Earlier today I endorsed Barack Obama for president, and I couldn't be more excited for the Democratic Party, the nation -- and the world.
Barack inspires me -- it's that simple. In the words of President Kennedy:
"The world is changing. The old ways will not do... It is time for a new generation of leadership."
In Barack, I see that next generation of American leadership: a figure who can transcend the divisions in this country that my family and I have fought so hard to tear down.
We were all moved four years ago as Barack told us a profound truth: We are not red states and blue states, but one United States. Since then, he has matched that rhetoric with action, traveling the country to inspire record turnouts of men and women of all ages, races, parties and faiths. Barack has forged consensus in the Senate on contentious issues such as immigration and pushed through necessary reforms like the most far-reaching ethics reform in its history.
But I'm not only supporting Barack because of what he has done. What counts in our leadership is not the length of years in Washington, but the reach of our vision, the strength of our beliefs, and that rare quality of mind and spirit that can call forth the best in our country and our people.
That's why I'm most excited about the promise of President Obama:
As president, Barack Obama will break the Washington gridlock to finally make health care what it should be in America.
He will turn the page on the old politics of misrepresentation and distortion and bridge the divisions of race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation that plague our country.
He will end a war in Iraq that he has always stood against, that has cost us the lives of thousands of our sons and daughters, and that America never should have fought.
He will close the door on the old economics that has written off the poor and left the middle class poorer and less secure.
He will make the United States the great leader and not the great roadblock in the fateful fight against global warming.
When Barack Obama raises his hand on Inauguration Day a new generation of American leadership will take charge and restore the hope, peace and prosperity the country so desperately needs.
Looking out from the stage today, I realized just how powerful his campaign has become. It's a movement for change -- and one that I'm proud to be a part of.