Remarks with Senator Hillary Clinton in Unity, New Hampshire
CLINTON: Hello, Unity! Hello, New Hampshire! Well, Unity is not only a beautiful place, as we can see; it's a wonderful feeling, isn't it? And I know what we start here in this field in Unity will end on the steps of the Capitol when Barack Obama takes the oath of office as our next president.
It is wonderful to be here with all of you. I want to thank Ken Hall for welcoming us. And encourage everybody to support the party. I want to recognize and thank the two members of Congress from here in New Hampshire, Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter, and of course, your great governor, Governor Lynch, and his wonderful wife, Dr. Susan Lynch.
I expect that each of those wonderful public officials will be let elected overwhelmingly come November, thanks to the hard work by Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley and all of the team that's working with him. And I hope that you will send your former governor, Jeanne Shaheen, to represent you in the United States Senate. Senator Obama, when he becomes president, is going to need more Democratic senators, and Jeanne Shaheen will lead the charge.
I want to thank Chip Baldwin, the principal of Unity Elementary School. Your pre-program band, the Pop Gun Seven. And all of the people who have come here to Unity to be with Barack and me.
And it is a great pleasure and honor. As I have said many times, New Hampshire has a special place in my heart. And I'm here today to ensure that, come November, New Hampshire will have a special place in Barack Obama's heart, as well.
A year and a half ago, Barack and I each began a journey to make history and to remake America: journeys that took us from one end of this great diverse country of ours to the other, to big cities and small towns, to homes and schools, to businesses, churches, and union halls, and into the lives of millions and millions of Americans who love this country, refuse to give up on our promise, and are determined and ready for change.
Now I don't think it's at all unknown among this audience that this was a hard-fought primary campaign. We have traversed America, making our case to the American people. We have gone toe-to-toe in this hard-fought primary. But today and every day going forward, we stand shoulder to shoulder for the ideals we share, the values we cherish, and the country we love. We may have started on separate paths, but today our paths have merged. Today our hearts are set on the same destination for America. Today we are coming together for the same goal: to elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.
I was honored to be in this race with Barack. And I am proud that we had a spirited dialogue. That was the nicest way I could think of phrasing it. But it was spirited because we both care so much. And so do our supporters, each and every one of you.
And I am so proud and privileged today, here in Unity, to help bring together the 36 million Americans who supported us to create an unstoppable force for change we can all believe in.
Now, Senator McCain and the Republicans may have hoped that we wouldn't join forces like this. They may have wished that we wouldn't stand united to fight this battle with everything we've got. But I've got news for them: we are one party; we are one America. And we are not going to rest until we take back our country and put it once again on the path to peace, prosperity, and progress in the 21st century.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
CLINTON: Now, I know Senator Obama. I've served with him in the Senate for four years. I campaigned with and against him for lots of months. I have stood or sat on a stage in -- I lost count, but I think 22 debates. So I've had a front-row seat to his candidacy. And I've seen his strength and determination, his grace, and his grit.
And in his own life, Barack Obama has lived the American dream. As a community organizer, as a state senator, and now as a United States senator, he has dedicated himself to ensuring that the dream is within reach of all of our people.
That's why both of us were in this race: because we believe in the old-fashioned idea that public service is about helping people. Helping them solve their problems and live out their own dreams. Because we've had every opportunity and blessing in our own lives and we want the same for every American. That we do not want to see our country continue on a path where people feel that their government doesn't work and their president doesn't care.
We want, once again, to make sure --
CLINTON: ...that every American is seen. There are no invisible Americans. That the trials and troubles that fall to each of us during a lifetime are ones that are recognized and shared. And that a helping hand is there when it's needed.
This has been my life's work and it was the purpose of my campaign. And the way to continue that fight, to accomplish the goals that we all care about and stand for, is to take our passion, our energy, and our strength and do everything we can to elect Barack Obama the next president of the United States.
(CHEERING & APPLAUSE)
CROWD: Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!
CLINTON: You know --
CROWD: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!
CLINTON: I have -- I've been involved in politics and public life in one way or another for four decades. Now, this is the moment when someone is supposed to yell, I don't believe it.
