Campaign Headlines October 16, 2012: Barack Obama v. Mitt Romney: Live Blogging the Townhall Second Presidential Debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York

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WATCH LIVE: President Obama and Mitt Romney Meet Up for Second Debate

Source: ABC New Radio, 10-16-12

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama and Mitt Romney face off Tuesday night for their second presidential debate at Hofstra University.

Watch the debate LIVE

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Campaign Headlines October 16, 2012: Five Things to Watch at Second Presidential Debate

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Five Things to Watch at Second Presidential Debate

Source: ABC News Radio, 10-16-12

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Exactly three weeks before voters head to the polls, President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney face-off in Hempstead, N.Y., on Tuesday for the second presidential debate that could again chart a new course for the general election campaign.
In an email to supporters on Monday, Obama for the first time declared the race “tied,” conceding that a lead he held ahead of the first debate has shrunk or disappeared.  Romney, meanwhile, has been touting what he calls a “growing crescendo of enthusiasm” for his campaign.

Tuesday night’s debate — a town hall style showdown — could provide an opportunity for each candidate to gain the edge he desires….READ MORE

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 25, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech at Education Nation — We Must Have The Best Teachers

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Mitt Romney: We Must Have The Best Teachers

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 9-25-12

“Education is about teachers, great leadership and parents. And the union has a different objective. I understand, it’s fine for them to promote it. It’s not fine for us just to go along with it.”– Mitt Romney

Education Nation
New York, NY
September 25, 2012

Click Here To Watch Mitt Romney

MITT ROMNEY: “Teaching is a profession. I understand the interest of the teachers union, and the teachers union has every right to represent their members in the way they think is best for their members. But we have every right to in fact say, no, this is what we want to do which is in the best interests of our children. And I believe in the best interests of our children is to recognize that teaching is a profession, like your profession, like my profession, like lawyers like doctors. And the very best are more highly compensated and rewarded and measured. We don’t just presume that because we’ve been here for a certain number of years we should get more and more pay every year. Instead, we get measured. And if teachers say, well, there’s no good measurement system, we say, well, let’s look for one. Let’s see what does work. Let’s see if we can agree on some kinds of measures and learn from those things. But I want the best teachers to be highly compensated. I want starting teachers, particularly those that have extraordinary records who have a track record in school of excellence and learning, I want them to be well compensated, to be drawn into the profession. Education is about teachers, great leadership and parents. And the union has a different objective. I understand, it’s fine for them to promote it. It’s not fine for us just to go along with it.”

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 18, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event at the 40/40 Club, New York, New York — Hosted by Jay-Z & Beyonce

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Remarks by the President at Campaign Event — 40/40 Club

Source: WH, 9-18-12 

40/40 Club
New York, New York

8:48 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. Well, it is wonderful to see all of you. I’m so grateful for all your support.

Let me just begin by saying to Jay and Bey, thank you so much for your friendship. We are so grateful. Michelle and Malia and Sasha are mad at me because they are not here. (Laughter.) That doesn’t usually happen. Usually they’re like, we’re glad you’re going — we don’t need to go. But every time they get a chance to see these two they are thrilled, partly because they are just both so generous, particularly to my kids. And Malia and Sasha just love both of them.

Beyoncé couldn’t be a better role model for our daughters because she carries herself with such class and poise — (applause) — and has so much talent. And Jay-Z now knows what my life is like. (Laughter.) We both have daughters, and our wives are more popular than we are. (Laughter and applause.) So we’ve got a little bond there. (Laughter.) It’s hard, but it’s okay. It’s okay. (Laughter.)

Forty-nine days until this election. We just came out of convention season, and we had two conventions — one in Tampa, and one in Charlotte. And I don’t know that everybody here spent all their time watching conventions. I’m sure that many of you had better things to do. But you saw two very stark visions, different visions about where we need to take this country.

I think everybody recognizes that America has all the ingredients we need for success. We’ve got the best workers in the world. We’ve got the best businesses in the world. We’ve got the most entrepreneurial culture in the world. We’ve got the best universities and scientists and researchers. We’ve got this incredible diversity of talent and innovation and ingenuity, which makes us the envy of the world. People come here from every corner of the globe because of that central idea at the heart of America, which says no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter what your last name is, no matter who you love, here in America you can make it if you work hard, if you try. (Applause.) All right, that’s what inspires so many people, not just in this country but around the world.

But what we also recognize is that that basic bargain has been eroding over the course of a decade. There are a lot of people who have been out there working really hard, and yet their paychecks haven’t kept up with the costs of everything from gas to groceries to sending a kid to college. There are a lot of folks out there who take responsibility for their lives and their families and their communities and their neighborhoods, and yet it seems as if security is always a little bit out of reach.

We’ve seen an economy over the last decade where jobs were being shipped overseas; an economy that was loaded up with debt; an economy where there was a lot of irresponsibility on the part of folks who should have known better. And it all culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

And it was in that context that I was sworn into office almost four years ago, at a time when the banking system was melting down, at a time when — the month I was sworn in, we lost 800,000 jobs, the worst crisis since the Great Depression. And we have worked tirelessly over the last four years to start turning that around, and we have made progress.

So the last 30 months, we’ve seen the private sector create jobs every single month — 4.5 million jobs altogether. We’ve seen manufacturing start coming back. (Applause.) An auto industry that was on the brink of liquidation has come roaring back, so that now GM is once again on the top of the world and Chrysler is selling more cars than they’ve seen in a very, very long time. (Applause.) We’ve been able to make sure that small businesses survived and got help through the Small Business Administration.

But what we tried to do was not just get back to where we were before the crisis. We tried to start addressing some of those issues that had been lingering for too long. That’s what health care — in a country like ours, we shouldn’t have millions of people who are at risk of going bankrupt just because somebody in their family got sick. And that’s why we passed a health care reform law that will provide millions of families the kind of security they need and also make sure that we’re starting to bring down health care costs, so that we can afford it.

That’s the reason why we made sure that we changed our student loan system and our Pell Grant system, so that young people have a chance to go to college even if they weren’t born rich, that we understand if we make an investment in young people and they succeed, then all of us are going to be better off. (Applause.)

It’s the reason why we’ve invested in alternative energy, to make sure that instead of just relying on foreign oil, we’re starting to build windmills and solar panels and putting people back to work here all across the country — and in the process also helping our national security and doing something about climate change.

It’s the reason why we ended a policy like “don’t ask, don’t tell” that somehow prevented outstanding people in our services to serve the country they love just because of who they love. It’s the reason that we ended the war in Iraq and we’re bringing the war in Afghanistan to a close. (Applause.)

So we’ve made a lot of progress, but we’ve got so much more work to do. And the other side, they’ve got a different vision. You saw it at their convention. And their basic theory is that if you give tax cuts to folks at the very top, people like us who have been incredibly blessed and fortunate and, frankly, don’t need a tax cut, that somehow the country is going to be better off.

And the good thing about so many of us here — and I know, I speak for Jay and Bey — is we remember what it’s like not having anything, and we know people who were just as talented as us that didn’t get the same break, the same chance. We remember some of our parents or grandparents who came here as immigrants and got a little bit of help along the way to go to that school or be able to start that first business. We understand that — as Michelle said as well as anybody could — those of us who have been blessed with success and been able to walk through those doors of opportunity, we don’t slam the door behind us. We prop it open. We make it easier for those who follow to succeed as well.

And by doing that, our success is that much better. It’s that much more stable and more secure, because when the whole country does well, everybody does well. When the middle class does well, and when teachers and firefighters and construction workers and receptionists and waiters and the folks who are cleaning up these big office buildings in Manhattan, if they’re getting a decent wage and they’re able to provide their kids a good education, the whole economy booms. That’s been our history. That’s who we are. And that’s what’s at stake in this election.

Now, there are other things that are at stake — who gets seated on the Supreme Court? Are we going to allow ourselves to go back to a time when politicians in Washington are telling women how to make health care decisions? Michelle tells me you guys are actually quite capable of making those decisions by yourself. (Applause.)

When it comes to issues of war and peace, my opponent says that me ending the war in Iraq was tragic. He hasn’t been able to explain what his plan would be in terms of dealing with a situation like Afghanistan. And so, how we’re perceived in the world and how we’re able to project our power not just through our extraordinary military and what our outstanding troops do, but also through our diplomacy and our culture and our ideals and our values — the message that we’re sending around the world,that is also at stake in this election.

Whether or not we continue to stay focused on ensuring that college is affordable, and making sure that our air is clean and our water is clean, the air and water that our kids play in and breathe — that’s at stake in this election.

So the stakes could not be higher. And I think most of you already understand that Otherwise you wouldn’t be here tonight. And then, so the question becomes how much are we willing to fight for this in the last seven weeks?

I think that there’s a danger sometimes among Democrats, progressives, supporters of mine, to think we must be right on the issues so I’m sure the election will be fine. But that’s not how elections work. Elections work because you put in the effort and the sweat and the passion and the energy to get out there and deliver a message to the American people.

Because the American people are busy and they’re focused on their kids and they’re focused on getting to work or finding a job. And all this politics stuff sometimes seems very distant to them. And they’re being inundated by more negative ads from the other side than we’ve ever seen in our history. We’ve got people writing $10 million checks just to see if they can beat me. And you see it, anybody who has been turning on the television — you don’t see it in New York, because this isn’t a swing state. (Laughter.) But you try going to Ohio or Virginia right now and ad after ad is distorting my record or trying to persuade people as to why we need to change course and replace the occupant of the White House.

So we can’t be complacent. If all of you genuinely believe that the decisions that I’ve made and the vision that I’m projecting about the kind of America we want not just for ourselves, but for our kids and our grandkids — if you genuinely believe that, we’re going to have to work for it. The other side is full of passion and they are working very hard to beat us. And in these next seven weeks we’re going to have to do everything that we can.

And for some of you that means financial support; for others it may mean you’re out there knocking on some doors or making some phone calls, or using your influence to persuade other people to get involved.

But understand that this will not come easy, and that we’re going to have to fight for this thing every step of the way. And that’s always been the case. It’s been interesting over the last four years, sometimes people ask me, how do you handle all the criticism and the media and the scrutiny and the pressure and this and that and the other. And I tell them there are two things that allow me to not just survive this but to thrive and enjoy it. The first is the American people. Because when you travel around the country, it turns out that they’re so much better than the kind of politics we see in Washington.

Most people are good and they’re decent and they’re trying to do the right thing. And they may not follow every issue and know exactly what is going on, but their basic instinct is let’s give everybody a fair shot and let’s make sure everybody does their fair share, and let’s make sure everybody is playing by the same set of rules. And let’s open up opportunity for everybody. That’s — you go to a small town in Iowa, you go to a big city in California — that decency and goodness of the American people shines through. And that encourages me. That makes me feel good.

Some of you saw — I was just on Letterman before I came here, and some of you saw that he showed that picture of that pizza owner who picked me up — (laughter) — and lifted me up and kind of straightened out my back — (laughter) — well, this guy, he started his own pizza company and is a Republican, but is somebody who thought that I shared with him a passion for doing the right thing. And he started his own blood drive in the community that is now the largest blood drive in Florida, and is passionate about helping folks who haven’t had a chance, and wants to make sure that they succeed.

And so when I hear people trying to label folks as, well, these are Republicans, or these are Democrats, or these are people who don’t understand the country — when I hear those divisions, I say, well, you’re not paying attention to what’s going on in the country. There’s a lot of good out there.

So that keeps me energized and inspired. And the second thing is an awareness of history and an understanding that change in this country has never been easy. It’s never been easy. Women getting the right to vote took decades of work. The civil rights movement — we had a century of work. The union movement, people having an opportunity to get a minimum wage — people were beaten and died for that.

So I’m always reminded and humbled by the fact that what we do at any given moment is just part of this bigger pattern, part of God’s plan, part of a process. And our job is just to make sure that we are pushing in the right direction — pushing the wheel of history in the right direction. And hopefully, then our kids will be equipped and have the privilege to keep pushing in the right direction in the future.

So I don’t want people to be complacent, but I also don’t want people to be discouraged. We’re on the brink of an election, but more importantly, we’re on the brink of moving America in a direction in which we’re going to be more just, more fair, the economy is going to grow in a way that includes everybody — an America that’s respected around the world because we are putting forward our best values and our best ideals.

And you’re a part of that. Being here tonight, you’re a part of that. You’re a part of us trying to make some more history. And we’ve made history in the past; we’re going to make some more history over the next seven weeks as long as you guys are ready to keep going with me. All right? (Applause.)

So thank you so much, everybody. God bless you. Appreciate you. (Applause.) Bey, Jay, thank you.

END
9:05 P.M. EDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz September 18, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at a Campaign Event in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, New York

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Remarks by the President at Campaign Event — Waldorf Astoria

Source: WH, 9-18-12 

Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York, New York

6:33 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Hello, everybody! Hello! (Applause.) Hello, New York! (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you so much. If you have a chair, go ahead and use it. If you don’the — don’t. (Laughter.)

It is wonderful — hey, guys, good to see you. It is wonderful to be with all of you. I just had a chance to take some pictures with you and I have to tell you they all turned out wonderfully. (Laughter.) I mean this is a good-looking group, very photogenic. Yes, you especially. (Laughter.)

It’s wonderful to be here. We’ve got some people who’ve supported me since I actually ran for Senate in this ballroom. (Applause.) And then we’ve got some folks who supported us in ’08, and then we’ve got some new friends. And to all of you, I just want to say how grateful I am and how wonderful it is to be back in New York.

Now, we just came off two conventions, one in Tampa and one in Charlotte. And Michelle Obama was pretty good, you know? (Applause.) And then you had Bill Clinton who somebody said should be secretary of explaining stuff. (Laughter and applause.) And what was striking I think coming out of those two conventions was the clarity about how important this choice is.

Seven weeks from today, we’re going to be making a decision about the future of our country. And a lot of you brought your kids here today. (Baby cries.) Yes, right on cue. (Laughter.) And that is entirely appropriate because the decisions that we’re going to make in this election are going to have an impact not just on us, it’s going to have an impact on them and their kids for decades to come. (Baby cries again.) It’s true. (Laughter.)

The fact is that on almost every issue, we have a deep difference not just between two candidates or two political parties, but a deep difference in terms of how we think about growing our economy and how we think about what ensures prosperity and security over the long term.

The other side, they have their convention, and they talked a lot about what they think is wrong with the country, but they didn’t really tell you much about how they’d make it right. They asked for your vote, but they didn’t really have a plan. And the reason they didn’t want to talk about their plan much was because the plan they’re offering is the same one they’ve offered for the last 30 years, which is if we give a lot of tax cuts, particularly skewed towards people who really don’t need tax cuts, and if we roll back regulations on clean air and we roll back regulations on consumer protection, and we roll back regulations that ensure that insurance companies treat you properly, that somehow America’s energy will be unleashed and the economy will be going gangbusters.

And what they’re counting on is an element of amnesia because that’s exactly what we tried from 2001 to 2008, during which we experienced the slowest job growth in 50 years. We went from surpluses to deficits. Ordinary families actually saw their average incomes go down, and it culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression — so not a real good track record in terms of the plan that they are presenting.

We’ve got a different vision, and our vision says that our economy grows best and our children’s futures are best secured when we recognize that we’re all in this together; that we believe in a free-market system and individual initiative and hard work, but we also believe in this basic bargain that says if you work hard, you can make it in this country. Everybody, no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, no matter what last name you have, no matter who you love, here in America, you can make it you try, and that there are important ways in which we can ensure that everybody has access to opportunity.

So what I tried to do at the convention was lay out very specifically how I think we’re going to get there. Over the last three and a half years, we’ve created 4.5 million new jobs, half a million of them in manufacturing. So what I said was, let’s double down and make sure that we’re exporting more and outsourcing fewer jobs. Let’s develop exports markets all around the world, and let’s make sure that we’re investing in things like clean energy so that we’re building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries and all the cutting-edge technologies that ensure we keep at the cutting edge of this global economy.

And then I talked about education and how all the work we’ve done to reform schools is starting to bear fruit, but we’ve also got to make sure that every young person in this country can afford a college education. (Applause.) And make sure that they’re not loaded up with debt when they get out, so that they can potentially become teachers or go into the foreign service or do something that may not pay a lot of money, but is vitally important to our country.

I talked about how important it was for us to have an energy policy that ensures that we have high production of traditional fuels like oil and natural gas, but that we’re also investing in clean energy. We’ve doubled fuel efficiency on cars. We have doubled our production of clean energy. That’s creating thousands of jobs. It’s taking carbon out of our atmosphere.

And it is freeing ourselves from dependence on foreign oil. We’ve actually reduced our dependence — our oil imports every year that I’ve been in office and we now have it below 50 percent. And we think we can cut that in half by 2020, but only if we pursue the kinds of energy sources that are good for our economy and potentially can help save the planet.

And I also talked about how, if we’re going to be serious about reducing our deficits, that we’ve got to cut out spending that we don’t need, that’s not helping us grow. But we can’t just gut our investment in education, or our investments in science and research, or our investments in making sure that young people can go to college, just to pay for tax cuts for folks like me — that we’re going to have to take a balanced approach. That means that those of us who have been incredibly blessed by this country, we can afford to do a little bit more. (Applause.)

Now, that’s a very different agenda than a $5 trillion tax cut that’s paid for by gutting education, gutting Medicaid and turning Medicare into a voucher system. It’s a different philosophy about how we grow our economy. And I believe that we grow our economy from the middle out and by providing ladders of opportunity for everybody. And when we do, everybody does better.

When Bill Clinton was President, we created 23 million new jobs, had a surplus instead of a deficit, and we produced a whole lot more millionaires than we’ve produced under this other theory, because suddenly businesses had customers and had more profits and we got a virtuous cycle that continued in the longest post-World War II boom in American history. And we can replicate that, even in this competitive environment, but we’ve got to be smart about it.

Now, a lot of you here obviously recognize that those aren’t the only choices involved. We’ve got choices about war and peace. I ended the war in Iraq, as I promised. We are transitioning out of Afghanistan. (Applause.) We have gone after the terrorists who actually attacked us 9/11 and decimated al Qaeda.

Mr. Romney thinks that we should have stayed in Iraq, indicated that it was a “tragic” mistake for us to have gotten out of Iraq; still hasn’t made clear what his plan would be for Afghanistan; wants to add $2 trillion to our defense budget for programs that our Joint Chiefs don’t want. It’s a fundamentally different view of how we project power and ensure our security around the world.

On social issues, we did the right thing ending “don’t ask, don’t tell.” (Applause.) I am absolutely certain, based on conversations with Michelle — (laughter) — that women are capable of making their own health care decisions. (Applause.) And the notion that we would have a constitutional amendment that would tell people who they could marry — across the board, there’s just a different vision of who we are as a people.

And I believe we are at our best, we are at our strongest, when we’re including everybody, when everybody gets a fair shot and everybody is doing their fair share and everybody is playing by the same rules. (Applause.)

So I guess if you’re here I’m kind of preaching to the choir. (Laughter.) I don’t need to tell you that I think we’re offering the better vision for our country. So let me just wrap up by saying a key issue is going to be, do we get this thing done?

We’ve got seven weeks. Seven weeks goes by fast, especially when you’re out there campaigning. And the good news is that our ideas are better and they’re more resonant with the American people. The bad news is that these folks have super PACs that are writing $10 million checks and have the capacity to just bury us under the kind of advertising that we’ve never seen before.

And we’ve never seen something like this, so we don’t know what impact it’s going to have. And that means that we’re going to have to work a little bit harder than the other side. It means that we have to have more volunteers. We have to have a better grassroots organization. It means the people who can write $25 checks or $50 checks or $100 checks or $1,000 checks — that’s how we’re going to be able to compete.

We don’t need to match these folks dollar for dollar. We can’t. I mean, if somebody here has a $10 million check — (laughter) — I can’t solicit it from you, but feel free to use it wisely. (Laughter.) But that’s not our game. Our game is grassroots. Our game is mobilizing numbers and passion and energy and focus and hope. That’s who we are.

And so I guess what I’d ask is — look, I had a friend named Abner Mikva in Chicago. He was a congressman — former congressman, former White House counsel and wonderful man. And Abner used to say that being friends with a politician is like perpetually having a kid in college — (laughter) — because every few months, you’ve got to write this big check. (Laughter.) Well, the good news is I’m graduating. (Laughter.) So this is my last race.

But the stakes couldn’t be higher, so we’ve got to leave it all on the field. I am asking everybody here to spend these next seven weeks really focused on this election. You’re already converted. Go out there and get your friends, get your neighbors involved. To the extent that you can ask them for contributions, ask them for their time, ask them for their votes, you are going to be the best ambassadors that we can have for this election.

And if you are as determined and as energized as I am, if you believe that we’ve still got more good jobs to create, and clean energy to generate, and more troops to bring home and more vets to take care of, and more doors of opportunity to open for everybody who’s willing to work hard in this country — if you believe that we’re all in this together, then I need you to get to work. Seven weeks.

And I promise you, if you’re putting everything you’ve got into this thing, we’ll win this election and we will finish what we started. And we’ll remind the world why the United States of America is the envy of the world.

So thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. Thank you. (Applause.)

END
6:47 P.M. EDT

Full Text Campaign Buzz June 4-5, 2012: President Barack Obama Enlists Former President Bill Clinton for 3 New York Fundraisers — Speeches Transcripts

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IN FOCUS: OBAMA ENLISTS BILL CLINTON’S HELP IN THREE NEW YORK FUNDRAISERS

      JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/GettyImages

Obama, Bill Clinton Stump on ‘Growth’ vs. ‘Austerity’ Agenda:
Source: ABC News Radio, 6-5-12

President Obama and former President Bill Clinton pitched a coordinated message on jobs and the economy Monday night that appeared designed to confront an electoral landscape unsettled by Friday’s dismal jobs report and an expected Republican victory in Wisconsin’s gubernatorial recall.
Sharing the stage at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan, the two offered a robust defense of Obama’s handling of the economy and vision for the future, asserting more forcefully than they’ve done elsewhere in recent weeks that more short-term government spending is needed to boost hiring while insisting Republicans have been blockading the effort all along.
“If you do not have economic growth, no amount of austerity will balance the budget because you will always have revenues go down more than you can possibly cut spending,” Clinton told the crowd of Republican budget plans.
“So what [Obama] did was to say growth today, restraint in a big way tomorrow. … Growth and jobs today, build the economy, then take the burden of the debt off our children’s future and avoid the exploding interest rates and declining living standards that it would impose on their future,” the former president said…. READ MORE

  • Clinton: Romney Would Be ‘Calamitous for Our Country’: Lending his fundraising prowess to President Obama’s re-election campaign, Bill Clinton warned top donors in New York on Monday that Mitt Romney would be “calamitous for our country and the world.”
    “The politics is wrong on the Republican side, the economics are crazy,” Clinton said at a fundraiser at the Upper East Side home of billionaire hedge fund manager Marc Lasry.
    Just one week after praising Mitt Romney’s “sterling business career,” Clinton argued that Republicans’ “economics are wrong-headed and their politics are worse.”… – ABC News Radio, 6-5-12
  • Obama, Bill Clinton team up to court New York elite: President Barack Obama enlisted Bill Clinton to campaign alongside him in New York on Monday, tapping the popular ex-president’s star power to rake in re-election funds from wealthy Wall Street investors…. – Reuters, 6-4-12
  • Clinton Supports Obama at New York Fund-Raisers: Days after lauding Mitt Romney for a “sterling business career” as a private investor, former President Bill Clinton said on Monday that as president, Mr. Romney “would be in my opinion calamitous for our country and the world.”
    And with that blunt denunciation, delivered at President Obama’s side during a fund-raiser in Manhattan at the home of a billionaire hedge-fund executive, Mr. Clinton sought to quash the chatter in the news media and from the Romney campaign that his earlier remarks amounted to an off-message endorsement of Mr. Romney’s qualifications to take Mr. Obama’s job.
    Their joint appearance at three fund-raisers in New York City on Monday night was the second of three such get-togethers they plan. Separately, Mr. Clinton will in coming months be what one campaign official called “an active surrogate” in Mr. Obama’s fight for re-election…. – NYT, 6-4-12
  • Obama, Clinton back together to attack Romney: President Obama and predecessor Bill Clinton are back on the same page when it comes to attacking Mitt Romney.
    Less than a week after praising Romney’s “sterling” business career, Clinton told Obama backers last night in New York City that the Republican candidate’s economic policies would be “calamitous for our country and the world.”
    At a trio of fundraisers in the Big Apple, Clinton said Romney and the Republicans have adopted a “European” approach to the economy…. – USA Today, 6-4-12

Remarks by President Obama and President Clinton at a Campaign Event

Private Residence
New York, New York

6-4-12

5:24 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT CLINTON:  (In progress) — and secondly, the alternative would be, in my opinion, calamitous for our country and the world.  I think that he’s got the right economic policies and the right political approach, and I think their economics are wrongheaded and their politics are worse.

And if you just look at — the month he took the oath of office, we lost 800,000 jobs.  In the last three and a half years, the economy has produced 4.3 million — 27 months, really, — 4.3 million private sector — for the last three-and-a-half years.  It is 60 percent more jobs — listen to this — 60 percent more private sector jobs than were created in the seven years and eight months of President Bush’s administration, before the meltdown — before the meltdown.  And he did it with the so-called stimulus bill, with the automobile restructuring — which I think is an amazing achievement — and with a number of other things, including a serious commitment to an independent energy future and a commitment to bringing manufacturing back to this country.

And things have slowed up a little now for two reasons — one is Europe, which is beyond our control, although he and his national security team are working hard on it.  That is, the economic team is now our national security team in Europe.  (Laughter.)  And the other is that the Republican Congress and their nominee for President, Governor Romney, have adopted Europe’s economic policy.  Who would have ever thought that the Republicans who made a living for decades deriding “old Europe” would embrace their economic policy?  (Laughter.)  But that’s what they’ve done.

Their economic policy is austerity and unemployment now, and then a long-term budget that will explode the debt when the economy recovers so that interest rates will be so high nobody will be able to do anything.  His economic policy is job growth now, and long-term budget restraint.

If you look at the budgets, their budgets, every one of them, all the congressional budgets and Governor Romney’s add $1 or $2 trillion to the trajectory of the debt that we’re on right now.  His budget takes it down.

And if you look at their politics, it’s constant conflict.  And the only thing in the world that’s working is cooperation.  When he has a free hand, he cooperates.  He got labor and management together in the auto restructuring, and we’ve got 80,000 more people working making American cars, and saved 1.5 million jobs.

I know a lot about this — I grew up in a car dealership.  (Laughter.)  I know a lot about this.  We would never have heard the end of it if those two companies had failed and all those auto parts manufacturers had failed and all those dealerships had closed.  It would have been a nightmare.

