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CNN ELECTION CENTER
Hillary Clinton Addresses Democratic National Convention
Aired August 26, 2008 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, you just saw Michelle Obama. She's now here at the Pepsi Center. She's with Joe Biden and Jill Biden.
There they are right there. They're getting ready for the main attraction of the night, Hillary Clinton. She's going to be speaking this hour. She will be introduced by her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.
But we just heard the keynote address of this convention by the former governor of Virginia, Mark Warner. He's running for the Senate right now from Virginia.
Let's speak right now to the current governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine.
Jessica Yellin is on the floor.
You have got the current governor with you, Jessica.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I do, Wolf.
Tim Kaine sat here riveted, watching it.
The first question, a lot of pressure. How did he do?
GOV. TIM KAINE (D), VIRGINIA: Oh, I think he did a great job.
We were so proud in Virginia when Mark got chosen as the keynote, because he can address issues in the American economy and the need to change direction as well as anybody in this country. He laid out a great vision, things we have done in Virginia, things this nation needs to do and will do with Barack Obama as our next president.
YELLIN: The Democratic Party chose him to feature not just because they want him to win his Senate race, but also because Virginia is so crucial in this election. What are the chances, do you think, your state goes blue?
KAINE: Jessica, the last poll I saw, a public poll, had it dead even.
And you might remember, when Virginia is seated in the convention hall, we're usually up in the rafters. They got right in the center, front-row center here, this year. And I think that's because we're so much in play. Virginia has really embraced Barack's message of change in the management of the economy, which has been mismanaged in Washington.
And we have got to a smarter national security policy. It's going to be leaders like Barack Obama and Joe Biden and Mark Warner that will take us there.
YELLIN: Location, location, huh?
YELLIN: Let me ask you, finally, Senator Clinton is going to be speaking shortly.
YELLIN: Everyone is anticipating that.
What would you like to hear her say tonight?
KAINE: Let me tell what I think we're going to hear.
I think Senator Clinton is going to knock this thing out of the park. She's a great public servant with a great public service future. And I think she knows how high the stakes are, that we need to win in November.
And I suspect that her speech is going to be great. It's going to be probably one of the key high points of this convention. And she's going to make very plain to everybody who cares about the dreams that she cares about that Barack Obama is the right person to vote for.
YELLIN: Governor, thank you for your time.
KAINE: Thank you, Jessica.
YELLIN: Appreciate it.
KAINE: Yes. See you.
YELLIN: Wolf, back to you -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Jessica, thanks very much.
How important is Virginia?
John King is over at the magic wall -- or the magic map for us right now.
Is it really in play for the Democrats? They're dreaming about it, John.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is in play for the Democrats, Wolf. But the fact that it is, is stunning.
And let's have a little history lesson. And we will see how this matters. Here's the state of Virginia right here. I'm going to pull it out for you a little bit and I'm going to circle it. It's red because this is the last presidential election. Keep your eyes on Virginia. I'm going to now go across the wall to the other side.
This is the 1980 election. We lost it. We have got to bring it up, 1980 election, Reagan-Carter. Virginia is red. Let's stretch it out a little bit more. And let's fix that. We have lost that in translation. There's the state of Virginia.
Now let's fast-forward 1984, it's still red -- 1988, it's red, Republican -- 1992, it's red, Republican, even though a lot changes around it -- 1996, it's red, Republican -- 2000, it's still red Republican. And, 2004, it is red Republican, which is what makes this so dramatic when we come to our electoral map for this time around.
And excuse me for cutting in cross in front of you.
We right now have Virginia and its 13 electoral votes -- you see that number 13 if I move my finger a little bit -- we view those as a tossup right there, Virginia, those 13 electoral votes. Why? Rapid growth in the Northern Virginia suburbs, a lot of young professionals coming in there who are voting more and more Democratic, the success of Governor Warner, and then Governor Kaine out here in rural Virginia, if I can come back to the other map very quickly, their success out here in the rural areas, which is what makes this such a big deal when we talk about the presidential race right now.
You see Barack Obama won very well in here in the primaries. This is where he's going to have to do better, where Senator Clinton won in the primary, if he's going to win in the general election.
But, yes, Wolf, indeed, Virginia is in play, which is one of the many states in this election that make this a potential map-changing election, if you look at the history of the Electoral College and where the Democrats think they can compete this year. There are a couple Republicans think they can change, too. But, of those targets for the Democrats, Virginia is striking, given its deep red history.
BLITZER: Thanks very much.
Anderson, and, as we count down, and we're only moments away from Chelsea Clinton introducing Hillary Clinton, let's reflect a little bit on what we just heard in this keynote address from the former Governor of Virginia Mark Warner.
It was an intellectual speech, speaking about the needs as we move forward in this relatively new century. I suspect the readers of Tom Friedman's column will -- will have appreciated a lot of the things...
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: There were some Tom Friedman-esque lines there, yes.
BLITZER: There were -- there were several Tom Friedman-esque kinds of statements in there. I wonder, though, if it really went over well with the viewers around the country.
COOPER: It's interesting, because the way it played in the hall, certainly, people were attentive, were rapt.
It did not -- it was not a speech, and perhaps was not intended as a speech, that got people up out of their seats, cheering or chanting along.
Let's see how it played elsewhere.
David Gergen standing by watching from New York.
David, your thoughts?
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, thanks, Anderson.
This was not a barn burner speech, probably one that did not work in the hall. But, as someone who has been critical of this convention, much of it -- I thought the two-and-a-half tonight not -- again, not very compelling -- but I thought this was a really arresting, very different kind of speech, because it was about ideas.
It was about -- it was one of the first times I have ever heard technology and science and the future that they can portend for jobs for Americans brought into a political speech at a major convention, and by someone who has been there, who understands that.
To bring someone who has been so successful in business as Mark Warner has been to come to talk about the future, the race for the future recasts the conversation. And that's what makes it fresh and interesting. And I think that you have to give credit to the Democrats as well. They have done a good job in this convention of showcasing people of the next generation, the coming generation, the rising generation, whether it's a Caroline Kennedy or a Jesse Jackson Jr., and now Mark Warner.
This is a man, Mark Warner, after all, who, only a couple of years ago, many people thought he would be the chief rival to Hillary Clinton in this presidential campaign. He then dropped out, and -- when Barack Obama got into it.
But I think we saw tonight that he is going to be a rising voice and person in the Democratic Party. But the most important thing tonight were the new set of ideas that people need to be thinking about as a -- as a key to the future.
COOPER: I want to ask some of the other folks in New York their thoughts.
Bill Bennett, who has been listening in -- Bill, how did it play for you?
GERGEN: Bill is gone.
COOPER: Obviously, Bill Bennett is gone.
COOPER: Alex Castellanos, for you.
ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, it's a very powerful speech.
He's going to come out of this convention the same way Barack Obama came out of the last convention, as the rock star, as the next guy. And I think David is right. Hillary Clinton now has serious competition four years from now, if Barack Obama doesn't make it.
But it was an important speech, because, if this election is about experience and strength, McCain wins. But, if this election is about the past vs. the future, Republicans have a much tougher job. And, you know, this is a new-frontier election.
The structure of the old world, you know, where America was unchallenged economically, where America, it's just us vs. the Soviet Union, that's gone. And Americans now are uncertain about the future.
And a candidate who promises to -- has at least the rhetoric to take you there is very powerful.
What we didn't -- we heard new rhetoric, but we didn't hear new policies. As a matter of fact, what we heard is, well, more money from Washington, you know, taxes. We will -- we will fix these problems.
And what Mark Warner actually did in Virginia himself, he got liberal Republicans to come over and help him raise taxes. That's how he closed that budget gap.
COOPER: Alex Castellanos, Republican strategist.
I know Paul Begala wants to get in -- Paul.
PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I was very critical of the choice of Governor Warner, because he had said he wanted to be very bipartisan.
I have to say, before the speech, both you and -- and Gloria were suggesting maybe it would play better with the folks in the middle, the undecided voters. And, in my classic combination of arrogance and ignorance, I said, no, no, you're wrong.
I have to say, I think I was wrong. My wife was watching this with me. And she said, I think my mother will like this speech.
So, it wasn't a Paul Begala speech. It was a Jean Friday (ph) speech. And I think you guys were right, and I think I was wrong.
COOPER: We're going to take a short break.
Again, we are awaiting Chelsea Clinton and then Hillary Clinton, no doubt the highlight for many folks here in the hall and around the country waiting to watch.
We will bring that to you -- a short break right now. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: What a beautiful shot here of the Rocky Mountains. Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium, it's very close to where we are at the Pepsi Center, but this convention will move there Thursday night for the big event, the huge event.
It will be there, at Invesco Field, before 75,000 or 80,000 people, that Barack Obama will accept the Democratic presidential nomination. And we will have, of course, complete coverage. We will be on the field there. That's normally where the Denver Broncos play.
But we're back here inside the Pepsi Center, where the Denver Nuggets normally play basketball, and we're getting ready for the main attraction of this night.
Chelsea Clinton is about to -- about to introduce her mom, Hillary Clinton, and she's getting ready to deliver a major, major address that could have far-reaching ramifications for whether or not Barack Obama is elected president of the United States.
