DNC: Gore draws clear distinction between candidates
August 29, 2008
DENVER”Eight years ago, an overarching national narrative proclaimed there was little difference between two presidential candidates with southern drawls.
Eight years later, no one would doubt just how untrue that was, one of them said Thursday night.
Nobel laureate and former vice president Al Gore stood before a backdrop meant to evoke the Lincoln Memorial and, while comparing this year’s nominee to the 16th president, said this time, the differences between the two parties are even clearer.
“Today, we face essentially the same choice we faced in 2000, though it may be even more obvious now, because (Sen.) John McCain, who has earned our respect on many levels, is now openly endorsing the policies of the Bush-Cheney White House and promising to actually continue them,” he said.
“Hey, I believe in recycling, but that’s ridiculous.”
He said had the 2000 election ended differently, the U.S. would not be at war in Iraq, the economy’s strength would not have slipped and “we would not be showing contempt for the Constitution.”
Initially, Gore stuck to climate change, a subject he knows well, by saying the world is facing an emergency that, if unsolved, “would exceed anything we’ve ever experienced in the history of humankind.” He drew laughs by saying the oil and gas industry have a “50-year lease” on the Republican Party, and that Sen. Barack Obama would change that.
And he compared Obama to Abraham Lincoln, who also rose to office, from Illinois, on a message of hope.
“Before he entered the White House, Abraham Lincoln’s experience in elective office consisted of eight years in his state legislature and in Springfield, Ill., and one term in Congress”during which he showed the courage and wisdom to oppose the invasion of another country that was popular when it started but later condemned by history,” he said.
Thunderous applause, to rival that of a Broncos-Raiders game, reverberated through the Pepsi Center when Gore walked to the podium and at various points during his speech.
“Why is this election so close? Well, I know something about close elections, so let me offer you my opinion,” he said.
Inertia is a powerful force, and Gore said it is one reason McCain still has so much support.
But young people are a force to reckon with, too, and Gore noted their strong support for Obama.
Like Obama’s campaign manager earlier in the night, Gore said their support must translate into action. He noted the convention would end in a prayer.
“As we bow in reverence, remember the words of the old proverb, ‘When you pray, move your feet,'” he said.
Before Gore spoke, the scoreboards at Invesco Field carried messages asking supporters to send text messages to Obama’s campaign to sign up as a volunteer.
When Gore was done speaking, blues singer Michael McDonald performed a slow rendition of “America the Beautiful,” not exactly exciting the crowd.
But excerpts of Obama’s speech suggested a more substantive policy speech, with more detail than crowd-pleasing rhetoric.
Obama’s speech was set to include information on his tax plan, which would reduce taxes for middle-class Americans, and on a 10-year, $150 billion renewable energy plan to create five million jobs and reduce dependence on imported oil.
Stay tuned for more live updates and analysis, as well as reaction from Northern Colorado Obama supporters attending the speech.