miércoles, 31 de enero de 2007

Los candidatos favoritos e Irak: qué dicen y qué dijeron

Demócratas:

  • Senadora Hillary Clinton, de Nueva York: Votó a favor de la invasión en octubre de 2002 pero su apoyo ha ido descendiendo. Durante meses dijo que no se arrepentía de haber votado "sí", pero que rechazaba el modo en que el presidente Bush dirigía la guerra. En un último cambio de postura, en diciembre de 2006, reconoció implícitamente que su voto afirmativo fue un error motivado por la información falsa sobre Armas de Destrucción Masiva que dio la administración Bush. Propone una retirada por fases y, aunque se opone a un aumento de las tropas sobre el terreno, no votará a favor de suspender los fondos para ese despliegue para no poner en peligro a los soldados.
  • Senador Barack Obama, de Illinois: aún no estaba en el Senado en el momento en que se votó la resolución, pero dice que hubiera votado en contra. desde que entró en política ha sido un fuerte crítico de la invasión y la ocupación, y ahora lo es del aumento de tropas. Propone una retirada por fases pero rápida.
  • Ex- Senador John Edwards, de Carolina del Norte: en su día votó a favor de la autorización del uso de la fuerza, como Hillary. Hoy dice que se arrepiente y está a favor de una retirada por etapas, dice que el Congreso debe forzar a Bush a hacerlo cortando los fondos que financian la guerra.

Republicanos:

  • Ex- Alcalde Rudolph Giuliani, de Nueva York: apoyó la invasión desde un primer momento y ha salido en defensa del último plan de Bush de enviar más tropas
  • Senador John McCain, de Arizona: votó a favor del uso de la fuerza, pero ha sido siempre muy crítico con la gestión que el Presidente Bush ha hecho de la guerra. Fue uno de los primeros pesos pesados de la política que dijo que para ganar en Irak hacía falta enviar más tropas. Está a favor del último aumento de soldados y considera que Estados Unidos no debe marcharse de Irak hasta que no haya alcanzado la victoria, es decir, dejado un país medianamente gobernable por las autoridades iraquíes.
  • Ex- Gobernador Mitt Romney, de Massachusetts: no sé qué opino en el momento de la invasión, pero hoy por hoy considera que la retirada de Irak sería un grave error y apoya el envío de más tropas para estabilizar la situación. Eso sí, tampoco ha dudado en señalar que las razones con las que Bush justificó la invasión fueron "inadecuadas".

viernes, 26 de enero de 2007

Obama y los problemas raciales


Desde el mismo momento en que el Senador Barack Obama anunció que se iba a presentar a presidente, a todos nos quedó claro que el color de su piel (negro, para más señas) iba a ser un tema importante de campaña. Lo que probablemente él no sabía es que le iba a traer problemas también con los propios afroamericanos.


El Reverendo Al Sharpton, toda una institución en la comunidad negra de Nueva York y candidato a presidente en 2004, lo ha dejado bien claro. Esta semana ha viajado a Washington para reunirse con los principales candidatos demócratas a la presidencia. Es una clara señal para Obama de que no dé por seguro que le va a apoyar tan sólo por ser negro. Y es que en la comunidad el caso de Obama es muy peculiar. El primer afroamericano con posibilidades de alcanzar la Casa Blanca pero... ¿Cuánto de Afroamericano? Eso se preguntan muchos, porque Obama no es el prototipo de negro cuyos ancestros fueron vendidos como esclavos y cuya familia se fe liberando del yugo blanco generación tras generación. Obama es hijo de madre blanca de Kansas y de padre Keniata,ambos bien situados económicamente, y aunque nació en Hawaai, pasó casi toda su infancia en Indonesia. ¿Conectará Obama con las inquietudes de la comunidad negra? Y si no consigue conquistar a su propia gente, ¿afecta eso a sus posibilidades como presidenciable? Dos difíciles preguntas que, hoy por hoy, no tiene respuesta.


PD. Entre mañana y pasado, qué dicen los candidatos de Irak y qué dijeron en el momento de la invasión.

jueves, 25 de enero de 2007

Los candidatos republicanos (LISTADO FINAL)

Ante la gran cantidad de presumibles candidatos republicanos, sólo aparecen en este post los que han obtenido un porcentaje de intención de voto de un 2% o más en las últimas dos encuestas nacionales publicadas.

El tamaño de la letra con que está escrito el nombre del candidato corresponde a sus posibilidades de ser elegido. Cuánto más grande, más posibilidades. (Al inicio de la campaña)

abc: en cabeza abc: también favorito abc: alguna posibilidad abc: muy difícil abc: imposible
Republicanos:

Han hecho oficial su candidatura ante la Comisión Federal de Elecciones:
  • (RETIRADO) John H. Cox, de Illinois: No veo como podría llegar a la presidencia si no es mediante un golpe militar.
  • (RETIRADO) Congresista Ron Paul, de Texas: Ha sido lo suficientemente inteligente como para mantenerse 18 años en el Congreso pero ha apuntado demasiado alto con la Casa Blanca. Probablemente sólo lo hace para que se oiga la voz del ala libertaria del Partido.
  • (RETIRADO) Congresista Duncan Hunter, de California: Conservador, duro contra la inmigración... pasará más que desapercibido.
  • (RETIRADO)Senador Sam Brownback, de Kansas: hablábamos de él cuando hizo pública su candidatura. Típico republicano del sur: anti- gay, anti- aborto, anti- separación entre Iglesia y Estado... y mucho me temo que anti- todo lo que no sea la Biblia y los rifles de asalto
  • (RETIRADO) Ex- Alcalde Rudolph Giuliani, de Nueva York: Si consigue la nominación republicana, difícil será que no se lleve las generales. Es inmensamente popular gracias a su gestión a pie de calle durante los atentados del 11-S y goza de un gran tirón entre el electorado demócrata. El problema es que lo tiene muy muy muy difícil para ganar en las primarias. Las bases republicanas encontrarán difícil votar por un candidato que está a favor del aborto legal, las uniones homosexuales y el control de armas.
  • (RETIRADO) Ex- Gobernador Mitt Romney, de Massachussets: es un republicano capaz de ser elegido gobernador en el estado más liberal y demócrata de todo el país, Massachusetts... después de semejante heroicidad, ¿qué no podría hacer un político así? Las últimas encuestas le colocan muy por debajo de McCain y Giuliani, pero peleando por el tercer puesto con Newt Grinrich. Tendrá oportunidades de hacerse oír durante las primarias y cuenta con muchas cualidades que pueden hacer de él el candidato revelación.
  • (RETIRADO)Ex -Gobernador Tommy Thompson, de Wisconsin: nadie ha apostado jamás por él y lo tiene difícil. Aún así hay que tomarle en cuenta, es el primer gobernador que logra mantenerse 4 mandatos como gobernador de Wisconsin y además cuenta con experiencia en Washington como secretario de Salud y Servicios Humanos en el primer gobierno de George Bush hijo.
    Senador John McCain, de Arizona: ya en 2000 estuvo a punto de birlarle la nominación a George W. Bush, y eso que se enfrentaba al niño mimado del partido. McCain, que fue prisionero de guerra en Vietnam durante varios años, lleva preparándose mucho tiempo para 2008 pero en esta campaña anda de capa caida. Su esperanza es New Hampshire.
  • (RETIRADO)Ex-Gobernador Jim Gilmore, de Virginia: el ex-gobernador deVirginia está trabajando duro en Iowa por si puede dar la sorpresa, pero lo tiene difícil. Es un perfecto desconocido fuera de Virginia y lo poco que se sabe de él es que, al abandonar el cargo, dejó el peor déficit de la historia del estado.
  • (RETIRADO) Ex-Gobernador Mike Huckabee, de Arkansas: ha (actualizado) es la apuesta de los conservadores religiosos y a pesar de que nadie apostaba con él, esta en buenas condiciones para lograr la nominación.
  • (RETIRADO) Ex -Senador Fred Thompson, de Tennesee: por increible que parezca, ser una de las estrellas de la serie televisiva "Law and Order" no desacredita a alguien para ser presidente... no sé si es que los republicanos buscan un nuevo actor para sustituir a Reagan pero el caso es que, totalmente contra pronóstico, está muy fuerte en las encuestas.
Mostraron un claro interés por entrar en la pugna
  • (DESCARTADO) Ex- Presidente de la Cámara de Representantes Newt Gingrich, de Georgia: El explosivo Newt ha vuelto. No parece que muestre verdadero interés en la pugna, pero mejor será que ninguno de los candidatos le cabreé porque cuando se propone algo, suele conseguirlo. Artífice de la aplastante victoria que dio a los republicanos ambas cámaras del Congreso el 1994, todavía es increíblemente popular entre la derecha más derecha del partido.
  • (DESCARTADO) Senador Chuck Hagel, de Nebraska: es un republicano inteligente y capaz, pero mucho más importante que eso, es un republicano que ha atacado ferozmente la idea de ir a la guerra en Irak. Sería un perfecto candidato a vicepresidente de cara a desvincularse del legado de George W. Bush.
  • (DESCARTADO) Ex- Gobernador George Pataki, de Nueva York: Nadie da un duro por Pataki, y menos aún con el ex- alcalde de Nueva York Rudolph Giuliani en la liza. No creo que llegue ni a presentarse

John Kerry dice no


Lo tenía difícil y eso lo sabíamos todos. El que fue candidato demócrata a la presidencia, John Kerry, ha hecho público hoy que NO intentará conseguir la nominación demócrata de nuevo. Según él mismo ha dicho, buscará la reelección como senador por Massachusetts.