Anderson Cooper, I don't think we can overstate the...
BLITZER: ... stakes tonight in what Hillary Clinton says, how she says it, the body language, and all of the above.
BLITZER: There is no doubt everyone in this hall is waiting to hear and is going to be listening extremely closely to what she has to say.
It is literally standing room only right now, and we have seen long lines of people still waiting to get through security to get in this hall.
Carl Bernstein, author of "A Woman in Charge," a biography of Hillary Clinton, you have read a lot of her speeches. Is this the most important speech she's given?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's one of them.
Her television moments are hugely important. She saved Bill Clinton's presidency at the beginning of the Monica Lewinsky horror. Also, when he was running for president, and there were others problems about his past, she saved it then on "60 Minutes." She's given great speeches at crucial moments. She's also convinced members of the House that her husband shouldn't be impeached.
She rises to the occasion. But one of the things that really interests me is that Barack Obama, I believe, is getting the convention he wants. It's building. It's building toward what Hillary is going to say now.
We know a bit about what's in her speech. It fits perfectly with what Mark Warner was talking about. Warner's message was almost Clintonian, like Bill Clinton used to talk about.
And -- and I'm not at all sure that -- that this has been a bad show, that -- among other things, it's partly about more than red meat. It's about ending cultural warfare. Hillary will give them plenty of cultural warfare.
BERNSTEIN: But this candidate wants to go a different way as well. And he's really bringing this together.
COOPER: Paul, Paul Begala, I want to read you something that "The New York Times" had written, saying that: "Her aides limited input on the speech from Obama advisers, while seeking advice from her former strategist, Mark Penn -- Mark Penn, a loathed figure in the Obama camp. The Clintons and her aides were still working on the speech two hours before delivery, and, unlike other speakers, did not provide a final draft to the Obama campaign well in advance."
BEGALA: Well, she wouldn't be where she is today if it was not for Mark Penn. She would be the nominee.
BEGALA: I'm sorry. It's -- every candidate is ultimately responsible. He was the chief strategist. And the strategy was seriously flawed.
COOPER: So, is he the guy she should be consulting about this speech?
BEGALA: Certainly not. But I have known Hillary a long time, and strategists come and strategists go. This will be her speech. This will be her hand. And she may consult this or that.
I suspect perhaps some of the sources for that story were a little self-interested. And I doubt it was Senator Clinton who was the source for that story.
COOPER: I should also point out "The Times" saying that Mrs. Clinton "took steps on Tuesday -- deliberate steps, aides said -- to keep the door open to a future bid for the presidency."
Well, Mo Udall, the great former congressman from Arizona, once said, the only cure for presidential fever is formaldehyde, embalming fluid.
BEGALA: And that's true. So, you can't -- I mean, every -- everybody who has been on that stage tonight has, in their back pocket, a copy of their inaugural address.
KING: I will tell something else. One of the reasons some of Senator Clinton's big speeches are often late is that she asks her husband for advice. And she has this left-hand scribble that nobody else can understand. He can't even read it a few moments after it's done.
And she will hand him a speech, and he will do the scribble out. And she will get it back. And she will have to -- "I don't understand what you wrote here."
KING: And, so, that's always part of the process.
Pauly has been through a few of those.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: You can one -- sure about one thing on Hillary Clinton's speech. She is going to talk about how better the economy was during the Clinton years. She will clearly remind people here about that.
COOPER: We understand Senator Clinton is about 10 minutes away.
We want to take one last commercial break. And, then, of course, we are going to go commercial-free -- commercial-free.
We will see Chelsea Clinton introducing her mother, Hillary Clinton.
We will be right back.
BLITZER: All right, you're looking at the former President of the United States Bill Clinton. He's in the box, Hillary Clinton's box, if you will. You see Terry McAuliffe standing there as well with invited guests who have come to here Hillary Clinton deliver what is going to be the highlight of this day two of this Democratic Convention.
Hilary Rosen, our Democratic strategist, tell us who some of these people are who have been invited to sit in Hillary Clinton's box tonight with the former president of the United States.
HILARY ROSEN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, you can see Cicely Tyson right there in the window. The president just leaned down to give a kiss to Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. Bob Barnett, the Washington super lawyer, is right standing behind the president.
In front of him is Elizabeth Bagley, who was ambassador during the president's administration. The gentleman to the -- his right is Kendrick Meek, the congressman from Florida, Ron Dozoretz and Beth Dozoretz, big Democratic donors and friends from Washington.
There's also Ellen Malcolm is -- I'm told, is going to be sitting right near the president, the head of EMILY's List. Sitting right next to the president will be Rebecca Gwatney, who is the widow of the Arkansas Democratic Party chair, who was shot -- who was killed last week.