He got labor, management, the environmental groups and the government together on the auto-mileage standards — you got 150,000 new jobs out of it.

Cooperation is what works.  Constant conflict is a dead-bang loser.  You can see it all over the world.

So the politics is wrong on the Republican side; the economics are crazy.  He’s got good policies.  He’s got a good record.  He’s made the best of a very challenging situation.  He deserves to be reelected.  And I know I don’t have to say that I think he’s done an extraordinary job with the national security responsibilities of the country, both making it safer and building a world with more partners.  And he had a pretty good Secretary of State, too.  (Laughter and applause.)

So I thank you for being here, and I hope you will try to find simple, direct ways to say these things to your friends and neighbors.  This is what’s important.  What happens and whether we can bring back the American Dream or not is riding on whether he wins this election in a clear and unambiguous way, and we make it clear that we want a politics of cooperation and an economics of growth and broadly shared prosperity.

President Obama.  (Applause.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you everybody.  No need to — thank you so much.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Please, please.

Well, first of all, to the Lasry family, to Marc and Cathy, all the kids — particularly Alex, who had been working with Valerie Jarrett for a while and now is off to business school — I just want to thank them for their extraordinary friendship.  They have been great supporters and great friends for a really, really long time.  And so to open up their beautiful home to us and offer such great hospitality, I can’t be more grateful.

To President Bill Clinton — as usual, he pretty much summed it up.  (Laughter.)  So I don’t have to add too much — don’t want to guild the lily here.

Nobody has a better grasp and understanding of the issues than this man.  He spent eight years guiding this country through, initially, some difficult times, and then ushered in one of the greatest booms that we’ve seen — a recipe of stable, steady growth in which everybody participated, growth that started from the bottom up and from the middle class out.

And everybody did well, including those at the top, because — in part, because of President Clinton’s background.  He understood what it takes to grow this economy, that there’s just extraordinary talent all across the country.  In little places in Arkansas and little apartment buildings in Hawaii and — (laughter) — there are folks out there who are eager to live out that American Dream and create new businesses and new opportunities.  And just about everybody here, somewhere in their lives they’ve known that when we work together we can’t be stopped.  And that’s what’s at stake in this election, as Bill said.

I want to spend most of my time answering questions, but part of what I’m going to be doing over the next several weeks is just clarifying for people the choice involved — because we have a fundamental choice.  And the truth is it’s an argument that dates back to Bill Clinton’s presidency.  As you will recall, you didn’t get a lot of cooperation out of those Republicans in Congress either.  (Laughter.)

And the basic issue is after World War II, we arrived at a basic consensus in this country; it was a rough consensus between Republicans and Democrats, and there was a spectrum there, but everybody understood that the market was the best generator of wealth and opportunity that we had ever seen.  It was understood that America’s business was business, that government is not the ultimate source of our wealth and our freedom.  But what we also understood was that there were certain investments we had to make to create a platform for opportunity for everybody.

And so among Democrats and Republicans there was a belief in a basic social safety net.  And there was a belief that regulations wouldn’t inhibit necessarily economic growth, they could actually advance them.  Because the reason we had the best capital markets in the world was people trusted our capital markets, and they believed in disclosure, and they believed in transparency and openness and accountability.  And so small investors and large investors said, you know what, let’s put our money in America.

And people from Richard Nixon to George H.W. Bush understood that if we have smart environmental regulations that can actually create opportunity.  And if we have good consumer regulations, that actually helps America’s brand because people can trust our products and trust our services.

And there was an understanding we’re going to make an investment in education, whether the GI Bill or opening up more and more opportunity for a college education, and making sure that we’re investing in our — the crown jewel of America’s economy, our colleges and our universities — because we understood that that’s where innovation comes from and ultimately that’s going to create opportunity.

And we understood whether we were going to make investments in the Interstate Highway System or in DARPA that ultimately that would inure to the benefit of the marketplace.

And we understood that we had to pay for it.  The notion was this stuff wasn’t going to be free.  It used to be the argument between Democrats and Republicans was what’s the best way to pay for it, but we understood that ultimately these were investments worth making.  And there were times where Democrats got a little excessive.  We had a little too much faith in government, a little too much faith in regulation, and there was a corrective mechanism.  And Bill Clinton helped to correct some of our excesses.

And we understood not every government program is going to work, and we understood that not every regulation should be command-and-control, top down; that a lot of times the market might provide — if we provide the proper incentives, the market might come up with better solutions for how we were going to solve some of these vexing problems.

But over the last 15 years, the last 20 years, that consensus has broken down.  If you look at what the Republican Party today represents — we haven’t moved that much.  If you’ve compared — there’s a reason why Jack Lew was the OMB Director under Bill Clinton and he was my OMB Director and now my Chief of Staff.  Jack hasn’t changed that much.  (Laughter.)  He’s gotten a little grayer.  (Laughter.)  Our basic policies haven’t shifted.  We’ve responded to new information and new circumstances.

What’s changed is the Republican Party.  They have gone from a preference for market-based solutions to an absolutism when it comes to the marketplace; a belief that all regulations are bad; that government has no role to play; that we shouldn’t simply be making sure that we balance the budget, we have to drastically shrink government, and eliminate those commitments that have ensured a middle class had a chance to succeed and to thrive for several generation.

And so if you look at Paul Ryan’s budget or you look at Governor Romney’s proposals, what they’re talking about is something that is fundamentally different from our experience in growing this economy and creating jobs.  And so that’s going to be the central issue in this campaign.  And we’re going to do everything we can to clarify that choice.

The good news is the American people I think agree with us. The challenge is that things have been very tough for people for the last three, four, five, 10 years.  And when things are tough, you’re willing to try just about anything even if you’ve seen it before.  And so what we have to do is to make sure that we’re constantly getting a clear message out about how we intend to grow the middle class, how we’re going to create jobs, and how our positions are squarely in the center of America’s traditions.

We’re not the ones who changed.  And the track record that Bill Clinton mentioned is one that I’m extraordinarily proud of, but as important as the work that we’ve done over the last three and a half years has been, this is actually an election that’s going to set the stage for what we do over the next 20 or the next 30.  And I want the American people to understand that.

But I think precisely because we’re right on these issues, I think we’re going to win this election.  We’re just going to make — we’re going to have to just make sure that we get our message out effectively.  And that means help from all of you.

So I’m grateful for all of you being here and I’m looking forward to hitting the campaign trail hard.  And luckily I’ll have some pretty good companions along the way.

Thank you.  (Applause.)

END
5:38 P.M. EDT

Remarks by President Obama and President Clinton at a Campaign Event

Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York, New York

6-4-12

8:40 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT CLINTON:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  I am the warm-up act for the President.  (Laughter.)  And I will attempt to bring him on while you’re still warm.  (Laughter.)

I want to thank Eric Schneiderman for his lucid statement of the case of what’s at stake in this election, and for his exceptional service to the state of New York.  Thank you, Assemblyman Keith Wright, and thank you, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, for co-chairing this dinner.  And, Representative Carolyn Maloney, thank you very much for your friendship and everything you’ve done.  (Applause.)  And I believe on his last day as chairman of the New York State Democratic Party — thank you, Jay Jacobs, for being one of the best Democratic chairmen in the entire nation.  (Applause.)

I want to thank my longtime friend, Jon Bon Jovi, for performing and for always being there for us.  (Applause.)

Now, here’s what I want to say to you.  Most of my life now has nothing to do with politics.  You know that.  I work on my foundation; I work around the world; I work in America.  I work with Democrats and Republicans and independents, and half the time I don’t know who I’m working with, politically.  But I do spend two hours a day still studying the economic trends around the world and studying what is going on in America.  And I care about the long-term debt of the country a lot.  Remember me?  I’m the only guy that gave you four surplus budgets out of the eight I sent.  (Applause.)  So I hope what I say to you will have some weight, because I want you to say it to everybody you see between now and November.

I don’t think it’s important to reelect the President; I think it is essential to reelect the President — (applause) — if we want this country to have the kind of future that our children and grandchildren deserve.  And here’s why.

When I left office, we returned to the trickle-down policies — big tax cuts, mostly for people of my income group — I love saying this because I never had any money until I got out of the White House.  (Laughter.)  Maybe that’s why I don’t mind paying those taxes — since I never had it before I don’t know what it was like.  (Laughter.)

And we doubled our debt of the country again.  And then, after totally anemic growth for seven years and eight months, on the day before the financial collapse, median family income was $2,000 lower than it was the day I left office, while the cost of health care had gone up three times the rate of inflation, college twice the rate of inflation.

Then all of a sudden, September 15th comes and goes and poof!  The good news was for President Obama is that he was elected President on September 15, 2008.  He’s the only person in the history of the country ever to be elected President before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.  (Laughter.)

The bad news is he was elected President on September 15, 2008 — (laughter) — in the teeth of the worst recession since the Great Depression, a financial collapse of enormous proportion.  In the last 500 years, such financial collapses have taken on average five to 10 years to get over — and when they’re deep and big and accompanied by mortgage collapse, almost always 10 years.

He set about to try to keep his original dream, to return broad-based prosperity, to return the reality of the American Dream to our country, and to do it in a way that made a world with more partners and fewer adversaries.  And he did it under unimaginably difficult circumstances — 800,000 jobs were lost the month he was sworn in as President.  And it is my opinion that he has performed extremely well under very, very difficult circumstances.  (Applause.)  And I want to tell you why.  (Applause.)

So he set about to do what was necessary to prevent a financial collapse again, to put a floor under the recession and to begin to create jobs again, to save a million or more state and local jobs of teachers and health care workers and people who work for fire and police departments.  He set about to bring American manufacturing back, to make America a leading nation in the green energy revolution — which is sweeping the globe and which only the American Republican Party seems to deny is necessary.

And he set about to reform health care, knowing it was a moral, a health, and an economic issue because we are now spending almost 18 percent of our income on health care.  None of our major competitors is over 11.8 percent.  That’s $1 trillion a year that could be going to pay-raises for the middle class.  It could be going for small businesses to hire new people.

And he did it while trying to make college more affordable, because we had dropped from first to 15th in the world in the last decade in the percentage of our young adults graduating with degrees.  And while doing that, he presented a plan to deal with the long-term debt of the country, understanding that when you have a total financial collapse — interest rates are zero, no private demand, no private investment — you can’t have austerity now.

You remember those surplus budgets?  They came about for three reasons — spending control, adequate revenues and economic growth.  If you do not have economic growth, no amount of austerity will balance the budget, because you will always have revenues go down more than you can possibly cut spending.  (Applause.)

And so what he did was to say growth today, restraint in a big way tomorrow; here’s my 10-year budget.  So growth in jobs today, build the economy, then take the burden of the debt off our children’s future, and avoid the exploding interest rates and the declining living standards that it would impose on their future.

So where are we?  Oh, and by the way, he offered a politics of cooperation.  He said, you Republicans start off with that individual mandate.  We’ll do health care reform that way.  All of a sudden, they weren’t for it anymore.  He said, let’s have a bipartisan deficit reduction commission.  And when it came to a vote in the Senate, all the Republicans who co-sponsored the bill were forced to vote against it by their party.  It’s the first I ever saw somebody sponsor a bill and vote against it.

And I could give you lots and lots of other — he said, let’s have an infrastructure bank so we can have private and public capital like other countries do.  It’s a great return on investment.  It’s always been a bipartisan area.  Once he was for it, they were all against it.  Besides, it might put somebody to work and help him get reelected.  (Laughter.)

So where are we in spite of that?  In the last 27 months, this economy has produced 4.3 million private sector jobs.  (Applause.)  That is about what it produced on a monthly basis during my two terms, coming back.  Why did the numbers show 3.7 million?  Because the Congress refused to pass his bill to send money to states and localities to keep the teachers on the job, to keep the firefighters and the police officers on the job.  I was in Wisconsin a couple of days ago — 73 percent of the school districts have laid teachers off.

That’s the austerity policy.  It isn’t good economics.  The Obama policy is.  That 4.3 million private sector jobs is — listen to this — 60 percent more private jobs than came into this economy in the seven years and eight months of the previous administration before the financial meltdown.  And you need to tell people that.  (Applause.)

And what happened with manufacturing?  It’s growing again for the first time since the ’90s.  There was an article in the paper today that said, oh, we’re going to have 2 or 3 million manufacturing jobs within three more years.  In seven or eight or nine areas, jobs flooding back into this country.

What happened in clean energy?  Governor Romney goes out to a company that had a loan that didn’t work out and says, oh, this is a whole bust.  Here’s what I know.  We ranked first or second in the world in every major scientific survey in the capacity to generate electricity from the sun and the wind.  During the worst of the meltdown, clean-energy jobs grew twice as fast as the rest of the economy, paid 35 percent more.

This weekend, Germany became the first country in history to generate 22 gigawatts of electricity from the sun.  That doesn’t mean much to you, so I’ll tell you in plain language what it means.  That’s as much as 20 big nuclear power plants.  (Applause.)  And they have generated over 300,000 new jobs out of it.  They’re a fourth our size, and only half as capable to generate solar energy.  If we did what they did, that’s a million jobs alone.  Now, that’s what President Obama has done on the jobs front.  (Applause.)

And where he could cooperate with people — the automakers, management and labor — they restructured the auto industry and what happened?  We have 80,000 more people working making cars today than we did the day he took office, and we saved 1.5 million jobs that would have gone right down the tubes if those two companies had failed.  (Applause.)  America is back in the car business.  (Applause.)

And then labor, management, the environmental groups and the government got together and agreed on a schedule to raise the car mileage standards, to double them, and guess what — it will create 150,000 new high-tech jobs.

In health care — just before you roll over and play dead on this issue, let me just give you two or three issues — facts here.  For the last few years, for the first time in 50 years, health care inflation has been at 4 percent.  Hasn’t been that low in 50 years.  It’s been killing people, economically.  (Applause.)  Americans got $1.3 billion in refunds on their insurance policy — because you’ve got to spend 85 percent of your premium on your health care now — and that’s not counting California, they’re not reported in yet — 2.6 million young people 26 years of age or younger are on their parent’s policy now, all because of the health care bill the President signed.  (Applause.)

I spend a lot of time with people in the health care business — with doctors and people who manage medical practices, with people who manage hospitals, and people who manage insurance plans.  I don’t know anybody that wants to repeal Obamacare.  Not anybody.  I don’t know anybody who doesn’t believe that we shouldn’t start paying for performance, not for procedure in health care, and improve our quality and bring our costs in line with our competitors.  And that’s what people in the health care business are doing today because that law passed.  (Applause.)

And finally, never a day goes by I don’t see some article about the burden of student loans.  But when President Obama’s student loan reform is fully implemented, the cost of the loans will go down and no one will ever have to drop out of college again because of the cost.  Because now everybody will be able to pay their loans back as a small, fixed percentage of their income for up to 20 years.  Do you understand what that means?  That one bill can take us back to number one in the world in college graduates again because nobody — nobody — will ever have to drop out again.  (Applause.)

And his plan to reduce the debt has extraordinary spending restraint — including in Medicare — has modest tax increases, and is phased in as we grow the economy.

Now, his opponent, who says that he’s got a better idea, was the governor of the state that was 47th in the country in job growth.  He promised that if elected he would grow the economy and reduce the debt, and when he left office the debt of the state was going up.  And his plan — his plan is to go back to the Bush program, except on steroids.  (Laughter.)  Cut out everything that helps middle-class people, cut out everything that helps poor people work their way to the middle class.

And all of the objective analyses, the non-partisan analyses, say that every Republican plan, including the nominee for the President’s plan, would add $1 trillion to $2 trillion to what the debt is going to be over the next 10 years if we don’t do anything.  And all of the objective plans say that if the President’s plan were implemented, it would reduce the debt by several trillion dollars over what it’s going to be if we don’t do anything.

But he’s got the order right, President Obama does.  Growth now; restraint later.  The Romney/Republican plan is austerity and more unemployment now, and blow the lid off later, just at the time when we’ll be worried about high interest rates.

What’s the difference here?  Shared prosperity versus continued austerity and high unemployment.  A politics of cooperation versus constant conflict and divide and conquer.

Listen, this is a big, clear election.  Also, for me, it’s important to say, in my opinion, he’s done an amazing job making our country more secure, more safe, more peaceful, and building a world with more partners and fewer adversaries.  And that is very, very important.  (Applause.)

And he’s had to get all this done while people as recently as last week were still saying he wasn’t born in America.  (Laughter.)  He’s had to get all this done with a House of Representatives that had one of the tea party members claim that 78 to 81 members of the Democratic caucus were members of the Communist Party.  And neither the presidential nominee, nor any of the leaders rebuked him for saying that.  This is not the 1950s.  At least Joe McCarthy could skate on the fact that there was one or two living Communists walking around.  (Laughter.)  Nobody has seen a Communist in over a decade.  (Laughter and applause.)

No criticism is too vicious and too fact-free.  You have to take the facts out there — take the facts on the economy, the facts on health care, the facts on energy, the facts on education.  And the fact is we’ve got an economic policy that has a real chance to bring America back.  Why do you think long-term interest rates — remember the Republicans said, oh, that Obama, he’s such a big spender, we’re going to have a weak dollar and interest rates are going to go through the roof.  You know what the 10-year Treasury note interest rate was today?  One-quarter of 1 percent.  We ought to all go buy one.  They’re giving away the money.  (Laughter.)

Now, you’re laughing.  But why are they doing that?  Because people believe America has a solid economic strategy for the long run.  And who would have ever thought that the Republicans would embrace the austerity and jobless policies of what they used to derisively call “old Europe.”  I never thought I’d live to breathe and see, here they are saying, let’s do the eurozone’s economic policy — they got 11 percent unemployment; we can get up there if we work at it.  (Laughter.)

We’re laughing, folks, this is serious.  Too much of politics is fact-free.  Just think about the world you want your children and your grandchildren to live in.  Think about what the 21st century can be.  Remember there is nothing wrong with America that can’t be fixed, and our inherent advantages including our diversity, our relative youth, the strength of our system are there.  But you got to have the right captain of the ship.  And I am depending on you to take care of future generations by making sure that that captain is President Barack Obama.

Bring him on.  (Applause.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  I love New York!  (Applause.)  Thank you! Well, thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Everybody have a seat.

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Thank you.  I plan on getting four more years — because of you.  (Applause.)

Let me just say some thank-yous at the front here.  First of all, you’ve got an outstanding Attorney General — please give Eric Schneiderman a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  He is doing the right thing on behalf of consumers and working people all across this great state and having an influence all across the country.

I want to thank my dear friend, Jon Bon Jovi, who has — (applause) — been a great supporter for a long, long time.  I have to say that the only thing worse than following Jon is following Jon and Bill Clinton.  (Laughter.)

I want to acknowledge — Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is here.  Where is Carolyn?  (Applause.)  Thank you, Carolyn.  Party Chair Jacobs, thanks for the great work you’ve done.  I want to thank all of you who helped to make this event possible tonight.

And most of all, I want to thank the guy behind me here.
President Clinton and I had a chance to talk over dinner before we came out, and we talk about a lot of things.  We talk about basketball.  (Laughter.)  We talk about our daughters, and agree that you can’t beat daughters.  (Applause.)  Sons who are out there, we love you, too — (laughter) — but I’m just saying, we bond on that front.  We both agree that we have improved our gene pool because we married outstanding women.  (Applause.)

But whatever the topic, whatever the subject, what I was reminded of as I was talking to President Clinton is just how incredibly passionate he is about this country and the people in it.  You don’t talk to Bill without hearing at least 30 stories about extraordinary Americans who are involved in clean energy, or starting a whole new project to teach kids math, or figuring out how to build some new energy-efficient building, or you name it.  And it’s that passion and connection that he has to the American people that is infectious.  And it’s a curiosity and a love for people that is now transforming the world.

And so I could not be prouder to have called him President.  I could not be prouded to know him as a friend.  And I could not be more grateful for him taking the time to be here tonight.  (Applause.)  And I thank him for putting up with a very busy Secretary of State.  (Laughter and applause.)

Now, the reason I’m here tonight is not just because I need your help.  It’s because the country needs your help.  If you think about why we came together back in 2008, it wasn’t about me.  It wasn’t even necessarily just about the Democratic Party. It was about a common set of values that we held dear; a set of beliefs that we had about America — a belief that if you’re willing to work hard, in this country you should be able to make it.  You should be able to find a job that pays a living wage.  You should be able to own a home, send your kids to college, retire with dignity and respect, not go bankrupt when you get sick; that everybody in this country — regardless of what you look like, where you come from, whether you’re black, white, gay, straight, Hispanic, disabled, not — doesn’t matter, if you’re willing to put in the effort this is a place where you make dreams happen.  And by you putting in that effort, not only do you do well for yourself but you build the country in the process.

And we had seen that those values were eroding, a sense that that bedrock compact that we make with each other was starting to diminish.  We had seen a surplus, a historic surplus, wasted away on tax cuts for folks who didn’t need them and weren’t even asking for them.  Suddenly surpluses turned to deficits.  We had seen two wars fought on a credit card.  We had seen a recklessness of a few almost bring the entire system to collapse.
And there was a sense that, although a few of us were doing really, really well, that you had a growing number of folks who were struggling just to get by no matter how hard they worked.

So what we set out to do in 2008 was reclaim that basic American promise.  And it wasn’t easy, and many of you who supported me certainly — you guys didn’t do it because it was easy.  When you support a guy named Barack Hussein Obama for the presidency you know that’s not a sure thing.  (Laughter.)  But you did it because you sensed that the country was ready for change.

Now, we didn’t know at the time — we knew that there had been a decade of problems, that since this man had left office we had been going in the wrong direction.  We didn’t realize how this would culminate in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.  As Bill said, the month I was sworn in, 800,000 jobs lost.  We had lost 3 million before the election had even taken place.

But we didn’t give up.  We didn’t quit, because that’s not what the American people do.  And so all across this country, you had folks who just dug in.  They focused on what was necessary.  And I do believe we implemented the right policies.  When folks said that we should let Detroit go bankrupt, we said, no, we’re not going to let over a million jobs go.  We’re not going to let an iconic industry waste away.  (Applause.)

And so we brought workers together and management, and now GM is back on top, and we’ve seen more growth in the U.S. auto industry and more market share than we’ve seen in a very, very long time.  And manufacturing is coming back.  (Applause.)  Even though that decision wasn’t popular, we made the right decision.
We made the right decision in starting to free up credit again so that companies could borrow and small businesses could keep their doors open.  We made the right decision when it came to ensuring that all across this country states got help to keep teachers and firefighters and police officers on the job.  We made the right decision in making sure that we used this opportunity to rebuild big chunks of America — our roads and our bridges and our rail lines.

So we made a lot of good policy decisions.  But the reason we came back is ultimately because of the American people, because of their resilience and their strength.  They made it happen.  They decided, you know what, maybe I’ll retrain for school.  A small business decided, I’m going to keep my doors open even though it’s very hard to make payroll right now.

One of the great privileges of being President is you go to every corner of the country and you see people from every walk of life, and it makes you optimistic about the American people.  Even over these last three and a half years, as tough as things have been, it made me more optimistic about the American people, that we have all the ingredients for success.

It’s because of them that we’ve seen more than 4 million jobs created, more than 800,000 jobs just this year alone.  It’s because of them that we’re seeing more manufacturing jobs coming back than any time since the 1990s.

But — and this is where you come in — all that work that we’ve done, all that effort, that stands to be reversed because we’ve had an opposition that has had a fundamentally different vision of where we should take America.  They had it from the day I was sworn in.  They made a determination that politics would trump what was needed to move this country forward.  And they have tried to put sand in the gears in Congress ever since.

And now they’ve got a nominee who is expressing support for an agenda that would reverse the progress we’ve made and take us back to the exact same policies that got us into this mess in the first place.  And the reason we’re here today is because we’re not going back.  We’re going forward.  (Applause.)  We have worked too hard and too long to right the ship and move us in the right direction.  We’re not going backwards, we’re going forwards.  (Applause.)  That’s what we’re doing, New York.  And we’re going to do it with your help!  (Applause.)

Now, the reason that they think they may be able to pull this off is because things are still tough.  There are a lot of folks still hurting out there; too may folks still looking for work, too many people whose homes are still underwater.  So we know we’ve got more to do.  That’s why I’m running again, because our job isn’t finished yet.  And this election in some ways is going to be even more consequential than 2008, because the choices are going to be starker this time.

Keep in mind, when I ran in 2008, I was running against a Republican who believed in climate change, believed in immigration reform, believed in campaign finance reform, had some history of working across the aisle.  We had profound disagreements, but even during the midst of the financial crisis there was an agreement of the need for action — to create jobs and create growth early.

We don’t have that this time.  My opponent, Governor Romney, is a patriotic American.  He has seen enormous financial success, and God bless him for that.  He has got a beautiful family.  But his vision of how you move this country forward is what Bill Clinton said — the same agenda as the previous administration, except on steroids.  So it’s not enough just to maintain tax cuts for the wealthy, we’re going to double tax cuts.  We’re going to do even more of the same.  It’s not enough just to roll back the regulations that we put in place to make sure that, for example, the financial system is transparent and working effectively so we don’t have taxpayer bailouts anymore, we’re going to do even more to eliminate regulations that have kept our air clean and our water clean and protected our kids for 20, 30 years.

When you look at the budget that they’ve put forward, they’re not just talking about rolling back Obamacare; they’re talking about rolling back the New Deal.  (Laughter.)  And that’s not an exaggeration.

And so there’s an enormous amount at stake.  And we’re going to have to make sure that in this election, we are describing clearly what’s at stake.  And we shouldn’t be afraid of this debate, because we’ve got the better argument.  We have got the better argument.

It’s not just a matter of being able to say the change that we brought about in lifting the auto industry back, that’s something we’re proud of.  It’s not just the 4.3 million jobs.  It’s not just the fact that 2.5 million young people have health insurance that didn’t have it before.  It’s not just the fact that, as a consequence of our policies, millions of young people are getting Pell grants and have the capacity to go to college who didn’t have it before.  It’s not just the track record I’ve amassed over the last three-and-a-half years that I am proud of. But it’s also the fact that when you look at our history, America has not grown, it has not prospered, it has not succeeded with a philosophy that says, “you’re all on your own.”

That’s not how we built this country.  The reason we became an economic superpower is because for all our individual initiative, all our entrepreneurship, all our belief in personal responsibility, despite all those things, what we’ve also understood is there’s certain things we do better together.  Creating a public school system that works so that everybody gets educated — we understand that.  (Applause.)

