I am today announcing my candidacy for the presidency of the United States.
I do not run for the presidency merely to oppose any man but to propose new policies. I run because I am convinced that this country is on a perilous course and because I have such strong feelings about what must be done, and I feel that I’m obliged to do all that I can.
I run to seek new policies – policies to end the bloodshed in the Islamic World and Middle East, policies to close the gaps that now exist between black and white, between rich and poor, between right and left, in this country and around the rest of the world.
I run for the presidency because I want the Democratic Party and the United States of America to stand for hope instead of despair, for reconciliation instead of the growing risk of a world driven to its knees by terrorism.
I run because it is now unmistakably clear that we can change these disastrous, divisive policies only by changing the men who are now making them. For the reality of recent events in the War on Terror, and for that matter all our current Wars, on Drugs, on the Poor, have been glossed over with illusions.
The truth of Global Warming has been largely ignored.
The immediate crisis in our financial markets was well handled by President Obama. But the causes of the collapse, a consolidation of wealth in the hands of too few, along with far too many abuses to the commons and to the comman man and woman by corporations, these bigger issues have all been met with too little and too late.
No one knows what I know about the extraordinary demands of the presidency. What I know is that no one can be certain that any mortal can adequately fill that position.
But my service in the White House, the previous attempt to get Health Care for all Americans, helping New York through 911 as Senator, orchestrating the shift in balance of power from Europe to the Pacific, and highlighting the role women need to play in a global solution, as Secretary of State, have taught me something about both the uses and limitations of military power, about the opportunities and the dangers which await our nation in many corners of the globe in which I have traveled.
As a member of the cabinet and member of the Senate I have seen the inexcusable and ugly deprivation which causes black citizens to riot in Ferguson; young Indians to commit suicide on their reservations because they’ve lacked all hope and they feel they have no future, and proud and able-bodied families to wait our their lives in empty idleness in suburbs across America.
I have traveled and I have listened to the young people of our nation and felt their anger about the world they are about to inherit.
In private talks and in public, I have tried in vain to alter our course at home, and respond to the growing institutionalization and militarization of our society. We do not wish to become Rome in its waning days. We must ever-renew the promise of America to the world: Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” And we must ever-renew the promise of America to itself, that no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion shall ever be passed.
As we fight the violence of its extremism, we are likewise called upon to listen to the voice of Islam, for it’s radical expression is not disconnected from its spiritual source, as mad and dangerous as it may temporarily be. Our faith must be in the deeper connection to its core that we share, and not just focused on the hate of the outliers. For ultimately a military solution will not abide, and in a global conflict we shall all surely die. We have too sacred a trust on our hands to ignore the cry of 1.6 billion Muslims just because a tiny fraction of them wish us dead. To that tiny fraction who harbor these sentiments, make no mistake, we will hunt you down and we will find you and we will eliminate you. But to the great religions of the world we must reaffirm our sacred values.
I cannot stand aside from the contest that will decide our nation’s future and our children’s future, and the world’s future.
The remarkable Massachusetts campaign of Senator Elizabeth Warren has proven how deep are the present divisions within our party and within our country. Until that was publicly clear, my presence in the race would have been seen as a clash of personalities rather than issues.
But now that the fight is on and over policies which I have long been challenging, I must enter the race. The fight is just beginning and I believe that I can win …
Finally, my decision reflects no personal animosity or disrespect toward Presdident Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Kerry, or Senator Warren. They all served with the utmost loyalty and have executed their jobs with the utmost professionalism.
I have the deepest awe for the role awaiting the next person to carry the burden that all our Presidents have carried. I am here to announce today that I am prepared to carry it.
And so to any of my opponents, past or present, I say to you: The issue is not personal. It is our profound differences over where we are heading and what we want to accomplish.
I do not lightly dismiss the dangers and the difficulties of challenging an incumbent vice-President, essentially a third term for the existing administration. But these are not ordinary times and this is not an ordinary election. At stake is not simply the leadership of our party and even our country. It is our right to moral leadership of this planet.
46 years ago, another partner to an ex-President, in this case the President’s brother, Bobby Kennedy, decided to seek the office. It occurred to me how similar having been a President’s brother who also served in government and then ran himself was to having been a President’s wife who also served in government and then ran herself was, and how much RFK could be a precedent for Hillary, insofar as she had a similar role.
But just to show how unworthy Hillary is of the same honor, I did my level best to take Bobby’s original announcement ( you can read it here: http://www.4president.org/Speeches/rfk1968announcement.htm ) and tailor it to Hillary. As little as possible has been changed. Imagine Hillary in a few months making an announcement such as the above. And we can see why such a thing is entirely unimaginable.