OBAMA: I don't believe it.
CLINTON: Yes, I don't believe it. Thank you, Barack.
OBAMA: Can't be more than 20.
CLINTON: And during those years, our country has voted 10 times to elect a president. And Democrats won only three of those times.
CLINTON: It's true, isn't it hard to believe? And think of the progress that we have not made. Think of the problems that have only gotten worse.
I'm very proud that two of those three times was somebody I know quite well and ...
CLINTON: You know, during the 1990s under a Democratic president, we had a flourishing economy, a nation at peace, America's leadership respected around the world. A Democratic president is absolutely essential for America once again to fulfill the purpose of America, to move toward that more perfect union, to make that progress that ensures every generation to come will have the same opportunities and blessings that we have taken for granted.
When we think about the lost opportunities and the damage that has been done during the past 7 1/2 years, on the environment and the economy, on healthcare and civil rights, on education, foreign policy, and the Supreme Court. Imagine how far we could have come had we had a Democrat in the White House.
So, that little history aside is really to make a very serious point. We cannot let this moment slip away. We must affirm our commitment to making sure that we have a Democratic president come next January. And in this town, where when the polls closed and the ballots were counted, Barack got 107 votes and I got 107 votes.
(CHEERING & APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: But both Barack and I know that those votes were not just for us. Each vote cast was a prayer for our nation, a declaration of your dreams for your children, a reflection of your desire to chart a new course for our nation. Each of those votes was truly a vote of confidence in the American dream, a vote for an economy where your hard work is rewarded, an economy that lifts all of our families and ensures that prosperity is shared.
Each vote was an affirmation of a fundamental moral principle that in the richest nation on earth, no father should have to choose between healthcare for himself and his children and no mother should be stuck in a dead end job just to keep her family's insurance.
CLINTON: Each vote was a commitment to an America defined by deep and meaningful equality. An America where we reach beyond the boundaries of color and creed, gender and geography, and embrace all of our people. Each vote was a reflection of your belief that America can once again lead the world by our values. Values that have shaped the aspirations of tens of millions across the globe, across generations, and has always been the source of our deepest strength.
These are the goals we share. These are the ideals we believe in, these are the hopes for our future, and this is the work that we look forward to.
The truth is, that in this election, we face an opponent with a very different vision of America. Now, Barack and I both have a great deal of respect for Senator McCain and his heroic service to our nation.
CLINTON: But in the end, after eight devastating years under President Bush, Senator McCain is simply offering four years more. He sees right wing judges appointed to the Supreme Court and says why not a few more? He sees billions of dollars in corporate tax cuts exploding our deficit and says why not billions more? He sees five long years in Iraq and he's willing to stay for years, even decades more.
CLINTON: In the end, Senator McCain and President Bush are like two sides of the same coin and it doesn't amount to a whole lot of change.
CLINTON: So, here's the choice in this election. If you like the direction America's going, then vote for Senator McCain because you'll definitely get more of the same. But if you think we need a new course, a new agenda, then vote for Barack Obama and you will get the change that you and we need and deserve.
CLINTON: And to anyone who voted for me and is now considering not voting or voting for Senator McCain, I strongly urge you to reconsider. I urge you to remember who we are standing for in this election.
We are standing for the single mother with a young daughter juggling school and work who told me I'm doing it all to better myself for her. We're standing for the woman who grabbed my hand and asked me, what are you going to make sure you do so I have healthcare and began to cry because even though she works three jobs, she can't afford insurance.
We're standing for the young man in the Marine Corps T-shirt who waited months for medical care and said take care of my buddies, a lot of them are still over there. And then, will you please take care of me? We're standing for all of those who lost jobs and healthcare who can't afford gas or groceries, who felt invisible to this president.
And that's why I'm standing with Senator Obama today because I know he'll work for you, he'll fight for you, and he'll stand up for you every single day in the White House.
(CHEERING & APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: Because I know he'll be a leader who invests in our people and helps us seize the promise of new leadership and restored reputation around the world. Because I know he'll be a commander in chief who will never hesitate to use force when necessary, but never shrink from using diplomacy whenever possible.