There's also Antonio Villaraigosa, the mayor of Los Angeles, Vernon and Ann Jordan, Randi Weingarten, the head of the New York teachers union, now the head of the national teachers union, all of these, old, longtime Clinton supporters, all very active in the Clinton campaign -- in the Hillary Clinton campaign.
That's Ellen Malcolm, the president is hugging right now. She's the head of EMILY's List, who brought women to the campaign for Hillary Clinton.
COOPER: Hilary -- Hilary, we should also point out that, right now, just about the entire convention hall is turned in the direction of President Clinton, cheering him on, and he acknowledging the crowd there.
BLITZER: He still has the magic, Bill Clinton, the former president of the United States. He's just a guest. He's just a spectator. He will be speaking tomorrow night here at this convention.
And, of course, that will be one of the major highlights as well.
It's a who's-who, the people invited into that list -- into that box, as you could tell, Anderson. It's a who's-who of Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton's friends and colleagues. They have been -- they have been invited there, and they're going to enjoy the -- the senator from New York, Hillary Clinton, as she's getting ready.
We're only moments away from hearing Hillary Clinton's speech, a speech that could set the tone. There's still plenty of Hillary Clinton supporters who are angry or not very happy. They need to be reassured. And no one can reassure them about Barack Obama better than Hillary Clinton tonight and Bill Clinton tomorrow night.
Paul Begala, you know all those people in the box with your former boss, the former president of the United States. He's just going to listen tonight, but, tomorrow night, he has got a speech. Has he already decided what he's going to talk about, the subject?
BEGALA: He has, and he has told friends who have offered to help -- not mentioning any names -- "No thanks; I'm going to write this myself."
- And he said, as he wagged his finger under a friend's nose, "I'm going to do exactly what Barack wants." That was his instruction to friends who had offered help. "I don't want your help. I'm going to do this myself. And I'm going to do exactly what Barack wants."
COOPER: It's interesting, because Barack Obama yesterday also said in a public forum that Bill Clinton could do whatever he wants. He could speak about whatever he wants. There had been some question about Bill Clinton speaking on a night where the focus was foreign policy, whether or not he would talk about the economy as well.
BEGALA: Right. And I think they have talked to each other a couple of times. I think their staffs are trying to work through this. And I think things are actually progressing better than maybe some of us might have thought in terms of the relationship between the two of them.
Again, they haven't known each other very well or very long. And this is -- Senator Obama ran against his wife. And there are still some bruised feelings. But I think the -- the president and Senator Obama are trying very hard to reach across that -- that divide.
BLITZER: We're getting ready, also, the -- the former governor of Virginia, Anderson, the current candidate for the U.S. Senate from Virginia, we see him here. He's up on our little platform here with us, Mark Warner, who delivered the keynote address.
We are going to be speaking with him as well. But we have got to get him hooked up with microphones and all that kind of stuff. Once we do that, we will be speaking.
But Bill Clinton listening right now to what's going on the podium. He has got that Bill Clinton intense look on his face, as if this is the most important thing in the world.
KING: (AUDIO GAP) I know every camera in this hall is pointed at me.
BLITZER: Start again, John.
KING: He has that Bill Clinton "I know every camera in this room is pointed at me" look.
KING: That's the...
COOPER: Paul, you were also saying that -- that they are making sure to give Hillary Clinton the best possible time to speak tonight.
BEGALA: They are.
And they're seeing a lot of grievances and grudges in Hillary land. They have no right to complain about the speaking slot that Barack Obama has given her. He could not be doing better by Hillary than giving her the primest of prime time on this night.
BORGER: (AUDIO GAP) going to talk about Barack Obama is the best person to be the steward of the economy. And Bill Clinton is going to talk about how Barack Obama is the best person to be commander in chief. I mean, they're kind of the bookends in that way, talking about Barack Obama's resume to run the country.
BEGALA: You know, the other night, Clinton and Obama supporters were dancing together on this stage. Maybe -- maybe, by the time Senator Obama has finished on Thursday night, it will -- it will go beyond that.
BLITZER: And, Paul, let me just point out that the woman sitting to his right is the widow of the late chairman of the Democratic Party in Arkansas, who was brutally shot down over at the Arkansas Democratic Party headquarters in Little Rock just a few weeks ago.
BEGALA: Right. And, last week, he spoke at Senator Gwatney's funeral in Little Rock. And it's a wonderful gesture that he's reached out to Rebecca to join him in that box in her grief.
COOPER: Well, and we're also still trying to figure out who the gentleman on his left is. I'm not sure we know at this point.
KING: I just wanted to point out, if you look at the floor, we're seeing our first mention of John McCain and the signs here.
