Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
With the focus on domestic policy, the schedule at the Democratic National Convention was chock-full of governors yesterday. Here are some excerpts from their speeches (I didn't see all of them, so I'm going off of transcripts provided by the convention):
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (wearing a bolo tie):
Right now, the United States imports about 70 percent of its oil from overseas. At the same time, billions of dollars that we spend on all that foreign oil seems to end up in the bank accounts of those around the world who are openly hostile to American values and our way of life. This costly reliance on fossil fuels threatens America and the world in other ways, too. CO2 emissions are increasing global temperatures, sea levels are rising and storms are getting worse.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick:
The same folks who say they believe in small government and fiscal restraint are responsible for the biggest expansion in the size of government and the size of the federal deficit in American history. The same folks, with John McCain leading the charge, who say they support seniors, want to privatize Social Security and put corporate pension funds up for grabs. The same folks who call themselves "compassionate conservatives" are the folks who abandoned all those people not only after Katrina, but before that storm. The American people have had enough.
Barack Obama has a plan to save the dream of homeownership for families who've lost their homes or fear they can never afford one--unlike John McCain, who has so many he can't keep track of them all.
I'm sure you remember a girl from Kansas who said there's no place like home. Well, in John McCain's version, there's no place like home. And a home. And home. And home.
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano was surprisingly biting in her comments about her home-state senator:
Now, just as I am proud of Arizona, I like to be positive about my fellow Arizonans. So I wanted to say something positive about Senator McCain. When I heard him say the economy is not an issue he understands as well as he should, my problem was solved. Because I can say to you tonight, positively, that John McCain is right. He doesn't understand the economy as well as he should. And he doesn't understand how the policies he has supported and wants to perpetuate have so terribly misfired.
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Hillary Clinton devotee, didn't mention the New York senator in his remarks:
Today, a son of Scranton, Joe Biden, and a friend of Pennsylvania, Barack Obama, offer the change America needs to create a future free of foreign oil. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are committed to producing enough homegrown fuel to replace every drop of the oil we import from the Middle East and Venezuela in just 10 years. An Obama administration will invest $4 billion to keep America in the car-making business and give you a tax cut so you can buy a fuel-efficient car or truck. And it will commit to getting 1 million 150-mile-per-gallon cars on our roads within six years, and make sure they are built right here in America.
West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin:
I am very proud to represent the great state of West Virginia and, most importantly, its people. West Virginians value hard work, patriotism and faith in God. They have faced adversity with courage, and they help each other in challenging times. They do the heavy lifting in the economy. They mine the coal, make the steel, and work the assembly lines that make our industries tick. Their experience and knowledge has earned each of them a Ph.D. in life. They can shake your hand, look you in the eye, and touch your heart.
Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland hit a populist note:
Now, I could say that John McCain represents four more years of Bush policies. But I don't have to, because his campaign is telling you the very same thing. He and the Washington lobbyists who run his campaign are offering policies that are stuck in the past and that will keep our economy stuck in reverse. Stuck-in-the-past policies that mean Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest men in America, pays a lower rate of income tax than his secretary, and he'll be the first to tell you, that's wrong.
Stuck-in-the-past trade deals that mean a father has to give up his high-skilled job manufacturing refrigeration equipment, for a low-wage job, stocking the freezer aisle at a grocery store; a stuck-in-the-past energy policy that can't look beyond old fuels like oil to new sources like wind and solar, because oil lobbyists wrote the policy; and a war that sends 10 billion of our tax dollars per month to build the Iraqi economy, while bridges and roads collapse here at home.
New York Gov. David Paterson:
The promise of America has also diminished for people with disabilities. Only 37 percent of Americans with disabilities are employed. Only 30 percent of blind people are employed. And, over the past 8 years, the employment gap between people with disabilities and the general population has increased.
It's amazing how energy became a major political issue almost overnight. From Iowa Gov. Chet Culver:
Iowa is becoming the "renewable energy capital" of the United States, and other states, like Colorado, are doing the same. All around the country, entrepreneurs and innovators are joining state and local governments on exciting, cutting-edge projects. Just think how much we'll do when we have a president who shares our vision.
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle:
My family, I think, was among the earliest to endorse Barack Obama. I'd say it happened about five minutes into the keynote speech he delivered four years ago. I have asked all my family members why they support Senator Obama so strongly, but no one said it better than my 8-year-old grandson, Asiah. He said, "We need a president who will work hard for us." That's the wisdom of a child.
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