CLINTON: I hope you'll join me. I hope you'll stand with me. I hope you'll work as hard for Senator Obama as many of you did for me.
You know, a little while back, a woman handed me a photograph of her father as a young soldier. This very young man in his uniform was standing at attention as President Truman presented him the Medal of Honor, the highest award that is given for military service. During World War II, he had risked his life on a daring mission to drive back the enemy and protect his fellow soldiers. In the corner of that photo in shaky handwriting, this brave veteran had written simply, "To Hillary Clinton, keep fighting for us."
So to that American hero, and to all of you, I want you to know that's exactly what I'm going to do. That is why I'm standing here with Senator Obama. That is why I will be working hard for his election, that is why I will be fighting to change the direction of this country and once again give it back to the people.
(CHEERING & APPLAUSE)
CLINTON: It has been the honor and privilege of my life to compete for the presidency of the United States. To meet the people who have invested so much of your time, your money, your heart, your soul into this election. And to know what a great and good country this is.
And I believe with all my heart that this election is one of the most important in our nation's history. We've had significant challenges in every generation. And we usually, finally summon up the will to address them. So, I think Winston Churchill once said, "the Americans always get around to doing the right thing after trying nearly everything else."
The country is ready, now we need the leadership to make it happen, a leader who is a partner to bring about the change and progress that is so yearned for. So, think hard about how we will fulfill the promise of this great nation, how we will uphold the ideals we cherish and reclaim the country we love.
And the answer for me here in Unity, New Hampshire, is to pledge my support and my hard work and my effort to the next president of the United States, Barack Obama.
CROWD: Thank you, Hillary. Thank you, Hillary.
OBAMA: Thank you, Hillary. Thank you, Hillary. So you guys -- you guys peeked at my speech. You already know the first line.
I -- let me begin because I've got a lot to say about this great leader standing next to me. But I don't want to be remiss by failing to thank all the other people who are here today. I want to thank Chip Baldwin, the principal of Unity Elementary, I want to thank Ken for the wonderful introduction as well as the cutting boards that he gave us.
I want to thank my great friends, Paul Hodes and Carol Shea- Porter. I want to thank the next great senator from New Hampshire, Jeanne Shaheen. I want to thank your wonderful governor, John Lynch and his wonderful wife, Dr. Susan Lynch. The Pop Gun Seven, and I want to thank the Kiwanis Club which is selling, I think some burgers and hot dogs and some other stuff for the children here in Unity. And so, if everybody's getting hungry, just head on over. I think the truck's right behind this big "change you can believe in" sign.
Thank you, Hillary Clinton. Thank you, thank you, Unity, and thank you, New Hampshire for hosting our little get together here today.
OBAMA: I want to start by saying a few words about the woman you just heard from. You know, for 16 months, Senator Clinton and I have shared the stage as rivals for the nomination. But today, I could not be happier and more honored and more moved that we're sharing the stage as allies to bring about the fundamental changes that this country so desperately needs. (APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: As somebody who -- as somebody who took the same historic journey as Senator Clinton, who watched her campaign and debate, I know firsthand how good she is, how tough she is, how passionate she is, how committed she is to the causes that brought all of us here today.
OBAMA: When Hillary Clinton gets up in the morning, even in the face of the toughest odds, the most vicious attacks, she is doing so with the same motivation that took her and Bill Clinton to sign up for their first campaign in Texas all those years ago.
The same passion that led her to work for the Children's Defense Fund and caused her to fight for healthcare as First Lady. What has made her one of the finest senators that New York has ever seen, what has made her a historic candidate for president, an unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans no matter how difficult that fight may be.
(CHEERING & APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: I've admired here as a leader, I've learned from her as a candidate. She rocks, she rocks. That's the point I'm trying to make.
OBAMA: I am proud to call her a friend and I know how much we need both Bill and Hillary Clinton as a party and as a country in the months and years to come. They have done so much great work, I don't think it's been 40 years, I -- you know, maybe for the last couple. You know? But it's amazing how much they got done in five year's time.
But we need them, we need them badly, not just my campaign, but the American people need their service and their vision and their wisdom in the months and years to come because that's how we're going to bring about unity in the Democratic Party and that's how we're going to bring about unity in America, and that's how we're going to deliver the American dream in every corner of every state of this great nation that we love.