The first Republican President understanding we built a Transcontinental Railroad to stitch this country together — he understood that there’s certain things we do better together.  Investments in the National Academy of Sciences, investment in land grant colleges.  Eisenhower building the Interstate Highway System.  My grandfather and his generation going to college on the GI Bill.  Building the Hoover Dam, building the Golden Gate Bridge — these things we did together.  And it created a platform where everybody had a chance, everybody got a fair shot, everybody did their fair share, everybody played by the same rules.

If you look at our history, the reason why we have the best capital markets in the world, the reason why Wall Street is the center of finance — because we had rules in place that made us the most transparent, where investors could trust if they put their money there they weren’t going to be cheated.  You had a strong SEC.  You had FDIC.  You had an entire infrastructure that allowed our capital markets to thrive.  That’s been a strength; not a weakness.

Throughout our history, there have been certain things that we have to do together.  And what was true in the past is true now as well.  So that’s what’s at stake in this election.  I’m not going to go back to the days when suddenly our young people can’t afford to go to college just to pay for tax cuts for me and Bill Clinton.

We’re not going to go back to the day where 30 million people can’t get health insurance despite working two jobs; where young people can’t stay on their parent’s policies, or seniors suddenly find prescription drugs more expensive again.  We’re not going to go back to the days when suddenly women don’t have preventive care, or we eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood. We’re not going back to those days.  I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as our sons.  And I want our women to have the same ability to control their health care decisions as anybody else.  We’re not going backwards.  (Applause.)

We’re not going to go back to the days when you couldn’t serve in our military and at the same time admit who it is that you loved.  (Applause.)  We’re moving forward with an agenda of dignity and respect for everybody.

We’re not going to go back to the days when folks thought somehow there was a conflict between economic growth and looking after our environment and good stewardship for the next generation.  We’re not going back to those days.  (Applause.)

But we’re going to have to fight for it.  This is not going to be an easy race.  Because of the Citizens United decision we’re seeing hundreds of millions of dollars spent, unprecedented numbers.  We haven’t seen this kind of spending.  There’s never been this amount of negative spending before.  There was a brief — a newspaper just printed somebody had evaluated negative ads  — 70 percent of our ads have been positive; 70 percent of their ads have been negative.  And I suspect that ratio could become even more pronounced as the weeks go by.

And as I said, folks out there are still anxious and they’re still scared about the future.  And so what the other side is counting on is fear and frustration, that hat in and of itself is going to be good enough — because they’re sure not offering any new ideas.  All they’re offering is the same old ideas that didn’t work then and won’t work now.

Even when it comes to their big issue of deficits and debt, as President Clinton just mentioned, the truth is, is that the two Presidents over the last 30 years, 40 years, who’ve had the lowest increases in government spending, you’re looking at them right here.  (Applause.)  They’re on this stage.  They are on this stage.  (Applause.)

And the agenda that we’ve put forward — which says let’s put people to work right now rebuilding our roads and our bridges and putting teachers back in the classroom to accelerate growth now at the same time as we couple it with long-term spending restraint — that’s a recipe that works.  We’ve seen it work before.  We saw it work in the ‘90s.  There’s no reason why it wouldn’t work now.  And that will allow us to make sure that we can still invest in our future.

As I travel around the world — and I know President Clinton does, as well — you talk to people; nothing gets me more frustrated when I hear sometimes reports in the press about America’s decline, because around the world there’s nobody who wouldn’t trade places with us.  (Applause.)  We’ve got the best universities, the most productive workers, the best entrepreneurs, the best scientists.  We’ve got all the ingredients we need to make it work.  Now we just need the best politics.  Now we just need the best politics.  (Applause.)  And that’s what this election is going to be all about.

So the bottom line is this:  All of you, you’re going to have to work not just as hard as we did in 2008, we’re going to need you to work harder.  One of the things we learned in 2008 is for all the negative ads, for all the rough-and-tumble of politics, for all the distortions and just plain nonsense that you sometimes hear, when folks come together, when citizens come together and insist that it’s time for a change, guess what — change happens.

And what was true then is just as true now.  And I want you guys to know that it is true that my hair is grayer — I haven’t quite caught up to Bill yet — (laughter) — but I’m getting there.  Those of us who have this awesome privilege of holding this office, we end up showing a few dings and dents along the way.  That’s inevitable.  But I am more determined now than I was in 2008.  (Applause.)  I am more inspired by America now than I even was then, because I’ve seen more of this country, and I’ve seen its strength and I’ve seen its passion.  I’ve seen what’s possible.

I’ve seen the changes we’ve already brought.  And it shouldn’t make us complacent, but it should make us confident about the changes that we can bring about in the future.  (Applause.)  It means that we’re going to be able to do even more to double clean energy.  It means we’re going to be able to do even more to bring back manufacturing.  We’re going to be able to do more to put people back to work.  We’re going to be able to make sure that we’re a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.
All those things on our checklist that we haven’t yet gotten done we will get done.  But we’re only going to get it done because of you.  I’m only going to get it done because of you.  (Applause.)

You know, I used to say that I’m not a perfect man — Michelle will tell you — and I’ll never be a perfect President. No President is.  But I promised you I would always tell you what I thought, I’d always tell you where I stood, and I’d wake up every single day just thinking about how I can make the lives of the American people a little bit better, and I’d work as hard as I knew how to make that happen.  And I have kept that promise.  I have kept that promise because I still believe in you.  And I hope you still believe in me.  (Applause.)

Because if you’re willing to join me this time out, and knock on doors, and make phone calls, and get out there and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors, I promise you we will finish what we started in 2008.  (Applause.)  We will not go backward.  We will go forward.  And we will remind the entire world just why it is the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth.

Thank you, New York.  I love you.  God bless you.  God bless America.  (Applause.)

END
9:28 P.M. EDT

Remarks by President Obama and President Clinton at a Campaign Event

New Amsterdam Theatre
New York, New York

6-5-12

9:54 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT CLINTON: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being here to ensure the reelection of President Obama and Vice President Biden. I thank you very much. (Applause.)

You know, I was worried about getting half a step slow doing this because my whole life is my foundation now. I’m a little rusty at politics. (Laughter.) But this is my — wait, wait, wait. This is my third event tonight where I am the warm-up act for the President. (Applause.) So I am about to get my steps down and my rhythm going, you know?

Here’s what I want to say. Your presence here tonight is important. Your support is important. And perhaps, most important of all, your willingness to leave here and talk to people about this election not just in New York but all across this country is profoundly important. (Applause.) Because I’ve found there’s a lot of murkiness out there. So let me just be as simple as I can. I don’t think it’s important to reelect the President; I think it’s essential to reelect the President — if we want this country to go in the right direction. (Applause.)

And I want to explain why.

I know things are not perfect now. I know they’re a little slow now. But let me just remind you that when the President took office a little over three years ago, in the month he took the oath of office we lost 800,000 jobs. Starting on September the 15th, we entered the deepest crash since the Great Depression. If you look at history, those things take five or 10 years to get over, and if there’s a housing collapse along with it, closer to 10 years. He’s on schedule to beat that record.

And so we have to go out to people who are still hurting, who are still uncertain, and who hear the airways full of contradictory assertions, and basically give them the facts. And here they are: In the last 27 months, this economy has created 4.3 million private sector jobs. (Applause.) That is — to give you some perspective on how many that is, that’s 60 percent more private sector jobs that were created in the seven years and eight months of the previous administration before the financial meltdown — (applause) — and about the same number per month as were created during the time I had the honor of serving.

Now, second thing — they tell you how terrible his health care bill is. It’s hard for them since Governor Romney’s finest act as governor was to sign a bill with the individual mandate in it, which he has now renounced. But let me tell you a couple things about it. Number one, for the first time in 50 years we have had two years in a row where health care costs have only gone up 4 percent — first time in 50 years.

Number two, the American people this year got $1.3 billion in refunds on their health care premiums — because you’ve got to spend 85 percent of that premium on health care today, not profits or promotion. (Applause.) Number three, there are 2.6 million young people, 26 and under, who are insured today for the first time because they’re on their parent’s policy. (Applause.)

So — and look, this is a huge deal. I talk to people in this business all over America. They would be mortified if this bill were repealed because they say we’re finally making progress. We’re going to stop paying for procedures, start paying for performance. We’re going to have plans that will bring our cost down in line with our competitor and improve the quality of care. People in health care — the President and I just came from an event and there were two woman doctors who said, we are doctors for health care reform and we are here because we can see it working already, that it’s coming. (Applause.)

Now, manufacturing is coming back for the first time since the 1990s. Green tech jobs, in spite of the attacks from Governor Romney and the Republicans, grew at twice the rate of other jobs after the economic downturn, and paid 35 percent more.

The automobile industry was headed for a calamity, and two of the great auto companies in America were saved by a financial agreement that had management, labor and government restructuring the company. There are 80,000 more people making cars today than there were when Barack Obama became President. (Applause.) And 1.5 million people had their jobs saved. (Applause.)

Car mileage standards are going to be doubled because of an agreement between management and labor, and the environmental groups and government. And as we double those car mileage standards, 150,000 high-paying jobs will be created, creating the new technologies to make it possible.

And I could give you 50 more things, but you get the idea. Why aren’t things roaring along now? Because Europe is in trouble and because the Republican Congress has adopted the European economic policy. Who would have thought, after years and years, even decades, in which the Republican right attacked “old Europe,” that they would embrace the economic policies of the eurozone — austerity and unemployment now at all costs. (Laughter.) I mean after all, their unemployment rate is 11 percent, and ours is 8 — we can get right up there if we just adopt their policies. (Laughter and applause.)

You’re laughing, but you need to tell people this. That’s what they’re being asked to vote for. They’re being asked to reject a President who has tried to give us a 21st century economic policy, and said, no, no, growth and jobs now — broad-based growth, fair growth that includes all Americans. Then we’ll put the hammer down on the spending to avoid the debt exploding at the time when economic growth occurs so that we won’t have high interest rates and we won’t kill off the recovery.

The Republican policy is the reverse. Governor Romney says, no, austerity and unemployment now, and then when we — if we ever get out of this thing, then we’re going to cut taxes so much, we’ll explode the debt then and see just how high we can drive interest rates, and how we can make the economy — that is their economic policy. It was their economic policy, and it is. And it doesn’t work.

So we’re laughing, we’re having a good time tonight. The night belongs to the President and to you. But I’m telling you, I spent a lifetime in public service and now with my foundation, desperately trying to figure out how to give people a better chance — desperately trying to figure out how to create jobs. (Applause.) And he analyzed this situation properly. He did the best he could with a lousy hand. And he will do better if the American people said, no, we don’t want to go back to what got us in trouble in the first place. Give us a 21st century economy we can all be a part of. (Applause.)

That’s what President Obama will do. Let’s bring him on with a big hand! Stand up for the President! (Applause.)

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.) It is good to be back on Broadway! (Applause.) But before I get to this unbelievable opening act — (laughter) — let me thank my producer. That’s usually what you do when you’re on Broadway. (Laughter.) Margo Lion has been such a great friend of mine for so long. (Applause.) Bill, during the campaign, Margo set up I think a couple of these.

And for all those who performed tonight, I could not be more grateful and more appreciative. Many of you have put in a lot of time and effort, not just this time out but last time out. And it is just a great joy to be with all of you. But Margo especially — I just want to give her a public acknowledgment because she has been a great friend. (Applause.)

Before we get to the some of the more serious items, I do want to just share a quick story about Margo. Shortly after I had been elected — Bill can relate to this — the Secret Service bubble shrinks and it starts really clamping down. (Laughter.) And the thing that you miss most when you’re President — extraordinary privilege, and really nice plane and all kinds of stuff — (laughter) — but suddenly, not only have you lost your anonymity, but your capacity to just wander around and go into a bookstore, or go to a coffee shop, or walk through Central Park.

So I was saying — it was a beautiful day and I had just been driving through Manhattan, and I saw Margo. And I said, you know, I just desperately want to take a walk through Central Park again, and just remember what that feels like. But the problem is, obviously, it’s hard to do now. And so my idea has been to see if I was — if I got a disguise — (laughter) — could I pull this off. (Laughter.)

And so Margo thought about it, and about a week later I got this fake moustache — (laughter) — that I guess she got from one of the makeup artists on Broadway. And I tried it on and I thought it looked pretty good. (Laughter.) But when I tested this scheme with the Secret Service, they said it didn’t look good enough. (Laughter.)

But I kept it. I have kept this moustache just in case in the second term I — (laughter and applause.) So if you — so if a couple years from now you see a guy with big ears and a moustache — (laughter) — just pretend you don’t know who it is. Just look away. (Laughter.) Eating a hotdog, you know. (Laughter.) Going through the — you know.

I want to thank Bill Clinton – (applause) — not only for the extraordinary support that he’s shown tonight and the support he’s showing throughout this campaign, not only for the fact that he is as good at breaking down what’s at stake at any given moment in our history, his inexhaustible energy and knowledge, the work that he’s doing around the world on behalf of folks in need — but I also want to thank him for his legacy. (Applause.) Because in many ways Bill Clinton helped to guide the Democratic Party out of the wilderness –- (applause) — and to lay the groundwork for a sensible, thoughtful, common-sense, progressive agenda that is important to remember at this moment.

When many of us came together in 2008, we came together not just because of me. In fact, folks weren’t sure whether I was going to win. When you support a guy named Barack Hussein Obama, the odds are always — (laughter) — a little long. But we came together because of a shared commitment we made to each other as American citizens, a basic compact that defines this country — that says if you’re willing to work hard, if you’re willing to take responsibility, then there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you look like, whether you’re black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, able, disabled — it doesn’t matter — that you’ve got a stake in this country. You’ve got a claim on this country. (Applause.) And if you’re willing to work hard, you can make it if you try in the United States of America. (Applause.)

And in 2008, we understood that that compact seemed like it was eroded. A few people were doing very well, but more and more people seemed to be struggling to get by. We had squandered a surplus on tax cuts for folks who didn’t need them and weren’t even asking for them. (Applause.) We had paid for two wars on a credit card. Because we hadn’t enforced basic rules of the marketplace, we saw more and more of our economy built on speculation and financial schemes that were inherently unstable. And it all came crashing down in the worst crisis that we’ve seen in our lifetimes.

But part of the reason why we understood both what was possible and what had been lost was because of our memories of Bill Clinton’s tenure as President — (applause) — and our recognition that there’s no contradiction between growing an economy and making sure that everybody is taking part — in fact, that’s how you grow an economy, is because you’re giving everybody a shot and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody is playing by the same set of rules.

We understood there’s no contradiction between economic growth and caring for our environment; that, in fact, if we make smart investments in clean energy, that’s an entire industry of the future that can put people back to work.

We understood that there wasn’t a contradiction between being fiscally responsible, but also making sure that kids got Head Start, kids could go to college, and we were investing in basic science and basic research. This wasn’t some fantasy of ours. This wasn’t some pie in the sky, wild imaginings. We’d seen it. We knew it was possible. And that’s what we fought for.

Of course, we didn’t know at the time that we were going to see this incredible crisis — 3 million jobs lost in the six months before the election, and 800,000 lost the month I was sworn into office.

But here’s one thing we understood. The campaign taught us this — the incredible resilience and the incredible strength of the American people. (Applause.) And so part of what allowed us to fight our way out of this hole was some tough decisions that we made — to save the auto industry even when some people said, let’s let Detroit go bankrupt — (applause) — and getting management and workers together to save over a million jobs. And now GM is back on top. The American auto industry is making better cars than ever. (Applause.)

We made tough decisions to make sure that credit was flowing again to businesses large and small, and they could keep their doors open and start hiring again and make investments again in the future. And we’ve seen over 4 million jobs created. We’ve seen more manufacturing jobs created at any time since the 1990s.

And so, in part, the reason that we have been weathering this storm was because of some tough policies, but the right policies. But a lot of it just had to do with the resilience of the American people. They don’t give up. They don’t quit. So some 55-year-old gets laid off and they decide, you know what, I’m going to back to school. I’m going to get myself retrained to find the job of the future. I’m not giving up. A small business owner, they patch together whatever money they can to keep their doors open and to make sure that they can keep their employees on, even if it means maybe they don’t get paid for a while, even if it means that the owner of that business is having to scrimp. That’s how much they care about their employees.

Folks decided, you know what, we were going to retire at 65, but maybe we’re going to have to work an extra five years because I’m going to make sure my child or my grandchild gets to go to college. All kinds of decisions like that made all across America.

And so after this incredible crisis, America is moving in the right direction. We’re not there yet; we’re not where we need to be. There are still too many people out there who are looking for work, too many homes that are still underwater, too many kids in poverty who still don’t see prospects for the future. But we started to right the ship and we’ve moving in the direction that we imagined in 2008.

And that is why this election in a lot of ways is even more important than the last one, because as hard as we’ve worked over the last four years, as much as we’ve done to start rebuilding a country that’s not built on how much we consume or some sort of Ponzi schemes, but built on what we’re producing and what we’re making, and the skills of our people, and the ingenuity of our scientists, and the risk-taking of our entrepreneurs — after all that work that we’ve done, the last thing we’re going to do is to go back to the very same policies that got us into this mess in the first place. We’re not going backwards. (Applause.) We’re not going backwards, New York! We intend to go forwards! nd that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States of America. (Applause.) We’re not going back.

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT: Not going back to a set of policies that say you’re on your own. And that’s essentially the theory of the other side. George Romney — wrong guy. (Laughter.) Governor Romney — he was a good governor. (Laughter.) Governor Romney is a — he’s a patriotic American. He’s had great success in his life, and he’s raised a beautiful family. But he has a theory of the economy that basically says, if I’m maximizing returns for my investors, for wealthy individuals like myself, then everybody is going to be better off.

He was in Iowa talking to a woman, and she was describing her financial struggles, and his response was out of an economic textbook. He said, “Productivity equals income.” (Laughter.)

Now, I guess in the aggregate, technically — right — this is a coherent argument. (Laughter.) But the implication was somehow that this woman, or others who are struggling out there, they’re not productive enough.

Well, let me tell you, actually, America has become incredibly productive. People are working harder than ever. We’ve got some of the most productive workers in the world. The problem is not that we aren’t productive enough; the problem is that productivity has not translated for far too many people into higher incomes. (Applause.) The problem is that profits haven’t translated into jobs and investment in this country.

We believe in the marketplace. We believe in entrepreneurship and rewarding risk-taking. But what we also understand is that our economy works best, America became an economic superpower, because we created a platform where everybody could succeed. And we set up rules of the road that made the market work for everybody, and gave consumers confidence that they weren’t going to be bilked, and gave investors confidence that if you’re a small investor, you’re not some insider, you still have a chance buying a stock.

And we understood that if we’re investing in things like a Hoover Dam or DARPA — the research and development arm of our military that ended up producing things like the Internet or GPS — that that, in fact, would be good for everybody.

We understand that when my grandfather’s generation came back from fighting in World War II and they had a chance to go to college on the GI Bill, that wasn’t just good for one individual, it wasn’t just good for one group. That was good for everybody. We all became richer together.

And that’s the lesson that Mr. Romney and the Republicans in Congress don’t seem to understand, they don’t seem to get. But look at our history. Ironically, the first Republican President understood it. Abraham Lincoln understood it. That’s why in the middle of a Civil War he was still building a Transcontinental Railroad and starting land grant colleges, and starting the National Academy of Sciences — because he understood that ultimately there are some things we do better on our own — not every government program works, not everybody can [be] helped who doesn’t want to be helping themselves. All of us have responsibilities.

And I learned early on that no matter how much money you pour into the schools, nothing replaces the love and attention and occasional scoldings from a parent. (Applause.) I learned as a community organizer that no government program can substitute for the caring and passion of neighbors and communities. But I also understood, and you understand and Americans understand, that when we’ve done great things in this country we’ve done them together. We’ve done them together. And that’s what’s at stake in this election.

And we’re not going back to this other theory. I’m not going to go back to a time when if you got sick, you had no recourse and you potentially could go bankrupt. I’m not going to go back to a time when 2.5 million young people can’t get health insurance or can’t stay on their parent’s plan — (applause) — or 30 million people who are working maybe two jobs can’t afford to buy health insurance and end up in an emergency room just because they can’t get sick and aren’t getting preventive care. We’re not going to go back to that.

We’re not going to go back to a time when — we’re not going to refight the battles about whether or not we need to make some basic reforms on Wall Street so that taxpayers don’t have to bail out folks after they’ve made irresponsible or reckless bets. (Applause.) That’s not good for our financial markets. We’re not going to refight that battle.

We’re not going to go back to a time when manufacturing is all moving offshore. We want to bring companies onshore. I want to give tax breaks to companies that are investing in jobs investment here in the United States — (applause) — not shipping jobs overseas. We don’t need to go back to policies like that.

We’re not going to go back to a time when our military could expel somebody because of who they loved. We believe in everybody being treated fairly and equally, and respecting everybody’s rights. We’re not going to go backwards. We’re going forwards. (Applause.)

We don’t need to go back to a foreign policy that thinks the measure of our security is everything we do we do on our own. We’ve been able to restore respect and collaboration, and our alliances have never been stronger — partly because I’ve got a pretty good Secretary of State. (Applause.)

And that’s how we ended the war in Iraq. And that’s how we’re starting to transition out of Afghanistan. And that’s how we brought Osama bin Laden to justice. (Applause.) And we’re not going to go backwards on policies that make America stronger.

We’re not going to go back to the days when somehow women couldn’t get the preventive care that they need. (Applause.) We don’t need a situation where women aren’t controlling their own health care choices. We don’t need to eliminate Planned Parenthood. I want my daughters to have the same opportunities as my sons. That’s part of what America is about. We’re not turning back the clock. We’re not going backwards. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years!

PRESIDENT OBAMA: And we can afford the investments we need to grow. We can afford to make sure that every kid has a chance to go to college, and they’re going to a decent school, and they’re graduating. (Applause.)

We can afford to rebuild our roads and our bridges and our airports and our broadband lines and high-speed rail, and putting people back to work. We can afford — in fact, we can’t afford not to invest in the science and research that’s going to keep us at the cutting-edge. (Applause.)

We’re not going to throw millions of people off the Medicaid rolls, folks who are disabled or poor, seniors who are relying on it. We’re not going to voucherize Medicare. We’re going to responsibly reduce this deficit. You know — two Presidents over the last 30 years that have actually reduced the pace of the growth in government spending happen to be on this stage right here. They happen to be the two Democrats. (Applause.)

So we have to get our deficit and debt under control. We’ve got to do it in a responsible way, cut out programs we don’t need. I’ve already signed a trillion dollars in cuts that have already been made, another trillion that are slated to be made. But we’re also going to ask folks who can afford it like the two of us to pay a little bit more — and some of you, too, so don’t chuckle — (laughter and applause) — to pay a little bit more so that we can afford the things that will help us grow. That’s the right recipe. That’s what made us an economic superpower. And that’s the policy that we’re going to pursue.

Now, here’s the good news. The American people, on the issues, when presented with the facts, they actually agree with us. Now, it’s hard sometimes getting the facts out. There’s a lot of bugs on the windshield. (Laughter.) Sometimes you’ve got to — (laughter) — so you got to get those wipers going pretty hard sometimes. It’s not always clear. (Laughter.)

But when folks know the facts, when they’re given a choice — and that’s what this election is about, every election is about a choice — when given a choice between a vision that says we’re going to have a balanced approach to deficit reduction, and we’re going to continue to make investments in things like clean energy and fuel efficiency and science and innovation and education and rebuilding our infrastructure, versus another $5 trillion worth of tax cuts that would give the average millionaire and billionaire an additional $250,000 a year in tax breaks — people agree with us.

On issue after issue, if you give them a fair presentation, no spin on the ball, the majority of the country — not just Manhattan — (laughter) — the majority of the country agrees with us. Which is why the other side isn’t — they’re not presenting anything new. As Bill said the other day, this is the same old stuff, just on steroids. (Laughter.) Just more of. More tax cuts for the wealthy. We’re not just going to reduce regulation, we’re going to cripple EPA. And people aren’t buying that. They don’t really think that that’s going to work.

The only reason that this is going to be a close election is because people are still hurting. The situation in Europe is slowing things down. We’ve been prevented from, for example, the plans that I’ve put forward repeatedly to Congress to say, let’s give states more help so they don’t have to lay off more teachers. Now interest rates have never been lower. Literally, the government can — basically people will pay us to lend us money — (laughter) — and there would never be a better time for us to start making investments that could put construction workers back to work all across the country. (Applause.)

But that’s not something Congress, so far, has been willing to do. Though we’re going to keep on putting pressure on them over these next few months because we don’t have time just to wait for an election to do something. (Applause.)

But folks are still hurting. And this has been a long slog for people. And sometimes when things are tough you just say, well, you know what, I’ll just keep on trying something until something works. And that’s compounded by $500 million in super PAC negative ads that are going to be run over the course of the next five months that will try to feed on those fears and those anxieties and that frustration.

That’s basically the argument the other side is making. They’re not offering anything new, they’re just saying, things are tough right now and it’s Obama’s fault. You can pretty much sum up their argument. (Laughter.) There’s no vision for the future there. There’s no imagination. I mean, somebody is going to have to explain to me how repealing Obamacare and throwing 30 million people back to a situation where they don’t have health care, somehow that’s an economic development agenda. (Laughter.) Nobody has really explained that to me.

So it’s going to be — it’s going to be a tough election. But 2008 was tough, too. And what you all taught me was that when Americans are willing to come together and make a commitment to each other, when they have a vision about what’s possible and they commit to it, and they join together and they work for it, when they decide — when you decide — that change is going to happen, guess what. Change happens. (Applause.) Change happens.

And so I may be a little grayer than I was the last time I was on Broadway. (Laughter.) Going to need to get Margo to send me something to do something — do something about that. As President Clinton will tell you, you go through some dings and dents in this job. But I tell you what. I’m more determined than I’ve ever been. (Applause.) I’m more determined than I’ve ever been to finish what we started.

I used to say back in 2008, I’m not a perfect man, and haven’t been and won’t be a perfect President. Nobody is. But what I told you was I’d always tell you what I thought, I’d always tell you where I stood, and I’d wake up every single morning fighting as hard as I knew how to make life better for the American people. And I have kept that promise. I have kept that promise, Broadway. (Applause.) I have kept that promise.

I still believe in you. I hope you still believe in me. I hope you still believe! If people ask you what this campaign is about, you tell them it’s still about hope and it’s still about change. And if you’re willing to knock on some doors and make some phone calls, and talk to your friends and neighbors, and work just as hard as you did in 2008, we will finish what we started and remind the world why it is America is the greatest nation on Earth.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless America.

