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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 22, 2009 12:30pm-1:00pm EDT

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the party. with the core values of opportunity, responsibility, and @@@@@@@@!,@ @ @ )@ @ @ @ @ @ @ job creation, welfare reform, a strength in military, a tougher approach to crime, and a new embrace of national service. despite fierce resistance to the courageous new democrat agenda marks the beginning of a long climb back to power. wreaths -- resuscitating the party by making it once again a party of opportunity and growth. in april of 1989, and i'll try reversed -- al traveled to arkansas to recruit this governor to assume the chairmanship of the dlc. together, bill clinton, al, marshall, and bruce read or
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write the new orleans declaration which lays out a bold new governing philosophy for the new party. soon thereafter, clinton delivers a speech in cleveland the proposal to the forefront of national politics. later that year, clinton launches a presidential campaign as a different kind of democrat. >> we offer our people a new choice based on old values. we offer opportunity. we demand responsibility. we will build an american community again. we are, as democrats, a revitalized democratic party. [applause] >> in november, in is 12 long years of republican rule in -- he insists will long years as a republican rule and the white house. campaign, a transition, and the president, al becomes the conscience of the white house,
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and bruce reid goes to the white house as domestic policy adviser to the president. soon, a democrat agenda becomes national policy. the 100,000 cops program not only reduces violent crime, but puts to rest of the nation's perception that democrats are soft on crime. americorps reflects the party posing a commitment to civil duty. -- the party's commitment to civil duty. it shows that the party believes in making sure that every american has the opportunity and responsibility to get ahead. clinton is propelled it to a historic re-election. the first democrat to do so since franklin roosevelt. in his second term, he accomplishes what appears to be impossible. the passage of a balanced budget
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that provides the nation with the first surplus in 30 years. those successes, products of a startling different brand of democratic politics, begin to see progress is the world over. he begins a global dialogue with british prime minister tony blair and a host of other leaders. the third wave movement. the new democratic movement and continues to emerge in the new century, developing a deeper vaults of new ideas and talent. a new generation of leaders claims the mantle of reform, proving that ideas matter more than ever hillary rodham clinton -- more than ever.
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hillary rodham clinton, gen and appalling tunnel, bill richardson, bill ritter, can salazar, mark warner, and dlc leaders all make their mark on the national spotlight. the new dlc chairman harold ford, jr. continues to speak out as one of the nation's up and coming senators. rahm emanuel leads democrats back into the majority on capitol hill after penning with bruce reed a plan in 2006. in continuing with the tradition of helping young leaders emerge and the stars, the dlc founds a new program with an eye towards the future. a quarter-century later, barack obama and joe biden's historic victory in 2008 proves that the
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party is ready. the new administration and congress have the chance to build a long lasting change and reform, and the opportunity to carry out a new democratic agenda. education reform, national service, health reform, energy, fiscal responsibility, and long- term growth. on the democratic leadership council, the organization that al built from the ground up is taking on a new challenge. under bruce's leadership, house legacy lives on. the power of a good idea can still inspire our party and to transform our nation. >> 25 years ago, he had the courage to see it was time for a different kind of democrat. today, our party is stronger, and our country is better off. he was right. ideas are worth fighting for. that is as true now as it was
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when the democrat met a hope. >> looking back at his two terms in office, it would be hard to think of a single american citizen who was a private citizen that has had a more positive impact on the progress of american life in the last 25 years than al from. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, a former dlc chair. [applause] >> i hope everybody in this audience has a great deal of sympathy for me. i am sandwiched between a profound video about the life of al from, and president bill clinton.
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i am trying to figure what i can say that will not be said tonight, that will not be said about al from. let me give a shot at that. we're going to talk tonight about his championship ideas, his passion, his vision for a new party, his commitment to country, the sacrifices he and his family made for all of us that held public office. there may be one voice that may not be here tonight. that may be the voice of those people in thisountry were not invited to this dinner, who do not even know this dinner is taking place, but whose lives are impacted by the work of al from. let me tell you the story of one person. as we are now focused on extending health care reform, it was out, the dlc, and president clinton that felt it was necessary to focus on children.