OBAMA: Hillary and I may have started with separate goals in this campaign, but we've made history together. Together, we inspire tens of millions of people to participate, some to cast ballots for the very first time, others who voted for the first time in a very long time. And together in this campaign in 2008, we shattered barriers that have stood firm since the founding of this nation. Barriers that our supporters, perhaps, at the beginning didn't believe could be shattered. I don't pretend that one election can erase all the past biases and outdated attitudes that we're still wrestling to overcome. I know that there have been times over the last 16 months when those biases have emerged. And Senator Clinton has always brushed them off, dealt with them with her usual grace and aplomb.
But I also know that while this campaign has shown us how far we have to go, it's also proven the progress we have made. I know that because of our campaign, because of the campaign that Hillary Clinton waged, my daughters and all of your daughters will forever know that there is no barrier to who they are and what they can be in the United States of America.
OBAMA: They can take for granted that women can do anything that the boys can do.
OBAMA: And do it better and do it in heels.
OBAMA: I still don't know how she does it in heels.
OBAMA: I don't know.
It's fitting that we meet in a place called Unity because the truth is that's the only way we can solve the challenges facing this country. Today, we look back at the votes that took place here in the snows in January, 107 votes for Senator Clinton, 107 votes for me. But now, we look at them as 214 votes for change here in America.
OBAMA: Votes cast by young and old, by men and women, by rich and poor, by Democrats and Independents, and even some Republicans who have said enough is enough. It is time to bring about change here in America.
OBAMA: And that's why in this moment, we have to come together not just as Democrats, but also as Americans, united by our understanding that there's no problem we can't solve, no challenge we cannot meet. As one nation, as one people.
Now, the decisions we make in this election and the next few years on Iraq and climate change, on our economy and making sure that it's working for everybody and not just some. Those choices will shape the next generation and possibly the next century.
And on each and every issue -- on each and every issue in this campaign, the choice could not be clearer, it is a choice between moving forward and falling farther behind. It's a choice between more of the same policies that have failed us for eight long years or a new direction for the country we love.
We can continue spending $10 billion to $12 billion a month in Iraq and leave our troops there for the next 20 or 50, or 100 years, we can follow a policy that doesn't change whether violence is up or violence is down, whether it be Iraqi government takes responsibility or not. Or we can decide that it's time to be in a responsible, gradual, withdrawal from Iraq. It is time to rebuild our military, it is time to treat our veterans with the dignity and respect they deserve.
It's time to refocus our attention on the war we have to win in Afghanistan. It is time to go after the al Qaeda leadership where it actually exists. It is time to bring this war in Iraq to a close. And that's what we will be working with. And working on when I am president of the United States. That's the choice in this election.
(CHEERING & APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: We can continue to watch the cost of healthcare spiral out of control, push more families and businesses into bankruptcy and allow the number of uninsured to rise. Or we can decide that it's time to guarantee coverage to every American who wants it.
It's time to bring down the typical family premium by $2,500. It's time to bring down the costs for the entire country by bringing our healthcare system into the 21st century through better technology and more emphasis on prevention and nobody knows this better than Hillary Clinton. And that's the choice you have in this election.
You can go with John McCain's plans to do nothing or you can stand side by side with me and Hillary Clinton and finally once and for all provide the healthcare that every American needs in this nation.
OBAMA: We can continue to depend on dictators for our energy and destroy our planet in the process. We can give billions of dollars in tax breaks to oil companies who are making record profits while we offer pennies to consumers on a $4.30 gallon of gas, or we can decide that solving our energy crisis will be one of the great projects of this generation.
We can decide that it's time to give Americans immediate relief with another round of tax rebate checks and eliminate the oil company give-aways and invest in clean, renewable energies like wind and solar and biofuela, investments that can create millions of jobs and clean up the planet and free ourselves from dependence on other nations.
It's time to leave our children a planet that is greener and cleaner, that's what Hillary Clinton believes in, that's what I believe in, and that's the choice we have in this election.
CROWD: Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!
