Ellen Malcolm introduced Hillary Clinton, at the Take Back America Conference, and Clinton opened her speech with a promise to lift a ban on stem cell research.
Clinton then said, “After 8 years of this administration … ” and someone shouted “Impeach him!” which Clinton ignored.
Clinton then told the story of a woman named Lilly Leadbetter working as a supervisor at a Firestone plant, who was paid less then men doing the same work. She sued and won. Firestone appealed to the Supreme Court, which recently ruled against her, with the votes of two Bush appointees. Clinton used this as an argument against the idea – which she said she hears all the time – that politics doesn’t matter and the politicians are all the same.
Our Constitution is being shredded, Clinton said, citing spying, detentions, US attorney firings, silencing of scientists, retribution against whistleblowers, Katrina, and the occupation of Iraq [some people shouted angry comments at this point. Clinton, of course, voted for the war and many times to fund the occupation]… Clinton moved into talking about health care. She never got to any sort of solution to the long list of problems.
Clinton then talked about the national debt and said that six years ago there was a surplus (and got some applause).
Then she went into how expensive college is. That got applause too. But what the heck would she do about it? Does she have any ideas?
As Clinton droned on about the need to have a vision, some people shouted things like “Out of Iraq Now!”
Clinton said she wants to clean up a government of cronyism and corruption and stop privatizing government functions and giving no-bid contracts and appointing people who are not qualified.
She proposed a public service academy “just like our military academies.” (big applause).
Then she jumped to CEO pay and wealth concentration and corporate welfare and shipping jobs overseas. She said she supported unions.
She promised “affordable” health care for every American.
Then it was back to the stem cells. Clinton announced that “There is no conflict between faith and science.” She mentioned “God’s creation,” which was the first we’ve heard “God” mentioned here.
Then she jumped to the right to vote and some of the problems seen in places like Ohio in 2004, an election that Barbara Boxer, who was honored here last night, challenged, but Clinton refused to.
Then she jumped to ending the occupation and bringing the troops home. She called is a sectarian civil war. Several people shouted things during this part of Clinton’s speech, like “Get us out!” Then she said “The American military has succeeded. It is the Iraqi government that has failed.” Loud booing.
The booing and the cheering competed for a while. “I like speaking here every year,” Clinton said. She was booed last year. “I see the signs that say get us out of Iraq. That is what we are trying to do.” She said she wanted to strip Bush of the authority to continue the war, and she wanted to use diplomacy instead of war.
Then Clinton – who is way over time – told a story about her friend Madeline Albright going to europe and seeing American flags that people in the Soviet Union had saved for decades even though they were forbidden. People said they loved America. “I want to be the president that restores that feeling around the world” (Loud applause).
Clinton never mentioned the point Ted Koppel reported last week and Bill Richardson raised here yesterday that she intends to have the occupation of Iraq still going at the end of her second term, should she be elected.
DAVID SWANSON can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org