Speeches from the 2008 Democratic National Convention
Robert Casey, Jr.
Remarks to the 2008 Democratic National Convention
I’m honored to stand before you as Governor Bob Casey’s son and a proud supporter of Barack Obama. Pennsylvania is home to some of the hardest-working, toughest, most decent people in America.
For eight years, the people of Pennsylvania have been hit hard by the Bush-Cheney economy, an economy that favors the powerful and leaves everyone else to fend for themselves. We’ve seen our jobs disappear overseas, our wages go down and the price we pay at the pump skyrocket to record highs. We’ve been hit hard, but we’re ready to fight back, and we’re ready for a president who will fight for us. That’s why I am proud to support Barack Obama for President of the United States.
In a time of danger around the world and economic trouble here at home, I know that Barack Obama will lead us, heal us and help us rebuild the country we love. I know this because I know Barack Obama. I have seen how he inspires people, including my four daughters, to believe that the failures of the past will soon give way to the change we need. I have seen his leadership up close in the Senate, bridging partisan divides and finding common ground. And I have seen him carry those same leadership skills off the floor of the Senate and into cities and towns all across Pennsylvania.
I traveled with Barack by bus and train across our state, from Pittsburgh to Paoli, from Johnstown to Downingtown. He was equally at home talking football with Jerome Bettis and Franco Harris as he was with talking jobs with the folks on the shop floor of the Erie Bolt Company, or talking sports with the guys at the bar at Sharky’s in Latrobe.
Everywhere Barack went, people who may have been asking who this guy was ended up seeing what I saw: a husband, a father of two daughters and a man of deep faith. Everywhere we went, the people of Pennsylvania gave him the highest praise they give anyone: He’s one of us too.
And Pennsylvania couldn’t be prouder of our native son, Joe Biden from Scranton. No one knows us better than Joe.
After eight years of a president who lets the oil companies and the Washington lobbyists call the shots, I say it’s about time we had a president and vice president who really know us. We are joined tonight by another great champion of working people, someone with whom I’ve worked on early childhood education; someone who conducted her campaign with rare grace under real pressure; a senator who has worked to bring our party and our country together: Hillary Rodham Clinton. When she endorsed Barack, Senator Clinton called upon us to “do all we can to help elect Barack Obama the next President of the United States.”
Traveling around Pennsylvania, and looking around this room, I have no doubt that is exactly what we’re going to do. So now let us work together, with a leader who, as Lincoln said, appeals to the better angels of our nature. Barack Obama and I have an honest disagreement on the issue of abortion. But the fact that I’m speaking here tonight is testament to Barack’s ability to show respect for the views of people who may disagree with him.
I know Barack Obama. And I believe that as president, he’ll pursue the common good by seeking common ground, rather than trying to divide us. We are strongest when we are together. And there has never been a more important time to devote ourselves to common purpose.
The people of Pennsylvania can’t afford four more years of Bush-Cheney economics, and with John McCain, that’s exactly what we’d get. John McCain calls himself a maverick, but he votes with George Bush 90 percent of the time. That’s not a maverick. That’s a sidekick.
The Bush-McCain Republicans inherited the strongest economy in history and drove it into a ditch. They cut taxes on the wealthiest of us and passed on the pain to the least of us. They ran up the debt, gave huge subsidies to big oil companies, and now they’re asking for four more years.
How ‘bout four more months? We can’t afford four more years of deficit and debt, drift and desperation. Not four more years. Four more months. And we can’t afford another president who will veto children’s health insurance for 10 million children, or who will keep senior citizens from seeing the doctors they trust. Not four more years. Four more months.
Governor Casey used to say that the ultimate question for those in public office is this: what did you do when you had the power? Barack Obama and Joe Biden will use that power to help the folks on the shop floor of the Erie Bolt Company, the guys at Sharky’s, and the millions of Americans just like them, struggling but ready to fight back. We know they will because as Pennsylvanians know, Joe Biden is one of us. And Barack Obama is one of us too.
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