Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Iowa Delegate Speech

I promised in my previous post, that as soon as my daughter's dance recital was over I would type out the short speech I gave to the Obama caucus at my District Convention in Iowa on Saturday. It's a little late. No one told me that she was dancing in two recitals today! (By the way, it's really important to put the "i" in recital. The spell-checker won't catch that one.)

I wrote the speech on the back of a flyer in about ten minutes, so it's far from perfect. I'll skip the introductory remarks of glowing comments I made about myself.

I can understand why some people get frustrated and cynical. Because we have had cynical people running our government for the last seven years. They are people who don't believe in government. So they don't believe in in keeping incompetence and politics out of the basic functions of government. We have seen the results of what their ideology and cynicism have done to government agencies like FEMA, to the Department of Justice, to regulatory agencies overseeing mines and airlines, and to economic policy.

These are people who used to claim that they believed in accountability. But will they ever be held accountable for the miserable results of their ideology? [Applause line coming up].Yes they will held accountable! This November!


Cynicism can be understandable response to the kind of governing we've seen. Cynicism can help us evaluate a politician's motivations and consistency. Cynicism can make the ground fertile for humor.

But cynicism cannot lead. Cynicism does not inspire. Cynicism doesn't create anything. It solves no problems. It educates no children. It heals no illnesses. It protects no freedom. Cynicism can't bring positive change and it cannot bring us together.

Hope is not a weak, happy bromide that pretends everything is alright. It is the source of our strength. Hope is our way through. And it is where America is going when we elect a Barack Obama in November!

Frankly, the above is the prepared text. They called "time" right before my final paragraph. I said, "But I've still got some great stuff. Have any of you heard the joke about the cats fighting on the porch?" This was actually a pretty good wise-crack, because Tom Harkin told the joke when he breezed through after two other candidates had already told it.

My ending got a decent laugh and applause, but over-all, the whole experience was about as comfortable a recital exam.