END
10:32 P.M. EDT

Campaign Buzz April 24, 2012: Mitt Romney’s Speech After Sweeping all 5 Northeast Primaries — Moves on to General Election Assails Barack Obama in Manchester, New Hampshire

CAMPAIGN 2012

 

 

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

 

Mitt Romney Delivers Remarks in Manchester, NH

 


Source: Mitt Romney, 4-24-12

Location

 

Boston, MA

United States

 

Mitt Romney tonight delivered remarks in Manchester, New Hampshire. The following remarks were prepared for delivery:

 

Thank you Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York!  And tonight I can say thank you, America.  After 43 primaries and caucuses, many long days and more than a few long nights, I can say with confidence – and gratitude – that you have given me a great honor and solemn responsibility.  And, together, we will win on November 6th!

 

We launched this campaign not far from here on a beautiful June day. It has been an extraordinarily journey.

 

Americans have always been eternal optimists.  But over the last three and a half years, we have seen hopes and dreams diminished by false promises and weak leadership. Everywhere I go, Americans are tired of being tired, and many of those who are fortunate enough to have a job are working harder for less.

 

For every single mom who feels heartbroken when she has to explain to her kids that she needs to take a second job … for grandparents who can’t afford the gas to visit their grandchildren … for the mom and dad who never thought they’d be on food stamps … for the small business owner desperately cutting back just to keep the doors open one more month – to all of the thousands of good and decent Americans I’ve met who want nothing more than a better chance, a fighting chance, to all of you, I have a simple message: Hold on a little longer.  A better America begins tonight.

 

Tonight is the start of a new campaign to unite every American who knows in their heart that we can do better! The last few years have been the best that Barack Obama can do, but it’s not the best America can do!

 

Tonight is the beginning of the end of the disappointments of the Obama years and the start of a new and better chapter that we will write together.

 

This has already been a long campaign, but many Americans are just now beginning to focus on the choice before the country. In the days ahead, I look forward to spending time with many of you personally. I want to hear what’s on your mind, hear about your concerns, and learn about your families. I want to know what you think we can do to make this country better…and what you expect from your next President.

 

And I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. I’ll probably start out talking about my wonderful wife Ann – I usually do – and I’ll probably bore you with stories about our kids and grandkids. I’ll tell you about how much I love this country, where someone like my dad, who grew up poor and never graduated from college, could pursue his dreams and work his way up to running a great car company.  Only in America could a man like my dad become governor of the state in which he once sold paint from the trunk of his car.

 

I’d say that you might have heard that I was successful in business.  And that rumor is true.  But you might not have heard that I became successful by helping start a business that grew from 10 people to hundreds of people.  You might not have heard that our business helped start other businesses, like Staples and Sports Authority and a new steel mill and a learning center called Bright Horizons. And I’d tell you that not every business made it and there were good days and bad days, but every day was a lesson.  And after 25 years, I know how to lead us out of this stagnant Obama economy and into a job-creating recovery!

 

Four years ago Barack Obama dazzled us in front of Greek columns with sweeping promises of hope and change.  But after we came down to earth, after the celebration and parades, what do we have to show for three and a half years of President Obama?

 

Is it easier to make ends meet? Is it easier to sell your home or buy a new one?  Have you saved what you needed for retirement? Are you making more in your job?  Do you have a better chance to get a better job?  Do you pay less at the pump?

 

If the answer were “yes” to those questions, then President Obama would be running for re-election based on his achievements…and rightly so.  But because he has failed, he will run a campaign of diversions, distractions, and distortions.  That kind of campaign may have worked at another place and in a different time.  But not here and not now.  It’s still about the economy …and we’re not stupid.

 

People are hurting in America. And we know that something is wrong, terribly wrong with the direction of the country.

 

We know that this election is about the kind of America we will live in and the kind of America we will leave to future generations.  When it comes to the character of America, President Obama and I have very different visions.

 

Government is at the center of his vision. It dispenses the benefits, borrows what it cannot take, and consumes a greater and greater share of the economy. With Obamacare fully installed, government will come to control half the economy, and we will have effectively ceased to be a free enterprise society.

 

This President is putting us on a path where our lives will be ruled by bureaucrats and boards, commissions and czars.  He’s asking us to accept that Washington knows best – and can provide all.

 

We’ve already seen where this path leads.  It erodes freedom.  It deadens the entrepreneurial spirit.  And it hurts the very people it’s supposed to help.  Those who promise to spread the wealth around only ever succeed in spreading poverty.  Other nations have chosen that path. It leads to chronic high unemployment, crushing debt, and stagnant wages.

 

I have a very different vision for America, and of our future. It is an America driven by freedom, where free people, pursuing happiness in their own unique ways, create free enterprises that employ more and more Americans. Because there are so many enterprises that are succeeding, the competition for hard-working, educated and skilled employees is intense, and so wages and salaries rise.

 

I see an America with a growing middle class, with rising standards of living. I see children even more successful than their parents – some successful even beyond their wildest dreams – and others congratulating them for their achievement, not attacking them for it.

 

This America is fundamentally fair. We will stop the unfairness of urban children being denied access to the good schools of their choice; we will stop the unfairness of politicians giving taxpayer money to their friends’ businesses; we will stop the unfairness of requiring union workers to contribute to politicians not of their choosing; we will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve; and we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next.

 

In the America I see, character and choices matter.  And education, hard work, and living within our means are valued and rewarded.  And poverty will be defeated, not with a government check, but with respect and achievement that is taught by parents, learned in school, and practiced in the workplace.

 

This is the America that was won for us by the nation’s Founders, and earned for us by the Greatest Generation.  It is the America that has produced the most innovative, most productive, and the most powerful economy in the world.

 

As I look around at the millions of Americans without work, the graduates who can’t get a job, the soldiers who return home to an unemployment line, it breaks my heart. This does not have to be. It is the result of failed leadership and of a faulty vision. We will restore the promise of America only if we restore the principles of freedom and opportunity that made America the greatest nation on earth.

 

Today, the hill before us is a little steep but we have always been a nation of big steppers.  Many Americans have given up on this President but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America.

 

In the days ahead, join me in the next step toward that destination of November 6th, when across America we can give a sigh of relief and know that the Promise of America has been kept. The dreamers can dream a little bigger, the help wanted signs can be dusted off, and we can start again.

 

And this time we’ll get it right. We’ll stop the days of apologizing for success at home and never again apologize for America abroad.

 

There was a time – not so long ago – when each of us could walk a little taller and stand a little straighter because we had a gift that no one else in the world shared. We were Americans. That meant something different to each of us but it meant something special to all of us. We knew it without question. And so did the world.

 

Those days are coming back. That’s our destiny.

 

We believe in America. We believe in ourselves. Our greatest days are still ahead. We are, after all, Americans!

 

God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

 

Campaign Buzz April 24, 2012: Mitt Romney Sweeps Northeast Primarie, Wins all 5 — Moves on to General Election Assails Barack Obama in Manchester, New Hampshire Speech

CAMPAIGN 2012

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. Ms. Goodman has also contributed the overviews, and chronologies in History of American Presidential Elections, 1789-2008, 4th edition, edited by Gil Troy, Fred L. Israel, and Arthur Meier Schlesinger published by Facts on File, Inc. in late 2011.

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

Cheryl Senter for The New York Times

As Republicans in five other states voted Tuesday, Mitt Romney addressed general election themes in Manchester, N.H. More Photos »

IN FOCUS: MITT ROMNEY SWEEPS NORTHEAST PRIMARIES, WINS ALL 5 — MOVES ON TO GENERAL ELECTION ASSAILING OBAMA IN MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE SPEECH

Romney goes five for five with New York primary victory: In an energetic speech in New Hampshire after winning Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania, Romney stakes his claim as the Republican nominee…. – WaPo, 4-24-12

After 5 More Contests, Romney Solidifies Lead: As Republicans in five other states voted Tuesday, Mitt Romney addressed general election themes in Manchester, N.H.
Mitt Romney effectively took the Republican Party helm on Tuesday after five primary victories in the Northeast solidified his status as presidential nominee-in-waiting…. – NYT, 4-24-12

  • Tuesday night wins make it official: Romney is the nominee: Romney swept Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware and Pennsylvania, and is expected to win New York shortly.
    Mitt Romney laid claim to a fiercely contested Republican presidential nomination Tuesday night with a fistful of primary triumphs, then urged all who struggle in a shaky U.S. economy to “hold on a little longer, a better America begins tonight.”
    Eager to turn the political page to the general election, Romney accused President Barack Obama of “false promises and weak leadership.” He said, “Everywhere I go, Americans are tired of being tired, and many of those who are fortunate enough to have a job are working harder for less.”
    The former Massachusetts governor spoke as he pocketed primary victories in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware and Pennsylvania in the first contests since Rick Santorum conceded the nomination. New York was expected to follow. He delivered his remarks to a national television audience from New Hampshire, the state where he won his first primary of the campaign and one of about a dozen states expected to be battlegrounds in the summer and fall campaign for the White House…. – CS Monitor, 4-24-12
  • Romney Delivers Big Primary Wins, Assails Obama in Speech: Mitt Romney declared that he had accomplished a sweep of five states on Tuesday night and laid claim to the Republican presidential nomination…. – NYT, 4-24-12
  • New York gives Romney clean sweep of Tuesday primaries: By David Meeks Mitt Romney won all five Republican presidential primaries Tuesday, effectively ending the GOP nomination battle. The Associated Press called New York for the former Massachusetts governor not long after the polls closed at 9 pm EDT…. – LAT, 4-24-12
  • Mitt Romney sweeps primaries in five states: Mitt Romney won all five Republican presidential primaries Tuesday night, completing a sweep of contests in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
    Romney boasted more than 50 percent of the vote in all five states.
    In Connecticut, with 90 percent of the expected votes in, Romney led Ron Paul 67 percent to 13 percent. In Rhode Island, with most of the expected votes counted, Romney led Paul 63 percent to 24 percent.
    In Pennsylvania, with nearly all of the votes in, Romney had 56 percent. Rick Santorum, who dropped out of the Republican presidential contest earlier this month, followed with 20 percent of the vote.
    In Delaware, with most of the votes counted, Romney led Newt Gingrich 56 percent to 27 percent. And in New York, with 51 percent of the expected votes in, Romney led Paul 60 percent to 17 percent…. – CBS News, 4-24-12
  • Romney to claim GOP nomination after primary victories: With victories expected in five Northeastern primaries, Mitt Romney prepared to claim the mantle of Republican presidential nominee — though he has not officially clinched the race — and turn his focus to a general election…. – LAT, 4-24-12
  • Romney: ‘It’s still about the economy, and we’re not stupid’: As votes continued to roll in for Mitt Romney after five Northeastern states weighed in on the Republican presidential campaign, Romney declared Tuesday “the start of a new campaign” in a victory speech focused exclusively…. – LAT, 4-24-12
  • Once a fierce rival, Rick Santorum hints at Mitt Romney endorsement in Presidential race: Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum says he expects to endorse Mitt Romney. Santorum says that he believes Romney is “the right guy” to challenge President Barack Obama. Still, he’s stopping short of an official…. – WaPo, 4-24-12
  • Gingrich plans to ‘realistically’ review campaign: Former House speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday that over the next few days he and his wife, Callista, would look “realistically” at the state of his beleaguered presidential campaign, but stopped short of dropping out…. – USA Today, 4-24-12
  • Gingrich says he’ll decide next move in campaign after finishing week of stops: Newt Gingrich says he plans to finish a week of campaigning in North Carolina but acknowledges that he needs to look realistically at where it stands. Gingrich spoke Tuesday night to about 100 supporters in Concord, NC, as he learned that…. – WaPo, 4-24-12

Political Buzz September 13, 2011: Upset, Republican Bob Turner Wins Anthony Weiner’s Congress Seat in New York Special Election over Democrat David I. Weprin — Referendum & Rebuke on President Obama & Israel Policies in Jewish Democratic District

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

Damon Winter/The New York Times

Bob Turner, center, spoke to supporters in Queens on Tuesday.

ELECTIONS: REPUBLICAN WINS NEW YORK’S CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 9 IN SPECIAL ELECTION

G.O.P. Gains House Seat Vacated by Weiner, AP Reports: A little-known Republican businessman from Queens, channeling voter discontent with President Obama into an upset victory, on Tuesday won election to Congress from the heavily Democratic district in New York City last represented by Anthony D. Weiner, according to The Associated Press.
The Republican, Bob Turner, a retired cable television executive, defeated Assemblyman David I. Weprin, the scion of a prominent Democratic family in Queens, in a nationally watched special election.

With 84 percent of the precincts counted early Wednesday, Mr. Turner was leading Mr. Weprin by 54 percent to 46 percent, according to The Associated Press.

Turner recently polled 6 points higher than Democrat opponent David Weprin, who is actually Jewish, and narrowed Weprin’s lead among Jewish voters by 15 points. The Turner campaign sent out 5,000 letters to registered voters in Israel, asking them to register for the ballots and place them in time.

“We congratulate Bob Turner on his historic victory.
This Republican win in an overwhelmingly Democrat district is a significant indicator of the problem that President Obama has in the Jewish community. While party leaders scramble to deny and try to stem the erosion of Jewish support for Democrats, the real issue is this President’s policies on Israel, on jobs, and on the economy. Jewish voters are coming to see that Republicans offer real solutions to our economic crisis, are resolute friends of Israel, and represent a way forward to a better future.
Bob Turner’s win tonight has huge implications for 2012 races in states with large Jewish communities, such as Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
The RJC took a proactive approach in this race, reaching out to Jewish voters in the district, and we will be a leading voice driving the debate in the Jewish community nationally through 2012 as well.” — Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) Executive Director Matt Brooks statement on the results of the special election in New York’s 9th congressional district — RJC: Jewish Defections Hurt Obama, Democrats in Queens Race

“His [President Barack Obama] hostility should concern Jews, Christians, and other supporters of Israel. Many believe the president has conveyed by his actions and demands on that state that he is willing to throw it under the bus and end the special relationship which has existed between the U.S. and Israel beginning with Harry Truman and continuing through the administration of George W. Bush….
While President Obama has made demands upon Israel that affect its security, no comparable demand — indeed, no demands — have been made upon the Palestinian Authority before entering the peace talks….
On the other hand, the election of Bob Turner in a normally safe Democratic district running against President Obama’s position on Israel and against his own party’s positions on the three entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid would send a message to his own party leadership, as well as to President Obama.” — Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch

“No matter who wins in the special election in New York’s 9th congressional district on Tuesday. This race highlights the serious problems that President Obama has in the Jewish community because of his policies regarding Israel. Without question, Obama’s policies are causing significant numbers of Jewish voters to re-examine their loyalty to the Democratic Party.” — Matt Brooks RJC executive director

    • G.O.P. Gains House Seat Vacated by Weiner: Bob Turner, a little-known Republican businessman from Queens, beat Assemblyman David I. Weprin in an upset victory seen as a message to Washington…. – NYT, 9-13-11
    • GOP Takes Anthony Weiner’s Seat in Congress: Republican Bob Turner, a retired media executive, bested Democrat Assemblyman David Weprin. With about 70 percent of precincts reporting late Tuesday, Turner had 53 percent of the vote to Weprin’s 47 percent when the Associated Press called the race…. – ABC News, 9-13-11
    • Republican wins Weiner’s former seat: In a blow to Democrats, a Republican candidate captured the heavily Jewish New York City congressional district previously represented by Rep. Anthony Weiner.
      The race was closely watched as a measure of attitudes toward President Obama, with the Jewish vote a particular focus of attention. Former New York City mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, urged voters to support the Republican, Bob Turner, in order to send a message of dissatisfaction to President Obama over his policies toward Israel…. – JTA, 9-13-11
    • Why Obama Is Losing the Jewish Vote He doesn’t have a ‘messaging’ problem. He has a record of bad policies and anti-Israel rhetoric: New York’s special congressional election on Tuesday was the first electoral outcome directly affected by President Obama’s Israel policy. Democrats were forced to expend enormous resources to try to defend this safe Democratic district, covering Queens and Brooklyn, that Anthony Weiner won last year by a comfortable margin.
      A Public Policy Poll taken days before the election found a plurality of voters saying that Israel was “very important” in determining their votes. Among those voters, Republican candidate Robert Turner was winning by a 71-22 margin. Only 22% of Jewish voters approved of President Obama’s handling of Israel. Ed Koch, the Democrat and former New York mayor, endorsed Mr. Turner because he said he wanted to send a message to the president about his anti-Israel policies.
      This is a preview of what President Obama might face in his re-election campaign with a demographic group that voted overwhelmingly for him in 2008. And it could affect the electoral map, given the battleground states—such as Florida and Pennsylvania—with significant Jewish populations. In another ominous barometer for the Obama campaign, its Jewish fund-raising has deeply eroded: One poll by McLaughlin & Associates found that of Jewish donors who donated to Mr. Obama in 2008, only 64% have already donated or plan to donate to his re-election campaign…. – WSJ, 9-13-11
    • Koch Played Key Role in GOP Victory: The Republican victory in New York’s solid blue 9th Congressional District seat in Tuesday’s special election came largely with the help of an influential Democrat: former New York City Mayor Ed Koch.
      Koch was arguably the one single factor in helping the GOP win the battle to succeed disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner in the U.S. House.
      The thrice-elected former mayor, who remains a powerful force in New York and national politics, had backed Obama strongly in the 2008 election.
      A self-describer “liberal with reason,” former Congressman Koch holds a hawkish view on U.S. foreign policy and national security matters.
      In 2004, he cited the war on terror to cross party lines and back George Bush over John Kerry for the presidency. Koch campaigned for Bush’s re-election in Florida and Ohio.
      In the special election, the 86-year-old Koch urged fellow New Yorkers, and disaffected Democrats like himself, to send a message to President Obama that they give him a thumbs down for his domestic and foreign policies.
      Koch, a staunch supporter of Israel, has been dismayed with Obama’s lukewarm support for Israel.
      The former mayor’s message appeared to resonate in the congressional district that straddles the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn and is home to many Jews, including many Orthodox ones. Newsmax, 9-13-11
    • Republican Bob Turner wins special election in New York: Democrats suffered a stunning blow Tuesday as voters in New York’s 9th Congressional District handed the seat to Republican Bob Turner, reversing a nearly 90-year tradition of electing Democrats to represent the district. … – LAT, 9-13-11
    • Republican Bob Turner wins New York special election: Businessman Bob Turner (R) defeated state Assemblyman David Weprin (D) in the special election for the House seat held by former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner (D)…. – WaPo, 9-13-11
    • A referendum on Obama and Israel: Bob Turner vs. David Weprin is really about: In deciding between Republican Bob Turner and Democrat David Weprin, the 9th’s large percentage of Jewish voters may provide an important clue about what a part of President Obama’s base in 2008 will do in next year’s presidential contest…. – New York Daily News, 9-13-11
    • Republican wins Democratic New York House seat: Republican Bob Turner won the race to succeed Anthony Weiner in New York’s 9th congressional district. By Paul Kane, With his outcome of his own reelection effort 14 difficult months away, President Obama suffered a sharp rebuke…. – WaPo, 9-13-11
    • GOP Wins in Race to Replace Weiner: AP Democrats suffered a setback Tuesday in a congressional election in New York City, where a district they have held for nearly a century elected a Republican who framed his candidacy as a rebuke to President Barack Obama. … – WSJ, 9-13-11
    • Republican wins in New York Democratic stronghold: Republicans won an upset victory in a Democratic stronghold in New York Tuesday in a special US House of Representatives election for the seat vacated by former Representative Anthony Weiner, who resigned after a Twitter sex scandal…. – Reuters, 9-13-11
    • GOP wins in NY House race, seen as Obama rebuke: Republicans have scored an upset victory in a House race that started as a contest to replace Rep. Anthony Weiner after he resigned in a sexting scandal but became a referendum on President Barack Obama…. – Forbes, 9-13-11

“The idea is telling Obama, we’re not just in your pocket because we’re Democrats and we’re ticking off Democrat all the way down the list. We are holding you responsible for your policies, and we’re telling you we don’t want them…. If Obama looks at his always historically blue district … if he gets this message from this Democrat district, this can affect his policies–again, both on fiscal and Israel — in the next year.” — Ruth Lieberman, a veteran political consultant

  • NY-9 Could Affect White House Israeli Policy: This afternoon, Ruth Lieberman, a veteran political consultant who has been helping Republican Bob Turner in his special election race to win former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s seat in New York, spoke with Townhall about the dynamics between Turner and the Jewish vote in this race and broader implications for 2012. The district shows 1/3 registered Jewish voters, but of last year’s participation in the election, a large percentage were Jewish voters, according to Lieberman.
    The conversation with Lieberman revealed voters in the very blue district seem interested on two issues: jobs and Israel. Turner’s message to constituents has been that if they’re not happy with the Obama economy or with the administration’s stance on Israel, Turner is their man. Turner also picked up major Jewish Democrat endorsements along the way — local Assemblyman Dov Hikind (who has been campaigning with Turner) and former New York Mayor Ed Koch. Lieberman emphasized that these two Democrat politicians are telling voters to cross over and that this isn’t about party, but a referendum on Obama and jobs and Israel…. – Townhall, 9-13-11
  • Is Israel Policy an Election Problem for Obama?: President Barack Obama’s weakened standing with voters has helped put a safe Democratic House seat at risk of tipping to the GOP in a special election Tuesday in New York City…. – WSJ, 9-13-11
  • Shocker: White House Spox Says NY-9 Special Is Not A Referendum On Obama’: It is worth reiterating that PPP found 54% of those polled said they disapproved of Obama’s policy on Israel, but voters were split on whether Israel matters in the NY-9 election…. – New York Daily News, 9-12-11
  • Polling Israel in NY-9: Republican Bob Turner’s unusual lead in last night’s PPP poll among Jewish and pro-Israel voters in Anthony Weiner’s old district has drawn its share of attention, but a reader points out that it may be a bit of a local anomaly. … – Politico, 9-12-11
  • GOP Jewish group yokes NY-9 results to Obama: The Republican Jewish Coalition, which sent mailers to 30,000 Jewish homes in NY-9 in advance of the special congressional election this week, is trying to pre-frame the results as negative for President Obama, regardless of whether Democrat David Weprin wins or loses.
    Weprin is locked in a tight race against neophyte politician and Republican Bob Turner, in a heavily Jewish district where Obama’s approval numbers are now underwater…. – Politico, 9-9-11
  • Gaming the Catholic vote: In a brief interlude into NY-9, which appears poised to go for the Republican Bob Turner tonight and will be sifted-over for national implications, veteran New York strategist Hank Sheinkopf said one takeaway for the Democrats next year is the Catholic vote…. – Politico, 9-13-11
  • Boehner on N.Y. special election: Republicans don’t have ‘any right to think we can win”: But if businessman Bob Turner (R) does prevail at the polls, Boehner said, the message will be a clear one: Voters are unhappy with President Obama’s leadership on the economy…. – WaPo, 9-13-11
  • NY special election a measure of Obama’s strength: Democrat David Weprin faced an unusually tight race against Republican Bob Turner in a special election Tuesday in New York’s heavily Democratic 9th Congressional District, where voters unhappy with President Barack Obama could elect a Republican for the first time.
    The contest to replace disgraced Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner has become too close to call, with public opinion polling showing a slight edge for Turner, a retired media executive with no previous political experience…. – AP, 9-13-11
  • Outside groups spend $1.65 million on House races in Nevada, New York: In Nevada, Kate Marshall (about $748000 reported) has out-raised Republican Mark Amodei (about $659000), while in New York David Weprin (about $684000) has more than doubled the campaign cash of his opponent Bob Turner (about $323000)…. – iWatch News, 9-13-11
  • 6 NY Assembly seats up for grabs in NYC, upstate: The race getting the most attention is the special election in New York City’s 9th Congressional District, where Democrat David Weprin faces Republican Bob Turner in the contest to succeed replace disgraced Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner…. – Houston Chronicle, 9-13-11
  • Former Mayor Ed Koch Supports Bob Turner YouTube, 9-12-11
  • Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D) Endorses Bob Turner (R) for US Congress in NY-9 YouTube, 9-9-11

Josh Haner/The New York Times

Assemblyman David I. Weprin had hoped to keep the Ninth Congressional District seat in Democratic hands, but failed.

Full Text September 11, 2011: President Barack Obama’s 9-11 Message to the Families — Remarks at National September 11 Memorial in New York & United Flight 93 Memorial

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

The 10th Anniversary of 9/11

President Obama’s Message to 9/11 Families

Source: WH, 9-11-11

President Obama has a message for those who lost loved ones on that terrible day, ten years ago: “We can never replace all that you have lost.  But what we can do, what we will do, is honor the memory of your loved ones by being the best country we can be, and by standing with you and your families, now and forever.”

The President and Mrs Obama commemorated today’s sad anniversary by attending memorial services at the three sites where the planes went down, and once again met with many of the families. The First Family have been touched by the grief that still lingers:

Despite heartache that never goes away, you’ve done what your loved ones would have wanted.  You’ve learned to live and laugh and love again.  Your courage, your resilience has been an inspiration to my family, and an inspiration to the American people.  Through you, we’ve been reminded that, as a people, we don’t simply endure, we can emerge stronger than before.

In quiet moments of remembrance, some of you have shared with Michelle and me the beauty of their lives, the anguish of your loss and the pain of these past ten years.  And I realize that there are no words than can ever fill the hole in your hearts.

But today I want to say again—your loved ones live on in you and in the life of our nation, which will never forget them.  In their name, we’ll never waver in our efforts to prevent another attack on our shores and to spare other families the heartbreak you have known.  In their name, we’ll continue to deliver justice to those who took the people you loved most in the world.  And in their name, we will come together, in spirit of national service, to honor your loved ones, as one American family.

President Obama and First Lady Join Services to Commemorate Tenth Anniversary of 9/11

Source: WH, 9-11-11

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush at the National September 11 Memorial President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, along with former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush, walk along the western edge of the North Pool at the National September 11 Memorial in New York, N.Y., prior to a commemoration ceremony on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are marking the tenth anniversary of the worst attacks on our country by joining ceremonies at each of the three sites where the planes crashed on September 11, 2001. Their first stop was New York City, where they joined the annual service that includes reading the names of all of the almost 3,000 victims. The President and First Lady joined former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush at the new September 11 Memorial, which features two reflecting pools built over the towers’ footprints where the names of the victims are etched in bronze.

Following a moment of silence at 8:46 AM, the exact moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center ten years ago, the President read Psalm 46 from the Bible:

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.

