Coverage of last week’s Democratic National Convention focused, of course, on the effective speeches of President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama, and a few other headline speakers. But there were other speeches, outside of prime time, that must be seen, both because of the quality of the speeches themselves, and because they highlighted keys to President Obama winning re-election this November.
Congressman John Lewis
The most emotionally powerful speech was by Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), who masterfully wove together his experiences fighting for civil rights in the South in the 1960s with the current attack on voting rights in numerous states throughout the country. Rep. Lewis is the kind of historic figure and impressive speaker to whom a mere blogger such as myself cannot really add anything, so I will simply highlight the core statement in his speech:
Your vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful, nonviolent tool we have to create a more perfect union.
After you watch the video of Rep. Lewis’ speech below, please make sure you are registered to vote and commit to registering at least five other people, if you live in a state with a voter ID law visit this site to make sure you have what you’ll need to be able to vote, and volunteer for the Democratic Party’s election protection efforts so that we can make sure that every eligible voter is able to vote on election day.
Governor Deval Patrick
The current Governor from the state that Mitt Romney used to preside over, Deval Patrick gave a barn-burner of a speech in which he both critiqued the flaws in the conservative ideology that Romney promotes, and provided a spirited explanation of the significant progressive advances President Obama has achieved. Any progressive who is still disappointed in President Obama’s first term should read Gov. Patrick’s speech, along with the Winning Progressive list of President Obama’s accomplishments.
This is the president who delivered the security of affordable health care to every single American after 90 years of trying. This is the president who brought Osama bin Laden to justice, who ended the war in Iraq and is ending the war in Afghanistan. This is the president who ended “don’t ask, don’t tell” so that love of country, not love of another, determines fitness for military service. Who made equal pay for equal work the law of the land. This is the president who saved the American auto industry from extinction, the American financial industry from self-destruction, and the American economy from depression. Who added over 4.5 million private sector jobs in the last two-plus years, more jobs than George W. Bush added in eight.
The list of accomplishments is long, impressive and barely told—even more so when you consider that congressional Republicans have made obstruction itself the centerpiece of their governing strategy. With a record and a vision like that, I will not stand by and let him be bullied out of office—and neither should you, and neither should you and neither should you.
Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm
Perhaps the most over-the-top yet still effective speech was former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s effusive thank you to the Obama Administration for rescuing the American auto industry. Governor Granholm explained how important rescuing the auto industry was to middle and working class Americans throughout the Midwest. She also contrasted the auto industry rescue with Mitt Romney’s philosophy, which she summed up well as:
In Romney’s world, the cars get the elevator; the workers get the shaft.