They wouldn't try to turn around the economy. They wouldn't do anything but stand in President Obama's way.

I've had a front-row seat to watch the Tea Party take over the Republican Party. For three and a half years, they wouldn't govern. They couldn't lead. And we shouldn't let them take over the Senate and the White House.

We must stop the Tea Party before the United States Senate falls into the hands of extremists and ideologues who leave no room for reason or compromise, who don't recognize common ground even when they're standing on it.

And if they won't stand up to Rush Limbaugh or Grover Norquist, what would make anyone think they would stand up for you?

Today's Republican Party believes in two sets of rules: one for millionaires and billionaires, and another for the middle class. And this year, they've nominated the strongest proponent—and clearest beneficiary—of this rigged game: Mitt Romney.

Never in modern American history has a presidential candidate tried so hard to hide himself from the people he hopes to serve. When you look at the one tax return he has released, it's obvious why there's been only one.

We learned that he pays a lower tax rate than middle-class families. We learned he chose Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island tax shelters over American institutions. And we can only imagine what new secrets would be revealed if he showed the American people a dozen years of tax returns, like his father did.

Mitt Romney says we should take his word that he paid his fair share. His word? His word? Trust comes from transparency, and Mitt Romney comes up short on both. This is about more than just a piece of paper. This isn't personal. This is about leveling with the American people and creating a level playing field for them.

If we don't know how Mitt Romney would benefit from the policies he proposes, how can we know if he's looking out for us or just himself? The American people are still asking, "Who is Mitt Romney?" But the American people know Barack Obama. He is the leader who says we should, we can, we will. He is the leader who doesn't search for the easy path for himself, but takes the right one for us.

This nation has been through hard times. But those hard times have hardened our resolve. I'm ready to do the difficult work ahead. But I want to do that work with Barack Obama, and not a Tea Party ideologue. We can move America forward, but we can only do it together.

We can move America forward with a strong middle class. We can move America forward with a strong Democratic majority in the Senate. And together we can move America forward with Barack Obama in the White House.






An Economy Built to Last Video: Education
Women of the US House of Representatives
Jimmy Carter Video

Remarks
The Honorable Ken Salazar

Kennedy Family Tribute Video
Remarks
Joe Kennedy III
Candidate for the US House of Representatives, Massachusetts
Live Performance
Ledisi
Singer/songwriter

Remarks
The Honorable Robert Wexler
President of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace
Former Member of the US House of Representatives, Florida

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM (LOCAL)


Remarks
The Honorable R.T. Rybak
Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Honorable Jared Polis
Member of the US House of Representatives, Colorado



My name is Jared Polis. My great-grandparents were immigrants. I am Jewish. I am gay. I am a father. I am a son. I am an entrepreneur. I am a congressman from Colorado. I am always an optimist. But first and foremost, I am an American.
And the America I believe in is the America Barack Obama believes in. It is the America you believe in. One where if you play by the rules and work hard, you can get ahead and succeed. One in which loving families of all forms are respected and celebrated as the backbone of society. One in which today's divisions become tomorrow's unity, in which we transcend partisan bickering and work together to forge a better future for ourselves and our families.

Diversity is America's strength, and only by working together, as one nation, can we form a more perfect union. That is why President Obama brought to Washington a vision for one America—an America in which we can overcome divisions of red and blue to make our country greater.

It is why he's fighting to make citizenship a reality for young immigrants who go to college or serve in our military. It is why he repealed "don't ask, don't tell," so that no person is prevented from serving the country they love because of whom they love. And it is why Barack Obama became the first sitting president in American history to show his personal support for same-sex marriage.

Consistently over the last four years, as our nation has struggled through the worst recession since the Great Depression, Barack Obama has shown strong leadership and taken on politics as usual. He has challenged our nation to come together. Barack Obama is the first presidential candidate to refuse contributions from lobbyists. He set the strictest ethics rules in the history of the executive branch.


His vision for one America, one in which we can overcome our divisions to make our country greater, continues to be an enormous challenge to Washington, D.C., a town with professional pundits and pols, whose entire livelihood is never-ending partisan bickering.

But ladies and gentlemen, now is our chance to tell the dividers no, tell the special interests and cynical Washington insiders no, tell the lobbyists and PACs no, and tell our fellow countrymen and women, gay and straight, Christians, Jews, Mormons, Muslims and nonbelievers, rich and poor, black and white, Latino and Asian, east and west, north and south; it is time to tell them yes, together we are stronger, together we are better, together we are America.

