Executive Speechwriting: Corporate, Weddings, Retirement

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Why Not to Vote for Hillary Clinton (One Perfect Reason)

Whatever motivates someone to vote, gender is among the greatest insults. In a tough campaign against bright and skilled opponents, Hillary Clinton might need to rely on the gender vote to get by. Too bad!

Is a Hillary a woman? No. She is a presidential candidate. That she is a she should not be part of any discussion. But, wait, it is, you say, just look at this blog.

Is Barack Obama black? Is Mitt Romney a Mormon? Is Mike Huckabee formally a fatso?

What? Are we such a nimble-twitted mindless pile of voters we are judging a candidate's quality by such personal info? How many people said that people who voted for George Bush because he claimed to be a Christian (he's a United Methodist) are idiots?

I'll show an idiot: anyone who said this, yet is voting on the gender or race card.

Sadly, as you see in the in this Reuters piece, Hillary's gender will make a difference to "make history." By voting for her because she was born, as Bill Cosby has said, as an apple "without a stem," we are choosing to tell her, "Hillary, you aren't smart enough or experienced enough to win on your own, but, for a girl, you are pretty good."

Find a better reason to vote for a candidate.

related: I Don't Care Anymore: Why We Aren't Voting Values and Issues

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

John Edwards Joins Quitters Row

John Edwards, the guy pretending to run for president, finally admits he is not wanted by the general public.

Edwards to drop out
John Edwards is exiting the presidential race today, according to reports.

» Will he endorse another?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Clinton wins useless primary but no delegates

Bill, and his wife, are still running for votes which do not count. Or do they? This is Florida, not Chicago.

Come on Hillary. Why waste our time?

Clinton wins primary but no delegates
By MIKE GLOVER, Associated Press Writer

DAVIE, Fla. - Hillary Rodham Clinton won the Florida Democratic primary Tuesday night, an event that drew no campaigning by any of her presidential rivals and awarded no delegates to the winner.

But Clinton promptly declared it a welcome victory.

The New York senator, fresh off her lopsided loss to Barack Obama in last weekend's South Carolina primary, arranged a rally in the state as the polls were closing, an evident attempt to gain campaign momentum.

She and Obama collide next week in a coast-to-coast competition for delegates across 22 states.

"I am convinced that with this resounding vote, with the millions of Americans who will vote next Tuesday, we will send a clear message that America is back and we will take charge of our destiny once again," she said to a boisterous crowd.

Last year, the national party stripped Florida of its delegates as punishment for moving its primary ahead of Feb. 5 and the candidates pledged to bypass the state. At stake Tuesday were 185 delegates.

Giuliani prepares to exit, back McCain

Like he ever had a chance. Just another loser, quitter, dropout, without the guts to run a real race. He's off to join Fred Thompson in Loserville.

Giuliani prepares to exit, back McCain

By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer

ORLANDO, Fla. - Rudy Giuliani, who bet his presidential hopes on Florida only to come in third, prepared to quit the race Tuesday and endorse his friendliest rival, John McCain.

The former New York mayor stopped short of announcing he was stepping down, but delivered a valedictory speech that was more farewell than fight-on.

Giuliani finished a distant third to winner McCain and second-place finisher Mitt Romney. Republican officials said Giuliani would endorse McCain on Wednesday in California. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of the public announcement.

"The responsibility of leadership doesn't end with a single campaign, it goes on and you continue to fight for it," Giuliani said, as supporters with tight smiles crowded behind him. "We ran a campaign that was uplifting."

Asked directly if he was dropping out of the race, Giuliani said only: "I'm going to California."

John McCain Wins: Rudy Giuliani Becomes the Biggest Loser

McCain grabs upper hand
John McCain seizes momentum before Super Tuesday.

» Florida win

Rudy Giuliani shows he is a quitter who was too afraid to start the race. John McCain, however, was losing months ago, but never said he was dead (I did, and was wrong

By DAVID ESPO and LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writers

MIAMI - Sen. John McCain won a breakthrough triumph in the Florida primary Tuesday night, gaining the upper hand in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination ahead of next week's contests across 21 states and lining up a quick endorsement from soon-to-be dropout Rudy Giuliani.

