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
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.
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