|REP. JOHN LEWIS|
August 16, 2000
The representative from Georgia and the civil rights leader tells the Democratic convention that America must choose "the politics of principle over the politics of personality" by voting for Joe Lieberman.
We have come a long way from those signs that I saw in my youth that said: "White Waiting"... "Colored Waiting."
"White Men"... "Colored Men."
"White Women"... "Colored Women."
Looking out over this vast hall tonight, I see the America I know and the nation I so deeply love.
We are black and white and brown and yellow.
We are Protestant and Catholic, Muslim and Jewish.
We are young and old.
We are straight and gay.
We have come here from every walk of life to represent our fellow citizens at this great convention.
The American people see us-- the Democratic Party-- and they know our arms are wide open to people of every race, every creed and every religion.
Over a week ago, Al Gore had the courage-- the raw courage-- to open the arms of our party to a Vice Presidential nominee who brings to the ticket experience, integrity and universal respect as a principled fighter for what is right, for what is fair, and for what is just.
We are more than lucky... we are blessed to have a man like Joe Lieberman as our Vice Presidential candidate.
I know Joe Lieberman.
He is my colleague in Congress, my friend and my brother.
He is a man of courage, commitment and conviction.
He is an extraordinary human being.
He is a man of principle, a public servant guided by values deeply held and a moral compass rooted by faith.
I have known Joe Lieberman for many years.
After many of us had been arrested, jailed and beaten during the early days of the civil rights movement, Joe Lieberman responded to the greatest moral crisis of our time: He came to the heart of the delta of Mississippi to help tear down the walls of segregation and racial discrimination.
As a young student, he left the comfort of Connecticut and New Haven to be a foot soldier in the drive to register black voters.
And this year, right here, we will nominate for national office a person who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and us at the March on Washington.
I know and you know that he has served the people of Connecticut well.
I know that he has never run away from a good fight.
I know that he has demonstrated time and time again his commitment to good and open government.
At times, he has sailed against the wind.
Too many seekers of public office tell us what we want to hear and we believe them.
We even vote for them based on personality.
But we must choose the politics of principle over the politics of personality.
Joe Lieberman is a man of principle.
He walks by faith and not by sight.
35 years ago, some of us walked across the Edmund Pettus bridge in Selma, Alabama.
We have come a long way.
But we have more bridges to cross.
And we need a man like Joe Lieberman to walk with us.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "nothing is more powerful than the moving feet of a determined people."
Joe Lieberman is a determined man.
He never gives up when the road gets rough.
He will always do what is right.
When we do what is right, we will win.
We will always win.
Leaders like Joe Lieberman have made our nation great and more humane and rich in opportunity for all.
"From my lips to God's ears."
That is a Yiddish expression of hope that came to my mind when I heard that Al Gore chose Joe Lieberman as his running mate.
From our lips to God's ears, I believe and I know that America is ready for Joe Lieberman... and Joe Lieberman is ready for America.
This man-- our next Vice President-- has dedicated his life toward the building of a truly interracial democracy, even the beloved Community, an America at peace with herself.
My friends, now is the time to move your hands, move your hearts, and move your feet and walk with
Joe Lieberman... to march with Joe Lieberman... and make him the next Vice President of the United States.
It is indeed my privilege to introduce to you the love in Joe Lieberman's life, a woman of dignity, whose immigrant journey embodies the American Dream.
Mrs. Hadassah Lieberman.