"It shows one thing. I'm the conservative leader who can unite the party," McCain said after easing past former Massachusetts Gov, Mitt Romney in a hard-fought contest.

"It's a very significant boost, but I think we've got a tough week ahead and a lot of states to come," he said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was the Democratic winner in a primary held in defiance of national rules that drew no campaigning and awarded no delegates.

President Bush Delivers State of the Union Address

President Bush Delivers State of the Union Address
Chamber of the United States House of Representatives
United States Capitol

9:09 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, Vice President Cheney, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens: Seven years have passed since I first stood before you at this rostrum. In that time, our country has been tested in ways none of us could have imagined. We faced hard decisions about peace and war, rising competition in the world economy, and the health and welfare of our citizens. These issues call for vigorous debate, and I think it's fair to say we've answered the call. Yet history will record that amid our differences, we acted with purpose. And together, we showed the world the power and resilience of American self-government.

All of us were sent to Washington to carry out the people's business. That is the purpose of this body. It is the meaning of our oath. It remains our charge to keep.

The actions of the 110th Congress will affect the security and prosperity of our nation long after this session has ended. In this election year, let us show our fellow Americans that we recognize our responsibilities and are determined to meet them. Let us show them that Republicans and Democrats can compete for votes and cooperate for results at the same time. (Applause.)

From expanding opportunity to protecting our country, we've made good progress. Yet we have unfinished business before us, and the American people expect us to get it done.

In the work ahead, we must be guided by the philosophy that made our nation great. As Americans, we believe in the power of individuals to determine their destiny and shape the course of history. We believe that the most reliable guide for our country is the collective wisdom of ordinary citizens. And so in all we do, we must trust in the ability of free peoples to make wise decisions, and empower them to improve their lives for their futures.

To build a prosperous future, we must trust people with their own money and empower them to grow our economy. As we meet tonight, our economy is undergoing a period of uncertainty. America has added jobs for a record 52 straight months, but jobs are now growing at a slower pace. Wages are up, but so are prices for food and gas. Exports are rising, but the housing market has declined. At kitchen tables across our country, there is a concern about our economic future.

In the long run, Americans can be confident about our economic growth. But in the short run, we can all see that that growth is slowing. So last week, my administration reached agreement with Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader Boehner on a robust growth package that includes tax relief for individuals and families and incentives for business investment. The temptation will be to load up the bill. That would delay it or derail it, and neither option is acceptable. (Applause.) This is a good agreement that will keep our economy growing and our people working. And this Congress must pass it as soon as possible. (Applause.)

We have other work to do on taxes. Unless Congress acts, most of the tax relief we've delivered over the past seven years will be taken away. Some in Washington argue that letting tax relief expire is not a tax increase. Try explaining that to 116 million American taxpayers who would see their taxes rise by an average of $1,800. Others have said they would personally be happy to pay higher taxes. I welcome their enthusiasm. I'm pleased to report that the IRS accepts both checks and money orders. (Laughter and applause.)

Most Americans think their taxes are high enough. With all the other pressures on their finances, American families should not have to worry about their federal government taking a bigger bite out of their paychecks. There's only one way to eliminate this uncertainty: Make the tax relief permanent. (Applause.) And members of Congress should know: If any bill raises taxes reaches my desk, I will veto it. (Applause.)

Just as we trust Americans with their own money, we need to earn their trust by spending their tax dollars wisely. Next week, I'll send you a budget that terminates or substantially reduces 151 wasteful or bloated programs, totaling more than $18 billion. The budget that I will submit will keep America on track for a surplus in 2012. American families have to balance their budgets; so should their government. (Applause.)

The people's trust in their government is undermined by congressional earmarks -- special interest projects that are often snuck in at the last minute, without discussion or debate. Last year, I asked you to voluntarily cut the number and cost of earmarks in half. I also asked you to stop slipping earmarks into committee reports that never even come to a vote. Unfortunately, neither goal was met. So this time, if you send me an appropriations bill that does not cut the number and cost of earmarks in half, I'll send it back to you with my veto. (Applause.)