BORGER: Oh, there they are.
BLITZER: Yes. The -- you can see "McCain, More of the Same." We are going to see a lot of those signs here at the -- at this convention.
COOPER: Brian Schweitzer, the governor of Montana, getting the crowd going in a chant. Should we listen in?
COOPER: Let's listen in. Yes, let's listen in.
GOV. BRIAN SCHWEITZER (D), MONTANA: Barack Obama.
AUDIENCE: Barack Obama!
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
SCHWEITZER: That's right. That's right. That's right.
AUDIENCE: Barack Obama! Barack Obama!
SCHWEITZER: Barack Obama is the change we need.
Right now, the United States imports 70 percent of its oil from overseas. And, at the same time, billions of dollars that we send all over the world seems to end up in the accounts of those around the world who are openly hostile to American values and our way of life.
This costly reliance on fossil fuels threatens America and the world in other ways, too. CO2 emissions are increasing global temperatures. Sea levels are rising. And storms are getting worse.
We need to break America's addiction to foreign oil.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
SCHWEITZER: We need -- we need a new energy system that is clean and green and American-made.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
SCHWEITZER: We need a president -- we need a president who can marshal our nation's resources, get the job done, and deliver the change we need.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
SCHWEITZER: That leader is Barack Obama.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
SCHWEITZER: Yes. Yes, that's what I like to hear.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
SCHWEITZER: Now, Barack Obama -- Barack Obama knows there's no single platform for energy independence. It's not a question of either wind or clean coal, solar or hydrogen, oil or geothermal. We need them all to create a strong American energy system, a system built on American innovation.
After eight years of a White House waiting hand and foot on big oil, John McCain offers more of the same.
SCHWEITZER: At a time -- at a time of skyrocketing fuel prices, when American families are struggling to keep their gas tanks full, John McCain voted 25 times against renewable and alternative energy...
SCHWEITZER: ... against biofuels.
SCHWEITZER: ... against solar energy.
SCHWEITZER: He even voted against the wind energy. (BOOING)
SCHWEITZER: This not only hurts America's energy independence; it could cost American families more than 100,000 jobs.
SCHWEITZER: At a time when America should be working harder than ever to develop new clean sources of energy, John McCain wants more of the same.
SCHWEITZER: Wait until you hear this.
And he's taken more than a million dollars of campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry.
Now -- now he wants to give those same oil companies another $4 billion in tax breaks.
SCHWEITZER: Four billion in tax breaks for big oil? That's a lot of change, but it's not the change that we need.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
SCHWEITZER: In Montana, we're investing in wind farms, and we're drilling the Bakken Formation, which is one of the most promising oil fields in America. We're pursuing coal gasification with carbon sequestration, and we're promoting greater energy efficiency in our homes and our offices.
Even the leaders in the oil industry know that Senator McCain has it wrong. We can't simply drill our way to energy independence. If you drilled everywhere, if you drilled in all of John McCain's backyards, even the ones he doesn't know he has, not bad, not bad. That -- that single-answer proposition is a dry well. And here's why.
America consumes 25 percent of the oil but has less than 3 percent of the reserves. You don't need a $2 calculator to figure that one out. There just isn't enough oil in America, on land or offshore, to meet America's full energy needs.
Barack Obama understands that the most important barrel of oil is the one that you don't use. Barack Obama's energy strategy taps all sources and all possibilities. It will give you a tax credit if you buy a fuel-efficient car or truck; increase fuel efficiency standards' and put one million plug-in hybrids on the highways; invest $150 billion over the next ten years in clean and renewable energy technology. This will create up to five million new green jobs and fuel long-term growth and prosperity.
Now, Senator Obama's plan will also invest in modern transmission grid and deliver this new clean electricity from wind turbines and solar panels to the homes and the offices and those plug-in hybrids all over America. Barack Obama's plan will give us energy independence. And John McCain's plan? Four more years of the same old, same old.
America needs energy independence. The petro dictators will never own American wind and sunshine. And we should never again be beholden to their barrels of crude.
Now the Obama energy plan is ambitious. Critics will surely pick away at the details. Partisans will attack the messenger. Cynics will say it's impossible. Senator McCain will probably say, no, we can't.
So let me ask you something. Can't America do better than four more years of Washington as usual?
SCHWEITZER: Is it time for a change?
SCHWEITZER: Let's face it: as strong a team as Barack Obama and Joe Biden are, they need all of us to win this election, to create a new energy system and declare American energy independence. They need all of you to stand up.
Stand up, Colorado. Stand up. Florida, stand up. Michigan, stand up. Pennsylvania, stand up. Stand up. We want them -- we want them to hear you. We want them to hear you from Denver to Detroit, from Montana to Mississippi, from California to the Carolinas. We want -- we want even our men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan to hear us, and we want you to say it loud enough that even the petro dictators can hear us.