Le faltaban apoyos, donaciones y popularidad. Aquellas famosas declaraciones de hace un par de meses en las que dijo a unos estudiantes "Estudiad duro o si no acabaréis en Irak" han terminaron de hundir sus posibilidades. Aún así, por ser un personaje conocido a nivel nacional y por haberle plantado cara a George W. Bush, hubiera sido un candidato a tener en cuenta. Así las cosas, buenas noticias para Hillary, Obama y Edwards, que se quitan de encima a un rival de peso. La alegría se disimulaba mal en el comunicado de prensa de éste último al respecto. Así Edwards puede atribuirse todo el mérito de haberse enfrentado a Bush (y perdido) en 2004, cuando poca gente se atrevía a hacerlo.

miércoles, 24 de enero de 2007

Edwards se crece


John Edwards debe estar dando palmas con las orejas. Las últimas encuestas le pronostican una victoria en los caucus de Iowa, la primera cita de los aspirantes demócratas ante el electorado... Si consigue ganar allí, se multiplicarán por diez sus posibilidades. En los sondeos a nivel nacional, al pobre no le va tan bien: Hillary y Giuliani siguen muy por delante de todos sus competidores.

PD. Entre hoy y mañana, publicamos el análisis de los candidatos republicanos.

martes, 23 de enero de 2007

Empieza el juego sucio

He intentado confirmarlo pero nadie publica nada. Me han contado que esta mañana, en "La mirada crítica" de Telecinco, Vicente Vallés ha dado la noticia de un supuesto escándalo de acoso sexual que afectaría a Bill Richardson, el gobernador demócrata de Nuevo Méjico y candidato a la presidencia. He buscado y rebuscado en todos los blogs y sitios de noticias, pero nada, así que una de dos: o me han tomado el pelo o se lo han tomado a Vicente Vallés.

Si el rumor se confirma supondrá con toda seguridad la muerte de la recién nacida campaña de Richardson. Si al final resulta que todo era un rumor malintencionado, como parece, sería el primer capítulo del juego sucio en la campaña. ¿El primero? Perdón, había olvidado que la campaña de Hillary ha intentado filtrar que Barack Obama acudió a una madrasa (escuela radical islámica) durante su infancia. Buen intento Hillary, pero la CNN ha mandado un equipo a la supuesta madrasa indonesia para demostrar que es una escuela normal y corriente. Muy pronto empezamos con las puñaladas...

lunes, 22 de enero de 2007

Hillary y Bill, Bill y Hillary


Y Bill, ¿qué dice de todo esto? Pues públicamente, Bill Clinton parece encantadísimo con las ambiciones presidenciales de su mujer, pero la pregunta clave no es qué piensa el posible primer Primer Caballero de la historia de Estados Unidos, la cuestión es qué opina el electorado.

En muchos sentidos, su marido puede ser la mejor y la peor baza de Hillary para alcanzar la Casa Blanca.

En la columna de lo POSITIVO (+):

  • Dinerito. Bill es una máquina de recaudar fondos. No hay empresario que no le coja el teléfono y se rasque el bolsillo en donaciones de campaña. Imagínese los contactos que consigue uno en ocho exitosos años de presidencia... la pasta, guste o no, es clave para ganar en noviembre de 2008.
  • Popularidad. Sigue siendo una estrella entre los demócratas. Cada vez que aparece en un mitin, la parroquia se viene abajo. Se ha visto bien en las pasadas elecciones legislativas. Ningún otro político, su esposa incluida, ha recibido tantísimas invitaciones y súplicas para aparecer en actos de campaña con los candidatos.
  • Experiencia. Mirándolo de forma estricta, ¿quién es Hillary? Una senadora que lleva seis años en la cámara sin grandes éxitos legislativos. Su patrimonio es que pasó ocho años en la Casa Blanca participando en el día a día de la política nacional junto a su marido. Además de eso, si es elegida contará con un asesor de lujo.
  • Abnegación. El feo asunto de Mónica Lewinski y su "relación" con Bill Clinton en el Despacho Oval, le ha hecho ganar puntos ante un grupo importante de mujeres estadounidenses. El modo digno en que paso por todo aquel trago sin dar el espectáculo ha hecho que muchas madres conservadoras, las mismas que la aborrecían antes, ahora la vean con mucha simpatía.

En la columna de lo NEGATIVO (-):

  • Protagonismo. Son muchos los que todavía recuerdan a Hillary como esa Primera Dama a la que le gustaba tanto salir en lo medios en lugar de dedicarse a elegir sofás, preparar recepciones y hacer de florero, que es lo que hicieron la mayoría de sus antecesoras. Eso no juega muy bien con el voto de las amas de casa en general y de las conservadoras en particular. Curiosamente, LAS votantes castigan más el feminismo que LOS votantes.
  • Bill. El ex- presidente ya reconoció antes de llegar al cargo que conducta en el matrimonio "no había sido perfecta" y el asunto Lewinski sólo vino a confirmarlo. Dos años de campaña son muy largos y la prensa seguirá cada uno de los pasos de Bill. Si le da por meterse en líos de faldas, como ha hecho en el pasado, se sabrá. Las consecuencias para la campaña de su mujer serían impredecibles.
  • Fiasco. Hillary se dio un buen trastazo en la única iniciativa política seria que emprendió durante su estancia en la Casa Blanca. En 1993, su marido la encargó presidir un grupo de trabajo para redactar una reforma de la Sanidad para que todos los estadounidenses recibieran cobertura médica. El "Plan Hillary" fue un desastre que enfadó a demasiada gente y no llegó ni siquiera a votarse en el Congreso, a pesar de que los demócratas tenían una amplia mayoría en ambas cámaras.
  • Mujer. Tan rancio como suena. Son muchos los analistas que piensan que el pueblo estadounidense no está preparado todavía para poner a una mujer en el Despacho Oval. Puede que las personas dispuestas a cambiar su voto por una cosa así sean muy pocas, pero todo indica que éstas van a ser unas presidenciales muy reñidas. La diferencia puede estar, como en el 2000, en un puñado de votos.

sábado, 20 de enero de 2007

Madam President? Hillary se decide


No creo que la noticia haya sorprendido a nadie, pero finalmente Hillary Rodham Clinton lo ha hecho oficial: intentará ser la primera mujer en llegar a la presidencia de los Estados Unidos de América.