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i will never forget the conversation i had with a woman on the banks of the mississippi river several years ago. i was visiting a homeless clinic, and she was there as a nurse's aide. this is a person whose life you impacted. she came up to me very hesitantly as i was talking to nurses, and she was asking if i could spend a few minutes with her. this is when i was governor of iowa. she said, i just want to thank you. i said, for what? she said, i want to thank you for the children's health insurance program. i am working as a nurse's aide making $8 an hour, working my way through college. no doubt with a loan of assistance. i am recently divorced, i have a 12 year-old daughter -- a 12- year-old daughter. we're living without much support for her father. i was concerned and worried about her future. i was concerned and worried
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about her capacity to be protected because i have health insurance with this job, and i cannot afford it at $8 an hour. but i heard about a program for children, have you pay a small amount and get insurance coverage. i took advantage of it. within a couple of days after i got that protection for my child, she broke in shattered her wrist. she broke it in multiple places. required three surgeries. at this point in time, this woman began to cry. and she said, i am convinced that without that program, my child pose a risk would never have been fixed right, and she would of had to live with a deformity for the rest of her life. when we on this man tonight, there are literally millions of children here and around the world and whose life -- but whose lives have been impacted by his passion for ideas, and
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his belief that government working with others can make a difference in the lives of so many. she is not here today, but i am. on behalf of her and those whose lives had been affected by your work, i want to say thank you for a life well lived. [applause] you gave me the opportunity to introduce the president. how many times as president clinton been introduced? how much can be said about the guy? that you don't already know and have heard a million times? let me try something a little bit different about the president tonight. i think one of the greatest strengths of bill clinton is his willingness and his embracing
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and this celebration ofhe successes of others. i have seen him express deep pride in the success of his daughter and of his wife. i have seen him express extraordinary pride in the successes of politicians from city council members, mayors, and governors, all the way up to presidents of the united states. i have seen him express pride in the successes of children combating aids in africa. this is a man who has committed himself to celebrating the successes of others, and through his work, has made success for others so prominent. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the president of the united states, -- former president of united states, someone who has celebrated the successes of every single person in this
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room, and through his work, many of us have had the opportunity to succeed as well. bill clinton. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you. thank you, ladies and gentlemen. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you, secretary vilsack. i was glad to see you were wearing your cowboy boots, washington has not totally changed. i love tom vilsack his wife christie. when you get in the back of an
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suv and right all over hell's half acre, you get to know them. i admire him. i was delighted when president obama appointed him. i feel good about the future of rural america because he is there. [applause] thank you, harold ford jr., for friendship and your fidelity to the dlc, and what you said tonight. thank you, bruce reed, for all of your wonderful service in the white house, and your friend should to me and for leading the dlc and for what you said tonight. thank you, will marshall. thank you, ginger and sarah and jenny and mark. and thank you, elizabeth. this is really all for you, after all.
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i would like to thank those who, like me, had the benefit of serving as chair of the dlc. they're all here, and have all been introduced. it is a club by want to be a part of. we were really breasts -- blessed in those early years. there is a magnificent person who will speak after me that proves the deal is the program is right. rachel thorch. i am so proud of you. i am like you are here representing the state and local officials affiliated with the dlc. that was a really good movie. [applause] it had the virtue of being at
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least, except for the stuff about me, true. i think secretary sebelius may be here. we were together at a previous event, and i will say more about that in a minute. but i loved getting involved with the dlc. for one thing, i was tired getting beat. i am old enough not to remember what it was like to get beat over and over and over again. essentially, here is what happened to us. national elections and the standing in national political parties are determined by three things. the political culture, the conditions at election time, and the quality of the candidates. for much of the 20th century, the political culture of america kept us coming together
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and looking for common sense solutions because both parties said about a 40% base, and there were 20% who could go either way. they gave a great pressure for people who struggled to find some way to come together. and it also meant that, even if you ran a bank robbery, you get 40% for president. we only departed from that significantly once when president roosevelt won 63% in 1936. in 1968, that was one of the most difficult years in american history, certainly in modern history. it was dramatic in many ways. voters brought all kinds of fears, anger, and frustration to the polls, and not so great economy. by those standards. it looks pretty good today. concerns about the rising
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women's movement and controversy over the vietnam war and how the military and life, and just about everything was being questioned. and of the shattering of all that affected a realignment in american politics. we democrats kept our 40% base. the republican base rose to 45%. as people that normally voted democratic moved into the republican category, largely over their values and social issues that made them vote against their economic interests. and over the sense that we were either out of tough-guy -- out of touch with them or to tie to the past. once you realize that math, explains what happened for the next 30 years. we had to win two--- 2/3 of the undecided vote to win the presidential election.
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the congressional seats held onto were largely a function of deep-seated personal loyalties to the member of congress which overrode the issues of the day. that is why we only had two presidents between 1968 and 2008. and why i was fortunate enough to be reelected, but the only president since roosevelt. do not clap, this is serious. al from reserves a serious speech. it is important that you understand the role he played. what did jimmy carter and i have an 76 and 92? we had to of the three factors you had to have to win. self-serving, but i think that the context at the time, we were very -- we were better candidates. we have lousy conditions when
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the other guys were in. we were able to prevail. they still have the culture. -- they still had the culture. the nra took out 1215 of our house members. now look -- 12 or 15 of our house members. now look. our bases began the even not. there were two reasons for that. one of which fall from -- al fro m and bill clinton had nothing to do it. we were growing more reverse. therefore, there were more communitarian and less tolerant of the politics of division. the other factor he had a lot to do with.