Therefore, we will not fear,
even though the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried
into the midst of the sea.
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
though the mountains shake
with its swelling,
there’s a river
whose streams shall make glad
the City of God,
the holy place of the Tabernacle
of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her.
She shall not be moved.
God shall help her
just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged,
the kingdoms were moved.
He uttered his voice.
The earth melted.
The Lord of Hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come behold the works of the Lord
who has made desolations in the Earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the Earth.
He breaks the bough
and cuts the spear in two.
He burns the chariot in fire.
Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations.
I will be exalted in the Earths.
The Lord of Hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama participate in a wreath laying ceremony in Shanksville PAPresident Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama participate in a wreath laying ceremony to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, and to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks against the United States, at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

From New York, the Obamas traveled to Shanksville, Pa., where they walked along the Wall of Names that honors the 40 brave Americans who were on Flight 93,  the plane that crashed at Shanksville, and placed a wreath at the site. The President also placed a wreath at a memorial at the Pentagon, where the 184 victims are each remembered with a bench and small reflecting pool. Sunday evening, the President and the First Lady will attend A Concert for Hope at the Kennedy Center in Washington.

The President declared September 11 a national day of service and remembrance to honor those killed in the attacks, those who responded 10 years ago and those who have served in our military during in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yesterday, the First Family participated in a service project in Washington, DC.

First Lady Michelle Obama hugs a woman at the 9/11 memorial in Shanksville PAPresident Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet people on the rope line while attending a ceremony to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks against the United States, at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)
Read the Transcript  |  Download Video: mp4 (262MB) | mp3 (25MB)

On This Day in History… September 11, 2001 Headlines: 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 Terror Attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, Pentagon & Flight 93

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:

Day in History

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

IN FOCUS: 10th ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11 TERROR ATTACKS

25 Most Powerful Photos

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY….

On this day in history… September 11, 2001… Terrorists hijack two passenger planes crashing them into New York’s World Trade Towers causing the collapse of the 110-story twin towers& death of 2,752 people.
Terrorists hijack a passenger plane and crash it into the Pentagon causing the death of 125 people.
Attempt by passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 to retake control of their hijacked plane from terrorists causes plane to crash in Pennsylvania field killing all 64 people onboard.

September 11, 2001: The Pictures We Remember: One decade after 9/11, an unsettling number of images from Ground Zero and environs remain seared in our collective memory — unsurprising, perhaps, given the scope and scale of the destruction. But the fact that the deadliest, most visually arresting attacks occurred in New York City also meant that many of the world’s best photographers were, in effect, already on the scene when the terrorists struck. Here, to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and in hopes of lending coherence to our shared, turbulent recollections, LIFE.com presents the 25 most stirring, visceral photographs from that day, featuring pictures from the likes of James Nachtwey, Joe Raedle, Spencer Platt, Mario Tama, and other celebrated photojournalists (and one intrepid amateur). These are the pictures we remember: wrenching, indelible photographs that tell the tale of a still-resonant late summer day that changed everything….. READ MORE

HEADLINES… NEW YORK TIMES SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

A DAY OF TERROR: COMMUNICATIONS; A Flood of Anxious Calls Clog Phone Lines:
Terrorist attacks in New York City and at Pentagon cause significant but temporary disruptions in telephone service in Northeast; major telecommunications carriers say problem was caused not by physical damage but by network overloads as extraordinary numbers of people tried to make calls in aftermath of incident; handful of television stations are knocked from airwaves after loss of transmitter atop World Trade Cente….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE ARABS; Condemnations From Arab Governments, but Widely Different Attitudes on the Street:
Arab governments condemn terrorist attacks in United States, but there is something of sense of inevitability in region whose leaders have warned for months that American support for Israel could have violent consequences; some Arabs say terrorists may well be American, but intense speculation focuses on Osama bin Laden or related organizations; all Palestinian groups deny any involvement; photo of celebration in Palestinian refugee camp near Beirut….

NYC; When the Unimaginable Happens, and It’s Right Outside Your Window:
Clyde Haberman comments on terrorists’ destruction of World Trade Center, observing that Americans have now experienced what Israelis have to face every day….

A DAY OF TERROR; Bush’s Remarks to the Nation on the Terrorist Attacks:
Transcript of address to nation by Pres Bush following terrorists attacks against US using hijacked jetliners….

A DAY OF TERROR: FINAL MOMENTS; Solicitor General Got 2 Calls From Wife on Doomed Plane:
Theodore B Olson, solicitor general of US, relates two cell phone conversations he had with his wife Barbara after she had been herded into back of hijacked airplane that eventually smashed into Pentagon; says pilot was apparently with Barbara Olson in back of plane; says she was trying to do something….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE HOPES; Survivors Are Found In the Rubble:
Desperate efforts to rescue those trapped under tons of twisted rubble around towers of World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, which collapsed after they were rammed by hijacked jetliners, described….

BASEBALL; Cashman Accounts for Players as Stadium Is Evacuated:
New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman starts accounting for members of team who live in Manhattan, networking with others, on morning of terrorist attack of World Trade Center and Pentagon; Yankee Stadium is evacuated and closed….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Some New Yorkers voice intense anger at terrorist attacks; some express express shock at failure to prevent such attacks in first place….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Broker working on 55th floor of 2 World Trade Center describes making it to street, where he finds piece of paper listing airliner’s itinerary and information about flight from Boston to Los Angeles….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Roundup of personal accounts of people during morning rush hour as they learned of catastrophe at World Trade Center….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Ferry boat crew member recalls how on day before German tourists were exclaiming how beautiful World Trade Center is, and now it’s gone….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE RESPONSE; Rescue Workers Rush In, And Many Do Not Return:
Attempts by New York City firefighters to rescue occupants of World Trade Center towers after they are rammed by hijacked jetliners described; instinctive efforts may have cost many their lives; 200 remain unaccounted after explosions collapse two main towers onto first wave of rescuers as they snake through stairwells and hallways; loss may be worst disaster in New York City Fire Department’s history….

A DAY OF TERROR: INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES; Officials Say They Saw No Signs of Increased Terrorist Activity:
Counterterrorism officials say that electronic eavesdropping intercepts obtained in hours after attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon indicate that terrorist operation was carried out by militant Islamic organization headed by Osama bin Laden; say they had no precise warning of attack, even as civilian flight controllers apparently tracked commercial aircraft involved in attacks as they veered far from their normal flight paths over northeastern US; acknowledge failure to detect any sign…

A DAY OF TERROR: VULNERABILITY; Physical and Psychological Paralysis of Nation:
Attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon shut down much of United States, compelling Americans to acknowledge that nameless terrorists can engage in multiple acts of war inside world’s most powerful country; overwhelming desire to do something to help victims sweeps much of country, creating crowds at blood centers; many Americans at first demand quick response against terrorists only to have their anger smothered in shadows that surround their enemy….

A DAY OF TERROR: HOSPITALS; Pictures of Medical Readiness, Waiting and Hoping for Survivors to Fill Their Wards:
Comment on scene at New York City hospitals in aftermath of wholesale carnage at World Trade Center; at hospitals throughout lower Manhattan, hundreds of doctors and nurses work as though all are part of one bit MASH unnit, tending to wounded at front lines of war….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE BACKGROUND; A Trend Toward Attacks That Emphasize Deaths:
American civilians at home and abroad have been targets of largest and most destructive terrorist attacks of last quarter-century, including Pan Am flight 103, bombing of federal office building in Oklahoma City and bombing of US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; terrorism experts say coordinated attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon are culmination of 20-year trend toward assaults that aim to kill many people in technically complex operations, often orchestrated by assailants….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT; Driven Underground, Administration and Congressional Officials Stay on the Job:
Terrorist attacks in Washington and New York using hijacked planes force top officials and quarter-million federal workers out of offices on Capitol Hill and drive government underground to secure retreats for much of day; Congressional leaders are evacuated to undisclosed secure location outside Washington following attack on Pentagon; later return with pledge of bipartisan solidarity; Pres Bush returns to White House from Florida, following zig-zag route through two successive Air Force bases….

A DAY OF TERROR: TRANSPORTATION; With City Transit Shut Down, New Yorkers Take to Eerily Empty Streets:
Subway services is shut down across New york City after terrorist attack on World Trade Center; buses, ferries, taxis and gypsy vans are overtaxed, and New Yorkers make their way through eerily empty streets on foot; photos show second plane slamming into south towe….

A DAY OF TERROR: TERRORIST VIGIL; Security Alerts Go Into Effect Across Nation:
Hundreds of thousands of workers in government buildings and prominent office towers across US are sent home early, leaving downtown areas large and small in wake of terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon….

A DAY OF TERROR: TRANSPORTATION; Left to Fend for Themselves, a Nation of Travelers Scrambles for Transit Options:
United States goes into gridlock as terrorist attacks in New York and Washington lead to virtual shutdown of nation’s transportation system, including grounding of every airplane in country; bus and train companies shut down as well….

The War Against America; The National Defense:
Editorial says terrorist attacks on New York and Washington make it imperative for nation to determine how an open and democratic society can better defend itself against terrorist threat that conventional armies and weapons cannot defeat; says nation must get better and more timely intelligence, which is best defense against terrorism, and light but lethal weapons to attack terrorist compounds in remote locations; says US must make it clear to its allies that they can no longer stand on sidelines…

A DAY OF TERROR: SECURITY; Boston’s Airport Security Is Described as Standard:
Investigators begin trying to pinpoint how terrorists managed to penetrate two airliners that set off from Logan International Airport in Boston and ultimately slammed into World Trade Center in New York; Logan’s level of security is considered typical of large international airports….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE WORRIES; Families and Friends Hoping for Reassurance Find Frustration and Anguish:
Comment on anguish and frustration felt by families and friends waiting for news about loved ones who were at World Trade Center…

Many Sporting Events Called Off or Postponed:
Terrorist attacks at World Trade Center and Pentagon cause cancellation or postponement of numerous sports events in US….

A DAY OF TERROR: SECURITY; Fear’s Ripple: Closing Down, Tightening Up:
Attack on World Trade Center prompts scores of other buildings and institutions near and far to close their doors, send workers home and take measures to heighten security; photo of grounded airliners at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airpor…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VICTIMS; Talk Show Figure and TV Producer Among Lost Passenger:
Among airline passengers killed in terrorist attack on World Trade Center are Berry Berenson, the photographer and widow of actor Tony Perkins, Barbara B Olson, talk show personality and wife of Solicitor General Theodore B Olson, and David Angell, executive producer of television show Frasier….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE AFGHANS; Condemning Attacks, Taliban Says bin Laden Not Involved:
Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers condemn terrorist attacks on America and say Osama bin Laden, terrorist suspect they are sheltering, was not involved; contend they have insisted that bin Laden refrain from political and military activities while in Afghanistan, but American intelligence officials believe that bin Laden’s ties with Taliban are increasingly close and that his freedom of movement may have increased in recent months….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE WORLD’S REACTION; European Nations Stand With U.S., Ready to Respond:
World’s governments express solidarity with US as democracy under attack; European Union and NATO officials will meet to discuss common approach to battle against terrorism; European officials quietly discuss how to assist US if it engages in military action in retaliation; Pres Vladimir Putin of Russia expresses support for retaliation; comments by other European leaders note….

A DAY OF TERROR: CONGRESS; Horror Knows No Party As Lawmakers Huddle:
Dozens of members of Congress from both parties stand side by side on East Front of Capitol and declare they will stand united behind Pres Bush and not bow to attack on nation’s freedom; twilight tableau intended to help calm nation is capped with singing of God Bless America; Capitol and nearby Senate and House office buildings are evacuated earlier in day after assault on Pentagon….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE ECONOMY; A Tragedy Adds More Confusion To the Outlook For U.S. Economy:
World Trade Center tragedy cancels all forecasts about American economy, and whatever happens next in US, in turn, will inevitably affect global economic outlook; big issue, beyond huge initial costs of repairing damage caused by attack, centers on whether American consumers might stop spending until they know who is responsible for assaults and whether they might happen again

A DAY OF TERROR: IN THE CAPITAL; In the Day’s Attacks and Explosions, Official Washington Hears the Echoes of Earlier One:
Many of capital’s elder statesmen reach back to Pearl Harbor for apt comparison with terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon, and many of them regard Sept 11 attack as worse of the two; photo of members of Congress singing God Bless America….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE GOVERNMENT; Trying to Command an Emergency When the Emergency Command Center Is Gone:
New York City’s two-year-old Emergency Command Center, World Trade Center, is supposed to act as nerve center in any calamity but is rendered useless within minutes after hijacked jetliners crash into both towers of World Trade Center, causing their collapse; emergency officials say despite all planning that occurred after bombing in 1993, none of scenarios played out envisioned such a disaster, which had potential to kill all those responding….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE PSYCHOLOGY; Attackers Believed To Be Sane:
Experts on psychology of terrorism hold that attacks visited on New York and Washington were in all likelihood work of perfectly sane people, not madmen; studies suggest people willing to sacrifice their lives in such attack are almost never disturbed loners sometimes conjured by news media or by Hollywood films, but are almost always part of larger organization that has recruited them, tested their courage and trained them to carry out their missions with precision….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE TALK ONLINE; Web Offers Both News And Comfort:
Major news Web sites were quickly overloaded, and many links to not-so-major news sites stopped working as result shortly after terrorist attacks in New York City and at Pentagon using hijacked jetliners; sites served not only as sources of information but for conversations and forums about tragedy….

A DAY OF TERROR: VERBATIM; Bush Aides Speak Out On Attacks:
Excerpts from statements deploring terrorist attack on US using hijacked planes by Defense Sec Donald Rumsfeld, Transportation Sec Norman Mineta, Atty Gen John Ashcroft, House Speaker J Dennis Hastert and Senate majority leader Sen Tom Daschle….

Reaction From Around the World:
World reaction to terrorist attacks against World Trade Center and Pentagon, using hijacked jetliners, discussed….

Metro Matters; City Turns, Temporarily, Into a Small Town:
Crashing of jetliners by hijackers into World Trade Center in Manhattan is new degree of horror for New York City, which has had its share of traumatic experiences; reaction of residents demonstrates that city knows how to survive unspeakable trauma, turning itself into small town when visited by tragedy (Metro Matters)….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE ELECTIONS; Pataki Orders Postponement Of Primaries Across State:
Gov George E Pataki orders primary elections across New York State postponed indefinitely as city officials struggle to cope with terrorist attack on World Trade Center….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE AIRLINES; Scores of U.S.-Bound Planes Are Diverted to Canadian Airports:
Scores of planes from around world are redirected to Canadian airports as United States closes its airspace after terrorist attacks in New York and Washington; domestic Canadian airlines cancel all flights as airports prepare to accept diverted airplanes….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE MEASUREMENT; Columbia’s Seismographs Log Quake-Level Impacts:
Crash of two hijacked planes into World Trade Center in Manhattan and collapse of two towers create shock waves that register on sensitive instruments at Columbia University meant to monitor earthquakes….

BASEBALL; Mets Wait on Word: No makeup date has been determined for game between New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates canceled in wake of attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Former Sen George Mitchell, man with long experience trying to defuse terrorism in Northern Ireland and Middle East, finds himself waiting for subway train at 168th Street and Broadway, trying to get home; his flight to Washington from La Guardia was canceled because of World Trade Center disaster; he describes such a terrorist act as being ‘war itself’….

A DAY OF TERROR; Calling for Help Or to Give Help:
At least three businesses in trade center set up phone numbers for those looking for friends or relatives: Morgan Stanley, largest tenant with 3,500 employees, Empire Blue Cross and Aon Risk Services

U.S. ATTACKED; President Vows to Exact Punishment for ‘Evil’:
Hijackers ram two jetliners into World Trade Center towers in New York City, eventually toppling them in hellish storm of ash, glass, smoke and leaping victims; third plane crashes into Pentagon in Virginia, and fourth plunges to ground near Pittsburgh; military is put on highest state of alert; National Guard units are called out in Washington and New York; two aircraft carriers are dispatched to New York harbor; Pres Bush, who remained aloft on Air Force One shortly after attacks, later addressed…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE FEDERAL RESERVE; The Financial World Is Left Reeling by Attack:
US Government, concerned that terrorist attack could ignite economic and financial problems in US and around world, scrambles to reassure markets and keep global slowdown from becoming something worse; Federal Reserve issues statement saying it is operating as normal and is making credit available to banks that might need it; banks report no major problems, and financial markets are closed, masking what could be considerable difficulties whenever they reopen; markets will remain closed Sept 12…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE MILITARY; U.S. Armed Forces Are Ordered on Highest State of Alert to Protect and Reassure:
Jet fighters fly patrols over New York and Washington, and warships steam along Atlantic and Pacific coasts in case they are needed to protect major cities and landmarks from another wave of suicide attacks; military officials appear before reporters in effort to assure public that damage to Pentagon has not diminished military’s ability to carry out its mission; say search for survivors at Pentagon will take priority over retaliation; every member of US armed forces and every installation….

THE PRESIDENT; A Somber Bush Says Terrorism Cannot Prevail:
Pres Bush vows to retaliate against those responsible for terrorist attacks on New York and Washington; addresses nation from Oval Office; declares he will make no distinction between terrorists who hijacked passenger jetliners and crashed them into World Trade Center and Pentagon and those who harbor them; says terrorist acts cannot touch foundation of America; says America saw evil and very worst of human nature….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE OPERATION; Terrorism Carefully Synchronized and Devastatingly Effective:
Simultaneous highjacking of four airliners and successful use of three of them as flying bombs against World Trade Center and Pentagon represent ingenious marriage of old-school hijacking and ever-more-familiar suicide bomb; terrorists managed to board flights undetected, overcome flight attendants, penetrate cockpits and put one of their own in control of aircraft; synchronization of attacks in New York and Washington noted….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE REACTION; Absorbing a Blow to the Heart of America’s Financial Center:
Many corporations, reeling from attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon, suspend operations, closing offices, scrambling plans and struggling to maintain contact with workers; business on Wall Street and in much of downtown New York comes to halt, and offices in major cities are evacuated; Morgan Stanley employs some 3,500 people in World Trade Center, many at its individual-investor operations….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Passengers on US Airways flight circling over Westchester County (NY), waiting to land at La Guardia Airport, react to captain informing them they will be unable to land at La Guardia because an American Airlines Boeing 767 had crashed into World Trade Center…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
John L Tishman, chmn of Tishman Realty and Construction Company, which served as construction manager of World Trade Center three decades ago, joins other Tishman executives in watching disaster unfold at World Trade Center; as South Tower crumbles, Tishman is speechless, and later, wordlessly, goes home….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
New Jersey residents view attack on World Trade Center as speechless and helpless spectators….

A DAY OF TERROR: AN ASSESSMENT; When an Open Society Is Wielded as a Weapon Against Itself:
News analysis of terrorist attacks against US; by hijacking civilian airliners and ramming them into World Trade Center and Pentagon, ‘new kamikazes’ of 21st century used very accessibility of an open society as weapon against it; lesson seems to be that even superior military power is vulnerable and may have inadequate defense against terrorism….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE TIES; In U.S., Echoes of Rift Of Muslims and Jews:
Muslims and Arab-Americans across US brace for repercussions from terrorist attacks on New York and Washington even though there is no definitive information yet about who was behind them; attack resonates particularly among Muslims and Jews, whose kin in Middle East are locked in bitter battle; Muslims struggle to assert their identities as loyal American citizens and to say their religion does not approve of violence against innocents; Jews, meanwhile, cannot help linking victimization of Ameican….

A DAY OF TERROR: WASHINGTON; Stunned Tourists, Gridlocked Streets, Fleeing and Fear: White House and Old Executive Building are frantically evacated as government-wide security alert spreads across Washington in wake of terrorist attack on Pentagon; bureaucrats and other workers run screaming down Pennsylvania Avenue; traffic gridlock grips city; city eventually empties to await return of Pres Bush, and eerie mood prevails as armored vehicles and military policemen take posts at key intersections downtown….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Cab driver who emigrated from Egypt nine years ago responds to terrorist attack by expressing his love for America, observing that it is country that tries to help everybody….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Woman working on 82nd floor of World Trade Center, who had been in building during 1993 explosion, describes how after making it down staircase to street, she experienced horror of seeing mangled and dismembered bodies….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Harriet Cordero, who repairs office equipment, was supposed to go to World Trade Center at 9 am to repair postal machine for company there, but she decided to stop first to make another service call at an office building on Broadway–decision that most likely saved her life….

A DAY OF TERROR; Some Embassies to Stay Closed Today:
At least 12 American embassies to remain closed on Sept 12 in wake of terrorist attacks at home….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Reaction of passengers on train heading to Pennsylvania Station upon seeing World Trade Center towers in flames….

Living Up to ‘Bravest’ and ‘Finest’ Slogans:
Photo of people standing on window ledges of World Trade Center’s north tower as it burns; photos of firefighters exhausted from their labors and mourning lost colleagues….

U.S. ATTACKED; HIJACKED JETS DESTROY TWIN TOWERS AND HIT PENTAGON IN DAY OF TERROR:
Article describes scenes of horror in Lower Manhattan after World Trade Center towers were rammed by two hijacked jetliners….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE REACTION; A Tough City Is Swept by Anger, Despair and Helplessness:
Article describes mood in Manhattan following crashing of two hijacked jetliners into towers of World Trade Center; New Yorkers become united; are emotional and easily moved to sudden tears as well as acts of kindnesses….

A DAY OF TERROR: NEWS ANALYSIS; Awaiting the Aftershocks:
News analysis of terrorist attacks on World Trade Center towers in New York City and on Pentagon with hijacked jetliners; devastating and astonishingly well-coordinated attacks plunge nation into warlike struggle against enemy that will be hard to identify and certainly hard to punish with precision; sense of security and self-confidence that Americans take as birthright suffers grievous blow, from which recovery will be slow….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE BUILDINGS; Towers Believed to Be Safe Proved Vulnerable to an Intense Jet Fuel Fire, Experts Say:
Experts in skyscraper design say cause of collapse of twin towers of World Trade Center in Manhattan following crash by hijacked jetliners was most likely intense fire fed by thousands of gallons of jet fuel; high temperatures of perhaps 1,000 to 2,000 degrees probably weakened steel supports, causing external walls to buckle and floors above to fall straight down–leading to catastrophic failures of rest of buildings….

A DAY OF TERROR: ATTACK ON MILITARY; A Hijacked Boeing 757 Slams Into the Pentagon, Halting the Government:
Hijackers slam Boeing 757 jetliner into Pentagon, triggering thunderous explosion and fierce fires at defense complex and killing and wounding unknown number of people; surprise assault, first in history of 58-year-old building, is within hour of attack on World Trade Center towers in New York City; American Airlines Boeing 757 jetliner with 58 passengers and six crew members is used in attack; fuel-laden plane, diverted while on Washington-Los Angeles flight, slams into west wall of five-sided…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE MARKETS; Stocks Tumble Abroad; Exchanges in New York Never Opened for the Day:
Financial markets plunge in Europe and Latin America before trading is halted after attacks that destroy World Trade Center and damage Pentagon; American markets do not open and will remain closed Sept 12; it will be first time that news has kept New York Stock Exchange closed for two full days since Great Depression; stocks fall 4.6 percent in Spain and 8.5 percent in Germany; price of Brent crude oil for November delivery jumps to $28.87 per barrel, up $1.50; price of gold at afternoon fixing…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE MEDIA; As an Attack Unfolds, A Struggle to Provide Vivid Images to Homes:
Article appraises news coverage of terrorist attacks against World Trade Center and Pentagon with hijacked jetliners….

BASEBALL; Selig, in a Sense of Mourning, Cancels Baseball Games:
Major League Baseball Comr Bud Selig calls off full schedule of 15 games and says he will make subsequent decisions on future games in wake of terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon; it is third time in history that warlike act prompted postponement of major league games; Selig comment….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE MILITANT; America the Vulnerable Meets a Ruthless Enemy:
Terrorist attacks against World Trade Center and against Pentagon, using hijacked airliners and possibly killing thousands, underscores vulnerability of world’s only superpower that has been concern of American defense experts, but has been studied and celebrated by many of terrorist groups that are on list of suspects believed responsible for attacks…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE RIVERS; A Battered Retreat On Bridges To the East:
Survivors of disaster at World Trade Center make exodus over East River bridges to get out of lower Manhattan; they walk in bewilderment and fear, many covered with ash; the strong try to assist the weak; photo of scene on Queensboro Bridge….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE AIRLINES; For the First Time, the Nation’s Entire Airspace Is Shut Down:
Federal Aviation Administration shuts down airspace over United States to commercial traffic minutes after two commercial jets slam into World Trade Center, first time government has taken such drastic step; all planes on ground are barred from taking off, and those in air are given option of continuing to their intended destinations or diverting to nearest airport; most airlines order their plans to land as soon as possible, placing thousands of passengers far away from where they intended to …

A DAY OF TERROR: THE SCHOOLS; Parents Converge to Take Students Home, and Officials Seek to Keep Safe Those Who Remain:
Parents converge on schools to take their children home, or phone their children to tell them that their mothers or fathers are all right; school officials seek to keep safe those children who remain….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE THREAT; Bush Aides Say Attacks Don’t Recast Shield Debate:
Bush administration aides say terrorist attacks against US using hijacked jetliners should not recast debate over usefulness of proposed missile defense system since shield, which is centerpiece of administration’s national security planning, even though proposed shield could not prevent kind of assaults that occurred on World Trade Center and Pentagon….

WILLIAM SAFIRE: Essay; New Day Of Infamy:
William Safire Op-Ed column holds that US must pulverize bases and camps of groups responsible for attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon once their identities are reasonably ascertained; says piloting expertise needed to slam airliners into targets suggests connection with Egyptair crash of 1999; says US intelligence agencies will need a shakeup; praises New York State Governor George E Pataki and Mayor Rudolph W Giuliani for sticking to their posts and reassuring citizens, and says Pres Bush…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE AIRPORTS; Security Long a Concern At United States Airports:
Investigators say terrorists who hijacked four airplanes from three airports on Sept 11 exploited inadequacies in security that they have been warning about for more than a decade….

The War Against America; An Unfathomable Attack:
Editorial says unfathomable terrorist attack on World Trade Center and Pentagon is one of those moments in which history splits and we define the world as ‘before’ and ‘after’; says that if four planes can be taken over simultaneously by suicidal hijackers, then Americans can never be quite sure again that any bad intention can be thwarted, no matter how irrational or loathsome; says it will be hard to match desire for retribution with need for certainty and with knowledge that lives of civilians….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE ISRAELIS; Spilled Blood Is Seen as Bond That Draws 2 Nations Closer:
Israeli officials and most Palestinian leaders, including Yasir Arafat, condemn terrorist attack on United States, but Israelis also take cold comfort in concluding that Americans will now share more of their fears, while some Palestinians rejoice at same thought; big crowds of Palestinians march in celebration in Nablus on West Bank….