And tomorrow, I will issue an executive order that directs federal agencies to ignore any future earmark that is not voted on by Congress. If these items are truly worth funding, Congress should debate them in the open and hold a public vote. (Applause.)

Our shared responsibilities extend beyond matters of taxes and spending. On housing, we must trust Americans with the responsibility of homeownership and empower them to weather turbulent times in the housing market. My administration brought together the HOPE NOW alliance, which is helping many struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. And Congress can help even more. Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, modernize the Federal Housing Administration, and allow state housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to help homeowners refinance their mortgages. (Applause.) These are difficult times for many American families, and by taking these steps, we can help more of them keep their homes.

To build a future of quality health care, we must trust patients and doctors to make medical decisions and empower them with better information and better options. We share a common goal: making health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans. (Applause.) The best way to achieve that goal is by expanding consumer choice, not government control. (Applause.) So I have proposed ending the bias in the tax code against those who do not get their health insurance through their employer. This one reform would put private coverage within reach for millions, and I call on the Congress to pass it this year. (Applause.)

The Congress must also expand health savings accounts, create Association Health Plans for small businesses, promote health information technology, and confront the epidemic of junk medical lawsuits. (Applause.) With all these steps, we will help ensure that decisions about your medical care are made in the privacy of your doctor's office -- not in the halls of Congress. (Applause.)

On education, we must trust students to learn if given the chance, and empower parents to demand results from our schools. In neighborhoods across our country, there are boys and girls with dreams -- and a decent education is their only hope of achieving them.

Six years ago, we came together to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, and today no one can deny its results. Last year, fourth and eighth graders achieved the highest math scores on record. Reading scores are on the rise. African American and Hispanic students posted all-time highs. (Applause.) Now we must work together to increase accountability, add flexibility for states and districts, reduce the number of high school dropouts, provide extra help for struggling schools.

Members of Congress: The No Child Left Behind Act is a bipartisan achievement. It is succeeding. And we owe it to America's children, their parents, and their teachers to strengthen this good law. (Applause.)

We must also do more to help children when their schools do not measure up. Thanks to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarships you approved, more than 2,600 of the poorest children in our Nation's Capital have found new hope at a faith-based or other non-public school. Sadly, these schools are disappearing at an alarming rate in many of America's inner cities. So I will convene a White House summit aimed at strengthening these lifelines of learning. And to open the doors of these schools to more children, I ask you to support a new $300 million program called Pell Grants for Kids. We have seen how Pell Grants help low-income college students realize their full potential. Together, we've expanded the size and reach of these grants. Now let us apply that same spirit to help liberate poor children trapped in failing public schools. (Applause.)

On trade, we must trust American workers to compete with anyone in the world and empower them by opening up new markets overseas. Today, our economic growth increasingly depends on our ability to sell American goods and crops and services all over the world. So we're working to break down barriers to trade and investment wherever we can. We're working for a successful Doha Round of trade talks, and we must complete a good agreement this year. At the same time, we're pursuing opportunities to open up new markets by passing free trade agreements.

I thank the Congress for approving a good agreement with Peru. And now I ask you to approve agreements with Colombia and Panama and South Korea. (Applause.) Many products from these nations now enter America duty-free, yet many of our products face steep tariffs in their markets. These agreements will level the playing field. They will give us better access to nearly 100 million customers. They will support good jobs for the finest workers in the world: those whose products say "Made in the USA." (Applause.)

These agreements also promote America's strategic interests. The first agreement that will come before you is with Colombia, a friend of America that is confronting violence and terror, and fighting drug traffickers. If we fail to pass this agreement, we will embolden the purveyors of false populism in our hemisphere. So we must come together, pass this agreement, and show our neighbors in the region that democracy leads to a better life. (Applause.)

Trade brings better jobs and better choices and better prices. Yet for some Americans, trade can mean losing a job, and the federal government has a responsibility to help. (Applause.) I ask Congress to reauthorize and reform trade adjustment assistance, so we can help these displaced workers learn new skills and find new jobs. (Applause.)

