Liveblogging Bill Clinton At The Democratic National Convention

9:02 PM EST: Bill Clinton takes the stage to the tune of “Don’t Stop Thinkin’ About Tomorrow”

9:05 PM EST: Clinton’s trying to speak, but three straight minutes of applause and cheers is drowning him out.

9:06 PM EST: We have important work to do tonight.  I’m here first to support Barack Obama [applause and cheers, standing ovation]

And second, I’m here to warm up the crowd for Joe Biden.  Though, as you will soon see, he doesn’t need any help from me.  I love Joe Biden, and America will too.

What a year we Democrats have had.  Our primary stared with an all-star lineup, and we ended up with two all-star candidates.  That campaign generated so much heat it increased global warming.  In the end, my candidate didn’t win, but I’m proud of the campaign she ran [cheers].  I’m glad she never gave up and I’m grateful for the chance Chelsea and I had to go all around America.

I’m not so grateful to speak in the wake of Hillary’s magnificent speech last night, but I’ll do the best I can.  Last night, Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she will do everything she can to elect Barack Obama.[applause and cheers]  That makes two of us.  [louder applause and cheers]

Actually, that makes 18 million of us [cheers] because, like Hillary, I want all of you who supported her to vote for Barack Obama in November.  Here’s why–and I have the privilege of speaking here, thanks to you, from a perspective that no other American Democrat except President Carter can.

Our nation is in trouble on two fronts.  The American dream is under siege at home and America’s leadreship around the world is weakened.

[…]

Clearly the job of the next President is to restore the American dream and rebuild America’s leadership in the world.  Everything I learned in my 8 years as President–and everything I’ve learned since–has taught me that Barack Obama is the man for this job. [cheers]

Now, he has a remarkable ability to inspire people, to raise our hopes and rally us to a higher purpose.  He has the intelligence and curiosity every successful President has had.  His policies are far superior to the Republican alternative.  He has shown a strong grasp of the challenges America faces and a commitment to rebuilding our armed forces. His background has shown him able to lead our diverse nation in an ever-growing and interdependent world.

In his first Presidential decision–the selection of a running mate–he hit it out of the park.  [cheering] With Joe Biden’s experience and wisdom–with Barack Obama’s instincts and insight–America will have the national security judgment we need.  Barack Obama is ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world. [cheering] Barack Obama will uphold the oath to preserve and defend the constituiton of the United States. [cheers]  Barack Obama is ready to be President of the United States [applause and cheers]

As President, he will put America back in the forefront in the fight against global warming and to reduce nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.  He will enhance America’s global leadership in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, including a renewal of the battle against HIV/AIDS here at home. [applause and cheers]

A President Obama will chose diplomacy first and force as a last resort.  But, in a world troubled by terror, trafficking in drugs, guns and people and other threats to our security and values, when he cannot convert adversaries he will stand up to them. Barack Obama will not allow the world’s problems to obscure it’s opportunities.

[…]

9:15 PM EST: Barack Obama knows we cannot be strong abroad if we’re not strong at home. [cheers]  People everywhere have been more swayed by the power of our example than the example of our power [long applause and cheers]

Look at the example the Republicans have set. [boos] In this decade, American workers have consistently given us rising productivity–year after year they work harder and produce more.  What did they get in return? Declining wages, fewer jobs, smaller pension & healthcare benefits and the biggest increase in income equality since the 1920’s. [boos]

I will never forget the parents of children with autism and other serious conditions that they couldn’t afford healthcare or get medicaid unless they quit work or got divorced.  Are these the values Republicans are proud of? What about the strained military families, the assault on science, the defense of torture, the assault on unions and the favor of the wealthy? What about Katrina and cronyism? [cheers] My fellow Democrats, America can do better than that [cheers] and Barack Obama will do better than that. [cheers and applause]

9:19 PM EST: [Chants of ‘yes we can’] But first, we have to elect him. [cheers]  The choice is clear–the Republicans, in a few days, will nominate a good man who has served his country heroically and suffered terribly.  He loves his country every bit as much as we do. But in this election, he embraces the radicalism that has defined his party for twenty-five years.  IT’s a philosophy the American people never got a chance to see ina ction fully until 2001, when the Republicans gained control of the White House and Congress.

They took us from record surpluses to an exploding debt.  They decreased working people’s incomes.  From 8 million Americans lifted out of poverty to 5.5 million driven down into poverty and millions more without healthcare.  And their candidate is promising more of the same.  More tax cuts for the wealthy that will swell the deficit.  More going it alone in the world instead of building shared opportunities and shared benefits.  They actually want us to reward the past 8 years by giving them 4 more. [loud boos]

9:22 PM EST: Let’s send them a message–thanks, but no thanks.  In this case, the third time is not the charm. [cheers]  My fellow Democrats, 16 years ago you gave me the profound honor to lead our party to vistory and to lead our nation to a new era of peace and broadly-shared prosperity.  Together we prevailed in an election where the Republicans said I was too young and too inexperienced to be commander-in-chief. Sound familiar?

It didn’t work in 1992 because we were on the right side of history, and it won’t work in 2008 because Barack Obama is on the right side of history. [cheers and applause]  Senator Obama’s life is the 21st-century incarnation of the American dream.

[…]

We see our values reinforced by the Obama family and by Joe Biden and his family.  Barack Obama will lead us away from the division and fear of the past eight years back to unity and hope.  So if, like me, you believe America must always be a place called hope, then join Hillary and Chelsea and me in making Barack Obama the next President of the United States.  Thank you and God bless you.

[cheers, standing ovation, applause]

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