A DAY OF TERROR: CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK; Live Images Make Viewers Witnesses to Horror:
Critic’s Notebook column appraises television coverage of collapse of World Trade Center towers after terrorists attacked them with hijacked jetliners….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE WARNINGS; Years of Unheeded Alarms:
Terrorist attacks against US using hijacked airliners come after years of debate among experts, who have warned repeatedly of country’s vulnerability to such attacks; alarms have generally gone unheeded….

A DAY OF TERROR: SCHEDULES; Disruptions and Closings Are Expected to Continue: Lower Manhattan is expected to remain cut off from rest of city on Sept 12, and schools and stock exchanges will be closed; subways, streets and bridges leading to Lower Manhattan are also expected to remain closed; other disruptions related to destruction of World Trade Center noted…..

A DAY OF TERROR: DISASTER PLANNING; Attacks Halt Meeting: Terrorst assaults in New York and Washington, DC, halt annual meeting, Big Sky, Mont, of officials of Federal Emergency Management Agency where one of topics was how to prepare for terrorist attacks….

FROM THE WHITE HOUSE ARCHIVES

On This Day in History, September 11, 2001… President George W. Bush’s Address to the Nation after Terror Attacks (Full Text)

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:

Day in History

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

With retired firefighter Bob Beckwith standing next to him, President George W. Bush uses a bullhorn to address rescue workers Sept. 14, 2001, at Ground Zero, the site of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. White House photo by Eric Draper

With retired firefighter Bob Beckwith standing next to him, President George W. Bush uses a bullhorn to address rescue workers Sept. 14, 2001, at Ground Zero, the site of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. White House photo by Eric Draper

President George W. Bush’s Address to the Nation after Terror Attacks September 11, 2011

The following is the official White House transcript of the speech given by President George W. Bush after the attacks of Sept. 11.

Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

Full Text September 10, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Marks the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, the September 11th Terror Attacks & Pays Tribute to the First Responders

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama marks the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks and pays tribute to the first responders, those serving our nation in the military, and those who lost their lives on that tragic day.

President Barack Obama tapes his Weekly Address
President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address, White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy, 9/9/11

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

The 10th Anniversary of 9/11

Weekly Address: Coming Together to Remember

President Obama pays tribute to the first responders, those who have served, and those who lost their lives ten years ago in the September 11th attacks. Visit Serve.gov for ways to commemorate the solemn anniversary in your community.

 

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Remembering September 11th

In this week’s address, President Obama marked the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks and paid tribute to the first responders, those serving our nation in the military, and those who lost their lives on that tragic day.  In the difficult decade since 9/11, our nation has stayed strong in the face of threat, and we have strengthened our homeland security, enhanced our partnerships, and put al Qaeda on the path to defeat.  As we look to the future, we will continue to prove that the terrorists who attacked us are no match for the courage, resilience, and endurance of the American people.

Remarks of President Barack Obama Weekly Address The White House Saturday September 10, 2011

This weekend, we’re coming together, as one nation, to mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.  We’re remembering the lives we lost—nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children.  We’re reaffirming our commitment to always keep faith with their families.

We’re honoring the heroism of first responders who risked their lives—and gave their lives—to save others.  And we’re giving thanks to all who serve on our behalf, especially our troops and military families—our extraordinary 9/11 Generation.

At the same time, even as we reflect on a difficult decade, we must look forward, to the future we will build together.  That includes staying strong and confident in the face of any threat.  And thanks to the tireless efforts of our military personnel and our intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security professionals—there should be no doubt.  Today, America is stronger and al Qaeda is on the path to defeat.

We’ve taken the fight to al Qaeda like never before.  Over the past two and a half years, more senior al Qaeda leaders have been eliminated than at any time since 9/11.  And thanks to the remarkable courage and precision of our forces, we finally delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.

We’ve strengthened the partnerships and tools we need to prevail in this war against al Qaeda—working closer with allies and partners; reforming intelligence to better detect and disrupt plots; investing in our Special Forces so terrorists have no safe haven.

We’re constantly working to improve the security of our homeland as well—at our airports, ports and borders; enhancing aviation security and screening; increasing support for our first responders; and working closer than ever with states, cities and communities.

A decade after 9/11, it’s clear for all the world to see—the terrorists who attacked us that September morning are no match for the character of our people, the resilience of our nation, or the endurance of our values.

They wanted to terrorize us, but, as Americans, we refuse to live in fear.  Yes we face a determined foe, and make no mistake—they will keep trying to hit us again.  But as we are showing again this weekend, we remain vigilant.  We’re doing everything in our power to protect our people.  And no matter what comes our way, as a resilient nation, we will carry on.

They wanted to draw us in to endless wars, sapping our strength and confidence as a nation.  But even as we put relentless pressure on al Qaeda, we’re ending the war in Iraq and beginning to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.  Because after a hard decade of war, it is time for nation building here at home.

They wanted to deprive us of the unity that defines us as a people.  But we will not succumb to division or suspicion. We are Americans, and we are stronger and safer when we stay true to the values, freedoms and diversity that make us unique among nations.

And they wanted to undermine our place in the world.  But a decade later, we’ve shown that America doesn’t hunker down and hide behind walls of mistrust.  We’ve forged new partnerships with nations around the world to meet the global challenges that no nation can face alone.  And across the Middle East and North Africa a new generation of citizens is showing that the future belongs to those that want to build, not destroy.

Ten years ago, ordinary Americans showed us the true meaning of courage when they rushed up those stairwells, into those flames, into that cockpit.  In the decade since, a new generation has stepped forward to serve and keep us safe.  In their memory, in their name, we will never waver.  We will protect the country we love and pass it safer, stronger and more prosperous to the next generation.

History Buzz August 28, 2011: National Geographic Channel Presents George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview — 10th Anniversary of the Terror Attacks on the US

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAPHistory Buzz

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

Former President George W. Bush.

HISTORY ON TV:

National Geographic Channel presents George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview, a world premiere documentary that reveals exclusive, first-person insight into the former president’s experience following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In the most in-depth on-camera interview he has ever given on the subject, President Bush recalls what he was thinking and feeling and what drove the real-time, life-or-death decisions he faced in the first minutes, hours and days after the most lethal terrorist attacks ever on U.S. soil. Hear in unprecedented, intimate detail what he grappled with as both commander in chief, and as a man concerned for his family and fellow citizens. George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview also takes viewers behind the scenes with extensive archival footage and exclusive materials directly from his library that open a new window into his personal experiences during that historic day that changed the face of America, and the world, forever. Nat Geo Channel, 8-28-11

“Sept. 11 is a monumental day in our nation’s history,a significant day, and it obviously changed my presidency. I went from being a president that was primarily focused on domestic issues to a wartime president. It’s something I never anticipated nor something I ever wanted to be.” — President George W. Bush

  • Bush on 9/11: ‘This is what war was like in the 21st century’: On Sunday, Aug. 28, two weeks before the 10th anniversary of that day (in other words, today), National Geographic Channel premieres “George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview,” a one-hour documentary on the former president recalling the events of that day, and the days afterward, with clips and photos…. – LAT, 8-28-11
  • 9/11 + 10 years: Ready or not, TV looks back: George W. Bush, seen here in the Oval Office, recounts his actions and thoughts on Sept. 11 and the following days in National Geographic’s “George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview. … – WaPo, 8-26-11
  • Nat Geo’s Bush 911 special: Sitting in front of a plain black backdrop, President George W. Bush explains in a steady voice how he called Ted Olson, the lawyer who argued the Bush v. Gore case, to offer his prayers and condolences just after the 9/11 attacks. … – Politico, 8-28-11
  • Bush Re-tells the 9/11 Story As He Lived It: While all Americans remember where they were on the day of the deadliest attack on this nation’s soil, few have had the opportunity to hear about it from the American at the center of the tragedy and its aftermath. … – Fox News, 8-24-11
  • ‘George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview’: Former president projects calm with no qualms: At several points in his first sit-down interview devoted entirely to 9/11, former President George W. Bush says the primary responsibility of a leader during a crisis is to project calm. Even now, almost 10 years after the event…. – New York Daily News, 8-25-11
  • Bush reflects on 9/11: A “turning point in American life”: As the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 nears, the man at the center of the historic attacks on US soil is now speaking candidly on his personal experience and reflecting on his decision-making as he unexpectedly became a wartime president. … – CBS News, 8-24-11
  • Bush interview on 9/11 to air Sunday: Former President George W. Bush wrote about 9/11 in his memoir, Decision Points, but many people have not heard him recall the horror of that day. As this article in the Wall Street Journal eloquently notes, many will be drawn to their TVs to mark the anniversary…. – Dallas Morning News, 8-26-11
  • George W. Bush recalls 9/11 in significant National Geographic Channel documentary: With the approach of the 10 th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there is an abundance of television programming that looks back. “George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview” stands out, however. The former president granted just one interview…. – Salt Lake Tribune, 8-25-11
  • ‘Never forget’: George W. Bush recounts 9/11 in interview: In the years since he left the White House, former President George W. Bush has all but retired from the spotlight. He’s never been a fan of the media. Yet in perhaps his longest interview ever, the ex-commander-in-chief sits down…. – Boston Herald, 8-28-11
  • George W. Bush speaks about day of terrorist attacks: Former President George W. Bush said he tried to “project a sense of calm” in the first moments following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Bush spoke about his initial reactions in an interview…. – The Hill, 8-24-11
  • ABC, Fox News Run Clips From National Geographic’s George W. Bush 9/11 Interview: National Geographic Channel’s upcoming interview with former President George W. Bush is beginning to get some attention from TV news. Nat Geo released clips from the interview to some outlets, including ABC News and sister network Fox News Channel.
    ABC ran clips on “Good Morning America” “ABC World News” and “Nightline” yesterday, while FNC featured it during its news programs this morning. ABC had Terry Moran doing a voiceover over clips from the special, which runs on Nat Geo Sunday evening…. – Media Bistro, 8-28-11

Political Buzz August 27, 2011: Day 1 Hurricane Irene Hits the East Coast — President Obama Visits FEMA, Tracking Storm

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

https://i0.wp.com/www.csmonitor.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/media/images/0827-did-media-overblow-hurricane-irene.jpg/10652534-1-eng-US/0827-did-media-overblow-hurricane-irene.jpg_full_600.jpg

IN FOCUS: HURRICANE IRENE HITS The East Coast — PARALYZING REGION

PHOTO: Waves crash under Jeannette's Pier as the effects of Hurricane Irene are felt in Nags Head, N.C., Aug. 27, 2011.

Edge of Hurricane Irene reaches New York City: In a press conference late Saturday night, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it was no longer safe for New York City residents to remain outside or to evacuate. Hurricane Irene, which has drenched the mid-Atlantic states as it has moved north, caused New York City to order about 370,000 residents of low-lying areas to leave. It was the first evacuation order for the city. The city also shuttered its transit system and closed its airports.

Hurricane Irene bears down on Virginia Beach: After slowly making its way up the East Coast, Hurricane Irene is now bearing down on Virginia Beach and other parts of eastern Virginia.
Conditions: The region is encountering the windiest period of the storm from now into the overnight hours, with National Airport reporting sustained winds of 29 mph and gusts of 40 mph. As the onslaught of rain continues, the National Hurricane Center reports water levels rising in the Virginia tidewater region.
Power outages: More than 6,500 homes and businesses in D.C. are without power, 15,000 in Prince George’s County, 10,000 in Anne Arundel and 5,000 around Baltimore. Expect these numbers to rise as gusts whip through the area overnight.
Transportation: The Bay Bridge was ordered closed at 7:35 p.m. Saturday due to severe winds and unsafe driving conditions, the Maryland Transportation Authority said.

As Hurricane Irene slams East Coast, travel woes mount: Nationwide: There were an estimated 9,000 flight cancellations nationwide, with United, Continental and Delta Air Lines canceling thousands of their flights. Air France, British Airways and other international carriers also canceled flights.
Washington: The three airports serving the Washington area remained open Saturday evening, but most flights had been canceled. D.C. Metro is not planning to close early.
Virginia: Mandatory evacuations were ordered for at least 11 localities, among them the Sandbridge section of Virginia Beach, a barrier island dotted with rentals, Accomack on the Eastern Shore, and for low-lying areas of Norfolk, Hampton and Portsmouth.
Maryland: Mandatory evacuations ordered for Ocean City, coastal Worcester County, homes near cliffs in Calvert County. Maryland Transit Administration announced service suspension beginning Saturday evening.
New York: All three of the major airports serving New York City — Newark International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia International Airport — shut down for the duration of the storm on Saturday afternoon. Subways have also been halted.
New Jersey: New Jersey Transit trains and buses to shut down.
Pennsylvania: Mass transit serving Philadelphia and its suburbs to halt at 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

Hurricane Irene makes landfall; rains start in the Washington area: Hurricane Irene made landfall as a Category 1 storm at 7:05 a.m. Saturday near Cape Hatteras, N.C. The storm leading edge arrived in the Washington area early Saturday with rain starting in the lower parts of the Chesapeake Bay and the beaches of Delaware after wind and rain battered the North Carolina coast. The East Coast of the United States continued to prepare for the storm late Friday, ordering more than a million people to evacuate the affected areas.

For more information, please visit the National Hurricane Center website at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/, the AccuWeather Hurricane Center website at: http://hurricane.accuweather.com/hurricane/index.asp and the Storm Central graphics page at: http://centralstorm.wordpress.com/.

PHOTOS: In the path of Hurricane Irene — LAT, 8-27-11

The Preparations for Hurricane Irene and Reports of Damage: Hurricane Irene made landfall Saturday morning. The storm was expected to cause flooding in a dozen states this weekend. – NYT

“All indications point to this being a historic hurricane. I cannot stress this highly enough. If you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now. Don’t wait. Don’t delay.” — President Barack Obama

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I cannot stress this highly enough: If you are in the projected path of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now. Don’t wait. Don’t delay. We all hope for the best, but we have to be prepared for the worst.

GOV. BEVERLY PERDUE, D-N.C.: As governor of the state, I want to remind you once again that this hurricane is real. It is headed our way. We are ready. We’re prepared for the worst. And we continue to pray for the best. I urge every citizen along the coastal plains to evacuate. It is so much better to be safe than sorry.

SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY JANET NAPOLITANO: Given the amount of rain associated with this storm and the likelihood of flooding, however, I would encourage you not to focus too much on whether it’s a Category 2 or a 3. If you are in the storm path, you won’t be able to tell much difference.

MICHAEL NUTTER, (D) mayor of Philadelphia: Be prepared. Stay safe. Be smart. Evacuate, if necessary. Otherwise, please stay inside.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J.: So, if for some reason you were thinking about going to dinner in Atlantic City tonight, forget it. Go someplace else.

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, (I) mayor of New York: Now, we have never done a mandatory evacuation before. And we wouldn’t be doing it now if we didn’t think this storm had the potential to be very serious. The best outcome would be if the storm veers off to the east and doesn’t hit us, or doesn’t hit us hard. But we can’t depend on Mother Nature being so kind.

GOV. LINCOLN D. CHAFEE (RI): I have been monitoring the path and movement of the storm closely, and there is no doubt that Rhode Island will be hit with high winds, a storm surge, and rain generated by Hurricane Irene.
This declaration of emergency is a proactive step in our hurricane plan to ensure that we as a state are doing all we can to get Rhode Island through this storm safely and securely.
I want to stress that this is a major storm. Individual preparation is essential. Please take the necessary steps to secure your family and property and prepare to evacuate if your municipality issues an evacuation order. I am in close contact with mayors and town managers to ensure that cities and towns have the state support they need to make the best decision for their residents.

Statement by President Obama on Preparations for Hurricane Irene — WH, 8-26-11

President Obama Signs Maryland Emergency Declaration — WH, 8-27-11

President Obama Signs Rhode Island Emergency Declaration — WH, 8-27-11

President Obama Signs New Hampshire Emergency Declaration — WH, 8-27-11

President Obama Signs New Jersey Emergency Declaration — WH, 8-27-11

President Obama Signs Connecticut Emergency Declaration — WH, 8-27-11

President Obama Signs Massachusetts Emergency Declaration — WH, 8-27-11

      President Obama Signs Virginia Emergency Declaration —

WH, 8-27-11

    • Obama says Hurricane Irene “extremely dangerous”: President Barack Obama on Friday warned Americans to take Hurricane Irene seriously and urged them to obey orders to evacuate from the path of what is likely to be an “extremely dangerous and costly” storm…. – Reuters, 8-26-11
    • Obama kept up-to-date on Irene: President Barack Obama is tracking the progress of Hurricane Irene at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s command center. The center helps coordinate the government’s response to natural disasters. The White House says the government stands ready to aid states and communities in the storm’s path…. – AP, 8-27-11
    • Hurricane Irene Pushes North With Deadly Force: Weakened but unbowed, Hurricane Irene mowed across coastal North Carolina and Virginia on Saturday as it churned up the Atlantic Seaboard toward a battened-down New York City, where officials had taken what were called the unprecedented steps of evacuating low-lying areas and shutting down the mass transit system in advance of the storm’s expected midmorning arrival on Sunday.
      Announcing itself with howling winds and hammering rains, the hurricane made landfall at Cape Lookout, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, around 7:30 a.m., ending several days of anxious anticipation and beginning who knows how many more days of response and clean-up. Downed and denuded trees. Impassable roadways. Damaged municipal buildings. Widespread flooding. The partial loss of a modest civic center’s roof, forcing the relocation of dozens of people who had found shelter there…. – NYT, 8-27-11
    • With Storm Near, 370,000 in New York City Get Evacuation Order: New York City officials issued what they called an unprecedented order on Friday for the evacuation of about 370,000 residents of low-lying areas at the city’s edges — from the expensive apartments in Battery Park City to the roller coaster in Coney Island to the dilapidated boardwalk in the Rockaways — warning that Hurricane Irene was such a threat that people living there simply had to get out.
      Officials made what they said was another first-of-its-kind decision, announcing plans to shut down the city’s entire transit system Saturday — all 468 subway stations and 840 miles of tracks, and the rest of the nation’s largest mass transit network: thousands of buses in the city, as well as the buses and commuter trains that reach from Midtown Manhattan to the suburbs…. – NYT, 8-27-11

“You guys are doing a great job, obviously. This is obviously going to be touch and go.” — President Barack Obama at FEMA Headquarters

    • With Katrina in Mind, Administration Says It’s Ready for Irene: Determined to avoid any comparisons with the federal government’s failed response to Hurricane Katrina, the Obama administration made a public display Saturday of the range of its efforts to make sure officials in the storm-drenched states had whatever help they needed from Washington.
      President Obama, who returned to Washington a day early from his summer vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, visited the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency shortly after noon. While there, he checked in on the National Response Coordination Center, a 24-hour command center based at FEMA, where dozens of federal employees from a range of agencies were assembled around the clock to help orchestrate the response to Hurricane Irene…. – NYT, 8-27-11
    • Obama visits FEMA, predicts a ‘long 72 hours’ ahead: President Obama made an unannounced visit to the Washington headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Saturday afternoon, where he praised the federal government’s response to Hurricane Irene after receiving briefings from governors and emergency managers.
      “So what have we got here?” Obama asked as he entered the room where FEMA has been holding daily video conferences since Monday with state and local officials, the National Hurricane Center and other federal agencies…. – LAT, 8-27-11
    • Obama steps up response as Hurricane Irene threatens floods, outages: Politicians were taking no chances as more than one-fifth of the United States braced for the possibility of metal-bending winds, severe flooding and days without electricity due to Hurricane Irene’s race up the east coast…. – Globe and Mail
    • Hurricane Irene: What You Need to Know in New York: As New York City prepares for Hurricane Irene to reach the five boroughs, most of the city’s agencies have shut down service…. – NYT, 8-27-11
    • Connecticut, Rhode Island join Hurricane Irene evacuation list: Though Hurricane Irene was still hundreds of miles south, residents of low-lying areas of Connecticut and Rhode Island were evacuated Saturday as officials warned of widespread flooding from the powerful storm that is expected to strike at high tide…. – LAT, 8-27-11

“Over one million people have left the Jersey shore in the past 24 hours. The best way to preserve human life on the Jersey shore is for there to be no human beings on the Jersey shore.” — Governor Chris Christie said at a news conference

    • One million flee Jersey shore as surfers hit waves: More than a million people fled resort towns along the New Jersey shore ahead of powerful Hurricane Irene, whose arrival on Saturday was just hours away.
      Mandatory evacuations covered all of the state’s barrier island beach resorts, including such well-known and popular spots as Atlantic City, Cape May and Long Beach Island.
      Irene was expected to hit the state with at least 75 miles per hour winds and 6 to 12 inches of rain starting on Saturday night…. – Reuters, 8-27-11
    • Hurricane Irene churns its way north; 8 dead: Hurricane Irene, a ferocious and slow-moving storm, smashed into North Carolina on Saturday morning, then slowly swirled its way up the Eastern Seaboard, flooding low-lying areas, knocking out power to as many as 1 million customers…. – LAT, 8-27-11
    • Hurricane Irene Pictures: Storm Lashes US East Coast: Beachfront houses in North Carolina stand amid rising waves during the full force of Hurricane Irene, which made landfall Saturday morning as a Category 1 storm near Cape Lookout. The tempest brought winds of 85 miles (137 kilometers) an hour…. – National Geographic, 8-27-11
    • McDonnell urges residents to be cautious even though Irene has weakened: Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) urged residents not to let their guard down just because Hurricane Irene has weakened, saying it is still a serious storm that will likely cause major damage in the state. … – WaPo, 8-27-11
    • Tens of thousands lose power as hurricane batters Maryland: Hurricane Irene moved across Maryland overnight with high winds, heavy rains and dangerous tides. The storm cut power to tens of thousands of residents and turned the state’s biggest summer resort of Ocean … – Scremento Bee, 8-27-11
    • Irene makes landfall in N.C.; 4 deaths reported: Hurricane Irene made landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina about 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday morning, losing some power but still whipping up sustained winds of 85 mph, as it continued its run up the Eastern Seaboard.
      The National Hurricane Center said the eye of the enormous Category 1 storm passed over Cape Lookout, with winds slipping a bit from 100 mph overnight, but warned Irene would remain a hurricane as it moves up the mid-Atlantic coast.
      At 2 p.m. ET Irene was about 45 miles west northwest of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and about 95 miles south of Norfolk, Va. The storm was moving north-northeastward at 15 mph…. – CBS News, 8-27-11
    • Hurricane Irene Path: Atlantic Beach & Cape Fear Take First Hit in North Carolina: Hurricane Irene has made landfall near Cape Fear as a Category 1 with winds at 85 miles per hour, down 15 miles per hour from the 11 p.m. ET advisory.
      “Incredibly strong gusts, pretty surprising to those of us who thought we were nearly done with Irene, after 18 hours,” said ABC News’ Steven Portnoy, reporting from Atlantic Beach, North Carolina…. – ABC News, 8-27-11
    • Hurricane Irene Makes Landfall; Moves North, Gathering Strength: By noon, about 438,000 residents were without power in North Carolina and Virginia, and winds and rain were picking up in the Washington, D.C. area, and in beaches stretching from Virginia to Delaware. Two deaths, both in North Carolina, have been blamed on the storm, CNN reports.
      The storm has delivered maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. And hurricane-force wind gusts and a damaging storm surge will continue for the next several hours, weather forecasters predict…. – PBS Newshour, 8-27-11
    • Hurricane Irene update: Now Category 1 but major impact still ahead: Hurricane Irene has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm. But as it makes landfall in North Carolina and heads north, it’s still expected to pack a wallop with the greatest danger from flooding due to heavy rainfall and coastal storm surges…. – CS Monitor, 8-27-11
    • Hurricane Irene update: Now Category 1 but major impact still ahead: Hurricane Irene has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm. But as it makes landfall in North Carolina and heads north, it’s still expected to pack a wallop with the greatest danger from flooding due to heavy rainfall and coastal storm surges…. – CS Monitor, 8-27-11
    • Hurricane Irene update: After initial landfall, storm heads north: Hurricane Irene ‘remains a large and dangerous storm’ Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Saturday. She advises residents in its path to ‘hunker down.’… – CS Monitor, 8-27-11
    • Hurricane Irene churns up East Coast; Virginia boy, 11, is killed by fallen tree: The howling Hurricane Irene churned up the East Coast on Saturday afternoon, battering buildings, knocking out power lines and toppling trees. An 11-year-old Virginia boy was killed after a tree fell on his family’s apartment.
      Packing strong gusts and lashing rain, the brunt of the storm was expected to pass through the Washington area overnight and into Sunday morning. It reached land as a Category 1 hurricane, downgraded a notch from the greater force it gathered over the open Atlantic…. – WaPo, 8-27-11

“This is a storm where, if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, it could be fatal.” — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a press conference Saturday afternoon.