To build a future of energy security, we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology. (Applause.) Our security, our prosperity, and our environment all require reducing our dependence on oil. Last year, I asked you to pass legislation to reduce oil consumption over the next decade, and you responded. Together we should take the next steps: Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions. (Applause.) Let us increase the use of renewable power and emissions-free nuclear power. (Applause.) Let us continue investing in advanced battery technology and renewable fuels to power the cars and trucks of the future. (Applause.) Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources. And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases. (Applause.)

This agreement will be effective only if it includes commitments by every major economy and gives none a free ride. (Applause.) The United States is committed to strengthening our energy security and confronting global climate change. And the best way to meet these goals is for America to continue leading the way toward the development of cleaner and more energy-efficient technology. (Applause.)

To keep America competitive into the future, we must trust in the skill of our scientists and engineers and empower them to pursue the breakthroughs of tomorrow. Last year, Congress passed legislation supporting the American Competitiveness Initiative, but never followed through with the funding. This funding is essential to keeping our scientific edge. So I ask Congress to double federal support for critical basic research in the physical sciences and ensure America remains the most dynamic nation on Earth. (Applause.)

On matters of life and science, we must trust in the innovative spirit of medical researchers and empower them to discover new treatments while respecting moral boundaries. In November, we witnessed a landmark achievement when scientists discovered a way to reprogram adult skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells. This breakthrough has the potential to move us beyond the divisive debates of the past by extending the frontiers of medicine without the destruction of human life. (Applause.)

So we're expanding funding for this type of ethical medical research. And as we explore promising avenues of research, we must also ensure that all life is treated with the dignity it deserves. And so I call on Congress to pass legislation that bans unethical practices such as the buying, selling, patenting, or cloning of human life. (Applause.)

On matters of justice, we must trust in the wisdom of our founders and empower judges who understand that the Constitution means what it says. (Applause.) I've submitted judicial nominees who will rule by the letter of the law, not the whim of the gavel. Many of these nominees are being unfairly delayed. They are worthy of confirmation, and the Senate should give each of them a prompt up-or-down vote. (Applause.)

In communities across our land, we must trust in the good heart of the American people and empower them to serve their neighbors in need. Over the past seven years, more of our fellow citizens have discovered that the pursuit of happiness leads to the path of service. Americans have volunteered in record numbers. Charitable donations are higher than ever. Faith-based groups are bringing hope to pockets of despair, with newfound support from the federal government. And to help guarantee equal treatment of faith-based organizations when they compete for federal funds, I ask you to permanently extend Charitable Choice. (Applause.)

Tonight the armies of compassion continue the march to a new day in the Gulf Coast. America honors the strength and resilience of the people of this region. We reaffirm our pledge to help them build stronger and better than before. And tonight I'm pleased to announce that in April we will host this year's North American Summit of Canada, Mexico, and the United States in the great city of New Orleans. (Applause.)

There are two other pressing challenges that I've raised repeatedly before this body, and that this body has failed to address: entitlement spending and immigration. Every member in this chamber knows that spending on entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is growing faster than we can afford. We all know the painful choices ahead if America stays on this path: massive tax increases, sudden and drastic cuts in benefits, or crippling deficits. I've laid out proposals to reform these programs. Now I ask members of Congress to offer your proposals and come up with a bipartisan solution to save these vital programs for our children and our grandchildren. (Applause.)

The other pressing challenge is immigration. America needs to secure our borders -- and with your help, my administration is taking steps to do so. We're increasing worksite enforcement, deploying fences and advanced technologies to stop illegal crossings. We've effectively ended the policy of "catch and release" at the border, and by the end of this year, we will have doubled the number of border patrol agents. Yet we also need to acknowledge that we will never fully secure our border until we create a lawful way for foreign workers to come here and support our economy. (Applause.) This will take pressure off the border and allow law enforcement to concentrate on those who mean us harm. We must also find a sensible and humane way to deal with people here illegally. Illegal immigration is complicated, but it can be resolved. And it must be resolved in a way that upholds both our laws and our highest ideals. (Applause.)

This is the business of our nation here at home. Yet building a prosperous future for our citizens also depends on confronting enemies abroad and advancing liberty in troubled regions of the world.