¿Perspectivas? A primera vista, inmejorables. Altísima popularidad nacional, ocho años de experiencia en la Casa Blanca y un tirón tremendo entre el electorado femenino, que es básicamente el grupo demográfico que hace ganar las elecciones al Partido Demócrata. La resignada actitud de Hillary tras aquel feo asunto de que su marido tuviera una aventura con una becaria en la Casa Blanca le hizo ganar muchos puntos entre las mujeres, especialmente entre aquellas damas conservadoras que antes la tenían mucha rabia por motivos tan poderosos como que no tomara el apellido de su marido después de casarse.

Hillary, tan feminista y tan liberal cuando su Bill llegó al poder, se ha ido suavizando con los años y realizará una campaña muy templada. Nada de estridencias que ahuyenten el voto moderado o independiente. Hablará mucho de Seguridad y Defensa, de una retirada escalonada de Irak, subida de las pensiones... pero no estropeará sus posibilidades defendiendo causas liberales como la abolición de la pena de muerte o los derechos de los homosexuales.

El favorito (y Hillary es sin duda la favorita) siempre lleva ventaja a la hora de recaudar donaciones y conseguir apoyos, pero también se ve obligado a realizar una campaña cauta porque tiene todo que perder. El resto de los candidatos aspiran a ser "la revelación", y para salir en los medios tienen que proponer todo tipo de arriesgadas e innovadoras iniciativas. Que nadie espere eso de Hillary, al menos durante las primarias. Es la favorita y querrá arriesgar poco y mantener su ventaja, como ya le vimos hacer en las últimas elecciones al Senado. Sabe que por ahí pasa el camino de regreso a la Casa Blanca, pero esta vez quiere ir en calidad de legítima dueña.

¿Edwards escoge su estrategia?


Navegando por el blog de la campaña del ex-senador John Edwards uno puede hacerse una idea de cuál va a ser su estrategia en esta preparación de las primarias. Últimamente, los ataques de la gente de Edwards se centran en Barack Obama. Piensan, y es una idea razonable, que Hillary Clinton es la favorita y que la verdadera cuestión es quién puede situarse como la alternativa. Probablemente de ahí vienen esos últimos post en los que resaltan la falta de experiencia de Obama, tachándole de producto mediático sin ideas profundas.

Como decía, es muy lógico. Obama y Edwards tienen un perfil parecido: jóvenes muy carismáticos cuya única experiencia se reduce al Senado. Los dos planean una campaña basada en lo que llaman "un nuevo tipo de política", huyendo de la imagen de corrupción del establishment. Pero claro, sólo hay espacio para un candidato revelación, así que mucho me temo que les vamos a ver pelear dúramente en los próximos meses.

Bill Richardson for presidente! - Nuevos candidatos


Advertíamos hace poco que el Gobernador de Nuevo Méjico contaba con muy buenas cualidades presidenciales y que tenía que decidirse pronto. Dicho y hecho. Fuentes bien informadas dicen que Richardson anunciará su candidatura mañana. El primer latino con posibilidades de ser presidente en la historia de Estados Unidos.

Otro que en las próximas horas va a hacer públicas sus intenciones es el Senador Sam Brownback, de Kansas. ¿Un candidato más entre las decenas de aspirantes republicanos? Puede ser, pero Brownback tiene todas las papeletas para convertirse en el candidato favorito de la derecha religiosa y eso en el Partido Republicano es una garantía segura de apoyos y financiación. Anti- aborto, anti- matrimonio gay, anti- unión civil gay, anti- separación entre Iglesia y Estado... toda una joyita. Puede no tener muchas posibilidades en unas elecciones generales, pero es un candidato a seguir en las primarias republicanas.

viernes, 19 de enero de 2007

Última Hora: Tom Tancredo se une a la liza


Lo dice Associated Press: el congresista Republicano Tom Tancredo ha anunciado que va a crear un Comité Exploratorio (recordemos: le permite ir recaudando dinero para la campaña sin anunciar oficialmente que se presenta.). Tancredo es conocido más que nada por su inflexible postura contra la inmigración ilegal. No parece que tenga muchas posibilidades

Uno más para el ya amplio grupo de presidenciables republicanos que USAmérica Vota '08 analizará en próximas ediciones.