  • Hurricane Irene update: Storm claims its first lives: Hurricane Irene has caused a reported four deaths so far. Officials warn that storm surges and flooding could be greater because of the new moon arriving Sunday night…. – CS Monitor, 8-27-11
  • New York Subways Are Shut Down as Hurricane Irene Nears: New York became a city without one of its trademarks — the nation’s largest subway system — on Saturday as Hurricane Irene charged northward and the city prepared to face powerhouse winds that could drive a wall of water over the beaches in the Rockaways and between the skyscrapers in Lower Manhattan.
    The city worked to complete its evacuation of about 370,000 residents in low-lying areas where officials expected flooding to follow the storm, and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said that more than a million people had been evacuated, mainly from four counties in the southern part of the state.
    Officials warned that a big problem could be flooding at high tide, around 8 a.m. Sunday morning — before the storm has moved on and the wind has slacked off in and around the city, assuming the storm more or less follows the path where forecasters expect it to follow…. – NYT, 8-27-11
  • New York shuts down ahead of Hurricane Irene: Times Square emptied out and evacuation shelters filled up as New York City shut down on Saturday ahead of Hurricane Irene, which charged up the East Coast on a direct path toward the world financial capital.
    New Yorkers deserted the streets and took cover from a rare hurricane headed their way — only five have tracked within 75 miles of the city since records have been kept. The full impact of heavy rain, powerful winds and a surging sea was expected through Sunday morning…. – Reuters, 8-27-11
  • Nearly 75 percent without power in central Virginia: Downed trees, dangling power lines, darkened street lights, damaging winds and a deluge defined Hurricane Irene’s brush with the Richmond area…. – Richmond Times Dispatch, 8-27-11
  • Hurricane Irene: Why hurricane hyperbole never goes out of style:
    Where should the media draw the line between reasonable warnings and fear-mongering? A few mistakes and a partially missed prognosis aren’t necessarily proof that the media blew the story.
    On one 24-hour news channel, a correspondent described the calm before hurricane Irene as the calm before a B-movie zombie attack. One anchor proclaimed the storm to be “as big as Europe.” Elsewhere, the hurricane was touted as the storm of a lifetime.
    Storm hype is of course nothing new, neither is saying overwrought things when trying to fill up hours of airtime.
    But as the hurricane approached, the fever pitch of the Irene coverage took on a life of its own, with government officials leading a chorus of caution even as closer watchers of the weather, especially on the ground in North Carolina, grew increasingly convinced that Irene would not strengthen, but steadily weaken instead into something closer to a massive tropical storm…. – CS Monitor, 8-27-11
  • Twitter and Facebook buzzing about Hurricane Irene: You could track Hurricane Irene’s path up the East Coast on Saturday by following comments on Facebook and Twitter from people in the eye of the storm to those still waiting for its arrival…. – USA Today, 8-27-11
  • Irene expected to hit Canada with heavy rain and winds: The path of hurricane Irene remained unchanged Saturday, meaning the massive storm would likely bring heavy rain and the potential for hurricane force wind gusts when it reached eastern Canada later in the weekend forecasters said.
    The Canadian Hurricane Centre in Halifax said the Category 1 hurricane was centred off North Carolina early Saturday and was expected to move up the eastern seaboard of the United States and through Long Island and into Maine late Sunday, before entering eastern Canada as a tropical storm.
    Bowyer said as a result the heaviest rains were expected in northwestern New Brunswick and in the eastern townships of Quebec into early Monday, while areas to the east of the storm’s centre would see the heaviest winds…. – Canadian Press, 8-27-11
https://i2.wp.com/graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/images/newsgraphics/2011/0827-irene-damage-reports/storm-map.png

Political Buzz August 23, 2011: 5.9 Earthquake Shakes Washington & East Coast — Worst Quake Since 1944

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

THE HEADLINES: 5.9 EARTHQUAKE SHAKES WASHINGTON & EAST COAST WORST SINCE 1944

Quake mapping

A map as displayed on the U.S. Geological Survey’s website after the quake. The red square, indicating earthquake activity in the preceding hour, shows the earthquake’s epicenter in Virginia. The blue symbol indicates a quake activity in the preceding 24 hours. (U.S. Geological Survey / August 23, 2011)

Earthquake Strikes East Coast; Epicenter Near Richmond, Va., U.S. Geological Survey Says: An earthquake sent tremors from the nation’s capital to New York City Tuesday afternoon, the result of what officials said was a 5.8 magnitude earthquake based in Virginia. There were no immediate reports of damage.
It is not clear how far the earthquake spread, but tremors were felt throughout New York City office buildings and as far north as Concord, N.H.

Strongest quake since ’44 jars East Coast: Tens of millions of people from Georgia to Canada were jolted Tuesday by the strongest earthquake to strike the East Coast since World War II. Three weeks before the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, office workers poured out of New York skyscrapers and the Pentagon, relieved it was nothing more sinister than an act of nature….. – AP, 8-23-11

“For many people this was a stressful afternoon, but so far we’ve been lucky to avoid any major harm.” — Mayor Bloomberg

Magnitude-5.8 Earthquake Strikes National Capital Area:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
A magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck the National Capital Area on Tuesday, August 23, at 1:51p.m. (EDT), causing moderate shaking and potentially significant damage, and was felt throughout Northern Virginia and neighboring areas. No casualties are expected.
The earthquake occurred near Louisa and Mineral, Va., approximately 100 miles southwest of Washington, DC. It was a shallow earthquake, and shaking was recorded all along the Appalachians, from Georgia to New England. There have been several aftershocks.
The earthquake occurred in the Central Virginia Seismic Zone, which has produced earthquakes in the past. The most notable was an earthquake that occurred in 1875 that scientists believe was about a magnitude 4.5.
This earthquake is almost as strong as the strongest recorded earthquake in Virginia, a magnitude 5.9, which occurred in May 1897 in Giles County, Va. The strongest recorded earthquake to strike the East Coast was the 1886 Charleston, S.C., earthquake, which was about a magnitude 7.3.
Those who felt the earthquake can go online and report their observations on the USGS Did You Feel It? website. Over 10,000 reports of felt shaking have already been received from more than 3400 zip codes all over the eastern United States.
The earthquake was felt so widely because it was a shallow earthquake, and geologic conditions in the eastern U.S. allow the effects of earthquakes to propagate and spread much more efficiently than in the western United States.
Western rock is relatively young, which means it absorbs a lot of the shaking caused by earthquakes. Thus, western earthquakes result in intense shaking close to the epicenter, but fade more quickly the farther the earthquakes travel.
In the eastern United States, on the other hand, the rock is far older, and so earthquakes can have a much larger and more widespread impact. Earthquake energy can therefore spread farther and have a greater impact…..

  • Quake rocks Washington area, felt on East Coast: A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., shook much of Washington, DC, and was felt as far north as Rhode Island, New York City and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., where President Barack Obama is vacationing. … – AP, 8-23-11
  • 5.9-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes East Coast: An earthquake sent tremors from the nation’s capital to New York City and New England Tuesday afternoon, the result of what officials said was a 5.9 magnitude earthquake based in Virginia. … NYT, 8-23-11
  • D.C. earthquake shakes White House, Capitol: A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia shook Washington Tuesday. The White House and Capitol were among the Washington buildings that were evacuated…. – WaPo, 8-23-11
  • 5.9 quake hits Va.; Felt along US east coast: One of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded on the East Coast shook buildings and rattled nerves from South Carolina to New England on Tuesday and forced the evacuations of parts of the Capitol, White House and Pentagon.
    There were no immediate reports of deaths, but fire officials in Washington said there were at least some injuries. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake registered magnitude 5.8 and was centered 40 miles northwest of Richmond, Va…. – CBS News, 8-23-11
  • Rare quake rattles eastern US seaboard: One of the strongest earthquakes to strike the US east coast in decades rattled offices Tuesday in downtown Washington and caused panicked evacuations from skyscrapers as far away as New York. The Pentagon, the US Capitol and Union Station … – AFP, 8-23-11
  • City Seen as Vulnerable to Quake: In the last 300 years, there have been three earthquakes centered in and around the New York City area about the size of Tuesday’s quake: in 1737, 1783 and 1884. The 1884 quake was a magnitude 5.5 and was centered in Coney Island. … – WSJ, 8-23-11
  • Biggest Virginia Earthquake in Century Rattles Washington, Harms Cathedral: A 5.8-magnitude earthquake, the biggest recorded in Virginia in more than a century, rattled Washington, D.C., and prompted the evacuation of the White House. It shook stones loose from the National Cathedral, shuttered Washington monuments and forced the shutdown of nuclear reactors in Virginia.
    The temblor struck just before 2 p.m. yesterday in Virginia, almost 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of the U.S. capital and 3.7 miles below the earth’s surface, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. With many buildings evacuated, no serious injuries were reported in Washington…. – Bloomberg, 8-23-11
  • Quake felt in New York City office buildings: Tremors shook New York City office buildings on Tuesday, prompting evacuations of courthouses, City Hall and halting work at the World Trade Center construction site, officials and witnesses said. … – Reuters, 8-23-11
  • 5.9 earthquake rattles Washington, New York City, felt in eastern Canada: A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered northwest of Richmond, Va., shook much of Washington, D.C., and was felt as far north as Rhode Island, New York City and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., where President Barack Obama is vacationing.
    The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake was half a mile deep. Shaking was felt at the White House and all over the East Coast, as far south as Chapel Hill, N.C. Parts of the Pentagon, White House and Capitol were evacuated. There were no immediate reports of injuries…. – AP, 8-23-11
  • 5.9 magnitude earthquake strikes Virginia, shaking felt in New York City: The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake had a magnitude of 5.8 on the Richter Scale. The epicenter was half a mile deep and centered near Louisa, Va., about 40 miles from Richmond.
    The quake, which hit at 1:51 p.m. and lasted only a few seconds, was felt up and down the Eastern Seaboard – from the Carolinas to Toronto.
    The tips of three spires on the National Cathedral in Washington fell off, part of a building collapsed in Baltimore and a brick chimney crumbled atop a housing project in Red Hook.
    That was the worst of it – except for the panic. More than 12 million people may have felt the quake’s sickening swaying, the USGS said. – New York Daily News, 8-23-11
  • Washington Monument top cracked by earthquake: The National Park Service says engineers have found a crack near the top of the Washington Monument presumably caused by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that shook the East Coast. Park service spokesman Bill Line said Tuesday night that…. – AP, 8-23-11
  • The Washington Monument Is Almost Certainly Not Leaning: Amid reports of spotty cellphone service and “localized casualties,” Tuesday’s earthquake gave rise to a completely fantastic rumor that slowly seems to be gaining merit — or at least earnest investigation: That the Washington Monument was tilting…. – The Atlantic Wire, 8-23-11
  • Washington Monument To Remain Closed “Indefinitely” After Quake Causes Cracks: Engineers inspecting the Washington Monument on Tuesday found cracks at the top of the 555-foot obelisk which will keep it closed to visitors indefinitely, the Associated Press reports. The damage, likely caused by the 5.8 earthquake that struck…. – Business Insider, 8-23-11
  • D.C. monuments and museums closed; no major structural damage reported: With the Washington Monument in the background people walk nearby after it was closed to visitors as a security precaution following an earthquake in the Washington area. The 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered…. – Daily Caller, 8-23-11
  • Earthquake Is Felt in New York: The vibrations of an earthquake centered in Virginia were felt in New York City on Tuesday afternoon. Some buildings have been evacuated, including City Hall, the Department of Education headquarters and World Trade Center 7…. – NYT, 8-23-11
  • Quake, centered near Washington, felt along East Coast: An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 struck Tuesday near the nation’s capital and sent shock waves up and down the East Coast. “It’s one of the largest that we’ve had there,” said US Geological Survey…. – CNN, 8-23-11
  • Major quake hits DC area: A significant earthquake struck central Virginia Tuesday afternoon, shaking homes and buildings up and down the East Coast and forcing evacuations of major DC-area government buildings, including the White House, Pentagon and Capitol. … – Politico, 8-23-11
  • 5.9-magnitude quake jolts eastern U.S. : 2011-08-23: Office workers gather on the sidewalk in downtown Washington on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, moments after a 5.9-magnitude tremor shook the nation’s capital. The quake, centered northwest of Richmond, was felt as far north as Rhode Island and New York. … – Washington Times, 8-23-11
  • Earthquake shakes Boston: An earthquake centered in Virginia shook the Eastern Seaboard just before 2 pm, and was felt as a rumble lasting several seconds in the Boston area. Some buildings in the city were evacuated, while officials inspected them, but there were no immediate damage…. – Boston Globe, 8-23-11
  • US Capitol, Pentagon, State Department Evacuated After 5.9 Magnitude Earthquake: The US Capitol, Pentagon, State Department and surrounding buildings all emptied today following a 5.9 earthquake that sent government workers scrambling. Sirens sounded outside US House office buildings on the south side of Capitol Hill…. – ABC News, 8-23-11
  • Quake Listed at 5.9 Rattles East Coast From North Carolina to New York: A 5.9 magnitude earthquake jolted the East Coast … – ABC News, 8-23-11
  • 5.9 earthquake hits Virginia, jolts NY and Carolinas: A magnitude-5.9 earthquake struck Virginia at about 1:50 pm (EDT), the US Geological Survey reported Tuesday. Tremors were felt in New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, Tennessee and the Carolinas. In New York City, some buildings were evacuated…. – LAT, 8-23-11
  • Virginia 5.9 earthquake felt across eastern Canada; no reports of damage: A moderate earthquake centred in Virginia was felt hundreds of kilometres north in eastern Canada. People from Ottawa to Toronto and across into New Brunswick reported feeling the tremor. Toronto police said via Twitter that they had received … – Winnipeg Free Press, 8-23-11
  • 5.9 earthquake shakes Ontario, eastern US: Beginning of Story Content An earthquake centred in Virginia with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 shook a broad swath of the US and Central Canada on Tuesday. The US Geological Survey said the quake was centred near Mineral, Va., about 134 kilometres … – CBC.ca, 8-23-11
  • East-coast earthquake felt in Montreal, Toronto, Boston, New York, Washington: The US Capitol building, the Pentagon and other buildings were evacuated, witnesses said. Buildings were also briefly evacuated in New York and Toronto. Emergency services in DC have reported many calls for no injuries. Cellular service was disrupted … – Montreal Gazette, 8-23-11
  • Quake shakes up Eastern Canada, US: Tuesday’s earthquake that was centred in Virginia also shook up a significant part of Eastern Canada. The 5.9-magnitude quake was felt by residents of Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Windsor, Ont…. – Vancouver Sun, 8-23-11
  • What?! An earthquake? East Coast reacts with shock: The magnitude 5.8 earthquake that struck Virginia on Tuesday gives new meaning to the word “aftershock.” Residents up and down the East Coast had trouble believing what they were feeling — that the earth was literally trembling beneath their feet. … – LAT, 8-23-11
  • Virginia quake: What was the damage on the East Coast?: Virginia quake caused the evacuation of many buildings and triggered the shutdown of two nuclear reactors. Cellphone call volume spiked as people rushed to call loved ones after the Virginia quake…. – CS Monitor, 8-23-11
  • Virginia 5.8 Quake Shakes Buildings From D.C. to Boston: A 5.8 magnitude earthquake, the biggest to strike Virginia in more than a century, hit about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northwest of Richmond, rocking buildings from Washington to Boston and causing office workers in New York City … San Francisco Chronicle, 8-23-11
  • NY, DC briefly shaken by 9/11 memories during earthquake: Workers dashed out of buildings, many of them worried that the tremors from a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the East Coast was a bomb or terrorist attack…. – CNN, 8-23-11
  • 5.9 magnitude quake hits northeastern US and Canada: A 5.9 magnitude earthquake originating in Virginia rocked Washington, DC on Tuesday shortly before 2 pm EST, and seems to have been felt as far north as Quebec City. … – Macleans.ca, 8-23-11
  • Tremors hit Toronto after 5.8 magnitude earthquake rocks Virginia: A 5.9 magnitude earthquake centred in Virginia shook much of Washington, DC, and was felt through much of the northeast. (Aug. 23) A major earthquake in Virginia left little more than shaking bobblehead dolls, swaying blinds and vibrating chairs in … – Toronto Star, 8-23-11
  • Earthquake Rattles New York and Washington DC: Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated from buildings in cities from New York to Washington DC. Air and train traffic has been disrupted and two nuclear reactors have been taken offline…. – The Province, 8-23-11
  • White House, Capitol, Pentagon evacuated in wake of earthquake: A 5.8-magnitude earthquake rattled Washington on Tuesday afternoon — causing the evacuation of government buildings, cellphone service outages, traffic gridlock and delays in public transportation. … – The Hill, 8-23-11
  • Rare earthquake shakes and shocks Eastern Seaboard: There were no major injuries reported nor severe damage, but the 45-second earthquake that hit the East Coast Tuesday afternoon gave millions of people a thorough and efficient education in what Westerners already know…. – USA Today, 8-23-11
  • Facebook, Twitter report record earthquake messages: Facebook and Twitter proved on Tuesday to be a key source of information on Tuesday’s East Coast earthquake, as cellphone networks struggled with congestion from an overwhelming number of callers. The earthquake hit at 1:51 pm…. – WaPo, 8-23-11
  • DC Earthquake Dominates Social Media Sites: 5 Must-See Stats: News about the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that shook Washington, DC on Tuesday and was felt in cities throughout the East coast exploded online, spreading rapidly via social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. … – Huffington Post, 8-23-11
  • Virginia quake: Top five political jokes on Twitter: The Virginia earthquake prompted evacuations of the Pentagon, White House, and Congress. And the quake triggered an outpouring of political jokes on Twitter…. – CS Monitor, 8-23-11
  • For central Virginia’s seismic zone, quake is an event of rare magnitude: The state hasn’t suffered a quake of this size since the slightly larger one that rattled Giles County in 1897. “That’s the biggest earthquake in human history in Virginia,” said David Applegate, associate director for natural hazards at the U.S. Geological Survey. And the 5.8 quake Tuesday was as big as anything experts expect in the so-called Central Virginia Seismic Zone…. – WaPo, 8-23-11

Political Buzz May 24, 2011: Democrat Kathy Hochul Wins Upstate New York Congressional Race Over Republican Jane Corwin — Medicare Biggest Issue

POLITICAL BUZZ

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS — ELECTIONS

Michael Appleton for The New York Times

Kathy Hochul delivered her victory speech in Amherst on Tuesday evening.

Democrat Wins G.O.P. Seat in Closely Watched Upstate New York Race: The Associated Press has declared Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, the winner in a closely watched Congressional race in upstate New York that is being seen as a test of a Republican plan to overhaul Medicare.
On Tuesday, she captured 47 percent of the vote to Ms. Corwin’s 43 percent, according to unofficial results. A Tea Party candidate, Jack Davis, had 9 percent

  • Democrat Wins G.O.P. Seat; Rebuke Seen to Medicare Plan: Democrats scored an upset in one of New York’s most conservative Congressional districts on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party’s plan to overhaul Medicare.
    The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether they should rethink their party’s commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability heading into the 2012 elections.
    Two months ago, the Democrat, Kathy Hochul, was considered an all-but-certain loser in the race against the Republican, Jane Corwin. But Ms. Hochul seized on the Republican’s embrace of the proposal from Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, to overhaul Medicare, and she never let up…. – NYT, 5-25-11
  • Democrat Wins Upstate New York Congressional Race: Democrats scored an upset in one of New York’s most conservative congressional districts on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party’s plan to overhaul Medicare.
    The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether the party should rethink its commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability as 2012 elections loom.
    Two months ago, the Democrat, Kathy Hochul, was considered an all-but-certain loser. But Ms. Hochul seized on her Republican rival’s embrace of the proposal from Representative Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, to overhaul Medicare, and she never let up.
    With 66 percent of the precincts reporting, Ms. Hochul led with 48 percent of the vote, to 43 percent for the Republican candidate, Jane L. Corwin…. – NYT, 5-24-11
  • Democrat Wins G.O.P. Seat; Rebuke Seen to Medicare Plan: Democrats scored an upset in one of New York’s most conservative Congressional districts on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party’s plan to overhaul Medicare.
    The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether the party should rethink its commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability as 2012 elections loom.
    Two months ago, the Democrat, Kathy Hochul, was considered an all-but-certain loser in the race against Jane Corwin. But Ms. Hochul seized on her Republican rival’s embrace of the proposal from Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, to overhaul Medicare, and she never let up.
    Voters, who turned out in strikingly large numbers for a special election, said they trusted Ms. Hochul, the county clerk of Erie County, to protect Medicare…. – NYT, 5-24-11
  • GOP loss a Medicare message?: Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul won a House special election in western New York on Tuesday, a Democratic triumph in a conservative district that many consider a referendum on House Republicans’ efforts to reform Medicare.
    With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Hochul had 48 percent of the vote. State Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, a Republican, had 42 percent, while independent candidate Jack Davis ran a distant third with 9 percent.
    The seat in New York’s 26th District became vacant when Rep. Christopher Lee, R-N.Y., resigned after revelations that he had sent shirtless pictures of himself to a woman with whom he had been corresponding on Craigslist. Seattle Times, 5-25-11
  • Democrat Wins U.S. House Race That Focused on Medicare, AP Says: Kathy Hochul was elected to a vacant U.S. House seat in western New York, the Associated Press said, following a campaign that became a referendum on a Republican plan to privatize Medicare.
    With 84 percent of the vote counted in the special election, the AP tally showed Hochul with 48 percent to 42 percent for Republican Jane Corwin and 8 percent for Buffalo- area industrialist Jack Davis, running on the Tea Party ballot line.
    The race was closely watched for its implications on national politics, including the 2012 presidential campaign. The campaign provided the first electoral test on the Medicare issue and, in a sign of its potential importance, national party groups and their independent allies helped finance a barrage of local television ads and automated telephone calls to households…. – Bloomberg, 5-24-11
  • Democrat Kathy Hochul wins upstate New York race: Democrat Kathy Hochul drew on voter discontent over Republican plans to revamp Medicare to score an upset win on Tuesday in a special election to represent a conservative upstate New York congressional district.
    Hochul defeated Republican Jane Corwin in a three-way race that also included self-described Tea Party candidate Jack Davis. The outcome did not affect Republican control of the House of Representatives.
    “Tonight the voters were willing to look beyond the political labels and vote for a person, and vote for message that they believe in,” Hochul told cheering supporters minutes after taking a phone call from Corwin, a state assemblywoman. “We can balance the budget the right way, and not on the backs of our seniors,” said Hochul, the Erie County clerk. “We had the issues on our side.”
    President Barack Obama, who is visiting Britain, issued a statement congratulating Hochul on her victory. “Kathy and I both believe that we need to create jobs, grow our economy, and reduce the deficit in order to outcompete other nations and win the future,” Obama said…. – Reuters, 5-24-11
  • Democrat Wins House Seat Third Candidate Roils New York Race in Traditionally GOP Area; Medicare Issue Studied as Factor:A Democrat on Tuesday won election to a congressional seat from a traditionally Republican district in western New York, according to Associated Press tallies, an outcome that will be studied for clues to how voters are viewing the budget battles in Washington.
    Republican candidate Jane Corwin had endorsed a plan passed by House Republicans last month to overhaul Medicare, drawing sharp criticism from her Democratic rival, Kathy Hochul.
    Ms. Hochul was leading Ms. Corwin, 48% to 43%, with 66% of the vote tallied shortly after 10 p.m. eastern time, AP reported.
    The news service declared the winner to be Ms. Hochul. She is currently the Erie County clerk.
    Republicans outnumber Democrats in the district, and voters gave former Rep. Chris Lee, a Republican, 68% of the vote in November.
    The district also supported Republicans John McCain for president in 2008 and President George W. Bush in 2004.
    While the outcome was complicated by a third-party candidate, members of Congress are sure to study the results for the role that the Medicare proposal may have played in the race…. – WSJ, 5-24-11
  • Democrat Hochul wins N.Y. special election: Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul won a House special election in western New York on Tuesday night, a Democratic triumph in a conservative district that many consider a referendum on House Republicans’ efforts to reform Medicare.
    With three-quarters of precincts reporting, Hochul had 48 percent of the vote. State Assemblywoman Jane Corwin (R) had 42 percent, with independent candidate Jack Davis running a distant third with 8 percent.
    Democrats contended that the race in New York’s 26th Congressional District — which the GOP had held since the 1960s — became competitive through their efforts linking Corwin to the House Republican plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program.
    That plan, spearheaded by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.), has already been the subject of plenty of debate in Washington, where Republicans seek deep cuts and debt-reduction measures…. – WaPo, 5-24-11
  • Kathy Hochul wins NY congressional race: Democrat Kathy Hochul scored an upset and won a special election to represent New York’s 26th congressional district on Tuesday, defeating Republican Jane Corwin.
    Hochul, the Erie County clerk, declared victory in the conservative upstate district with just over 70 percent of the vote tallied.
    The election was held to fill the seat vacated in February by Republican Chris Lee, who resigned after shirtless photos he sent to a woman he met on Craigslist were published on the Internet…. – Reuters, 5-24-11
  • Julian E. Zelizer: N.Y. race for House seat a preview of 2012?: Next week voters in New York’s 26th Congressional District will go to the ballot box to replace Rep. Christopher Lee, who resigned after a scandal involving a photo of himself shirtless that he sent to a woman he met online.
    Like other special elections in the last two years, the rumble in the 26th has drawn the attention and resources of both national political parties. What would have ordinarily been a local race is seen as having big implications for 2012.
    Until April, few Democrats thought this race was worth contesting. The 26th is one of the most conservative districts in New York, presumably a safe Republican seat. But then something happened. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin released his budget plan, which included a drastic overhaul of Medicare and Medicaid. Many of his GOP colleagues, fearing trouble on the campaign trail, distanced themselves from the plan as soon as the details were released.
    In New York, Democrats pounced. The party has been able to generate substantial support for its candidate, Kathy Hochul, by connecting the dots between New York, Washington, and Wisconsin. Her ads have hammered away at her Republican opponent, Jane Corwin, for endorsing Ryan’s proposal and supporting “a budget that essentially ends Medicare.” She also supports, they add, reductions in Social Security benefits.
    The National Republican Congressional Committee has responded with a familiar refrain, calling Hochul a champion of the kind of big government liberalism that it says has run rampant in Washington. A recent television spot argued that Hochul, as well as independent Jack Davis, was on the same page as former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
    The race is allowing both parties to test their arguments for 2012. Republicans are counting on Americans to share the party’s antipathy to the federal government and support proposals to lower the federal deficit. This anti-government ethos has been a guiding ideal for GOP candidates since Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in 1980….
    The results in the special election may help the parties determine what their strategy should be in the 2012 elections. If Hochul wins, we can expect Democrats to focus on specifics in the upcoming months, telling voters what Democrats’ programs provide them and what Republicans hope to take away.
    If Republicans can hold this seat, they may be emboldened to continue calling for radical cuts in the federal budget and warning of the dangerous road on which Democrats have embarked. Which argument sticks in this special election will give both parties some sense of where voters stand after the heated budget battles of the past few months…. – CNN, 5-23-11

On This Day in History… April 23-30, 1968: Columbia University Students Stage a Strike

April 23-30, 1968: Columbia University Students Stage a Strike

by Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor / Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

HNN, 4-29-08


On this day in history…April 23-30, 1968 leftist students took over Columbia University, NYC occupying five buildings on the campus before forcibly being removed by the police.

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of one of the most turbulent years in modern American history. The year was just beginning and yet as early as Aprils it was already volatile. Opposition to the Vietnam War was at an all time high, so much so that President Lyndon Johnson chose not to run for another presidential term. Just a few weeks before Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated, and student protests raged across the country’s universities, peaking in April 1968 with the stand off at Columbia University. According to historian Jeffrey Meyers, the protests “took place during a volatile and often explosive period in American history: between the Berkeley Free Speech Movement (September 1964) and the student riots in Paris, May 1968, between the assassinations of Martin Luther King in Memphis, April 4, 1968 and of Robert Kennedy in Los Angeles, June 5, 1968, between the March on the Pentagon, October 1967 and the bloody protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, August 1968, between the Tet Offensive February 1968 and the My Lai Massacre, March 1968, and the escalating protest against the war in Vietnam.” (Myers, 2003) On April 23, leftist students began a strike at the university, which lasted eight days, culminating in a riot in the early hours of April 30 when the police busted the students.

