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Speeches from the 2008 Democratic National Convention

Dick Durbin
Remarks to the 2008 Democratic National Convention
Denver, Colorado
August 28, 2008

Four years ago in Boston, I introduced a friend—an Illinois state senator most people had never heard of—with a name most people couldn’t pronounce. Thirty minutes later, Barack Obama’s keynote address had changed politics in America—touching the hearts and inspiring the dreams of a nation.

Tonight, Barack Obama will accept our nomination to be President of the United States. His journey from that moment to now has taken him to every corner of this nation. Like another son of Illinois, he has spoken to a divided people about the better angels of our nature. To a country weary of the politics of division and deadlock, he has brought a message of unity and change.

We know that Americans hunger for change. They want to believe that they still have a fighting chance in our land of opportunity. They are the millions of new voters—Democrats, Republicans, and independents—who are stepping forward to be part of this historic campaign.

We see it in the eyes of the young people—who work night and day, eat cold pizza, and sleep on the floor, because they want to believe. We see it in the faces of gray-haired volunteers—who just one more time in their lives want to believe again.

This man, Barack Obama, has inspired America to believe that we can come together, meet the challenges of this new century and rise up to a better place.

I have been close to Barack Obama for many years, but now after this long campaign, so many of us know this man. We know how he thinks. We know his values. We know that Barack Obama’s journey has never been far from the pain and struggle so many Americans face today and that life has tested him and prepared him to lead this nation we all love.

Barack Obama had the good judgment to know that we should not risk the lives of our brave soldiers in the wrong war.

Barack Obama has the wisdom to know that we should never risk our freedoms and privacy to the overreaching hand of government.

Barack Obama has the good sense to know that the future of our nation is in the hands of hardworking Americans, not in the selfish grasp of the politically powerful.

Barack Obama knows that America’s best days are still to come.

Tonight, after this convention ends and the lights of this great stadium go dark, will come the morning light and the dawning of a new day. We have gathered here this week to dedicate ourselves to that new day. We should take the message from this Mile High City to every corner of this great land: that with this election the greatness of America can return.

America can move beyond the failed policies and broken promises of the last eight years.

America can turn the page and welcome a new generation of leadership.

Yes, America can. And, yes we can.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden will lead us to that better place—and we will be by their side every step of the way.



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