As powerful as expected, President Elect Barack Obama gave his victory speech in Chicago’s Grant Park last night. My sister, Becky, was there to witness it as it happened.
I was just there over the weekend, as I mentioned in another post, to see the Lions get beat by the Bears, barely. (I was wearing my #20 Seanders jersey, and you better believe I was the nicest guy in Soldier Field ever, but I digress.) I was kind of waiting for the inevitable to happen before I revealed this, but… I found a copy of Obama’s first draft of the speech.
It turned up in a trash bin outside of a Potbelly near Michigan Avenue. What was I doing looking in the trash, you might wonder, and rather than let your mind wander, I’ll share this… my sister threw out half of her cookie I totally would have eaten!
Some highlights from the speech, followed by excerpts of the alleged first draft:
He opened the speech with talk of the American dream, and about the people that waited in record lines to vote.
It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.
He originally planned to finish that statement with this: “…of states of confusion and states of clarity.”
After more positivity, he spoke about his opponent:
Sen. McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he’s fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.
I thought this part would have been nice had he kept it: “And wasn’t he great on Saturday Night Live? The part about the Joe action figures, and the pork knives… heck, the whole thing was pretty hilarious.”
I congratulate him; I congratulate Gov. Palin for all that they’ve achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.
“Oh, and thanks, again Senator for choosing the Governor as your running mate. Really, really thanks.”
He goes on to thank Vice President Elect Joe Biden, his wife, his children, his grandmother that passed away the day before the election, and the rest of his family. Then he brought up his friends.
And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe, the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best — the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America. To my chief strategist David Axelrod who’s been a partner with me every step of the way.
“And Bill… you know who you are, and where you are. Whether you’re above ground, or underground.”
But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.
“And to you, and you, and you… (point at random people for about ten minutes).”
The remainder pretty much remained the same, except for the very ending.
This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.
Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.
“And thanks for taking a chance on me.” Then he planned to close with one of these songs:
Or Flo Rida’s hit:
(Full actual transcript from CNN here. Full actual video of speech here.)