So let's hear it now. Can we afford four more years of the same?
SCHWEITZER: Is it time for change now?
SCHWEITZER: Are we going to declare our energy independence and change the world?
SCHWEITZER: Who's going to lead us as the next president of the United States?
CROWD: Barack Obama. SCHWEITZER: That's it, baby. Let's go win this election. Thank you. God bless you. God bless America.
BLITZER: All right, so there he is. He really brought this crowd to its feet, literally, the governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer. He delivered a rousing, rousing speech. This is what the 20,000 Democrats who have gathered inside, they really wanted.
Now let's go to this video. This is a video, a tribute to Hillary Clinton.
CHELSEA CLINTON, HILLARY CLINTON'S DAUGHTER (voice-over): ... her own teenage parents too young to care for them. In high school, my grandmother lived with and worked as a mother's helper for another family. But that didn't stop her from imaging the daughter she might one-day have, or from teaching that daughter that she could be anything she wanted to be.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I wrote to NASA and said, "Well, how do you become an astronaut?"
They did write back and said, "Well, we're not taking any women."
Now I couldn't have qualified anyway. There's no doubt about that. But isn't it great that we have seen women astronauts, women captains of shuttle missions and everything else?
What is it we want to do to secure the future for our young people?
DOROTHY RODHAM, HILLARY CLINTON'S MOTHER: She was able to play with the boys and yet sort of earn their respect.
BILL CLINTON, HILLARY CLINTON'S HUSBAND: People who work with her feel, I think, a lot of respect and affection for her, and she unleashes people's energy.
H. CLINTON: We all do better when everybody has a chance to live up to his or her God-given potential.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary is for family. She stands up for everybody.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's so important for little girls to have someone to look up to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's why Americans, first of all, I know she cares about the middle class.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary Clinton is inspirational.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's calm, she's cool, she's collected. It's almost like she's saying, "Bring it on, I can handle it."
H. CLINTON: If we work together, if we fight together, we will make history together!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary! Hillary!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary! Hillary!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary! Hillary!
AMY POEHLER (as Hillary Clinton), CAST MEMBER, NBC's "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": (laughing)
H. CLINTON: Do I really laugh like that?
POEHLER: Oh, well.
H. CLINTON: Oh, well.
C. CLINTON: She has a great guffaw of a laugh.
H. CLINTON: I can't sing or carry a tune at all.
RODHAM: She doesn't sing well.
HILLARY'S FRIEND BETSY: You don't want her to sing, ever.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary! Hillary!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary! Hillary!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary! Hillary!
TINA FEY, CAST MEMBER, NBC'S "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": We have our first serious female presidential candidate in Hillary Clinton.
REP. STEPHANIE TUBBS JONES (D), OHIO: She has been the leader on health care for children, for veterans. She's been the leader on education.
SEN. JOHN GLENN (D), OHIO: We respect her. We trust her.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK (RET.), U.S. ARMY: Hillary Clinton is one tough cookie.
H. CLINTON: In this country, you can be anything you want to be, and that's what my mother told me.
C. CLINTON: Today, my mother and my grandmother seem a long way from that little girl on a train so many years ago. With each generation, we all go farther, grow stronger, reach higher, and hopefully, never forget whose shoulders we're standing on.
Today, my mom's dreams are not about her own life but about the lives of all Americans.
H. CLINTON: Because for me, this is truly about what kind of future we're going to give to all of you. If we can blast 50 women into space, we will some day launch a woman into the White House. We weren't able to shatter that highest glass ceiling this time. Thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it. I am absolutely honored.
To everyone across America who's ever been counted out but refused to be knocked out.
To the moms and dads who lifted their little girls and little boys on their shoulders and whispered in their ears, "See, you can be anything you want to be."
To everyone who has stumbled and stood right back up, who worked hard and never gives up, this one is for you.
C. CLINTON: OK, so she didn't become an astronaut, but she did reach for the stars, something she will always continue to do. And my grandmother and I are very proud that Hillary Rodham Clinton will be known here and around the world as the woman who dared to reach up and fight for the fundamental ideals that every child has the right to develop his or her own God-given potential. And that because of her, those 18 million cracks in that glass ceiling gave way. And what opened up was a whole new world of possibility for all of us.
C. CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, I am very proud to introduce my hero and my mother, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
H. CLINTON: Thank you. Thank you all.
Thank you. Thank you all very, very much.
Thank you. Thank you all very much. I...
I am so honored to be here tonight.
You know, I'm -- I'm here tonight as a proud mother, as a proud Democrat...
