Election 2016

Articles related to the 2016 election cycle

What It Means to Be a Democrat: We put smart, caring, capable people in the White House

Watching the rally in Philadelphia last night and seeing Chelsea Clinton introducing her father, former President Bill Clinton, who introduced our First Lady Michelle Obama who introduced her husband, President Barack Obama, who then introduced the woman we hope will be our next president, Hillary Clinton, I was struck by what it means to be a Democrat.

We put smart, caring, capable people in the White House.

We do not insult people’s intelligence by saying that having “enough working digits to hold a pen and sign legislation” is the only qualification for the presidency. We do not pretend that words, and actions, don’t matter, that a reality TV celebrity is the same as a person whose depth and breadth of experience makes her the most qualified presidential candidate in our lifetimes. We put country over party by making sure that the candidates our party nominates are qualified and capable not just popular or flamboyant.

We are the Democratic Party and look at how wonderful our political leaders are!

Transcript of Michelle Obama’s and President Obama’s speeches are below.


President Obama: “This is the moment where America stands up for our best selves”

Yesterday, President Obama spoke to a crowd at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

President Obama:

If you’ve been marching for criminal justice reform, that’s great. But you know what, you better vote for a President and a Congress who actually care about disrupting the pipeline from underfunded schools to overcrowded jails. Protests aren’t enough if you’re not voting. You’ve been marching for the environment and to do something about climate change — I’ve heard you. But you better vote for the next President and Congress believing in science, and who will protect the progress we’ve made so we can leave behind a world that we’re proud of for our children.

If you want more good jobs, you want to have a higher minimum wage, you want help with respect to student loans — don’t just sit there and complain. Don’t just sit there in the barber shop and the beauty shop and watching the Tar Heels and say, you know, politics is all messed up, but what’s the score. No, no, no. You can watch the game after you vote.

And the good news is, you’ve got a proof point. You know it works. You know it works because so many of you voted in ’08. And it’s because of you that millions of people have health care today that didn’t have it before. It’s because of you that millions of young people are going to college that couldn’t afford it before. It’s because of you that a Marine can serve his country without hiding the husband he loves. It’s because of you that more young immigrants came out of the shadows and are serving our country.

North Carolina, I’m asking you today what I asked of you eight years ago. I’m just asking you to believe not in my abilities to change, not even just in Hillary’s ability to bring about positive change. I’m asking you to believe in your ability to bring about change. I am not on the ballot, but I tell you what, fairness is on the ballot. Decency is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Progress is on the ballot. Our democracy is on the ballot right now.

And Hillary gives you a chance to advance our democracy. But you’ve got to do everything you can to make sure everybody votes — your friends, your family, your cousins, your uncle, your neighbors, your coworkers. Tell them this is the moment where America stands up for our best selves. Stand up and reject cynicism. Stand up and reject fear.

Choose hope. Choose hope. Choose hope. Choose hope. Choose hope. Vote!

Full transcript below.


Tuesday Night, November 8, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has selected the election night site for what we expect to be the celebration of the figurative breaking of the biggest glass ceiling in America.

And they have chosen a building with one of the biggest literal glass ceilings in New York City for the party, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.


We can do this. Vote. Encourage others to vote. Make history and save your future.


Michelle Obama: “Hillary has done her job. Now we need to do our job and get her elected President of the United States.”

On Thursday, the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to a crowd at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

For those of us who expected a lot of WIN, we were not disappointed.

Strong Democratic women who care deeply about our country and its future – doing everything they can to make that future possible.

Thank you, Michelle Obama, for your passionate support of Hillary Clinton. And thank you, Hillary, for the campaign you have run and the president you will be.

WH transcript of Mrs. Obama’s speech is below.


Michelle Obama: “Hillary knows that our country is powerful, and vibrant, and strong. Big enough to have a place for all of us, and that each of us is a precious part of the great American story.”

On Thursday, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to a large crowd in Phoenix Arizona about the importance of this election and her support for Hillary Clinton.

