Does it feel like the convention is building to a crescendo or it is just me? The speeches tonight were especially spirited and en pointe.
Senator Ted Kennedy was a bit shaky and hoarse but still full of conviction. His words were strong and unyielding, as the cameras panned to show Maria Shriver with her mother Eunice watching him speak.
Ron Reagan was greeted warmly, and he didn't mince words. As I surfed channels to see how the pundits covered his speech, Fox News showed his half brother Michael criticizing the Democrats for "using" his brother because of his last name. Ironic coming from a man who is capitalizing on the same name to get radio hosting gigs.
All the hype about the party's new star Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate for Senator in Illinois, seem justified. His speech electrified Fleet Center. I've been reading about the man for months and it's the first time I heard him speak. I was floored. I was thinking he would be good but not that good.
Last but not least was the speech by Teresa Heinz Kerry. I thought she was outstanding. She came across as sophisticated, smart and very much her own person. She effectively defined herself with tonight's speech, at the same time charming the crowd and the media.
In these challenging times for our country, in these fateful times for the world, America needs a genuine uniter – not a divider who only claims to be a uniter.
The Democratic Party has a different idea. We believe that all of us can win. We believe we are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. And when we say all, we mean all.
...As President Kennedy said in 1963 in his quest for restraint in nuclear arms: "We can help make the world safe for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal."
...In the White House, inscribed on a plaque above the fireplace in the State Dining Room, is a prayer – a simple but powerful prayer of John Adams, the first president to live in that great house. It reads: "I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but [the] honest and wise ever rule under this roof." In November, we will make those words ring true again.
Let me assure you, I am not here to make a political speech, and the topic at hand should not—must not—have anything to do with partisanship
...Now, there are those who would stand in the way of this remarkable future, who would deny the federal funding so crucial to basic research...A few of these folks, needless to say, are just grinding a political axe and they should be ashamed of
...it does not follow that the theology of a few should be allowed to forestall the health and well-being of the many. And how can we affirm life if we abandon those whose own lives are so desperately at risk?
...In a few months, we will face a choice...We have a chance to take a giant stride forward for the good of all humanity. We can choose between the future and the past, between reason and ignorance, between true compassion and mere ideology. This is our moment, and we must not falter.
When we send our young men and women into harm’s way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they’re going, to care for their families while they’re gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.
...For alongside our famous individualism, there’s another ingredient in the American saga. A belief that we are connected as one people....It’s that fundamental belief—I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisters’ keeper—that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. “E pluribus unum.” Out of many, one.
Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America—there’s the United States of America
...In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?... I’m not talking about blind optimism here...No, I’m talking about something more substantial... The audacity of hope!
My name is Teresa Heinz Kerry. And by now I hope it will come as no surprise to anyone that I have something to say....
My right to speak my mind, to have a voice, to be what some have called “opinionated,” is a right I deeply and profoundly cherish. My only hope is that, one day soon, women—who have all earned the right to their opinions—instead of being labeled opinionated, will be called smart or well-informed, just as men are
....In short, John believes we can, and we must, lead in the world—as America, unique among nations, always should—by showing the face, not of our fears, but of our hopes
....In America, the true patriots are those who dare speak truth to power...The Americans John and I have met in the course of this campaign all want America to provide hopeful leadership again. They want America to return to its moral bearings. It is not a moralistic America they seek, but a moral nation that understands and willingly shoulders its obligations; a moral nation that rejects thoughtless and greedy choices in favor of thoughtful and generous actions; a moral nation that leads through the power of its ideas and the power of its example.
...Together we will lift everyone up. We have to. It’s possible. And you know what? It’s the American thing to do.