... as a proud senator from New York...
... a proud American...
... and a proud supporter of Barack Obama.
My friends, it is time to take back the country we love. And whether you voted for me or you voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose.
We are on the same team. And none of us can afford to sit on the sidelines. This is a fight for the future, and it's a fight we must win together.
I haven't spent the past 35 years in the trenches, advocating for children, campaigning for universal health care, helping parents balance work and family, and fighting for women's rights here at home and around the world...
... to see another Republican in the White House squander our promise of a country that really fulfills the hopes of our people. And you haven't worked so hard over the last 18 months or endured the last eight years to suffer through more failed leadership.
No way, no how, no McCain.
Barack Obama is my candidate, and he must be our president.
Tonight, I ask you to remember what a presidential election is really about. When the polls have closed and the ads are finally off the air, it comes down to you, the American people, and your lives, and your children's futures.
For me, it's been a privilege to meet you in your homes, your workplaces, and your communities. Your stories reminded me that, every day, America's greatness is bound up in the lives of the American people, your hard work, your devotion to duty, your love for your children, and your determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles.
You taught me so much, and you made me laugh, and, yes, you even made me cry.
You allowed me to become part of your lives, and you became part of mine.
I will always remember the single mom who had adopted two kids with autism. She didn't have any health insurance, and she discovered she had cancer. But she greeted me with her bald head, painted with my name on it, and asked me to fight for health care for her and her children.
I will always remember the young man in a Marine Corps T-shirt who waited months for medical care. And he said to me, "Take care of my buddies. A lot of them are still over there. And then will you please take care of me?"
And I will always remember the young boy who told me his mom worked for the minimum wage, that her employer had cut her hours. He said he just didn't know what his family was going to do.
I will always be grateful to everyone from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the territories...
... who joined our campaign on behalf of all those people left out and left behind by the Bush administration. To my supporters, to my champions, to my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits...
... from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you, because you never gave in and you never gave up. And together we made history.
And along the way, America lost two great Democratic champions who would have been here with us tonight, one of our finest young leaders, Arkansas Democratic Chair Bill Gwatney, who believed with all his heart...
... that America and the South should be Democratic from top to bottom.
And Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a dear friend to many of us, a loving mother, a courageous leader who never gave up her quest to make America fairer and smarter, stronger and better. Steadfast in her beliefs, a fighter of uncommon grace, she was an inspiration to me and to us all.
Our heart goes out to Stephanie's son, Mervyn, Jr., and Bill's wife, Rebecca, who traveled here to Denver to join this family of Democrats.
You know, Bill Gwatney and Stephanie Tubbs-Jones knew that, after eight years of George Bush, people are hurting at home and our standing has eroded around the world.
We have a lot of work ahead of us: jobs lost; houses gone; falling wages; rising prices; the Supreme Court in a right-wing headlock; and our government in partisan gridlock; the biggest deficit in our nation's history; money borrowed from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis; Putin and Georgia; Iran and Iraq.
I ran for president to renew the promise of America, to rebuild the middle class and sustain the American dream, to provide opportunity to those who are willing to work hard for it and have that work rewarded, so they could save for college, a home, and retirement, afford gas and groceries, and have a little left over each month.
To promote a clean energy economy that will create millions of green-collar jobs, to create a health care system that is universal, high-quality, and affordable, so that every single parent knows their children will be taken care of.
We want to create a world-class education system and make college affordable again, to fight for an America that is defined by deep and meaningful equality, from civil rights to labor rights, from women's rights to gay rights... (APPLAUSE)
... from ending discrimination to promoting unionization, to providing help for the most important job there is, caring for our families, and to help every child live up to his or her God-given potential, to make America once again a nation of immigrants and of laws, to restore fiscal sanity to Washington, and make our government an institution of the public good, not of private plunder.
H. CLINTON: To restore America's standing in the world, to end the war in Iraq, bring our troops home with honor, care for our veterans, and give them the services they have earned.
We will work for an America again that will join with our allies in confronting our shared challenges, from poverty and genocide to terrorism and global warming.
Most of all, I ran to stand up for all those who have been invisible to their government for eight long years. Those are the reasons I ran for president, and those are the reasons I support Barack Obama for president.
I want you -- I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me, or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him?
Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids?
Were you in it for that young boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage?
Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?
We need leaders once again who can tap into that special blend of American confidence and optimism that has enabled generations before us to meet our toughest challenges, leaders who can help us show ourselves and the world that with our ingenuity, creativity, and innovative spirit, there are no limits to what is possible in America.
Now, this will not be easy. Progress never is. But it will be impossible if we don't fight to put a Democrat back into the White House.
