his life’s work. It’s what he did all those years ago on the streets of Chicago, setting up job training to get people back to work and after-school programs to keep kids safe, working block by block to help people lift up their families.
It’s what he did in the Illinois Senate, moving people from welfare to jobs, passing tax cuts for hard-working families and making sure women get equal pay for equal work. It’s what he’s done in the United States Senate, fighting to ensure the men and women who serve this country are welcomed home not just with medals and parades, but with good jobs and benefits and health care, including mental health care.
That’s why he’s running: to end the war in Iraq responsibly, to build an economy that lifts every family, to make health care available for every American and to make sure every child in this nation gets a world-class education all the way from preschool to college.
That’s what Barack Obama will do as President of the United States of America. He’ll achieve these goals the same way he always has-by bringing us together and reminding us how much we share and how alike we really are.
You see, Barack doesn’t care where you’re from, or what your background is, or what party, if any, you belong to. That’s not how he sees the world.
He knows that thread that connects us-our belief in America’s promise, our commitment to our children’s future-is strong enough to hold us together as one nation even when we disagree.
It was strong enough to bring hope to those neighborhoods in Chicago. It was strong enough to bring hope to the mother he met worried about her child in Iraq; hope to the man who’s unemployed, but can’t afford gas to find a job; hope to the student working nights to pay for her sister’s health care, sleeping just a few hours a day.
And it was strong enough to bring hope to people who came out on a cold Iowa night and became the first voices in this chorus for change that’s been echoed by millions of Americans from every corner of this nation. Millions of Americans who know that Barack understands their dreams, that Barack will fight for people like them and that Barack will finally bring the change we need.
And in the end, after all that’s happened these past 19 months, the Barack Obama I know today is the same man I fell in love with 19 years ago. He’s the same man who drove me and our new baby daughter home from the hospital 10 years ago this summer, inching along at a snail’s pace, peering anxiously at us in the rearview mirror, feeling the whole weight of her future in his hands, determined to give her everything he’d struggled so hard for himself, determined to give her what he never had: the affirming embrace