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Eye On Olympia

Obama’s speech: the preview…

Forty five minutes before Barack Obama takes the stage in Denver, his campaign has sent out excerpts from his prepared remarks.

He talks about his background, about the nation’s promise that hard work and sacrifice, each can pursue his or her dreams. But this is “one of those defining moments,” the speech says, with a nation at war, an economy in turmoil “and the American promise…threatened once more.”

He appeals to the struggles of families: “More of you have cars you can’t afford to drive, credit card bills you can’t afford to pay and tuition that is beyond your reach…America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.”

“Next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third,” the speech reads. ” And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look just like the last eight.”

John McCain has worn the uniform of the country with bravery and distinction, he says, but “voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time.”

Democrats measure success by the progress of families and children, he says:

“We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President – when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.”

“We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job – an economy that honors the dignity of work.”

He says he’ll cut taxes for 95 percent of all working families, and sets a goal: “in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.”

“We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don’t tell me that Democrats won’t defend this country. Don’t tell me that Democrats won’t keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans — Democrats and Republicans – have built, and we are to restore that legacy.

“As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm’s way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

“I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing so that America is once more the last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.”


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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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