DENVER -- Hillary Rodham Clinton, accepting defeat with grace and generosity, moved to close the divide among fellow Democrats on Tuesday night by offering a forceful and unequivocal endorsement of her fierce rival, Barack Obama.
I am honoured to be here tonight. A proud mother. A proud Democrat. A proud American. And a proud supporter of Barack Obama" said Hillary cinton
"Barack Obama is my candidate," she said to a thunderous roar from Democratic convention delegates, whose allegiance was split nearly evenly during a long and contentious primary season. "And he must be our president."
Whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose," Clinton said, as delegates waved signs reading "Hillary" on one side and "Unity" on the other."
Were you in this campaign just for me?" she asked. "Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?"
My friends, it is time to take back the country we love.
Whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose. We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines.
This is a fight for the future. And it's a fight we must win.
I haven't spent the past 35 years in the trenches advocating for children, campaigning for universal healthcare, helping parents balance work and family and fighting for women's rights at home and around the world ... to see another Republican in the White House squander the promise of our country and the hopes of our people.
And you haven't worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership.
No way. No how. No McCain.
Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our president.
Tonight we need to remember what a presidential election is really about. When the polls have closed, and the ads are finally off the air, it comes down to you - the American people, your lives and your children's futures.
For me, it's been a privilege to meet you in your homes, your workplaces, and your communities. Your stories reminded me every day that America's greatness is bound up in the lives of the American people - your hard work, your devotion to duty, your love for your children and your determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles.
You taught me so much, you made me laugh, and ... you even made me cry. You allowed me to become part of your lives. And you became part of mine.
I will always remember the single mom who had adopted two kids with autism, didn't have health insurance and discovered she had cancer. But she greeted me with her bald head painted with my name on it and asked me to fight for healthcare.
I will always remember the young man in a Marine Corps t-shirt who waited months for medical care and said to me: "Take care of my buddies; a lot of them are still over there … and then will you please help take care of me?"
I will always remember the boy who told me his mom worked for the minimum wage and that her employer had cut her hours. He said he just didn't know what his family was going to do.
I will always be grateful to everyone from all 10 states, Puerto Rico and the territories, who joined our campaign on behalf of all those people left out and left behind by the Bush administration.
To my supporters, my champions - my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits - from the bottom of my heart: thank you.
You never gave in. You never gave up. And together we made history.
Along the way, America lost two great Democratic champions who would have been here with us tonight. One of our finest young leaders, Arkansas Democratic Party chair, Bill Gwatney, who believed with all his heart that America and the south could be and should be Democratic from top to bottom.
And congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a dear friend to many of us, a loving mother and courageous leader who never gave up her quest to make America fairer and smarter, stronger and better. Steadfast in her beliefs, a fighter of uncommon grace, she was an inspiration to me and to us all.
Our heart goes out to Stephanie's son, Mervyn, Jr, and Bill's wife, Rebecca, who traveled to Denver to join us at our convention.
Bill and Stephanie knew that after eight years of George Bush, people are hurting at home, and our standing has eroded around the world. We have a lot of work ahead.
Jobs lost, houses gone, falling wages, rising prices. The supreme court in a right-wing headlock and our government in partisan gridlock. The biggest deficit in our nation's history. Money borrowed from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis.
Putin and Georgia, Iraq and Iran.
I ran for president to renew the promise of America. To rebuild the middle class and sustain the American dream, to provide the opportunity to work hard and have that work rewarded, to save for college, a home and retirement, to afford the gas and groceries and still have a little left over each month.
To promote a clean energy economy that will create millions of green collar jobs.
To create a healthcare system that is universal, high-quality and affordable so that parents no longer have to choose between care for themselves or their children or be stuck in dead end jobs simply to keep their insurance.
To create a world-class education system and make college affordable again.
To fight for an America defined by deep and meaningful equality - from civil rights to labour rights, from women's rights to gay rights, from ending discrimination to promoting unionisation to providing help for the most important job there is: caring for our families. To help every child live up to his or her God-given potential.
To make America once again a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.