Los candidatos demócratas (LISTADO FINAL)

El tamaño de la letra con que está escrito el nombre del candidato corresponde a sus posibilidades de ser elegido. Cuánto más grande, más posibilidades. (Al inicio de la campaña)



abc: en cabeza abc: también favorito abc: con posibilidades abc: difícil abc: imposible

Demócratas:


Han hecho oficial su candidatura ante la Comisión Federal de Elecciones:

  • (RETIRADO) Senador Joe Biden, de Delaware: lleva 34 años en el Senado y tras la victoria demócrata es el nuevo presidente de la Comisión de Relaciones Exteriores del Senado.
  • (RETIRADO) Senador Christopher Dodd, de Connecticut: lleva ya 32 años en el Senado y es tras la victoria demócrata es el presidente de la Comisión de Banca, Vivienda y Asuntos Urbanos.
  • (RETIRADO) Ex- Senador John Edwards, de Carolina del Norte: después de tan sólo 6 años en el Senado se presentó a Vicepresidente en 2004, acompañando a John F. Kerry. Es muy popular y uno de los favoritos.
  • (RETIRADO) Ex- Senador Mike Gravel, de Alaska: pasó doce años en el Senado durante los años 70. No cuenta con prácticamente ninguna posibilidad.
  • (RETIRADO) Congresista Dennis Kucinich, de Ohio: tras una década en la Cámara de Representantes, ha anunciado su candidatura con un proyecto muy progresista.
  • (RETIRADO) Gobernador Bill Richardson, de New Mexico: puede ser el candidato del ala conservadora del partido. Tiene buenas bazas a su favor: es hispano, lo que podría asegurarle el apoyo de esta comunidad; gobierna con gran aceptación en un estado sureño, el gran bastión republicano; y además es conocido nacionalmente porque fue embajador ante la ONU y miembro del gobierno de Clinton. Si tarda mucho más en decidirse, echará a perder todas estas ventajas.
Han formado un "Comité Exploratorio" (aunque no equivale una candidatura, permite recaudar donaciones para la campaña y casi siempre significa que se presentarán)
  • Senador Barack Obama, de Illinois: aunque sólo lleva dos años en el Senado, es el político demócrata más popular del momento y el único que puede hacer sombra hoy por hoy a Hillary Clinton. Es el primer candidato de raza negra con serias posibilidades de éxito.Su falta de experiencia es su punto débil.
  • (RETIRADA) Senadora Hillary Rodham Clinton, de Nueva York: Recién reelegida como miembro del Senado, es la favorita para alcanzar la nominación demócrata y nadie duda de que se presentará. Es la primera mujer con serias posibilidades de éxito y cuenta con un asesor de lujo. Su marido, el ex- presidente Bill Clinton, sigue gozando de una enorme popularidad.
Mostraron un claro interés por entrar en la pugna

  • (DESCARTADO) Ex- general Wesley Clark, de Arkansas: el antiguo comandante en Jefe de las Fuerzas de la OTAN en Europa ya intentó conseguir la nominación hace cuatro años. Aunque le faltan apoyos, goza de una sólida reputación en Defensa y seguridad y es a la vez bien visto por el ala más liberal del partido.
  • (DESCARTADO) Ex- vicepresidente Al Gore, de Tennesee: él lo niega pero hay rumores de que se presenta. A los demócratas les encantaría. Si lo hace, le pondré directamente el color rojo de "favoritos"

jueves, 18 de enero de 2007

La carrera ha comenzado

¡Din - Don! La campana ya ha sonado, falta menos de un año para los caucus de Iowa, que son el primer paso del largo camino que conduce a la Casa Blanca. El día 4 de noviembre de 2008, festividad de San Carlos Borromeo, un afortunado o afortunada a convertirse, previsiblemente, en el 44º Presidente de Estados Unidos. ¿Es prematuro inaugurar este blog una año y medio antes de la fecha de los comicios? ¡Qué va! Ya están pasando cosas interesantísimas que no vereis en los medios españoles. Entre demócratas y republicanos, una veintena de candidatos serios ya han declarado oficialmente su decisión de entrar en la pugna. Al menos otros tantos, lo harán en los próximos tres meses. ¿Te lo quieres perder?

Aquí comienza USAmérica Vota '08, ¡que lo disfrutes!

miércoles, 17 de enero de 2007

TEXTO: El discurso de aceptación de la nominación de Barack Obama

Barack Obama: To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation.

With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.

Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest -- a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

To the love of my life, our next first lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia -- I love you so much, and I'm so proud of all of you.

Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story -- of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

It is that promise that has always set this country apart -- that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

That's why I stand here tonight. Because for 232 years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women -- students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.

We meet at one of those defining moments -- a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.

These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for 20 years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and independents across this great land -- enough! This moment -- this election -- is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time. Sen. McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than 90 percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a 10 percent chance on change.

The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives -- on health care and education and the economy -- Sen. McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this president. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisers -- the man who wrote his economic plan -- was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."

A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud autoworkers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.

Now, I don't believe that Sen. McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under $5 million a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.

For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy -- give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is -- you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps -- even if you don't have boots. You're on your own.

Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America.

You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was president -- when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.

We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job -- an economy that honors the dignity of work.

The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great -- a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.

Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.

In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.

When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.

I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as president of the United States.