We need to elect Barack Obama, because we need a president who understands that America can't compete in the global economy by padding the pockets of energy speculators while ignoring the workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas.
We need a president who understands we can't solve the problems of global warming by giving windfall profits to the oil companies while ignoring opportunities to invest in the new technologies that will build a green economy.
We need a president who understands that the genius of America has always depended on the strength and vitality of the middle class.
Barack Obama began his career fighting for workers displaced by the global economy. He built his campaign on a fundamental belief that change in this country must start from the ground up, not the top down.
And he knows that government must be about "we the people," not "we the favored few."
And when Barack Obama is in the White House, he'll revitalize our economy, defend the working people of America, and meet the global challenges of our times.
Democrats know how to do this. As I recall, we did it before with President Clinton and the Democrats.
And if we do our part, we'll do it again with President Obama and the Democrats.
Just think of what America will be as we transform our energy economy, create those millions of jobs, build a strong base for economic growth and shared prosperity, get middle-class families the tax relief they deserve.
And I cannot wait to watch Barack Obama sign into law a health care plan that covers every single American.
And we know that President Obama will end the war in Iraq responsibly, bring our troops home, and begin to repair our alliances around the world.
And Barack will have with him a terrific partner in Michelle Obama.
Anyone who saw Michelle's speech last night knows she will be a great first lady for America.
(APPLAUSE) And Americans are fortunate that Joe Biden will be at Barack Obama's side...
... a strong leader, a good man who understands both the economic stresses here at home and the strategic challenges abroad. He's pragmatic, he's tough, and he's wise.
And Joe, of course, will be supported by his wonderful wife, Jill.
They will be a great team for our country.
Now, John McCain is my colleague and my friend. He has served our country with honor and courage. But we don't need four more years of the last eight years...
H. CLINTON: ... more economic stagnation and less affordable health care...
H. CLINTON: ... more high gas prices and less alternative energy...
H. CLINTON: ... more jobs getting shipped overseas and fewer jobs created here at home...
AUDIENCE: No! H. CLINTON: ... more skyrocketing debt, and home foreclosures, and mounting bills that are crushing middle-class families...
H. CLINTON: ... more war and less diplomacy...
H. CLINTON: ... more of a government where the privileged few come first and everyone else comes last.
H. CLINTON: Well, John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound. John McCain doesn't think 47 million people without health insurance is a crisis. John McCain wants to privatize Social Security. And in 2008, he still thinks it's OK when women don't earn equal pay for equal work. (AUDIENCE BOOS)
Now, with an agenda like that, it makes perfect sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities, because these days they're awfully hard to tell apart.
You know, America is still around after 232 years because we have risen to every challenge in every new time, changing to be faithful to our values of equal opportunity for all and the common good. And I know what that can mean for every man, woman, and child in America.
I'm a United States senator because, in 1848, a group of courageous women, and a few brave men, gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, many traveling for days and nights...
... to participate in the first convention on women's rights in our history. And so dawned a struggle for the right to vote that would last 72 years, handed down by mother to daughter to granddaughter, and a few sons and grandsons along the way.
These women and men looked into their daughters' eyes and imagined a fairer and freer world and found the strength to fight, to rally, to picket, to endure ridicule and harassment, and brave violence and jail.
And after so many decades, 88 years ago on this very day, the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, became enshrined in our Constitution.
My mother was born before women could vote. My daughter got to vote for her mother for president. This is the story of America, of women and men who defy the odds and never give up. So how do we give this country back to them? By following the example of a brave New Yorker, a woman who risked her lives to bring slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad.
On that path to freedom, Harriet Tubman had one piece of advice: "If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there's shouting after you, keep going. Don't ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going."
And even in the darkest moments, that is what Americans have done. We have found the faith to keep going.
I have seen it. I have seen it in our teachers and our firefighters, our police officers, our nurses, our small-business owners, and our union workers. I've seen it in the men and women of our military.
In America, you always keep going. We're Americans. We're not big on quitting.
And, remember, before we can keep going, we've got to get going by electing Barack Obama the next president of the United States.
We don't have a moment to lose or a vote to spare. Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hangs in the balance.
I want you to think about your children and grandchildren come Election Day. Think about the choices your parents and grandparents made that had such a big impact on your lives and on the life of our nation.
We've got to ensure that the choice we make in this election honors the sacrifices of all who came before us and will fill the lives of our children with possibility and hope.
That is our duty, to build that bright future, to teach our children that, in America, there is no chasm too deep, no barrier too great, no ceiling too high for all who work hard, who keep going, have faith in God, in our country, and each other.
That is our mission, Democrats. Let's elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden for that future worthy of our great country.
Thank you. God bless you, and Godspeed.