current speeches historic speeches presidents archives scholarship programs about links search

Speeches from the 2008 Democratic National Convention

Evan Bayh
Remarks to the 2008 Democratic National Convention
Denver, Colorado
August 27, 2008

Let’s start with some good news. In less than five months the Bush Administration will be gone, finished, outta here. Forever. Unless, of course, John McCain is elected, in which case we’ll have to endure four more years of the same old thing. That is not the change we need.

Under George Bush, we’ve become more dependent on imported oil today than we were on 9/11.

And with John McCain, America will pay another $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years to hostile or unstable nations for foreign oil. That is not the change we need.

George Bush took the largest surplus in our nation’s history and turned it into the largest deficit, borrowing billions from China, Japan, even Mexico. John McCain would continue this dangerous fiscal irresponsibility. That is not the change we need.

Under George Bush, hundreds of thousands of good jobs have gone overseas, pensions have disappeared, health costs have skyrocketed, middle-class families are struggling. And John McCain says that the “fundamentals of our economy are strong.” That is not the change we need.

Under George Bush, America has become bogged down in an endless war in Iraq, spending more than $648 billion dollars there, $10 billion a month that could be spent to strengthen America’s schools, provide health care for America’s seniors or create new jobs repairing America’s roads, ports and bridges. John McCain wants to continue this blank check? That is not the change we need.

Under George Bush, the Middle East has become more troubled. That hurts America and endangers our ally, Israel, which has been forced to confront a resurgent Hamas, an emboldened Hezbollah and an Iran determined to get nuclear weapons. That is not the change we need.

Remember “Mission Accomplished”? Remember George Bush saying “bring ‘em on”?

Remember our soldiers having to search through garbage dumps to find armor for their humvees? Well, the mission was far from over. They did come on and American soldiers lost their lives because of this administration’s disgraceful incompetence.

George Bush and John McCain were wrong about going to war in Iraq, are wrong about how to get us out of Iraq, wrong to ignore the danger in Afghanistan. The time for change has come, and Barack Obama is the change we need.

John McCain is not a bad man, but he is badly mistaken about embracing the Bush agenda. He says he agrees with George Bush on virtually every major issue. He votes with Bush 90 percent of the time.

What’s most incredible, he says our economy has made “great progress” over the past few years. Try telling that to middle-class families across Indiana trying to make ends meet. We can’t afford another four years of Washington as usual.

Barack Obama offers specific ideas to help struggling middle-class families meet the challenges they face each and every day. He will create more than five million new green-collar jobs, including American workers building high-mileage American vehicles and Midwestern farmers producing America’s fuel. He will invest in hybrid technology and alternative energy.

He will lower health insurance premiums for middle-class families by $2,500 a year and offer a $1,000 tax cut for middle-class families to offset the high cost of gasoline. He will give students a $4,000 tax credit for college in exchange for community service. He will reduce the record deficit and bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington. And finally, after too much treasure and too many lives lost in Iraq, Barack Obama will responsibly end this war and bring our sons and daughters home. That’s the change we need.

George Bush promised to be “a uniter, not a divider.” Well, it didn’t turn out that way. He divided the nation more profoundly than at any time since the Vietnam War, pitting American against American.

But, as Barack says, we can no longer be divided into red states and blue states but must stand united as 50 red, white, and blue states, with a common cause and common destiny. That’s the change we need.

And that’s why this campaign is about more than a single person or party. It’s about a cause bigger than ourselves. For teachers and students yearning for better schools, your cause is our cause. For the working men and women who need a government that says “no” to unfair foreign trade practices, your cause is our cause. For seniors struggling to afford medicine and pay the grocery bill, your cause is our cause. To the soldiers, sailors and airmen who deserve a commander- in-chief whose judgment and wisdom are worthy of their courage and sacrifice, your cause is our cause.

That is the change we need. And that is the change that Barack Obama and Joe Biden will deliver, and we will, once again, live up to the full meaning of our creed: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice—not just for the fortunate, not just for the few—for all.

Now with your help, Barack Obama’s leadership and God willing, let’s go get the job done.



<<Back to the 2008 Democratic National Convention Page