Michelle Obama:

And let me just say that since [my speech last week], my office has been flooded with thousands of letters and emails from folks all across the country. Women of all ages finding the courage to stand up and tell their stories, clearing the cloud of shame that existed for far too long. Parents declaring that our daughters — and our sons — deserve better. (Applause.) Speaking out for the values of decency and respect that we all hold dear. Men of all backgrounds and walks of life agreeing that decent men do not demean women — (applause) — and we shouldn’t tolerate this behavior from any man, let alone a man who wants to be the President. (Applause.)

And let me just tell you, I have been so moved and so humbled by these responses — by the powerful affirmation of our shared values. But what I have not been is surprised. Let me tell you, because this kind of courage and decency and compassion — this is who we are. This is the America that I know.

Who we are:

Well, Barack and I — and our friend, Hillary — (applause) — we have a very different perspective on this country, one that has everything to do with where we come from and how we were raised. You see, we all grew up in working families. As you know, Barack was raised by a single mother who struggled to pay the bills, and by grandparents who stepped up to help. My dad was a shift worker at the city water plant, and let me tell you, he and my mom scrimped and saved every penny to send me and my brother to college. (Applause.) Hillary’s mother was an orphan, abandoned by her parents. Hillary’s father — small business owner — stayed up nights, poring over his books, working hard to keep their family afloat.

See and when you grow up like us — doing your best to keep it all together — you come in contact with all kinds of people. And yes, you witness a lot of struggles and hardships. But let me tell you, you also see so many triumph, so much beauty so much joy. That’s my life. (Applause.)

So you learn empathy. You learn compassion. You learn that folks may not look or think like you, but when it comes to what really matters in life — our values and our dreams — we’re not all that different. (Applause.) […]

You learn that when folks are down on their luck, it’s not because they deserve it. It’s not because they’re unworthy –because you’ve seen firsthand that sometimes bad things happen to good people and when times are tough, hope is all you have.

So the hope that sustains us isn’t some naïve idea that if you sit around and do nothing, everything will be okay. No, no, our hope is grounded in hard work and hard-earned faith. It is grounded in belief that there is something greater than us that reminds us that we are all precious and worthy, no matter where we come from or what we’ve been through. (Applause.) That’s what Barack and I believe. That’s what Hillary believes too. (Applause.)

Who Hillary Clinton’s opponent is:

Now sadly, for some reason, Hillary’s opponent comes from a different place. I don’t know, perhaps living life high up in a tower, in a world of exclusive clubs, measuring success by wins and losses and the number of zeroes in your bank account — perhaps you just develop a different set of values. Maybe with so little exposure to people who are different than you are — becomes easy to take advantage of those who are down on their luck, folks who play by the rules — pay what they owe — because to you — (applause) — to you those folks just aren’t very smart and seem somehow less deserving.

And if you think this way, then it’s easy to see this country as “us” versus “them.” And it’s easy to dehumanize “them” — to treat “them” with contempt — because you don’t know them. You can’t even see them.

Full White House transcript below.


President Obama: “All the progress we’ve made these last eight years is on the ballot.”

Yesterday, President Obama spoke at a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina to encourage people to get out and vote for Democratic Party presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. He also had a few choice words for her opponent, reality TV star Donald Trump:

President Obama after describing the progress of the past 8 years:

I am telling you, Greensboro, all that progress goes out the window if we don’t make the right choice just four weeks from today. The closer we get, the clearer the choice becomes.

We’ve got a choice right now between somebody who is as qualified as has ever run for the office of President and somebody who, over and over again, has proven himself unfit to represent this country. […]

The current Republican Party nominee doesn’t have the temperament, or the judgment, or the knowledge, — or, apparently, the desire to obtain the knowledge — or the basic honesty that a President needs to have.

And that was true even before we heard about his attitudes towards women. Now, of course, it was true when we heard what he thought about minorities, and what he thought about people of the Muslim faith, and when he made fun of disabled persons, or when he insulted Gold Star families.

But you don’t have to be a husband or a father to hear what we heard just a few days ago and say, that’s not right. You just have to be a decent human being to say, that’s not right. And if it makes you mad, if you say that’s not somebody I want representing the United States of America, you can do something about it, North Carolina. Go to IWillVote.com. Register to vote right away, and make your voice be heard.