And that is why we must continue bringing America together. So tonight, I don't just ask my fellow Americans to respect my relationship with my partner Marlon and my role as a father to our son. I also ask them to respect the Christian family concerned about decaying moral values and crass commercialism. I ask them to respect the difficult decision of a single mother to bring a child into this world, because of her heartfelt beliefs.

And it is why we must help that courageous woman have the support she needs after her child is born. We celebrate Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs, even Republicans, because this is their future, too. Republicans mocked our desire to heal the planet, but we will heal it for Republicans too, and we will create jobs for Republicans too.

We are a diverse country, but we are one country. And we are at our best when we come together as Americans, not despite our differences, but in celebration of them. From the newest arrivals to our Native American brothers and sisters, we are one America. Barack Obama understands that together we can take on any challenge, and together, we can move our country forward. Out of many, one!





Stronger Together Video: Reproductive Choice

American Voices Remarks
Maria Ciano

Remarks
Nancy Keenan
President of the National Abortion Rights Action League – Pro-Choice America (NARAL)

Progress for People Video: American Veterans

American Voices Remarks
Nate Davis

Remarks
The Honorable Tammy Duckworth
Candidate for the US House of Representatives, Illinois
Former Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Veterans Affairs

My name is Tammy Duckworth. I'm running to serve Illinois' 8th Congressional District. My father served in the Army and the Marine Corps. A Vietnam vet, his family has worn our nation's uniform since the American Revolution. My husband is an Army officer. My brother saved lives in the Coast Guard. My mom is Thai and Chinese. She proudly became a citizen in her fifties.
Dad's work took us all over the world until he lost his job. It was a tough time. We used up our savings, moved into a studio apartment. But our family did the responsible thing and rolled up our sleeves. Mom took in sewing.

My 55-year-old dad tried to find work. But at 15, I was the only one with a job—after school, for minimum wage. Thank God for the food stamps, public education and Pell grants that helped me finish high school and college.

In time, we pulled through. With this start, I was able to earn my own commission as an Army officer. I became an assault helicopter pilot, working my way up to command a Blackhawk helicopter company. In 2003, my National Guard unit was mobilized, and I became one of the first Army women to fly combat missions in Iraq.

Almost a year into my tour I was wounded, and recovered at Walter Reed with other wounded warriors. Some of us had obvious injuries. Others had scars on the inside that were less visible, but no less real. At the hospital, I realized my new responsibility: to honor the buddies who saved me by serving our military men and women. I became director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. We led the nation in screening for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress, and we created a tax credit for Illinois businesses that hire veterans.


Then President Obama asked me to help keep our sacred trust with veterans of all eras at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. We worked to end the outrage of vets having to sleep on the same streets they once defended. We improved services for female veterans. I reached out to young vets by creating the Office for Online Communications.

Barack Obama has also lived up to his responsibilities as commander-in-chief, ending the war in Iraq, refocusing on Afghanistan and eradicating terrorist leaders including bin Laden. President Obama pushed for fairness in the military, listening to commanders as we ended "don't ask, don't tell," and on how to allow women to officially serve in more combat jobs—because America's daughters are just as capable of defending liberty as her sons.

When it comes to our men and women in harm's way, we have a clear choice on November 6th. Last week, Mitt Romney had a chance to show his support for the brave men and women he is seeking to command. But he chose to criticize President Obama instead of even uttering the word "Afghanistan."

Barack Obama will never ignore our troops. He will fight for them. That's why he is my choice on November 6th. My choice is to do what my family did when times were hard: roll up our sleeves and get to work. My choice is to do what my crew did for me in a dusty field in Iraq.

On November 12th, 2004, I was co-piloting my Blackhawk north of Baghdad when we started taking enemy fire. A rocket-propelled grenade hit our helicopter, exploding in my lap, ripping off one leg, crushing the other and tearing my right arm apart. But I kept trying to fly until I passed out. In that moment, my survival and the survival of my entire crew depended on all of us pulling together. And even though they were wounded themselves and insurgents were nearby, they refused to leave a fallen comrade behind. Their heroism is why I'm alive today.

Ultimately, that's what this election is about. Yes, it's about the issues that matter to us: building an economy that will create jobs here at home and out-compete countries around the world. But it's also about something else. It's about whether we will do for our fellow Americans what my crew did for me; whether we'll look out for the hardest hit and the disabled; whether we'll pull together in a time of need; whether we'll refuse to give up until the job is done.