What is that promise?

It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves -- protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.

That's the promise of America -- the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.

That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am president.

Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will cut taxes -- cut taxes -- for 95 percent of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as president: in 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years, and John McCain has been there for 26 of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Sen. McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

As president, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy -- wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

America, now is not the time for small plans.

Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American -- if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.

Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.

Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime -- by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less -- because we cannot meet 21st century challenges with a 20th century bureaucracy.

And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.

Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility -- that's the essence of America's promise.

And just as we keep our keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next commander in chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.

For while Sen. McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell -- but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.

And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice -- but it is not the change we need.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans -- have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

As commander in chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.

But what I will not do is suggest that the senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism.

The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America -- they have served the United States of America.

So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose -- our sense of higher purpose. And that's what we have to restore.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This, too, is part of America's promise -- the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

And you know what -- it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the naysayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.

For 18 long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us -- that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it -- because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

America, this is one of those moments.

I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it. I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, when we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.

And I've seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and in those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.

This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

Instead, it is that American spirit -- that American promise -- that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours -- a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.

And it is that promise that 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.

But what the people heard instead -- people of every creed and color, from every walk of life -- is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.

"We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."

America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise -- that American promise -- and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.

TEXTO: El discurso de aceptación de la nominación de John McCain

Thank you all very much. Tonight, I have a privilege given few Americans -- the privilege of accepting our party's nomination for President of the United States. And I accept it with gratitude, humility and confidence.

In my life, no success has come without a good fight, and this nomination wasn't any different. That's a tribute to the candidates who opposed me and their supporters. They're leaders of great ability, who love our country, and wished to lead it to better days. Their support is an honor I won't forget.

I'm grateful to the President for leading us in those dark days following the worst attack on American soil in our history, and keeping us safe from another attack many thought was inevitable; and to the First Lady, Laura Bush, a model of grace and kindness in public and in private. And I'm grateful to the 41st President and his bride of 63 years, and for their outstanding example of honorable service to our country.

As always, I'm indebted to my wife, Cindy, and my seven children. The pleasures of family life can seem like a brief holiday from the crowded calendar of our nation's business. But I have treasured them all the more, and can't imagine a life without the happiness you give me. Cindy said a lot of nice things about me tonight. But, in truth, she's more my inspiration than I am hers. Her concern for those less blessed than we are - victims of land mines, children born in poverty and with birth defects - shows the measure of her humanity. I know she will make a great First Lady.

When I was growing up, my father was often at sea, and the job of raising my brother, sister and me would fall to my mother alone. Roberta McCain gave us her love of life, her deep interest in the world, her strength, and her belief we are all meant to use our opportunities to make ourselves useful to our country. I wouldn't be here tonight but for the strength of her character.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you, who helped me win this nomination, and stood by me when the odds were long. I won't let you down. To Americans who have yet to decide who to vote for, thank you for your consideration and the opportunity to win your trust. I intend to earn it.

Finally, a word to Senator Obama and his supporters. We'll go at it over the next two months. That's the nature of these contests, and there are big differences between us. But you have my respect and admiration. Despite our differences, much more unites us than divides us. We are fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. We're dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal and endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. No country ever had a greater cause than that. And I wouldn't be an American worthy of the name if I didn't honor Senator Obama and his supporters for their achievement.

But let there be no doubt, my friends, we're going to win this election. And after we've won, we're going to reach out our hand to any willing patriot, make this government start working for you again, and get this country back on the road to prosperity and peace.

These are tough times for many of you. You're worried about keeping your job or finding a new one, and are struggling to put food on the table and stay in your home. All you ever asked of government is to stand on your side, not in your way. And that's just what I intend to do: stand on your side and fight for your future.

And I've found just the right partner to help me shake up Washington, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. She has executive experience and a real record of accomplishment. She's tackled tough problems like energy independence and corruption. She's balanced a budget, cut taxes, and taken on the special interests. She's reached across the aisle and asked Republicans, Democrats and Independents to serve in her administration. She's the mother of five children. She's helped run a small business, worked with her hands and knows what it's like to worry about mortgage payments and health care and the cost of gasoline and groceries.

She knows where she comes from and she knows who she works for. She stands up for what's right, and she doesn't let anyone tell her to sit down. I'm very proud to have introduced our next Vice President to the country. But I can't wait until I introduce her to Washington. And let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do nothing, me first, country second Washington crowd: change is coming.

I'm not in the habit of breaking promises to my country and neither is Governor Palin. And when we tell you we're going to change Washington, and stop leaving our country's problems for some unluckier generation to fix, you can count on it. We've got a record of doing just that, and the strength, experience, judgment and backbone to keep our word to you.

You know, I've been called a maverick; someone who marches to the beat of his own drum. Sometimes it's meant as a compliment and sometimes it's not. What it really means is I understand who I work for. I don't work for a party. I don't work for a special interest. I don't work for myself. I work for you.