On Hillary Clinton’s fitness:

She’s got real plans to address the real concerns that she has heard on the campaign trail. You watch these debates, and everybody is all like, well — the commentators afterwards, they are all like, well, she was really maybe explaining some stuff in great detail in contrast to the other candidate. That’s because she actually knows what she’s talking about. Which is helpful, when you’re President of the United States, to know what you’re talking about.

Come on, people. Come on. This isn’t an audition for like some show. This ain’t a show. She’s got specific ideas to invest in jobs, to help workers share in their company’s profits, to put more young people and children and toddlers in preschool, to make sure that students get through college without taking on a ton of debt. She actually is sweating the details. She cares about this stuff.

He pointed out that he is not on the ballot but that the last 8 years are:

So when [Trump] asks you, what do you have to lose, the answer is, you’ve got everything to lose. All the progress we’ve made these last eight years is on the ballot. Civility is on the ballot. Respect for women is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Equality is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. If you want to send a message in this election, make it a resounding message.

Turn back the forces of racism and misogyny, and send a message for progress. Send a message for facts. Send a message for reason. Send a message for hope. Send a message by voting for Hillary Clinton. Send a message for Deborah Ross. Send a message about who we are as the American people and make our kids proud.

Full text of transcript is below.


Al Gore: “Hillary Clinton will make solving the climate crisis a top national priority”

On Tuesday afternoon, Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore spoke to a crowd in Miami. The topic was climate change and how every vote matters:

Former Vice President Al Gore:

Hillary Clinton will make solving the climate crisis a top national priority. Her opponent, based on the ideas he has presented, would take us toward a climate catastrophe.

Vice President Gore also spoke out about local issues, calling for the election of Patrick Murphy to the U.S. Senate instead of re-electing climate change denier Marco Rubio and urging a NO vote on an amendment that will discourage renewable energy:

Here is something else you can do — vote no on initiative one on your ballot.

Hillary mentioned that there are fewer solar jobs in the sunshine state, Florida, then there are in New Jersey. Actually, Florida also lags behind Massachusetts, which is even farther north. Despite having three times the population of Massachusetts, Florida has less than half of the solar jobs that have been created in Massachusetts. Massachusetts installed more solar energy last year alone than Florida has installed in its entire history. [AUDIENCE MEMBER: That’s ridiculous] Yes, it is ridiculous, that is exactly right. The head of one of the fossil fuel-burning utilities here actually said last year, yes, Florida is the Sunshine State, but remember it is also be partly cloudy state. Well, they are trying to cloud the truth by putting forward a phony baloney initiative that sounds like protects solar. It does not protect solar. The things they claim to protect solar are protections you already have. They are trying to fully you into amending your state constitution in a way that gives them the authority to shut down net metering and do in Florida what they did in Nevada and killed the solar industry. This is a question — our democracy has been hacked and the fossil utilities here have spent more than $20 million to try to pull the wool over your eyes. $20 million can buy a lot of wool. Amendment one would make it harder for homeowners to go solar.

The choice could not be more clear.


Hillary Clinton: “This is not who we are”

From last night’s debate, courtesy of PBS NewsHour and Fusion:

Secretary Clinton on Donald Trump’s fitness to lead our country:

…it’s not only women and it’s not only this video that raises questions about his fitness to be our president. Because he has also targeted immigrants, African Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, POWs, Muslims, and so many others. So, this is who Donald Trump is, and the question for us, the question our country must answer is that this is not who we are.


Michelle Obama: “We need an adult in the White House”

On Wednesday afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to students at La Salle University in Philadelphia Pennsylvania about the importance of voting and, specifically, why they need to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Michelle Obama:

As someone who has seen the presidency up close and personal, let me share with you what I’ve learned about this job — lessons that seem even more relevant, even more critically important after watching Monday’s debate. First and foremost, this job is hard. It is the highest-stakes, most 24/7 job you can possibly imagine. The issues that cross a President’s desk are never easy. And solutions to persistent, systemic challenges are never black and white. […]

When it comes to the qualifications we should demand in a President, to start with, we need someone who will take the job seriously, someone who will study and prepare so that they understand the issues better than anyone else on their team.