So let's finish what we started. Let's keep moving forward with Barack Obama. Let's do what this country has always done: look adversity in the eye and work together to overcome it. God bless our military and their families, and God bless America.







The Honorable Lincoln Chafee
Governor of Rhode Island
The Honorable James E. Clyburn
Assistant Democratic Leader and Member of the US House of Representatives, South Carolina

Progress for People Video: Health Care

American Voices Remarks
Stacey Lihn
Remarks
The Honorable Xavier Becerra
Democratic Caucus Vice Chair and Member of the US House of Representatives, California

9:00 PM – 10:00 PM (LOCAL)


The Honorable Ted Strickland
Former Governor of Ohio

I'm Ted Strickland, and I come from Duck Run, Ohio. Let me tell you, folks in Ohio know what happens when you have a president who stands up for average working people.
Ina Sidney is a grandmother who lost her ability to provide for her family when they closed down the auto plant in Perrysburg, Ohio. Ina says thanks to Barack Obama for having the courage to back an industry that others had given up on. She's an autoworker and a breadwinner once again.

As he celebrated the birth of his newborn baby boy, Brian Slagle lost his job just at the moment he needed it most. But today he's back making auto batteries in a factory in Springfield Township, Ohio. And he said there's one reason he has a steady paycheck again: Barack Obama refused to let the American auto industry die.

James Fayson felt like there was no tomorrow when he was laid off. "I believe in working every day," he said, "and that was taken from me." Today, James is working sixty hours a week on the Jeep Liberty line in Toledo. He is thrilled to say that his life right now is "eat, sleep and Jeep." He's back, he said, because Barack Obama gave us a chance for a comeback.

The auto industry supports one of every eight jobs in Ohio, and it's alive and growing in America again. Late last year, Chrysler announced they were hiring eleven hundred new autoworkers in Toledo. Just last month, GM announced a plan to invest 200 million dollars in Lordstown, keeping five thousand jobs in Ohio and building the next generation of the Chevy Cruze—a car we are proud to say is made entirely in Ohio.

It's been a long slog back, and we've still got a long way to go. But all over Ohio—all over America—men and women are going back to work with the pride of building something stamped "Made in America." Before Barack Obama took office, it looked like that pride could have vanished forever, but today, from the staggering depths of the Great Recession, the nation has had 29 straight months of job growth. Workers across my state and across the country are getting back the dignity of a good job and a good salary.


Vince Lombardi was right when he said, "It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get back up." And my friends Ina Sydney, Brian Slagle and James Fayson were all knocked down. But Ina, Brian and James are all standing today. The auto industry is standing today. The middle class is standing today. Ohio is standing today. America is standing strong today.

That's what happens when you have a president who stands up for average working people. President Barack Obama stood up for us, and now by God we will stand up for him. Quite frankly, Barack Obama knows what it's like to pay a mortgage and student loans. He knows what it's like to watch a beloved family member in a medical crisis and worry that treatment is out of reach. Barack Obama knows our struggles. And, my friends, he shares our values.

Now, Mitt Romney, he lives by a different code. To him, American workers are just numbers on a spreadsheet.

To him, all profits are created equal, whether made on our shores or off. That's why companies Romney invested in were dubbed "outsourcing pioneers." Our nation was built by pioneers—pioneers who accepted untold risks in pursuit of freedom, not by pioneers seeking offshore profits at the expense of American workers here at home.

Mitt Romney proudly wrote an op-ed entitled, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." If he had had his way, devastation would have cascaded from Michigan to Ohio and across the nation. Mitt Romney never saw the point of building something when he could profit from tearing it down. If Mitt was Santa Claus, he'd fire the reindeer and outsource the elves.

Mitt Romney has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport. It summers on the beaches of the Cayman Islands and winters on the slopes of the Swiss Alps. In Matthew, chapter 6, verse 21, the scriptures teach us that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. My friends, any man who aspires to be our president should keep both his treasure and his heart in the United States of America. And it's well past time for Mitt Romney to come clean with the American people.

On what he's saying about the president's policy for welfare to work, he's lying. Simple as that. On his tax returns, he's hiding. You have to wonder, just what is so embarrassing that he's gone to such great lengths to bury the truth? Whatever he's doing to avoid taxes, can it possibly be worse than the Romney-Ryan tax plan that would have sliced Mitt's total tax rate to less than one percent?

