Caroline Kennedy

2000 Democratic National Convention - Aug. 15, 2000

Caroline Kennedy
August 15, 2000— Los Angeles, California
2000 Democratic National Convention
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Thank you. Thank you all very, very much. It's an honor to be here with you.

I feel a special sense of kinship here tonight.You see, in more ways than one, I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the Gore family.

For nearly half a century ago, when my father and mother were first getting to know each other, two of the helpful matchmakers were Al Gore's parents, Albert and Pauline.

Al Gore and I share something more than that happy circumstance.

Both of us were raised to believe that we can make the world new again. If only we try.

That is what my father sought to do forty years ago, in this city, when he stood before you and declared the opening of the New Frontier.

It was not a set of promises, he said, but a set of challenges -- challenges of the mind and heart and spirit the challenge of giving of ourselves, of giving to our country.

I know that when my brother John and I were growing up, hardly a day went by when someone didn't come up to us and say: "Your father changed my life.

I went into public service because he asked me."

I take great pride in knowing that one of those he inspired to enter public life is the next Vice-President of the United States -- Joe Lieberman.

So as I look out across this hall, and across this country, I know that my father's spirit lives on and I thank all of you.

Now, it is our turn to prove that the New Frontier was not a place in time, but a timeless call.

Now, we are the New Frontier.

And now, when many of us are doing so well, it is time once again to ask more of ourselves.

As much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need a prosperity of kindness and decency.

We need a President who will work to create an America where our parents and grandparents feel secure, our children are cared for, and Americans grow up believing that each one of us is necessary to make our democracy work.

We need a President who is not afraid of complexity, who believes in an open and tolerant society, and who knows that the world can be made new again-- and that President is Al Gore.

When I was writing a book on the Bill of Rights, I spoke with a woman who had spent 15 years fighting for the First Amendment.

When I asked her why she had given up so much of her life to do this, she said, "It's up to each of us to create a government that is close to our heart's desire. Because, if we don't do it, somebody else will."

It is up to every single one of us to leave this convention and work as hard as we can to help Al Gore create the America of our ideals.

Because, let me tell you that somebody else's government is not what we want.

If we believe in civil rights and human rights -- and closing the racial divide -- then it is up to us.

If we believe in clean air and clean water -- then it is up to us.

If we want a Supreme Court that will protect the freedoms in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, including the right to privacy, that will keep our personal financial and medical information from being up for grabs and will guarantee our right to make our own reproductive decisions then it is up to us.

If we believe that we have seen enough gun violence in our land and in our lifetimes. That guns should no longer take the lives of those we love. Then it is up to us.

If we believe in these things, then it is up to us to elect Al Gore and Joe Lieberman.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a world where adults taught by example.

They dreamed impossible dreams, yet they fought hard each day to make those dreams come true.

They taught us the importance of faith and family, and how these values must be woven together into lives of purpose and meaning.

That is what my husband Ed and I want for our three children.

That is what Al and Tipper Gore want for their children.

That is what we all want for America's children.

And, I believe that is what my father wanted for us, as he stood here four decades ago not only to make better the world that surrounds us, but to dream of something more.

I thank all Americans, for making me and John, and all our family, a part of your families for reaching out and sustaining us through the good times, and the difficult ones, and for helping us dream my father's dream.

"Our call is to the young at heart, regardless of age," he said.

"A whole world looks to see what we will do.

We cannot fail their trust; we cannot fail to try."

Now it gives me great pride to introduce to you a man who has never stopped trying, who has worked harder than anyone for the world my father envisioned, whose public service is an inspiration.

The nation knows him as a courageous fighter for working families; a voice for the elderly; a champion of all who have been left out, or locked out, of America's promise.

For his mother, his brothers and sisters, his children, for me and my cousins, he has always been there when we needed him.

My father was his godfather, and he is godfather now to my daughter Rose.

To all my children, he's like a godfather and grandfather rolled into one.

So much so, that the stuffed bear Rose sleeps with at night is not called Teddy.

His name is Uncle Teddy.

No uncle could be better.

No senator has ever achieved more.

Ladies and gentlemen, Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

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