And we need someone with superb judgment in their own right. Because a President can hire the best advisors on Earth, but I guarantee you that five advisors will give five different opinions, and it is the President — and the President alone — who always has to make the final call. We also need someone who is steady and measured. Because when making life-or-death, war-or-peace decisions, a President just can’t pop off or lash out irrationally. No, we need an adult in the White House, I guarantee you.

And finally, we need someone who is compassionate. Someone who will be a role model for our kids. Someone who’s not just in this for themselves but for the good of this entire country — all of us. See, at the end of the day, as I’ve said before, the presidency doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are. And the same is true of a presidential campaign.

On inspiration:

When I hear folks saying that they don’t feel inspired in this election, I have to disagree. See, because for eight years, I have seen what it takes to actually do this job. And here’s what I know for sure: Right now, we have an opportunity to elect one of the most qualified people who has ever endeavored to become President. Hillary has been a lawyer, a law professor, First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, a U.S. Senator, Secretary of State. That’s why I’m inspired by Hillary.

I’m inspired by her persistence, her consistency; by her heart and by her guts. And I’m inspired by her lifelong record of public service. No one in our lifetime has ever had as much experience and exposure to the presidency — not Barack, not Bill, nobody — and, yes, she happens to be a woman. (Applause.)

So, trust me, Pennsylvania, experience matters. Preparation matters. Temperament matters. And Hillary Clinton has it all. She’s the real deal.

Michelle Obama tells young people how important voting is and concludes:

So let me tell you, especially our young people, don’t let anyone ever take away your hope. Don’t let them do it. That’s what makes America great. And we deserve a President who can see those truths in us. A President who believes that each of us is part of the American story and we’re always stronger together. A President who can bring out the best in us — our kindness, our decency, our courage, our determination, so that we can keep perfecting our union and passing those blessings of liberty down to our children.

Hillary Clinton will be that President. And from now until November, I am going to work as hard as I can to get her and Tim Kaine elected. We need you to do the same thing. We need you to do everything you can to close the door on this election and make it happen so we can keep moving this country forward.

Full transcript below.


President Obama: “Hope is on the ballot, and fear is on the ballot, too”

President Obama at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Phoenix Awards Dinner last night:

There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter. It all matters. And after we have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community, I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election. (Applause.) You want to give me a good sendoff? Go vote. (Applause.) And I’m going to be working as hard as I can these next seven weeks to make sure folks do. (Applause.)

Hope is on the ballot. And fear is on the ballot, too. Hope is on the ballot, and fear is on the ballot, too.

On his legacy:

A few days ago, Michelle and my mother-in-law and the girls and I, we snuck over and got an early look at the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. (Applause.) We looked at the shackles that had been used to bring folks over. We saw the shacks that slaves had been trying to make a way out of no way. And then, with each successive level, we saw the unimaginable courage and the struggles, and the sacrifices, and the humor, and the innovation, and the hope that led to such extraordinary progress, even in our own lifetimes.

And it made us proud. Not because we had arrived, but because what a road we had to travel. What a miracle that despite such hardship, we’ve been able to do so much. (Applause.) And I know everybody in this room understands that how progress is not inevitable. Its sustainment depends on us. It’s not just a matter of having a black President or First Lady. It’s a matter of engaging all of our citizens in the work of our democracy.

It was that slave who said, you know what, despite the risk of a lash, I’m going to learn how to read. (Applause.) It’s Harriet Tubman saying, despite the risk to my life, I’m going to free my people. (Applause.) It’s Fannie Lou Hamer saying, despite the ostracism, the blowback, I’m going to sit down here in this convention hall and I’m going to tell people what it’s like to live the life I’ve lived. I’m going to testify to why change needs to come. (Applause.) It’s a young John Lewis saying, I’m going to march despite those horses I see in front of me. (Applause.)

All those ordinary people, all those folks whose names aren’t in the history book, they never got a video providing a tribute to them — that’s why we’re here. That’s how progress is sustained. And then it’s a matter of electing people to office who understand that story, who feel it in their hearts, in their guts, and understand that government can’t solve all our problems but it can be a force for good.

Full transcript below.