Text of Remarks by Sen. Hillary Clinton to the Democratic National
FDCH E-Media, Inc. Monday, July 26, 2004; 9:53 PM
The text of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's speech as prepared for delivery
Monday at the Democratic National Convention:
I am practically speechless.
However, 12 years ago when our country needed new leadership, Americans
selected a Democrat who gave us eight years of peace, prosperity and
Tonight I have the pleasure of introducing the last great Democratic
But first, I want to say a few words about the next great Democratic
president, John Kerry.
You know, I, like all of you, just heard the moving testimonials
about the horrors of September the 11th and the extraordinary witnessing
by Reverend Alston concerning his lieutenant, John Kerry.
I don't know how any American could hear the Reverend Alston and not know
John Kerry is the man we need to be our president and commander in chief.
And yet, we meet at a moment of great peril, but also of great promise
for the country we love. Together we can, once again, widen the circle
of opportunity for all Americans. We can, once again, transcend our
differences and divisions. We can, once again, give our children a safer
and more secure future.
That is the promise of America, and John Kerry will renew and keep that
promise to this generation and generations to come. He knows very well
that you have to lead the world, not alienate it.
He will lower the deficit, not raise it. He will create good
jobs, not lose them. And he will solve a health care crisis for our
people, not ignore it.
Now, I know a thing or two about health care. (LAUGHTER)
And I know that the problems have only gotten worse in the last four
years. We need to rededicate ourselves to the task of providing health
care coverage for the 44 million Americans who don't have it, and we
have to do more to lower the cost for all the rest of Americans who are
facing increasing health care insurance premiums and drug prices.
We also need to lift the ban on stem cell research and find cures that
will help millions of Americans.
You know, health care is a serious issue, and it requires serious
solutions. And that's what John Kerry is good at. And that's what he
will give us.
He will also give us something else, a great vice president by the name
of John Edwards.
Now, you know that John Edwards is smart. He's energetic,
and he's empathetic. And he understands the challenges that hardworking
Americans face in their daily lives.
Americans will be proud to have the Kerry-Edwards team in the White
House. And they will be proud, as we all will be, to have their
extraordinary partners, Teresa Heinz Kerry and Elizabeth Edwards,
working for our country as well.
You know, we've been through our share of challenges as Americans,
from a Civil War, Great Depression, World Wars and so much more. But
being a senator from New York, I saw firsthand, as all of my friends
and colleagues did, the devastation of September the 11th.
I visited Ground Zero the day after we were attacked. And I
felt like I was standing at the gates of hell. I hope no American ever
has to witness a horrible sight like that ever again.
And yet, that tragedy both changed and challenged us. I know it did
for me. And every day now as a mother, as a senator, as an American,
I worry about whether we are acting as wisely as we can to protect our
country and our people.
Last week, the bipartisan 9/11 commission issued its report. And that
commission would never have been in existence had it not been for the
brave family members who insisted that this government have a commission
to look into 9/11.
And those commissioners issued a sober call to action that we ignore at
John Kerry understands what's at stake when it comes to our
security. We need to fully equip and train our firefighters, our police
officers and our emergency medical technicians.
They are our first responders in the event of a terrorist attack.
And we need to secure our borders, our rail lines and our ports as
well as our chemical and nuclear plants. We need to reorganize our
federal government to meet the new threats of these times. And we need
to make sure that homeland security is a priority and that it is funded
properly and that the resources go to the areas of greatest risk, like
New York City.
And along with that, we need to take care of our men and women in uniform
who, like John Kerry, risk their lives and, for too many, lost their
lives in service to our country. These brave Americans deserve better.
We need to increase our troop strength. We need to raise their pay. We
need to provide our veterans, our National Guard and Reserve with the
benefits they are entitled to for the service and duty they perform for
And do you know -- do you know what we need to meet these
challenges? We need a new commander in chief named John Kerry.
I've been saying for many months now, John Kerry is a serious man for
a serious job in a serious time in our country's history.
So let's join together not just those of us in this great hall tonight,
but throughout our nation, and do everything we possibly can to convince
our fellow Americans to look to the future, to look deep inside
themselves. They know what is best for our children. And if we just
have the courage to act on our conviction, we will by an overwhelming
majority send John Kerry and John Edwards to do their duty for us in
the White House starting next year.
I am very optimistic about this election, because I think I know a great
leader when I see one.
And so does America.
In 1992 and 1996, Americans chose a president who left our country in
better shape than when he took office.
And he still spends his days working to empower the powerless, to promote
racial, religious and ethnic reconciliation, to inspire young people to
citizen service and to bring life-saving medicines to people living with
HIV/AIDS throughout the world.
He showed Democrats how to win again, and so will John Kerry.
Please welcome the 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton.