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Speeches from the 2008 Democratic National Convention

Tim Kaine
Remarks to the 2008 Democratic National Convention
Denver, Colorado
August 28, 2008

What an honor to be here on this powerful night! What an honor to speak not just to those gathered here in Denver but to homes across America—and not just those owned by John McCain.

Looking out at this crowd and feeling the energy, I can tell you this: We are making history.

I am here tonight not just as the governor of Virginia who knows the people of my state need a better partner in White House, not just as a Democrat who is tired of politics as usual, but most importantly as an American who wants to see American values guiding our country again.

For eight years we’ve seen what happens when a president lets Washington values become more important than American values. Gas prices skyrocket when the White House lets oil companies call the shots. Our children are left behind when an administration cares more about sound bites than sound schools. And middle-class families are left to fend for themselves to save their jobs, their homes, and their grasp on the American dream.

Maybe for John McCain the American dream means seven houses—and if that’s your America, John McCain is your candidate. But for the rest of us, the American dream means one home—in a safe neighborhood, with good schools and good health care and a little money left over every month to go out for dinner and save for the future.

Does that seem like too much to ask? John McCain thinks it is.

He’ll keep answering to the special interests and Washington lobbyists—we’re ready for leadership that answers to us. And the leader who will deliver the change we need is Barack Obama.

Now folks, it won’t be easy. Change never is. And if we are to succeed, we’ll need a little extra something. The Gospel of Matthew says, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to the mountain ‘move mountain’ and it will move.” My life-long faith deepened when I traveled to Honduras to work with Catholic missionaries after my first year in law school.

Hay algunos Latinos aqui? Estamos unidos, verdad?

I learned from a great mentor there, Brother Jim O’Leary, that faith is about more than words or doctrine—it’s about action. And that led me to spend my life in public service. While I was learning how to put my faith into action in Honduras, Barack Obama was doing the same thing on the streets of South Side Chicago—empowering people to rebuild their communities and reclaim their lives after the steel plants closed down.

Joe Biden has also spent his lifetime putting faith into action—overcoming unspeakable tragedy in his personal life, and as a U.S. Senator making our world safer, our air cleaner, and protecting women from crimes of violence.

For Barack Obama, for Joe Biden, for me, for all of us, the principles of faith call us to service.

With faith in the American dream, we strive for better schools, economic justice, and smarter foreign policies because we believe in the God-given principles of equality, freedom, and opportunity. With faith in each other, we work for a common-sense approach to politics that focuses on results, not partisan division, because we recognize that we’re all in this together.

Aren’t we all tired of a Washington that doesn’t have any faith in us? Fellow delegates, fellow Democrats, and fellow Americans, now is the time to let our faith guide us to action once again.

We need to put our faith into action—to elect a president who will put middle-class Americans first again and reward companies who create jobs in America instead of shipping them overseas.

We need to put our faith into action—to elect a president who will end our dangerous dependence on foreign oil and invest in green-collar, clean-energy jobs right here at home.

We need to put our faith into action—to elect a president who will invest in our students, teachers and schools, and make college affordable once again for every American family.

We need to put our faith into action—to elect a president who will responsibly end the war in Iraq, give our veterans and their families the support they need, and reinvigorate our military to face the challenges ahead.

If we put our faith into action, we can move mountains.

We can move the mountains of negativity and division and gridlock.

We can move the mountains of special interests and business as usual.

We can move the mountains of hopelessness that surround too many of our people and communities.

Does anybody here have a little faith tonight? Is anybody here ready to move those mountains?

Starting right here in the Mile High City, we will put our faith into action; we will reject the failed policies of George Bush and John McCain; we will elect Barack Obama our next president.

In the words of the gospel hymn—“move mountain.”

Say it with me—“move mountain.”

Say it with me again—“move mountain.”

Mountain, get out of our way!



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