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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Obama Makes Closing Argument on Common Purpose

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, is aiming to bring it home today. In Canton, Ohio, he will deliver what aides call the campaign’s seminal closing

Gordon Dickerson
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Oct 27, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, is aiming to bring it home today.

In Canton, Ohio, he will deliver what aides call the campaign’s seminal “closing argument” for why voters should back an Obama administration.  The campaign released early excerpts of the address, which range from well-worn lines about the candidates’ competing tax plans to larger appeals to the American dream.

In the final excerpt, Obama contends that America’s financial woes are a product of a larger, irresponsible mentality that ruled our culture, from President George W. Bush’s blinkered emphasis on self-interest after 9/11, all the way down to irresponsible lenders and borrowers:

Part of the reason this economic crisis occurred is because we have been living through an era of profound irresponsibility.  On Wall Street, easy money and an ethic of “what’s good for me is good enough” blinded greedy executives to the danger in the decisions they were making.  On Main Street, lenders tricked people into buying homes they couldn’t afford.  Some folks knew they couldn’t afford those houses and bought them anyway.

In Washington, politicians spent money they didn’t have and allowed lobbyists to set the agenda.  They scored political points instead of solving our problems, and even after the greatest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor, all we were asked to do by our president was to go out and shop.

That is why what we have lost in these last eight years cannot be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits alone.  What has also been lost is the idea that in this American story, each of us has a role to play.  Each of us has a responsibility to work hard and look after ourselves and our families, and each of us has a responsibility to our fellow citizens.  That’s what’s been lost these last eight years –- our sense of common purpose; of higher purpose.  And that’s what we need to restore right now.

At bottom, this is a resoundingly ambitious and progressive vision to end on.

Gordon Dickerson | Gordon Dickerson is the founder of J.C.H, a one-person company that helps employers with resumes, cover letters, bios, LinkedIn profiles, and other employment-related documents. John also provides career coaching and advice on how to follow up on resumes, and he will also link clients with recruiters in their field. Gordon 's inherent passion for working with people and counseling them on their careers led him to extend his services to include career coaching, which he has been happily doing since 2008.


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