BY BARACK OBAMA
Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.
Michelle, I love you so much.
A few nights ago, everybody was reminded just what a lucky man I am.
Malia and Sasha, we are so proud of you. And yes, you do have to go to school in the morning.
And Joe Biden, thank you for being the very best vice president I could have ever hoped for – and being a strong and loyal friend.
Madam Chairwoman, delegates, I accept your nomination for president of the United States.
Now, the first time I addressed this convention, in 2004, I was a younger man – a Senate candidate from Illinois who spoke about hope, not blind optimism, not wishful thinking but hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, that dogged faith in the future which has pushed this nation forward even when the odds are great, even when the road is long.
Eight years later that hope has been tested by the cost of war, by one of the worst economic crises in history and by political gridlock that’s left us wondering whether it’s still even possible to tackle the challenges of our time. I know campaigns can seem small, even silly sometimes.
Trivial things become big distractions. Serious issues become sound bites. The truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising. And if you’re sick of hearing me approve this message, believe me, so am I.
“Trivial things become big distractions. Serious issues become sound bites. The truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising” – Barack Obama.
But when all is said and done, when you pick up that ballot to vote, you will face the clearest choice of any time in a generation. Over the next few years big decisions will be made in Washington on jobs, the economy, taxes and deficits, energy, education, war and peace – decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and on our children’s lives for decades to come.
And on every issue, the choice you face won’t just be between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice between two different paths for America, a choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future. Ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known – the values my grandfather defended as a soldier in Patton’s army, the values that drove my grandmother to work on a bomber assembly line while he was gone. They knew they were part of something larger – a nation that triumphed over fascism and depression, a nation where the most innovative businesses turn out the world’s best products, and everyone shared in that pride and success from the corner office to the factory floor.
My grandparents were given the chance to go to college and buy their home – their own home and fulfill the basic bargain at the heart of America’s story, the promise that hard work will pay off, that responsibility will be rewarded, that everyone gets a fair shot and everyone does their fair share and everyone plays by the same rules, from Main Street to Wall Street to Washington, D.C.
And I ran for president because I saw that basic bargain slipping away. I began my career helping people in the shadow of a shuttered steel mill at a time when too many good jobs were starting to move overseas. And by 2008 we had seen nearly a decade in which families struggled with costs that kept rising but paycheques that didn’t, folks racking up more and more debt just to make the mortgage or pay tuition, put gas in the car or food on the table. And when the house of cards collapsed in the Great Recession, millions of innocent Americans lost their jobs, their homes, their life savings, a tragedy from which we’re still fighting to recover.