Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Regent Wing
January 31, 2008
Aren’t we fortunate? We have wonderful, accomplished candidates vying for the democratic nomination. But, for the first time in our country’s history, we not only have a woman, but a woman who is the most experienced candidate. Hillary Clinton dares to penetrate the powerful world of men, to challenge their policies and debate their ideas with her keen knowledge and qualifications. Throughout her many years as a public servant, Hillary has utilized every opportunity to make this country strong, safe and just. And, thankfully, we have now entered a time when people discuss the content of her ideas and not just the style of her hair. Today, young women throughout our country look at Hillary Clinton and realize that their potential has no limits. As the first First Lady to become a United States Senator, Hillary has already cracked the glass ceiling, and in November, she will shatter it.
Some people question the idea of a woman president. Perhaps that’s because our country is still young and we haven’t caught up to other places around the world where women are currently serving as Presidents or Prime MinistersaArgentina, Chile, Germany, Finland, India, Ireland, Liberia, The Philippines, New Zealand, Mozambique and the Ukraine.
With our nation in turmoil and so much at stake in this election, we need a leader who has been in the trenches for over 35 years advocating for the young, the old, the poor and the disenfranchised. As a woman and as a lawyer, Hillary played a pioneering role in raising awareness of issues like sexual harassment and equal pay. As the First Lady of Arkansas, she directed a task force to improve education. In the White House, Hillary led the fight to expand quality health care. She advocated globally for women’s rights. She fought to increase funding for breast cancer research and to help our veterans suffering from Gulf War syndrome. As a Senator, she authored legislation to make prescription drugs more affordable and to increase America’s commitment in fighting the HIV/AIDS crisis.
With grace and dignity, Hillary Clinton has proven she has the inner strength to persevere and withstand the grueling attacks that have been and will be heaped upon her. She will take us into the future with her dynamic leadership. Once again, America will experience a time of economic stability and fiscal responsibilityaa time when America will again lead in technology and innovationaa time when Americans will be able to afford to buy a house and pay their mortgage… a time when millions of Americans will have new jobs working in green technology and alternative energyaa time when every man, woman and child in America will have health care coverageaand yes, a time when our country will once again be respected around the world.
When I introduced Hillary at the Aids Project LA Gala back in 1994, she had just finished her first year as First Lady. I had acknowledged during that speech the likelihood that someday Hillary Clinton would be sitting in the oval office. Now almost 15 years later, we no longer need to imagine itathat moment is here.
So it is with great pride that I introduce a friend and the next President of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton.