The theme of the Democratic National Convention opened and closed on the idea of moving the United States forward. Julian Castro moved the convention in his role as mayor of San Antonio, Texas. Mayor Castro emphasized the great importance of opportunity as a condition precedent to prosperity. He spoke of decent jobs, building infrastructure and the idea that education is actually pro-business.
Mayor Castro explained how President Obama saved the auto industry, expanded Pell Grants and created Obamacare. It is to be noted that former
President Bush signed into law a $700 billion dollar bailout in early October ’08. The bailout was signed in order to prevent the Wall Street crisis from igniting across communities in America.
Later, First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the convention. Her speech
emphasized the personal side of President Obama as a family man who reads moving letters from ordinary people well into the night. His conclusion from reading these letters is that the problems described to him have to be fixed.
Mrs. Obama related how some teachers in this country work without pay in a bankrupt school district The speech extolled the idea of pay equity in addition to creating new jobs. The First Lady indicated that health care is not an easy issue to address but it is the right thing to do. Another important theme is to give everyone an equal chance at achieving the ideal of the American dream.
Her speech contained numerous references to hardships in her life, as well as President Obama’s. Mrs. Obama is a graduate of both Princeton University and Harvard Law School. Clearly, historians will view her as one of the most highly educated first ladies to serve in the White House.
Minority leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi reignited the idea of the American dream for all. She spoke of the need to strengthen the middle class, promote equality, make college more affordable and establish health care as a basic right and not a privilege.
Ms. Pelosi explained how the Obama administration brought the country back from the brink of a financial depression while still preserving the social safety net. Ms. Pelosi reminded the audience that rebuilding the middle class starts with the middle class and not the upper class. Former President Carter made a similar statement to the convention when he said that President Obama would always place the middle class first in the process of making hard decisions.
Sister Simone Campbell addressed the convention to explain how Rep. Ryan’s proposed budget would harm the poor. She asked that Medicare be expanded to help the poor while providing heart rendering examples of people hurt by not having the requisite health care coverage. Sister Simone spoke of faith, family and fairness.
Important auto industry representatives such as UAW President, Bob King, explained how President Obama saved GM and Chrysler, resulting in preserving one million jobs and adding another 250,000 jobs over the past four years. Prior to leaving office, former President Bush approved a $17 billion dollar bailout of GM and Chrysler to be paid out in two parts over a five month period.
Former President Bill Clinton addressed the convention as well. He said that President Obama stopped the slide to another Great Depression and put a floor under the crash of 2008. Clinton gave credit to former President Eisenhower who made significant contributions to the national highway construction efforts , as well as sending federal troops to Little Rock, Arkansas. Former President Clinton explained how he worked with both former Presidents Bush on natural disaster relief efforts.
Former President Clinton set forth a delineation of how the recovery progressed from the loss of 750,000 jobs a month to an economy which has added 4.5 million jobs and 500,000 manufacturing jobs. In addition, the auto industry has 250,000 more jobs than in 2009. The former president explained how new gas mileage standards will add another half million jobs.
Clinton explained that workers must be educated, in some cases in order to work at the new jobs already created. The former president explained that student loans will be given at a lower rate with repayment over a 20 year period. In addition, the debt obligation will be determined by a worker’s salary. This aspect is crucial for college graduates choosing public service jobs like teaching.
Former President Clinton addressed the benefits of Obamacare by stating that individuals will get back a high percentage of the money paid in. Essentially, there will be no cuts to benefits. Money will be saved by cutting subsidies to providers who don’t get people healthy. In addition, parents with children in college will have health coverage up to their mid twenties.
Former President Clinton explained how Republican economic policies raised the debt both before and after the Clinton administration. The former president stated that Republicans were in power for 28 of the past 52 years. In that period of time, Republicans created 24 million new jobs. Democrats were in power for only 24 years and created 42 million jobs. In addition, President Clinton indicated that the recession of 2008 was a tougher downturn than the one he faced upon becoming president of the United States.
Clinton explained that the United States is a force for peace, justice and prosperity. He reminded the convention that America always comes back.
Ultimately, our cause as a nation is to work toward a more perfect union.
President Obama addressed the convention and explained a series of accomplishments for the first term. The administration completed a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and is in the process of doing the same in Afghanistan over a period of several years. Bin Laden is dead and Al Qaeda is on a path to defeat. In addition, the president explained that no one who fights for the United States should ever have to fight for a job.
President Obama explained the necessity of cutting taxes for people who need it. In additon, he explained the need to pursue the manufacturing and engineering sectors to put the economy on a stronger foundation. The president explained that our workers are making things again and over a half million new jobs in manufacturing have been created in the last two years alone.
Obama explained that oil imports have been cut. New oil and gas
exploration has commenced without adding $4 billion in corporate welfare. In addition, the United States has over 100 years of natural gas reserves and the exploitation of this resource could create 600 thousand new jobs. The president explained that oil and gas exploration would move forward while respecting the realities of climate change.
President Obama explained that The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed to reduce the cost of health care for all Americans. He vowed never to allow Medicare to be turned into a voucher program.
President Obama explained that education is the gateway to the middle class. He sought to cut the growth in tuition by one half within a decade. His administration provided additional Pell Grant support, more affordable interest rates on student loans and debt relief for thousands whose mortgage loans exceed the value of their properties.
Earlier, Vice President Biden explained how the GM and Chrysler automobile companies were brought back literally from the verge of extinction. In addition, he explained that the American dream would never be downsized. The vice president explained that President Obama had courage and compassion.
The Democratic National Convention ended on a theme to move the country forward while never going back to decades of policies that led to the crash of the financial markets in 2008 and the loss of thousands of jobs each month until a reversal of fortune some months into the Obama Administration.