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(2000) Harold Ford, “Keynote Address at the Democratic National Convention"

In 2000 at the National Democratic Convention in Los Angeles where Vice President Al Gore, Jr., won the Democratic Nomination for President,  fellow Tennessean,  Congressman Harold Ford of Memphis, gave the Keynote Address.  That address appears below.

Thank you.

I am honored to speak tonight before a convention that will nominate the favorite son of my home state to be the next President of the United States.

I recognize that I stand here tonight because of the brave men and women-- many no older than I am today-- who were willing to stand up, and in many cases sit down, to create a more perfect union.

But I also stand here representing a new generation-- a generation committed to those ideals and inspired by an unshakeable confidence in our future.

In every neighborhood in my hometown of Memphis, and all across America, I see young people tutoring and mentoring, building homes, caring for seniors, and feeding the hungry.

I also see them using their entrepreneurial spirit to build companies, start non-profits, and drive our new economy.

We stand at this magnificent moment with the ability to unleash the American imagination.

I say to all those of this new generation and to all Americans who share in our spirit: if you want a future that belongs to you- if you want a future that is for everyone- then join with us to make Al Gore and Joe Lieberman the next President and Vice President of the United States.

We know there are some people who do understand the future, but too often as they gaze to the distance, they fail to know how, to make sure that it serves all of our people.

And then there are others who fight tirelessly for the people, but who dont see beyond the horizon.

Al Gore is the rare leader, who both has a vision for the future, and understands that we can only realize its full promise when all our people share in it.

I remember meeting Al Gore for the first time.

I sat across from him at my familys kitchen table back home in Memphis.

As often was the case, my brothers Jake, Isaac and I

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