Thursday, August 28, 2008

Political Dish -- Thursday Edition

I just watched Al Gore's speech at the DNC, and I have to say Al Gore rocks. He makes clear and convincing arguments in a way that holds attention yet does not dumb down the message. He says what needs to be said and he enlightens his listeners. I always learn something when I listen to Mr. Gore.

The part of his speech that really resonated for me this evening was the following:

A century and a half ago, when America faced our greatest trial, the end of one era gave way to the birth of another. The candidate who emerged victorious in that election is now regarded by most historians as our greatest president. Before he entered the White House, Abraham Lincoln's experience in elective office consisted of eight years in his state legislature in Springfield, Illinois, 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.

The experience Lincoln's supporters valued most in that race was his powerful ability to inspire hope in the future at a time of impasse. He was known chiefly as a clear thinker and a great orator, with a passion for justice and a determination to heal the deep divisions of our land. He insisted on reaching past partisan and regional divides to exalt our common humanity. In 2008, once again, we find ourselves at the end of an era with a mandate from history to launch another new beginning. And once again, we have a candidate whose experience perfectly matches an extraordinary moment of transition.

Barack Obama had the experience and wisdom to oppose a popular war based on faulty premises. His leadership experience has given him a unique capacity to inspire hope, in the promise of the American dream of a boundless future. His experience has also given him genuine respect for different views and humility, in the face of complex realities that cannot be squeezed into the narrow compartments of ideology. His experience has taught him something that career politicians often overlook: that inconvenient truths must be acknowledged if we are to have wise governance.

If that doesn't wipe out the question of experience, I don't know what does. Thank you Mr. Gore.

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