To bring fiscal sanity back to Washington and make our government an instrument of the public good, not of private plunder.
To restore America's standing in the world, to end the war in Iraq, bring our troops home and honor their service by caring for our veterans.
And to join with our allies to confront our shared challenges, from poverty and genocide to terrorism and global warming.
Most of all, I ran to stand up for all those who have been invisible to their government for eight long years.
Those are the reasons I ran for president. Those are the reasons I support Barack Obama. And those are the reasons you should too.
I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?
We need leaders once again who can tap into that special blend of American confidence and optimism that has enabled generations before us to meet our toughest challenges. Leaders who can help us show ourselves and the world that with our ingenuity, creativity and innovative spirit, there are no limits to what is possible in America.
This won't be easy. Progress never is. But it will be impossible if we don't fight to put a Democrat in the White House.
We need to elect Barack Obama because we need a president who understands that America can't compete in a global economy by padding the pockets of energy speculators, while ignoring the workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas. We need a president who understands that we can't solve the problems of global warming by giving windfall profits to the oil companies while ignoring opportunities to invest in new technologies that will build a green economy.
We need a president who understands that the genius of America has always depended on the strength and vitality of the middle class.
Barack Obama began his career fighting for workers displaced by the global economy. He built his campaign on a fundamental belief that change in this country must start from the ground up, not the top down. He knows government must be about "we the people" not "we the favored few".
And when Barack Obama is in the White House, he'll revitalise our economy, defend the working people of America, and meet the global challenges of our time. Democrats know how to do this. As I recall, President Clinton and the Democrats did it before. And President Obama and the Democrats will do it again.
He'll transform our energy agenda by creating millions of green jobs and building a new, clean energy future. He'll make sure that middle-class families get the tax relief they deserve. And I can't wait to watch Barack Obama sign a healthcare plan into law that covers every single American.
Barack Obama will end the war in Iraq responsibly and bring our troops home - a first step to repairing our alliances around the world.
And he will have with him a terrific partner in Michelle Obama. Anyone who saw Michelle's speech last night knows she will be a great first lady for America.
Americans are also fortunate that Joe Biden will be at Barack Obama's side. He is a strong leader and a good man. He understands both the economic stresses here at home and the strategic challenges abroad. He is pragmatic, tough and wise. And, of course, Joe will be supported by his wonderful wife, Jill.
They will be a great team for our country.
Now, John McCain is my colleague and my friend.
He has served our country with honor and courage.
But we don't need four more years ... of the last eight years.
More economic stagnation … and less affordable healthcare.
More high gas prices … and less alternative energy.
More jobs getting shipped overseas … and fewer jobs created here.
More skyrocketing debt ... home foreclosures … and mounting bills that are crushing our middle-class families.
More war ... less diplomacy.
More of a government where the privileged come first … and everyone else comes last.
John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound. John McCain doesn't think that 47m people without health insurance is a crisis. John McCain wants to privatise Social Security. And in 2008, he still thinks it's okay when women don't earn equal pay for equal work.
With an agenda like that, it makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities. Because these days they're awfully hard to tell apart.
America is still around after 232 years because we have risen to the challenge of every new time, changing to be faithful to our values of equal opportunity for all and the common good.
And I know what that can mean for every man, woman and child in America. I'm a United States senator because in 1848 a group of courageous women and a few brave men gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, many traveling for days and nights, to participate in the first convention on women's rights in our history.
And so dawned a struggle for the right to vote that would last 72 years, handed down by mother to daughter to granddaughter - and a few sons and grandsons along the way.
These women and men looked into their daughters' eyes, imagined a fairer and freer world, and found the strength to fight. To rally and picket. To endure ridicule and harassment. To brave violence and jail.
And after so many decades - 88 years ago on this very day - the 19th amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote would be forever enshrined in our Constitution.
My mother was born before women could vote. But in this election my daughter got to vote for her mother for president.
This is the story of America. Of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.
How do we give this country back to them?
By following the example of a brave New Yorker , a woman who risked her life to shepherd slaves along the Underground Railroad.