I've fought corruption, and it didn't matter if the culprits were Democrats or Republicans. They violated their public trust, and had to be held accountable. I've fought big spenders in both parties, who waste your money on things you neither need nor want, while you struggle to buy groceries, fill your gas tank and make your mortgage payment. I've fought to get million dollar checks out of our elections. I've fought lobbyists who stole from Indian tribes. I fought crooked deals in the Pentagon. I fought tobacco companies and trial lawyers, drug companies and union bosses.

I fought for the right strategy and more troops in Iraq, when it wasn't a popular thing to do. And when the pundits said my campaign was finished, I said I'd rather lose an election than see my country lose a war.

Thanks to the leadership of a brilliant general, David Petraeus, and the brave men and women he has the honor to command, that strategy succeeded and rescued us from a defeat that would have demoralized our military, risked a wider war and threatened the security of all Americans.

I don't mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, I've had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way. In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.

I fight for Americans. I fight for you. I fight for Bill and Sue Nebe from Farmington Hills, Michigan, who lost their real estate investments in the bad housing market. Bill got a temporary job after he was out of work for seven months. Sue works three jobs to help pay the bills.

I fight for Jake and Toni Wimmer of Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Jake works on a loading dock; coaches Little League, and raises money for the mentally and physically disabled. Toni is a schoolteacher, working toward her Master's Degree. They have two sons, the youngest, Luke, has been diagnosed with autism. Their lives should matter to the people they elect to office. They matter to me.

I fight for the family of Matthew Stanley of Wolfboro, New Hampshire, who died serving our country in Iraq. I wear his bracelet and think of him every day. I intend to honor their sacrifice by making sure the country their son loved so well and never returned to, remains safe from its enemies.

I fight to restore the pride and principles of our party. We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us. We lost the trust of the American people when some Republicans gave in to the temptations of corruption. We lost their trust when rather than reform government, both parties made it bigger. We lost their trust when instead of freeing ourselves from a dangerous dependence on foreign oil, both parties and Senator Obama passed another corporate welfare bill for oil companies. We lost their trust, when we valued our power over our principles.

We're going to change that. We're going to recover the people's trust by standing up again for the values Americans admire. The party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Reagan is going to get back to basics.

We believe everyone has something to contribute and deserves the opportunity to reach their God-given potential from the boy whose descendents arrived on the Mayflower to the Latina daughter of migrant workers. We're all God's children and we're all Americans.

We believe in low taxes; spending discipline, and open markets. We believe in rewarding hard work and risk takers and letting people keep the fruits of their labor.

We believe in a strong defense, work, faith, service, a culture of life, personal responsibility, the rule of law, and judges who dispense justice impartially and don't legislate from the bench. We believe in the values of families, neighborhoods and communities.

We believe in a government that unleashes the creativity and initiative of Americans. Government that doesn't make your choices for you, but works to make sure you have more choices to make for yourself.

I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them. I will open new markets to our goods and services. My opponent will close them. I will cut government spending. He will increase it.

My tax cuts will create jobs. His tax increases will eliminate them. My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance. His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor.

Keeping taxes low helps small businesses grow and create new jobs. Cutting the second highest business tax rate in the world will help American companies compete and keep jobs from moving overseas. Doubling the child tax exemption from $3500 to $7000 will improve the lives of millions of American families. Reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs will let you keep more of your own money to save, spend and invest as you see fit. Opening new markets and preparing workers to compete in the world economy is essential to our future prosperity.

I know some of you have been left behind in the changing economy and it often seems your government hasn't even noticed. Government assistance for unemployed workers was designed for the economy of the 1950s. That's going to change on my watch. My opponent promises to bring back old jobs by wishing away the global economy. We're going to help workers who've lost a job that won't come back, find a new one that won't go away.

We will prepare them for the jobs of today. We will use our community colleges to help train people for new opportunities in their communities. For workers in industries that have been hard hit, we'll help make up part of the difference in wages between their old job and a temporary, lower paid one while they receive retraining that will help them find secure new employment at a decent wage.

Education is the civil rights issue of this century. Equal access to public education has been gained. But what is the value of access to a failing school? We need to shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition, empower parents with choice, remove barriers to qualified instructors, attract and reward good teachers, and help bad teachers find another line of work.

When a public school fails to meet its obligations to students, parents deserve a choice in the education of their children. And I intend to give it to them. Some may choose a better public school. Some may choose a private one. Many will choose a charter school. But they will have that choice and their children will have that opportunity.

Senator Obama wants our schools to answer to unions and entrenched bureaucracies. I want schools to answer to parents and students. And when I'm President, they will.

My fellow Americans, when I'm President, we're going to embark on the most ambitious national project in decades. We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much. We will attack the problem on every front. We will produce more energy at home. We will drill new wells offshore, and we'll drill them now. We will build more nuclear power plants. We will develop clean coal technology. We will increase the use of wind, tide, solar and natural gas. We will encourage the development and use of flex fuel, hybrid and electric automobiles.

Senator Obama thinks we can achieve energy independence without more drilling and without more nuclear power. But Americans know better than that. We must use all resources and develop all technologies necessary to rescue our economy from the damage caused by rising oil prices and to restore the health of our planet. It's an ambitious plan, but Americans are ambitious by nature, and we have faced greater challenges. It's time for us to show the world again how Americans lead.