OBAMA: We can watch -- we can watch another generation of children languish in schools that don't work, graduate without the skills they need to compete in this new global economy. Or we can make a commitment to every child. Not just slogans, but a real commitment, everywhere.
From the day they're born to the day they graduate from college, that we will invest in early childhood education to close the achievement gap, that we will recruit an army of new teachers and give them more pay and give them more support and make sure that we're giving scholarships to every young person in America who wants to go to college and exchange for community service. That's the choice that we have in this election.
OBAMA: When it comes to our struggling economy, we can allow the divide between Main Street and Wall Street to grow, or we can ensure that our prosperity is once again a tide that's lifting all boats. We can have a tax code that rewards wealth and hands out billions of dollars more to big corporations and multi-millionaires or we can provide $1,000 tax cut to 95 percent of families in America, start rewarding work and not just wealth and eliminate income taxes for seniors making $50,000 a year or less.
That's an agenda for change that we can believe in. That's the choice that we can make in this election.
(CHEERING & APPLAUSE)
OBAMA: We can keep giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, or we can give tax breaks to companies that invest right here in New Hampshire.
OBAMA: We can allow millions of Americans to work full-time, but still not make enough to support their families. Or we can raise the minimum wage index that's in inflation, and ensure that in America, hard work pays off.
OBAMA: We can perpetuate a system in which women are paid less for the same work as men, or you can join Senator Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to start doing something to reverse some of these policies and make sure that equal pay for equal work is a reality all across America. That's a choice in this election.
OBAMA: No matter where we disagree, these are the issues that have always united Senator Clinton and myself. They are the causes that unite both of us as Democrats, and I believe at this moment, they are the causes that can unite us as Americans. Because the choice in this election is not between left or right, it's not between liberal or conservative, it's between the past and the future. And it's time for us to move towards that future together.
I know it won't be easy. Senator Clinton knows it won't be easy, I know it won't be easy. It's not going to happen overnight. And I know that there are going to be times when we as Americans disagree. But I also know that I've seen people of differing views and opinions come together and find common cause throughout the two decades in my public life.
I've brought some of those people together myself. I've walked arm-in-arm as a community leader in Chicago on the South Side watching the tensions between black and white and Hispanic ease as people began to recognize that the only way to fix up broken neighborhoods is to start working together.
Through two decades of service, I've worked with friends in the other party to provide more children with health insurance and more working families with tax breaks, to curb the spread of nuclear weapons and ensure that the American people know where their tax dollars are being spent. To reduce the influence of lobbyists in Washington who all too often set the agenda.
In our country, I found this cooperation does not happen because we agree on everything. But as Senator Clinton and I were talking about as we flew up to New Hampshire today, behind all the labels, behind all the false divisions and all the false categories that define us, beyond all the petty bickering and beyond all the point- scoring in Washington, and that you see sometimes dominating the cable news, Americans are a fundamentally decent and generous and hardworking people, with an awful lot of common sense.
OBAMA: That's been the great privilege of this campaign. You know, sometimes spending time in Washington, you get a little discouraged. But when you start traveling around the country, when you look at a scene like this, and you look out at the faces of America, you can't help but feel optimistic, because there are a set of common hopes and common values and common dreams that each of us share.
I don't care, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, young, old, rich, poor, it doesn't matter. There's a sense of what this country is fundamentally about -- a fundamental goodness. And that if we tap into that, I am absolutely convinced that we can lift this country up to new and greater heights.
This is one of those amendments moments in our history when we have to tap the decency of the American people. This is our chance to turn the page on the policies of the last seven and a half years. This is our chance to bring a new energy policy to America and new ideas to America. This is our chance. This is our time to march ford in Unity as one people to the future. And I promise you that if you are willing to join me and you are willing to join Hillary Clinton, if all of you over the next four and a half months are willing not just to come to a rally but knock on some doors and make some phone calls and talk to your friends, if you are willing to organize and mobilize, then we are not just going to change this country, but we will change the world.
Thank you, Senator Hillary Clinton. Thank you, New Hampshire. Thank you, Unity. Let's get to work.
Barack Obama, Remarks with Senator Hillary Clinton in Unity, New Hampshire Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/278454