And on that path to freedom, Harriett Tubman had one piece of advice.
If you hear the dogs, keep going.
If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.
If they're shouting after you, keep going.
Don't ever stop. Keep going.
If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.
Even in the darkest of moments, ordinary Americans have found the faith to keep going.
I've seen it in you. I've seen it in our teachers and firefighters, nurses and police officers, small business owners and union workers, the men and women of our military - you always keep going.
We are Americans. We're not big on quitting.
But remember, before we can keep going, we have to get going by electing Barack Obama president.
We don't have a moment to lose or a vote to spare.
Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hang in the balance.
I want you to think about your children and grandchildren come election day. And think about the choices your parents and grandparents made that had such a big impact on your life and on the life of our nation.
We've got to ensure that the choice we make in this election honours the sacrifices of all who came before us, and will fill the lives of our children with possibility and hope.
That is our duty, to build that bright future, and to teach our children that in America there is no chasm too deep, no barrier too great - and no ceiling too high - for all who work hard, never back down, always keep going, have faith in God, in our country and in each other.
Thank you so much. God bless America and Godspeed to you all
Julius N. Uma[MONITOR]
Nearly eight years ago, 189 heads of states and governments from the North and South (acting as representatives of their citizens) collectively signed the Millennium Declaration at the 2000 UN Millennium Summit. During this summit, world leaders from rich and poor countries alike reportedly committed themselves-at the highest political level, to a set of eight time-bound targets that, when achieved, will eradicate extreme poverty worldwide by 2015. The Millennium Declaration, which led to the eight Millennium Development Goals, set out mutual commitment to cut poverty in various manifestations. In 2002, then UN Secretary General, Mr Koffi Annan, commissioned the UN Millennium project to develop a more practical plan of achieving the MDGs. In 2005, the Millennium project’s synthesis report, entitled “Investing in Development” was launched and set forth key recommendations on how to achieve the MDGs in rural sub-Saharan Africa.Currently, the Millennium village project, one of the first 12 Millennium Village sites in sub-Saharan Africa is implementing these recommendations in 10 counties in the sub-Saharan Africa. But what are these so-called MDGs, one may ask? The much-publicised MDGs are centered on; eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; Achieving Universal Primary Education (UPE); promoting gender equality and empowering women; reducing child mortality rates; improving maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other major diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for development. But what progress has Uganda so far made in its path towards achieving the MDGs, ahead of the 2015? According to the 2005 civil society report on MDGs launched by Uganda National Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Forum, a lot has to be done if Ugandans are to benefit from these initiatives. The report, titled “A Long Way to Go – Civil Society Perspectives on the Progress and Challenges of Attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Uganda,” presented a mixed fact sheet for Uganda’s progress towards attaining the MDGs. Critics have strongly argued that Uganda still has a long way to go in achieving the MDGs. Among the issues cited as stumbling blocks towards the 2015 Millennium challenge are; the rampant corruption in government circles that usually lack public accountability, nepotism and regional imbalances in job distribution, restriction of media and press freedoms, the constant harassment of the opposition and members of the civil society sector, among others. In its effort to review Uganda’s progress on the MDGs, the UN Millennium campaign recently launched a publication entitled, “Good Policies, Poor Policing.” During the Accra, Ghana event, UN Millennium campaign Deputy Director, Dr Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem noted, “I believe that Africa has adequate resources to reduce the crippling burden of poverty and meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. What is lacking is focused leadership, development of appropriate policies and proper prioritization.” Further note that last year (2007) was the halfway mark towards achieving the MDGs, and many countries in Africa are reportedly making significant progress towards achieving these goals, come 2015. However, progress in some countries is being hampered by the lack of political will and weak public policies. Recently, Uganda police arrested two youths found slaughtering a dog. Moses Bogere, 36 and Edward Kitumba were charged with injuring an animal. Shall we ever eradicate poverty, one of the key MDGs in less than a decade, when our youths, the most productive age groups resort to eating or trading in dog meat as survival antics? Your guess is as good as mine. The writer is a Kampala-based journalist interested in social issues.