This great national cause will create millions of new jobs, many in industries that will be the engine of our future prosperity; jobs that will be there when your children enter the workforce.

Today, the prospect of a better world remains within our reach. But we must see the threats to peace and liberty in our time clearly and face them, as Americans before us did, with confidence, wisdom and resolve.

We have dealt a serious blow to al Qaeda in recent years. But they are not defeated, and they'll strike us again if they can. Iran remains the chief state sponsor of terrorism and on the path to acquiring nuclear weapons. Russia's leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power. They invaded a small, democratic neighbor to gain more control over the world's oil supply, intimidate other neighbors, and further their ambitions of reassembling the Russian empire. And the brave people of Georgia need our solidarity and prayers. As President, I will work to establish good relations with Russia so we need not fear a return of the Cold War. But we can't turn a blind eye to aggression and international lawlessness that threatens the peace and stability of the world and the security of the American people.

We face many threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them. I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better, and what it should not do. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't. I know how to secure the peace.

When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house. A Navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I rarely saw my father again for four years. My grandfather came home from that same war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home with me. I hate war. It is terrible beyond imagination.

I'm running for President to keep the country I love safe, and prevent other families from risking their loved ones in war as my family has. I will draw on all my experience with the world and its leaders, and all the tools at our disposal - diplomatic, economic, military and the power of our ideals - to build the foundations for a stable and enduring peace.

In America, we change things that need to be changed. Each generation makes its contribution to our greatness. The work that is ours to do is plainly before us. We don't need to search for it.

We need to change the way government does almost everything: from the way we protect our security to the way we compete in the world economy; from the way we respond to disasters to the way we fuel our transportation network; from the way we train our workers to the way we educate our children. All these functions of government were designed before the rise of the global economy, the information technology revolution and the end of the Cold War. We have to catch up to history, and we have to change the way we do business in Washington.

The constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems isn't a cause, it's a symptom. It's what happens when people go to Washington to work for themselves and not you.

Again and again, I've worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed. That's how I will govern as President. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not.

Instead of rejecting good ideas because we didn't think of them first, let's use the best ideas from both sides. Instead of fighting over who gets the credit, let's try sharing it. This amazing country can do anything we put our minds to. I will ask Democrats and Independents to serve with me. And my administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability.

We're going to finally start getting things done for the people who are counting on us, and I won't care who gets the credit.

I've been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. But I have been her servant first, last and always. And I've never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I didn't thank God for the privilege.

Long ago, something unusual happened to me that taught me the most valuable lesson of my life. I was blessed by misfortune. I mean that sincerely. I was blessed because I served in the company of heroes, and I witnessed a thousand acts of courage, compassion and love.

On an October morning, in the Gulf of Tonkin, I prepared for my 23rd mission over North Vietnam. I hadn't any worry I wouldn't come back safe and sound. I thought I was tougher than anyone. I was pretty independent then, too. I liked to bend a few rules, and pick a few fights for the fun of it. But I did it for my own pleasure; my own pride. I didn't think there was a cause more important than me.

Then I found myself falling toward the middle of a small lake in the city of Hanoi, with two broken arms, a broken leg, and an angry crowd waiting to greet me. I was dumped in a dark cell, and left to die. I didn't feel so tough anymore. When they discovered my father was an admiral, they took me to a hospital. They couldn't set my bones properly, so they just slapped a cast on me. When I didn't get better, and was down to about a hundred pounds, they put me in a cell with two other Americans. I couldn't do anything. I couldn't even feed myself. They did it for me. I was beginning to learn the limits of my selfish independence. Those men saved my life.

I was in solitary confinement when my captors offered to release me. I knew why. If I went home, they would use it as propaganda to demoralize my fellow prisoners. Our Code said we could only go home in the order of our capture, and there were men who had been shot down before me. I thought about it, though. I wasn't in great shape, and I missed everything about America. But I turned it down.

A lot of prisoners had it worse than I did. I'd been mistreated before, but not as badly as others. I always liked to strut a little after I'd been roughed up to show the other guys I was tough enough to take it. But after I turned down their offer, they worked me over harder than they ever had before. For a long time. And they broke me.

When they brought me back to my cell, I was hurt and ashamed, and I didn't know how I could face my fellow prisoners. The good man in the cell next door, my friend, Bob Craner, saved me. Through taps on a wall he told me I had fought as hard as I could. No man can always stand alone. And then he told me to get back up and fight again for our country and for the men I had the honor to serve with. Because every day they fought for me.

I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn't my own man anymore. I was my country's.

I'm not running for president because I think I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.

If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you're disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them. Enlist in our Armed Forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier. Because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself.

I'm going to fight for my cause every day as your President. I'm going to fight to make sure every American has every reason to thank God, as I thank Him: that I'm an American, a proud citizen of the greatest country on earth, and with hard work, strong faith and a little courage, great things are always within our reach. Fight with me. Fight with me.

Fight for what's right for our country.

Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.

Fight for our children's future.

Fight for justice and opportunity for all.

Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.

Stand up for each other; for beautiful, blessed, bountiful America.

Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We're Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.

Thank you, and God Bless you.