Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Live from Yakima: Clinton addresses delegates

The state party just played a video clip of President Bill Clinton, addressing the Washington State Democratic Convention. Here's the text of his address:
“I’m really sorry I can’t be with you in person in Yakima for the state Democratic convention this year. I’m very grateful for all that the Democrats of Washington did for me in 1992 and 1996 to help move our country forward. And I’m grateful for your continuing commitment to our party and your service to our nation.

“I know the main reason you’ve all come together this year is to win a big election for my friend, Senator Maria Cantwell. It is so important that we send Maria back to the Senate to keep fighting for the values we all share, to keep fighting for the change in direction we know our country needs.

“Maria has become an important leader in the Senate in a relatively short time, a voice for common sense, one who always puts your interests first. I’ll never forget that as a freshman in the U.S. House, I saw first hand the kind of leader she is.

“When our country faced a critical decision about our future economic path, Maria showed leadership, casting the decisive vote that put our country back on the road to a balanced budget and a surplus that brought us the longest economic boom in history, over twenty-two million new jobs, moved one hundred times as many people out of poverty in our eight years as in the previous twelve under Republican leadership.

“For this brave vote, she became a target, and ultimately she lost her House seat. But she didn‘t quit. She knew that leadership is not always about making the easiest decision, or the vote that makes everyone happy in the short run.

“After five years of working in the high tech economy, Maria put it all on the line again for a Senate seat in 2000. Two thousand, two hundred and twenty-nine votes later, she won, and so did we. Since then, Maria has been a star in the Senate, fighting for our country and our party, and the things we believe in, every single day.

“Last Christmas, I couldn’t have been more proud of Maria, when they added drilling in the Arctic Refuge to a defense bill, the Republicans thought no one would dare to stop them, but they didn’t know Maria. She led the way, and stopped them cold. She opposed both Justices Roberts and Alito because she feared their privacy position would undo settled law.

“Her outstanding record on the environment, on protecting a woman’s right to choose; those are second to none. Maria was the first person in her family to graduate from college, with the help of a Pell Grant, and she never forgot that. Every day in the Senate, she fights for the dream of a college education for everyone, against an administration that has cut back on college aid, and weakened the direct loan program that we put in, that saved billions of dollars for college students and led to an all-time high enrollment.

“Maria is leading the way to energy independence, because she knows America can innovate our way out of dangerous dependence on fossil fuels and imported oil.

“Because Maria stands up to special interests in the other Washington , they’ve made Washington state a top target this year. You, more than most Americans, know that every single vote counts. Just look at Senator Cantwell and Governor Christine Gregoire. Every vote counts, so make yours count.

“Now they are determined to turn Washington from a blue state to a red one, and they focus on you this year because they know Maria Cantwell is out there voting for the people, and against their efforts to concentrate power and wealth and increase unaccountability.

“It’s up to all of us to make sure Maria wins in November. You can go home and work the grassroots, door-to-door, neighbor-to-neighbor. You can make sure she wins.

“Now, more than ever, we need her courageous leadership in the Senate. We are so close to recapturing control of both houses of Congress, and Washington state is now in play for the Republicans. One vote can change the direction of our entire country.

“Thank you for all you’ve already done, for me, for the Democrats, for America . But especially, thank you for everything you will do to make sure Maria wins this year. Bless you.”
Congressman Jim McDermott is now speaking.

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