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the government must at the two car parade, because they believe the government could perform and have a role to play in giving us a shared future. the bases were pretty even in 2000. president bush ran a brilliant campaign. compassionate conservatives may have been the best slogan of my adult lifetime. what is said to the moderate voters, i will give everything bill clinton gave you with a smaller government and a moderate tax cut. wouldn't you like that? al gore got more votes, but not enough to stay out of the supreme court where president bush was elected 5/4. he was reelected in 2000 for all right. we were still in the capsule of
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fear from 9/11. we never defeated a president involved in the military conflicts. it was the smallest margin of victory since woodrow wilson's victory in 1916. in 2006, we won the congress back. it was the first time we had been free to think about all the things that we cared about. it was the first time in the cultural run of the republicans when we had an opportunity to see what would happen if what they talked about was actually done. bush said republican congress. the american people did not like it very much. i remember on the morning after the election, you know, in 2006, i told hillary, i said, if we do not nominate a convicted felon, we're going to win. a democratic nominee will be the
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president of the united states after the 2008 election. you could see two things going together. people believe in the promise of their country, and we were culturally different country. one of these made president obama's collection possible. we're not a biracial country. we are a multiracial country. we have enough problems and enough promise. we are wholly intolerance of the staples of american politics for much of the last 40 years. we want to build what the dlc advocated from the get go. a country of one community with shared responsibilities and shared opportunities and a genuine sense of belonging. so yes, the demographics have a lot to do with it. by 2008, president obama had a bigger base to run from then senator mccain did.
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at that time, we won all three because we had a better candidate, and we had better conditions. these things are important because it was easy to forget amid all the criticism and some of the praise, what a profound impact elections have on people's lives. i was thinking about all the trips we took command in the planes when both of us were overweight. [laughter] trying to drum up support for the dlc. we held our breath at that williamsburg conference, and we had a meeting in new orleans. we had a meeting in cleveland. one of my good friends, reverend
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jackson, called us the democrats of the leisure class. some of the set we were republican light because we talked about trade, national security, and welfare reform and holding families together. they forgot we also talked about strategies to reduce poverty, collect child support, promote education, and that we were very explicit early on in saying we would not stand for discrimination against anybody who played the politics or anything else. we were always in the right place on that. but we thought we needed to break out of the orthodoxy of the past. then, after i got elected, some of our critics said, we must not believe in anything since we wanted politics that went beyond the partisan divides of the
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1980's. by 2008, the same people thought that was a good thing to be. and i understood it. it was so easy to cover politics until we came along. it was like the gunfight at the o.k. corral. playing checkers, there are two kinds of pieces. it was one color, the other is the other. its spirit of the trouble of thinking. it was like a prize fight, you pick one fighter and waited to see not the other one out. except, we had waits around our ankles, and it was hard to move. then, there were those who said after this was all said and done, we finally saw what could happen when we elect an extremely able and brilliant person president in an environment where we finally have a cultural majority and
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lots of interesting problems to work on, and great talent, that somehow the dlc has become irrelevant. i read all of this stuff. i of you this for 25 years. i have three things to say to people. to people who believe this organization is not relevant. number one, as you saw from the film, the approach did work. it work in ways that you did not have time to put into the film. we did not just have 23 million new jobs, and the lowest rates of minority poverty recorded since we have been keeping statistics. there were three other things that needed to be pointed out. about how much this worked. in a world that has gripped by
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instability and inequality, first, and eight years that i had the honor to serve, we had 100 times as many out of poverty as the previous 12. 100 times as many. the intent -- the income tax credit took more than a million kids out of poverty. number two, yes we were for free trade, but we also advocated environmental standards and lifting the bottom. in six of eight years, we gained, not lost manufacturing jobs. we lost them in all eight years of the past administration. number three, for the only time since the early 1970's after we went off the gold standard and join the international financial system, and the second term, the
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incomes of the bottom 20% increase more than the incomes of the top 20%, and income inequality did not increase. that did not happen before, and it has not happened since. i believe in furthering obama's economic program. it will happen again. first of all, it worked. the american people proved an election after election, they're interested in people who get the show on the road and do something that works. the second thing i will say is, we're honored by it goes on the dlc -- by those on the dlc by the policies of president obama has supported. rahm emanuel, larry summers, jan
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napolitano, the president thinks they share his values and his thirst for ideas and no progress. i was delighted that after the stimulus bill pass, the first major bills side was the dramatic expansion of americorps, of national service and other service opportunities. congress passed a bill which will, by 2017, expand americorps to 250,000 young people a year. that is what al from and i advocated in 1992. it took 25 years, but it was 25 years well spent. the president and vice president, who was our principal author, have revived the cops program. it is important. the president has advocated a sweeping national direct loan program to cut the cost of college. that,


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