My friends, there is a true choice in this election. Barack Obama is betting on the American worker. Mitt Romney is betting on a Bermuda shell corporation. Barack Obama saved the American auto industry. Mitt Romney saved on his taxes. Barack Obama is an economic patriot. Mitt Romney is an outsourcing pioneer. My friends, the stakes are too high, the differences too stark to sit this one out. Let us stand as one on November 6th and move this country forward by re-electing President Barack Obama.



The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius

The Honorable Rahm Emanuel
Mayor of Chicago, Illinois
Former White House Chief of Staff

From President Obama's hometown of Chicago, it is my honor to speak to you about the president I served.
I want to tell you what I saw up close in the White House while serving our president in a time of crisis, about the values he leans on and the voices he listens to. When President Obama entered the White House, the economy was in a free-fall. The auto industry: on its back. The banks: frozen up. More than three million Americans had already lost their jobs. And America's bravest, our men and women in uniform, were fighting what would soon be the longest wars in our history. You remember the uncertainty and fear that seized the country.

On that first day, I said, "Mr. President, which crisis do you want to tackle first?" He looked at me, with that look he usually reserved for his chief of staff, "Rahm, we were sent here to tackle all of them, not choose between them." There was no blueprint or how-to manual for fixing a global financial meltdown, an auto crisis, two wars and a great recession, all at the same time. Believe me, if it existed, I would have found it. Each crisis was so deep and so dangerous; any one of them would have defined another presidency. We faced a once-in-a-generation moment in American history.

Fortunately for all of us, we have a once-in-a-generation president. And in those uncharted waters, I saw where the president finds his North Star. Every night, President Obama reads ten letters from everyday Americans.

When I met with the president at the end of each day, he made sure he had their letters to read at his residence—letters from people just hoping for someone in power to understand their struggles and challenges.

I cannot tell you how many times—whether we were discussing the economy, health care, or energy prices— the president would walk to his desk, take out one of their letters, read it to all of us, and say, "This is who we are fighting for"—parents working hard to save for their child's education; middle-class Americans fighting tooth-and-nail to hold onto their jobs, their homes and life savings. It is their voices that President Obama brings to the Oval Office. It is their values I saw him fight for every day. And in the first month in office, he fought for the American Recovery Act—to cut taxes for the middle class, to put people to work building America's roads, rails and runways.


And today, our economy has gone from losing 800,000 jobs a month to adding 4.5 million private-sector jobs in the last 29 months. Banks are slowly but surely lending again, and never again will taxpayers foot the bill for Wall Street's excesses. In case we forgot, that was the change we believed in. That was the change we fought for. That was the change President Obama delivered.

President Obama took office knowing full well that for the last century, presidents had tried to reform our health care system. Today, because of President Obama's courage, kids can stay on their parent's plan until they are 26. Insurers cannot kick you off your policy because you have hit your limit. They will not be able to deny you because you have a pre-existing condition. Because of the president's leadership, every American will have access to affordable, quality health care. That was the change we believed in. That was the change we fought for. That was the change President Obama delivered.

I saw the president make the tough calls in the Situation Room—and today, our troops in Iraq have finally come home so America can do some nation building here at home. That was the change that we believed in. That was the change we fought for. That was the change President Obama delivered.

I remember when the president received a report that the auto industry had a few weeks before collapse. We met in the Roosevelt Room late into the night. Some of the president's advisors said that in order to save General Motors, you had to let Chrysler go under. Others said it was throwing good money after bad. Among all the experts, there were only guesses, and nobody put it at better than a one-in-four shot. Only the president suggested going all-in to save the industry.

Rising above all the voices in Washington, President Obama listened to the voices that mattered to him most—the voices of the auto workers and the communities that depended on them, just like the voices of the steelworkers and communities on the south side of Chicago where he worked earlier in his career. To President Obama, they were not just companies that needed a loan, they were communities that needed a leader to stand up for them. And because President Obama made the right choice, over one million Americans are still working today. The American auto industry is not just surviving. It is thriving. Where Mitt Romney was willing to turn his back on Akron, Dayton and Toledo, Ohio, the president said, "I've got your back."

That was the change we believed in. That was the change we fought for. That was the change President Obama delivered. And in those first few months, the president worked to put accountability into our children's schools with Race to the Top, so that every child has an education that measures up to their full potential. He was willing to demand change and embrace reform. The president never changed his views to suit the moment or the audience—and that is also a measure of leadership. Every challenge was different, every choice was difficult, but every time, the leadership was steady.