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) at Columbia University

In 1962 Tom Hayden, a twenty-one year old student at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor created the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Along with other student activists at the university, they wrote out the Port Huron Statement, the organization’s statement of principles. In only two years, there were 40 SDS chapters on university campuses. Among the organization’s purposes was educating their fellow students about “the evils of capitalism, the plight of blacks, and the perfidies of the military-industrial complex.” (McCaughey, 427) In 1965, as the US was going on the offense in Vietnam, SDS turned its attention to the war.

On March 10, 1965, Columbia University established the fifty-second chapter of SDS, led by Ted Kaptchuck and Dave Gilbert. In its first few months, the chapter focused its attention on building its membership, which included campus radicals and sympathetic faculty, and trying to determine what the relationship was between the university and the country’s defense establishment. (McCaughey, 427) There were other leftist student groups at Columbia including the Columbia Citizenship Council (CCC), organized in 1959 with a mission to help the local community. Most of the University’s chaplains sympathized or supported the leftist groups.

During the revolt a majority of students supported neither the protesters nor the counter protesters. As Robert A. McCaughey writes in his account, “The students who joined SDS, CCC, and anti-war groups and who became sufficiently persuaded of the complicity of the university in the perpetuation of whatever evil they were protesting to move to shut it down were a minority in a minority.” McCaughey, 428 Columbia University had 20,000 students at the time, 6,000 of whom were undergraduates. By comparison, the radical organizations on campus boasted just three hundred members, with another seven hundred more providing moral support. SDS had just fifty members with another hundred supporters. The majority of the student activists were undergraduates. McCaughey, 428

Leading up to the Revolt: SDS Protests 1965-1967

Student protests against the university’s authority commenced in the spring of 1965. The university took minimal actions against the protesters to minimize media attention. University President Grayson Kirk believed the best policy was to keep the disruptions to a minimum, which would have worked, according to McCaughey, “had student protesters wanted immunity in exchange for not directly challenging the president’s disciplinary authority. But it was precisely the latter that the protesters wanted.” (McCaughey, 431) The students primarily opposed military-related recruiters on campus including the NROTC, the Marine Corps, the CIA and Dow Chemical (which supplied Agent Orange for the Vietnam War).

The university’s patience was tested in the spring of 1967 when CIA and Marine Corps recruiters came to the campus sparking anti-war protests. Two incidents prompted President Kirk to ban all indoor demonstrations for the next academic year. By the fall of 1967, SDS seemed to be losing momentum. The majority of Columbia’s students opposed the protests, SDS could not forge alliances with other leftist groups, and the groups were divided by internal battles. The student newspaper, the Columbia Spectator, noted on October 30, 1967 that the tactics of SDS were ineffective.

The Three Issues at the Center of the Revolt

There were three central issues behind the revolt with two factions merging together for a common goal; opposition to the university’s administration. The first issue was Columbia University’s proposed expansion into Harlem. The university was planning to build a new gymnasium on city park property in Morningside Heights bordering Harlem. Both Columbia students and local residents would be using the gym; however, they would use separate entrances. Although Harlem civic organizations approved the project, militants objecting to the use of separate entrances, claiming this was an example of blatant racism. (Meyers, 2003) African-American students from the Students’ African-American Society (SAS) and the CCC protested the expansion, calling the new building “Gym Crow.”

At SDS there was a power struggle between Ted Kaptchuk, who wanted to focus on membership, recruitment, and education (what critics referred to as the “praxis axis”) and Mark Rudd, who was more interested in “direct confrontation with authorities.” (McCaughey, 437) Rudd, a junior who had just returned from an extended trip to Cuba, believed in participatory democracy. On March 13, 1968, Rudd was elected chairman of the Columbia SDS chapter on the slogan: “How to get the SDS Moving Again and Screw the University All in One Fell Swoop.” (McCaughey, 437) Rudd was unpopular with many. Columbia’s faculty disliked his arrogance, and those on the radical left objected to his suburban New Jersey upbringing, his athletic country club good looks and his male chauvinism. Tom Hayden described Rudd as “absolutely committed to an impossible yet galvanizing dream: that of transforming the entire student movement through this particular student revolt, into a successful effort to bring down the system.” But Hayden also described Rudd as “sarcastic and smugly dogmatic.” (McCaughey, 437)

Another of the issues that preoccupied radical students was the university’s often secret involvement and affiliation with the Institute of Defense Analysis. (Conlin, 284) The IDA did not issue contracts, but affiliated universities got preferential treatment from agencies that did. Columbia’s involvement with the IDA was common knowledge. What was not known, however, was the extent of the university’s military research. Columbia’s Institute of East European Studies was accumulating economic data for the CIA, while faculty members may have been conducting some contract research. The news came as a surprise to the university community. SDS was firmly committed to convincing the university to disengage itself from the IDA, and in March 1968, around 1,700 Columbia students signed a petition urging the university to break its affiliation as had other universities such as the University of Chicago.

The third issue was the university’s crackdown on the protesters, though this was slow to materialize. In February when two hundred students protested against Dow Chemical recruiters on campus, they went unpunished, as did Mark Rudd a few weeks later when he shoved a lemon meringue pie in the face of the visiting New York City director of Selective Service. But when at the end of March Rudd and a hundred members of SDS staged a new protest at Low Library six of the group’s leaders were identified and put on probation. Immediately the gym issue became relevant, and SDS students began protesting the disciplinary action, declaiming: “No disciplinary action against the Low Six.” (McCaughey, 440) The students claimed their constitutional rights had been violated.

Spring 1968 Events Leading up to the Campus Revolt

In early 1968, the tension that had been mounting around the country’s campuses had “reached a fever pitch.” (Davis, 39) The primary reasons were the Vietnam War, Lyndon Johnson’s announcement that he would not seek another term, and Martin Luther King’s assassination. SDS saw Johnson’s announcement as a reason to distrust all US institutions including the university administration. As Kirkpatrick Sale explains: “April began the escalation of student resistance that would mark this spring as the most explosive period up to that time in the history of American universities.” (Sale, 429) Columbia’s SDS protest coincided with the Tens Days of Resistance, a massive demonstration against the Vietnam War on campuses all over the country. Fifty colleges and universities participated. On the campuses there were “rallies, marches, teach-ins, and sit-ills, climaxing in a one-day ‘student strike’ on April 26.” As Sale writes, “It was a demonstration of significant proportions — probably as many as a million students stayed away from classes … and yet somehow its impact on the public was slight.” (Sale, 429)

It was the memorial for Martin Luther King, Jr. at Columbia that made the April riots all but inevitable. One of the chaplains at Columbia, John D. Cannon, believed there should be a memorial service. President Kirk and Provost David Truman were not invited until they heard about the plan and insisted on participating. Their presence prompted the SAS not to attend. Held on April 9, the service was well-attended, and was going smoothly until Mark Rudd came to the pulpit while Truman was speaking and “proceeded to declare the service an ‘obscenity’ given Columbia’s systematic mistreatment of blacks and workers King had lost his life championing.” (McCaughey, 441)

Afterwards Rudd left the chapel with forty other students; the walkout shocked the faculty and administration in attendance. The administration was unable to take disciplinary action against Rudd because Chaplain Cannon essentially blessed Rudd’s action by claiming “that St. Paul’s welcomed the views of anyone ‘who sincerely believes he is moved by the spirit.’” (McCaughey, 441) Although it appalled history Professor Fritz Stern, who caught Rudd before he departed and told him “his actions in the chapel were akin to the takeover of Socialist meetings by Nazis in Weimar Germany.” (McCaughey, 441) As McCaughey claims, “This would not be the last time this analogy was invoked in the weeks that followed.” (McCaughey, 441)

SDS found what they believed was a legitimate excuse to protest the administration. SDS adopted the race issue and the gym as their own, and on April 12, the chapter’s steering committee voted to mount demonstrations throughout the spring in protest of the gym and the university’s connections with the Pentagon “war machine.” Then on April 17 at the SDS general assembly, nearly a hundred students voted in favor of spring demonstrations. April 23 was set as the day for the first day of the protest, which would begin with a noontime rally at the sundial in front of the Low Library. Rudd’s mastermind planning included two pre-protest steps to “assure a crowd at the sundial.” (McCaughey, 441) In a letter entitled “Letter to Uncle Grayson” on April 19 Rudd “listed three nonnegotiable demands that SDS had settled on: the cessation of gym construction; Columbia’s withdrawal from the IDA; and no disciplinary action against the Low Six.” (McCaughey, 441) Rudd also began negotiating with other student groups to embrace their issues of concern. According to McCaughey, this “marked a new departure for SAS, which until now had avoided involvement in any campus issues that were not directly related to the circumstances of black students.” (McCaughey, 441)

Although the Ten Days of Resistance was according to Sale “the largest student strike in the history of the country,” it was dwarfed by the sheer size of the Columbia strike, which dominated the press. The media made it seem as if other universities were copying Columbia. (Sale, 429) Over a million students participated in the nationwide strike on April 26. The next day there was a huge anti-war rally in Central park with eighty-seven thousand attending. Still the eight-day saga at Columbia unfolded in the media and stood out in the minds of many as the ultimate student protest. (Davis, 41)

April 23, 1968: Day One

On April 23, 1968 at noon the SDS, CCC, SAS and the university’s black students joined at the sundial in a protest that drew more than a thousand students. (Davis, 39) The SDS and SAS demonstrated at Columbia’s Low Library, but decided they needed to take a more active approach. The groups wanted to get into the Low Library to confront President Kirk, but counter-protesters, the anti-SDS–Students Columbia 1968  JPGfor a Free Campus–blocked the front entrance and the building’s rear entrance was locked. Mark Rudd tried to take charge, using a bullhorn to organize the students. Someone spontaneously suggested the group exit to the grounds of the proposed gymnasium. At the gym site, they were prevented from entering by the police and one student was arrested. As a result, SDS’s main grievance shifted to the student that had just been arrested. Rudd wanted to organize “a democratic decision-making event, proposing a future student strike.” (Boren, 174) However, when someone suggested regrouping again at the sundial the frustrated group moved again.

But instead of moving to the sundial they went to the lobby of Hamilton Hall. It was there that Rudd gained leadership control of the protest, suggesting that the protesters “take a hostage and occupy Hamilton Hall, the main classroom building of Columbia.” (Boren, 174) Their chosen hostage was the university’s interim Dean Henry Coleman, who had not left the building after 6 P.M. in the evening when the majority of the students and faculty had already left. The protesters held him in his office for 24 hours. Coleman was an agreeable hostage, partially because he was treated well by his captors: “We had more food than we could possibly eat.” (Davis, 40)

Although the protests had started off haphazardly, the students began organizing themselves. Rudd acted as the leader, and “appointed a steering committee.” (Boren, 174) The students began drafting their demands to the university, and organized a stand off with the authorities. They also set about posting all over the interior of the building Che Guevara posters and political slogans. (Boren, 174) As Meyers reports, the students “took their revolutionary style and dress, their beards and berets, from Che Guevara” and seemed, as “Dupee wrote, ‘to unite the politics of a guerrilla chieftain with the aesthetic flair of a costumer and an interior decorator.’ ” (Meyers, 2003) Hamilton Hall became a closed occupation and several dozen armed black activists were invited. (McCaughey, 443)

The students made six demands. The first two were the withdrawal from the IDA and a moratorium on building the gym. The others included the right to stage indoor demonstrations, the establishment of open hearings on student discipline, the dropping of charges against the student arrested at the first demonstration, and the granting of amnesty for past, present, and immediate future acts of the protesters. (Colin, 287)

April 24, 1968: Day Two

On April 24, the second day of the revolt the two factions broke ranks, the black students no longer wanting to collaborate with the white ones, and kicked them out of the building. The dynamic changed at midnight, when the SAS voted “that an ongoing occupation of Hamilton–now dubbed Malcolm X Liberation College–should be a blacks only project.” (McCaughey, 444) Although Rudd and SDS were shocked, they agreed to leave. The black students began fortifying the building against a possible police attack and they took over keeping Coleman hostage. (Boren, 174-175) The white students not knowing what to do, took up the suggestion by one of the black students to “Get your own building.” (McCaughey, 444) Rudd, SDSers and white student protesters chose to take over the Low Library, and particularly make their headquarters in President Grayson Kirk’s office. They easily took over the building almost uncontested in the early morning hours. Soon however, there were rumblings that the police were approaching, prompting Rudd and other SDS leaders to jump from the window. The remaining twenty-five students remained there Columbia 1968  JPGunchallenged for the next six days, with many others joining. Rudd wanted to occupy other buildings, but SDSers voted against it fearing it would scare away support, prompting Rudd to briefly resign his post.

The administration made its headquarters in the unoccupied part of Low Library, and although President Kirk wanted to call in the police and resolve the strike quickly, Provost Truman opposed such action. The administration feared the black students would incite residents in Harlem and was cautious in dealing with them. Support grew rapidly for the strike with students taking over other buildings on campus. Students opposed to the strike “began marching on the city campus” and tried to retake Hamilton Hall, without success. (Boren, 175) (McCaughey, 444)

April 25, 1968: Day Three

Day Three ended with graduate students taking over Fayweather Hall. However the most important event of the day was the faculty’s decision to try to resolve the strike. The faculty made their headquarters in Philosophy 301 where they convened an emergency meeting. Daniel Bell offered the most popular resolution, which called for the students to vacate the occupied buildings and a tripartite committee consisting of faculty, students, and the administration to decide on appropriate disciplinary action. He ended by claiming, “We believe that any differences have to be settled peacefully and we trust that police action will not be used to clear university buildings.” (McCaughey, 447) The SAS released Dean Coleman, and he joined the meeting that almost unanimously endorsed Bell’s proposal.

Kirk and Truman were not as supportive. President Kirk announced that classes were canceled until Monday, and Provost Truman told the faculty the police might need to be called in. In response the faculty created the Ad Hoc Faculty Group (AHFG), which would insert itself between the police and the students.

The students were for the most part were unwilling to work with the faculty. The university hoped to end the stand off by announcing that construction on the gymnasium would stop. But things remained at an impasse for four days. The students demanded amnesty for those involved in the revolt, while the administration resisted, fearful that amnesty would give students an incentive to stage another strike later. (Boren, 175)

The day also marked the occupation of another building, after students in Fayerweather considered abandoning their occupation, hard-line SDSers moved on to Mathematics Hall. Later it would be the scene of the most radical protests. National radical leaders came to the campus to endorse the plight of their local chapters. Black Power leaders Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee also came into to speak with the African-American students occupying Hamilton Hall.

April 26, 1968: Day Four

Faculty members were staying round the clock at Philosophy Hall, but in the early morning Provost Truman warned that the faculty must leave. The administration called in the police “to secure the campus,” and plainclothes policemen scuffled with faculty members at the building. (Boren, 175) Still President Kirk decided to withhold widespread police action, holding out the hope that the AHFG could work out a compromise. A break seemed in sight after a meeting with SDS leadership; Rudd agreed to meet on the next day, Saturday, with AHFG at Philosophy 301.

April 27, 1968: Day Five

AHFG was willing to offer Rudd full amnesty for the protesters at the meeting, but he exclaimed, “Bullshit,” and left. Day Five also saw the appearance of national SDS leaders including Tom Hayden, who held control over one building. (Boren, 175) Counter protesters tried to stop food from being delivered to those involved in the strike. Other strike supporters served as supply blockaders around the occupied buildings.

A routine set in on campus. With the exception of those in Hamilton, protesters moved in and out of the buildings easily. The protesters made themselves comfortable inside the five buildings they were occupying. As Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin write, “protesters slept in the president’s office, smoked his cigars, drank his sherry, and rifled through his files for politically incriminating documents…. Life inside the ‘liberated’ buildings was tense but passionate, sleepless yet amusing.” (Isserman, 229)

On day five even a marriage took place between two of the protesters, Richard Eagan and Andrea Boroff, who recalled, “We went out on the balcony, and the [university] chaplain proclaimed us children of a new age. There were flowers. There was cake. They took us out and marched us around campus with people banging on pots and pans. . . . Someone had keys to a faculty office and they gave us a honeymoon suite.” (Isserman, 229) The day ended with a rally: “The effective united front among all the variety of SDSers was neatly symbolized on Saturday night, when three SDS leaders addressed a crowd of antiwar marchers who collected outside the university gates: Mark Rudd, Ted Kaptchuk, and Tom Hayden, ” as Sale recounted. Sale, 437, 438

April 28, 1968: Day Six

The calm peace was about to turn violent. On Sunday the AHFG, consisting of sociology Professors Immmanuel Wallerstein, Daniel Bell, Allan Silver, history Professors David J. Rothman and Robert Fogelson and economics Professor Peter Kenen, drew up the “Bitter Pill Resolutions”:

  1. Cancellation of the gym construction.
  2. Columbia’s withdrawal from the IDA
  3. Establishment of the principle of collective punishment for the building occupiers
  4. The disavowal by the faculty of either party, students or administration, that refused to accept these resolutions. (McCaughey, 452)

The faculty involved with AHFG voted in favor of the resolutions, but when Kenen and Bell presented them to Provost Truman, he asked them not to present them at the joint faculty meeting or he would resign. At the meeting 400 members of the faculty from the university’s six schools decided to take a centrist position, neither repudiating their president nor abandoning the students. (McCaughey, 453) Meanwhile outside of Low, the power struggle between strikers and counter protesters increased, reaching a boiling point as the anti-protesters circled the building, blocking the delivery of food. The scene, featuring strikers precariously balanced on window ledges, was famously captured by Life magazine in an iconic photograph.

Columbia  1968 JPG

April 29, 1968: Day Seven

Day seven was make or break in the strike and became known as “the day of decision.” Desperate to resolve the matter, the administration told the police to prepare to remove the students in the next 24 hours if they would not agree to end the strike. The intervention would take place in the early morning hours. This detail was kept from AHFG. President Kirk was open to considering the “bitter pill” resolutions, but the university’s trustees wanted changes made. (McCaughey, 455) The protesters’ reaction to the resolutions showed that police action was inevitable. The SDS’s Strike Coordinating Committee refused to compromise without a guarantee of amnesty. Hamilton Hall protesters also refused to go along. Only the Majority Coalition accepted the resolutions, and after one last skirmish with Low’s food suppliers, they vacated their barrier to the building.

April 30, 1968: Day Eight

Eight days into the stand-off there was no solution in sight. The two groups could not meet in agreement, and university officials were concerned that the confrontation was only escalating. As Boren writes: “With major facilities of the campus held by student radicals, a growing national interest in the students’ revolt, and the threat that residents of Harlem might decide to intervene, President Kirk gave the police permission to remove the students on April 30, eight days into the occupation.” (Boren, 175) It was the only way to end the stalemate. The administration, the police, and Mayor Lindsay feared that despite an attempt to remove the students quietly, there would be a riot. It was this fear that had prolonged the strike for so long. One of the mayor’s advisers, Barry Gottehrer, who had watched the proceedings develop since early on in the strike, believed police action could “result in a massacre.” (McCaughey, 456) Mayor Lindsay looked for advice from Yale’s President Kingman Brewster, who told him, “the very future of the American university depended on punishing the strikers.” (McCaughey, 456) His advice helped persuade the mayor to allow the police to move in.

In making that decision, the university administration was giving up its right to control the situation, leaving the police in charge. Provost Truman claimed afterward: “It was like deciding to take an airplane ride and having to leave everything in the air to the pilot.” (McCaughey, 456) The police intended to clear each building one at a time. A thousand police officers were sent in to remove the approximately 1200 students. Police would enter unarmed and the removed students would be transported in vans to jail and booked. Many things could go wrong and ultimately they did. Outside, students and faculty could attempt to stop the police from entering, and inside the officers would be dealing with uncooperative students. It was the perfect recipe for an eventual riot.

At 2:00 A.M. police officers entered the campus to break up the revolt. James Kirkpatrick Davis says the “assault by officers” lasted “nearly to dawn.” (Davis, 41) The first building emptied out was Hamilton Hall; the black students holding the facility had agreed in advance to leave peaceably. Fifteen minutes later the eighty-six protesters were escorted out of the front entrance. The second building emptied was Low Library, at 2:25 A.M. When the police entered they met only passive resistance; ninety-three students were arrested. As one student recounted: “We all gave passive resistance and were dragged out–heads were banged, clothes were torn, some people were bleeding. Nothing serious though.” (McCaughey, 457) Avery Hall was next at 2:30 A.M. After students refused to leave the police broke down the door. Inside they encountered some resistance and both students and police officers received minor injuries; forty-two students were arrested.

With each building the resistance escalated, and it became more difficult to remove the protesters. Fayerweather Hall was the next building the police entered at 2:45 A.M. There the police encountered faculty and students who stood in their path in front of the doors. In the scuffle history Professor James Shenton received a head wound. The injuries continued to mount inside as students resisted the police; 286 students were forcibly removed. The last building was the Mathematics Hall, which was the most difficult to clear. It was there that the most radical students, SDSers, and Mark Rudd, were hold up. The lights were turned off, leaving the police in the dark. Students poured liquid soap all over the stairs to hinder the officers’ access. Students resisted removal and were taken out by force and injured in the process. They threw “bottles, flashlight batteries, furniture and anything else they could get their hands on at the oncoming police.” (Davis, 41) They could get violent, “biting, scratching, punching and even kicking police officers.” (Davis, 41) Stairwells and halls were barricaded with broken furniture, and even a janitor was thrown down a staircase to stop the police from advancing. (Davis, 41) In the end, 203 students were removed. In a little over an hour, all of the buildings were cleared of 711 strikers: 239 were from Columbia, 111 from Barnard, and the rest from other university/college campuses. Three faculty members were arrested. (Davis, 41)

Columbia 1968  JPG

The removal process was far more peaceful than many had feared with only 148 injuries, most of them minor. One police officer suffered a permanent back injury in the process. However, as observers, students, faculty, and families on the South Field were watching students being placed in the vans, a call went out from officers in the vans to other police on campus. It was then that the police came charging at the crowd, and riots and violence commenced. As McCaughey recounts: “A phalanx of police charged the spectators in the South Field, forcing them to retreat south and west until they were backed up against Ferris Booth Hall and Butler Library.” The gates were locked and the crowd could not escape the police. That was where the worst confrontations and violence occurred. As Peter Kenen observed: “Even those of us who were intellectually ready for police action were not emotionally ready for what we saw.” (McCaughey, 459) As Davis states, “the New York Police Department received the highest number of complaints ever received for a single police action. This was also the largest police action in the history of American Universities.” (Davis, 42) In the process, the police injured hundreds of students and faculty, and arrested hundreds more. The day would be remembered as the Battle of Morningside Heights. (Boren, 175)

The Aftermath

When the stand-off was finally over seven days later on April 30, 1968 Columbia’s president Grayson Kirk went into his office at 4:30 A.M. to survey the damage. Protesters had placed a sign on his window ledge that read “LIBERATED AREA. BE FREE TO JOIN US.” (Davis, 39) The state of the office surprised Kirk and the police officer who accompanied him. Kirk wondered, “My God, how could human beings do a thing like this?” The officer exclaimed, “The whole world is in these books. How could they do this to these books?” (Davis, 39) Provost Truman wondered: “Do you think they will know why we had to do this, to call in the police? Will they know what we went through before we decided?” (Davis, 39)

The university remained closed for the next week. Meanwhile, student radicals and SDS planned their next protests. For the rest of the term the students essentially remained on strike. (Boren, 175) On May 21 the students “placed a poster in Ferris Booth Hall which warned of ‘Showdown No. 2.’” (Davis, 42) They also distributed flyers that claimed: “Can an administration, which helps make weapons for Vietnam, steals people’s land and homes discipline anyone?” (Davis, 42) May 22, 1968 marked the second showdown, a much more violent revolt than the April strike. Students occupied Hamilton Hall again, and the more radical among the protesters set fires to parts of the campus. With this revolt, the administration wasted no time and called in the police.

Again, a thousand police officers were called to campus, and the confrontation turned violent. As Davis reports, the police “were in no mood to be pushed around by rowdy college students. Students threw bricks, rocks, and bottles at the lawmen. The police gave no quarter. It was a bloody, wild fight.” (Davis, 42) As with the last strike, the police forced back the crowds that had assembled to watch. Two hundred students were arrested. In a final revolt, that academic year in June students and faculty “dramatically marched out of Columbia’s official commencement ceremonies and held a counter-commencement exercise, officiated by former Sarah Lawrence College President Harold Taylor.” (Boren, 176)

Many of the liberal students at Columbia wanted to reform and restructure the university; many of the students’ demands were met to accomplish this. The university wanted to move on from the strikes, and in August President Kirk resigned, another marker of change that pleased the students. With the changes, SDS lost its less radical liberal advocates. (Boren, 176) Dick Greeman, an SDS veteran and one of the few Columbia faculty members that unconditionally supported the radicals wrote them: “To student rebels, allies must be sought in the black ghettos and in the ranks of labor, not on campus. It means that ‘a free university’ will only exist after we have won a ‘free society’ ” (Sale 440, 441) Many of the radicals left the university after that spring, while others were suspended for the most destructive actions, including Mark Rudd, who soon became the leader of the violent radical group, the Weather Underground.

The events at Columbia radicalized the student movement. The SDS’s slogan of “two, three, many Columbias” inspired radical students all across the country. As Boren explains, “The incident immediately ignited a number of student power demonstrations on campuses throughout the United States, fueled more by antiestablishment sentiments than by specific attainable goals.” (Boren, 176) Rudd later admitted that the stated reasons for the revolt at Columbia were just an excuse to challenge authority. “We just manufactured the issues…. The gym issue is bull. It doesn’t mean anything to anybody.” (Meyers, 2003) As Sale observes: “Conservative critics were right, for the wrong reasons, when they argued that if the university had given in on these demands the radicals would have found three others just as urgent; or, in the words of a famous Berkeley slogan, ‘The issue is not the issue.’ ” (Sale, 435)

Sources and Further Reading

Mark Edelman Boren, Student Resistance: A History of the Unruly Subject, (Routledge, 2001).

Joseph Conlin, The Troubles: A Jaundiced Glance Back at the Movement of the Sixties, (Watts, 1982).

James Kirkpatrick Davis, Assault on the Left: The FBI and the Sixties Antiwar Movement, (Greenwood, 1997).

Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s, (Oxford University Press, 2000).

Michael J. Lewis, “Activism & Architecture: A Tale of Two Cities,” New Criterion, Volume: 16. Issue: 10, June 1998.

Robert A. McCaughey, Stand, Columbia: A History of Columbia University in the City of New York, (Columbia University Press, 2003).

Jeffrey Meyers, “Lionel Trilling & the Crisis at Columbia,” New Criterion, Vol. 21, January 2003.

Kirkpatrick Sale, SDS, (Vintage Books, 1974).

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