Now, one thing I know with absolute certainty, having served two great presidents, is that in the next four years, an unforeseen crisis, challenge or conflict is gonna seize the country. Whose leadership, whose judgment, whose values do you want in the White House when that crisis lands like a thud on the Oval Office desk?

A person who said in four words, "Let Detroit go bankrupt," or a president who had another four words, "Not on my watch"? A person who believes in giving tax cuts to the most fortunate, or a president who believes in making college affordable for all Americans? A person who wanted to keep "don't ask, don't tell," or a president who believes that who you love should not keep you from serving the country you love?

And believe me, when the fog of uncertainty that surrounds a crisis storms in to the White House, and all the advisors and chiefs of staff have only guesses and hedges to offer, it will be the president's leadership that determines how we as a nation meet the challenges that face the middle class. It is the president's values that shape a future in which the middle class has hope.

The person who takes the oath of office in the next four months will shape not just the next four years, but the next forty years of our nation. In these next four years, we need proven leadership, proven judgment and proven values. America needs four more years of President Barack Obama.

Thank you.

Remarks
Kal Penn
Actor/Producer
Former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement
Remarks
Craig Robinson and Maya Soetoro-ng
Brother of Mrs. Obama and Sister of President Obama
Stronger Together Video: Equal Pay

Remarks
Lilly Ledbetter
Women’s equality leader and namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act


Good evening, I'm Lilly Ledbetter and I'm here tonight to say: What a difference four years make!
Some of you may know my story: How for nineteen years, I worked as a manager for a tire plant in Alabama. And some of you may have lived a similar story: After nearly two decades of hard, proud work, I found out that I was making significantly less money than the men who were doing the same work as me. I went home, talked to my husband, and we decided to fight.

We decided to fight for our family and to fight for your family too. We sought justice because equal pay for equal work is an American value. That fight took me ten years. It took me all the way to the Supreme Court. And, in a 5–4 decision, they stood on the side of those who shortchanged my pay, my overtime, and my retirement just because I am a woman.

The Supreme Court told me that I should have filed a complaint within six months of the company's first decision to pay me less even though I didn't know about it for nearly two decades. And if we hadn't elected President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court's wrongheaded interpretation would have been the law of the land.

And that would have been the end of the story. But with President Obama on our side, even though I lost before the Supreme Court, we won. The first bill that President Obama signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. I think it says something about his priorities that the first bill he put his name on has my name on it too.

As he said that day with me by his side, "Making our economy work means making sure it works for everyone."


The president signed the bill for his grandmother, whose dreams hit the glass ceiling, And for his daughters, so that theirs never will. Because of his leadership, women who faced pay discrimination like I did will now get their day in court.

That was the first step but it can't be the last. Because women still earn just 77 cents for every dollar men make. Those pennies add up to real money. It's real money for the little things like being able to take your kids to the movies and for the big things like sending them to college. It's paying your rent this month and paying the mortgage in the future. It's having savings for the bill you didn't expect and savings for the dignified retirement you've earned.

Maybe 23 cents doesn't sound like a lot to someone with a Swiss bank account, Cayman Island Investments and an IRA worth tens of millions of dollars. But Governor Romney, when we lose 23 cents every hour, every day, every paycheck, every job, over our entire lives, what we lose can't just be measured in dollars.

Three years ago, the house passed the paycheck Fairness Act to level the playing field for America's women. Senate Republicans blocked it. Mitt Romney won't even say if he supports it. President Obama does. In the end, I didn't get a dime of the money I was shortchanged.

But this fight became bigger than Lilly Ledbetter. Today, it's about my daughter. It's about my granddaughter. It's about women and men. It's about families. It's about equality and justice.

This cause, which bears my name, is bigger than me. It's as big as all of you. This fight, which began as my own, is now our fight—a fight for the fundamental American values that make our country great. And with President Barack Obama, we're going to win. Thank you very much. God bless America.


The Honorable Deval Patrick
Governor of Massachusetts

10:00 PM – 11:00 PM (LOCAL)


The Honorable Martin O’Malley
Governor of Maryland
Introduction of Keynote Speaker Julián Castro
Joaquin Castro
Brother of Mayor Julián Castro
Candidate for the US House of Representatives, Texas
and
Keynote Address
The Honorable Julián Castro
Mayor of San Antonio, Texas
Michelle Obama Video and Remarks
Elaine Brye

Remarks
Michelle Obama
First Lady of the United States
Benediction
Jena Lee Nardella
Founder and Executive Director of Blood: Water Mission

Recess

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