Our foreign policy is based on a clear premise: We trust that people, when given the chance, will choose a future of freedom and peace. In the last seven years, we have witnessed stirring moments in the history of liberty. We've seen citizens in Georgia and Ukraine stand up for their right to free and fair elections. We've seen people in Lebanon take to the streets to demand their independence. We've seen Afghans emerge from the tyranny of the Taliban and choose a new president and a new parliament. We've seen jubilant Iraqis holding up ink-stained fingers and celebrating their freedom. These images of liberty have inspired us. (Applause.)

In the past seven years, we've also seen images that have sobered us. We've watched throngs of mourners in Lebanon and Pakistan carrying the caskets of beloved leaders taken by the assassin's hand. We've seen wedding guests in blood-soaked finery staggering from a hotel in Jordan, Afghans and Iraqis blown up in mosques and markets, and trains in London and Madrid ripped apart by bombs. On a clear September day, we saw thousands of our fellow citizens taken from us in an instant. These horrific images serve as a grim reminder: The advance of liberty is opposed by terrorists and extremists -- evil men who despise freedom, despise America, and aim to subject millions to their violent rule.

Since 9/11, we have taken the fight to these terrorists and extremists. We will stay on the offense, we will keep up the pressure, and we will deliver justice to our enemies. (Applause.)

We are engaged in the defining ideological struggle of the 21st century. The terrorists oppose every principle of humanity and decency that we hold dear. Yet in this war on terror, there is one thing we and our enemies agree on: In the long run, men and women who are free to determine their own destinies will reject terror and refuse to live in tyranny. And that is why the terrorists are fighting to deny this choice to the people in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Palestinian Territories. And that is why, for the security of America and the peace of the world, we are spreading the hope of freedom. (Applause.)

In Afghanistan, America, our 25 NATO allies, and 15 partner nations are helping the Afghan people defend their freedom and rebuild their country. Thanks to the courage of these military and civilian personnel, a nation that was once a safe haven for al Qaeda is now a young democracy where boys and girls are going to school, new roads and hospitals are being built, and people are looking to the future with new hope. These successes must continue, so we're adding 3,200 Marines to our forces in Afghanistan, where they will fight the terrorists and train the Afghan Army and police. Defeating the Taliban and al Qaeda is critical to our security, and I thank the Congress for supporting America's vital mission in Afghanistan. (Applause.)

In Iraq, the terrorists and extremists are fighting to deny a proud people their liberty, and fighting to establish safe havens for attacks across the world. One year ago, our enemies were succeeding in their efforts to plunge Iraq into chaos. So we reviewed our strategy and changed course. We launched a surge of American forces into Iraq. We gave our troops a new mission: Work with the Iraqi forces to protect the Iraqi people, pursue the enemy in its strongholds, and deny the terrorists sanctuary anywhere in the country.

The Iraqi people quickly realized that something dramatic had happened. Those who had worried that America was preparing to abandon them instead saw tens of thousands of American forces flowing into their country. They saw our forces moving into neighborhoods, clearing out the terrorists, and staying behind to ensure the enemy did not return. And they saw our troops, along with Provincial Reconstruction Teams that include Foreign Service officers and other skilled public servants, coming in to ensure that improved security was followed by improvements in daily life. Our military and civilians in Iraq are performing with courage and distinction, and they have the gratitude of our whole nation. (Applause.)

The Iraqis launched a surge of their own. In the fall of 2006, Sunni tribal leaders grew tired of al Qaeda's brutality and started a popular uprising called "The Anbar Awakening." Over the past year, similar movements have spread across the country. And today, the grassroots surge includes more than 80,000 Iraqi citizens who are fighting the terrorists. The government in Baghdad has stepped forward, as well -- adding more than 100,000 new Iraqi soldiers and police during the past year.

While the enemy is still dangerous and more work remains, the American and Iraqi surges have achieved results few of us could have imagined just one year ago. (Applause.) When we met last year, many said that containing the violence was impossible. A year later, high profile terrorist attacks are down, civilian deaths are down, sectarian killings are down.

When we met last year, militia extremists -- some armed and trained by Iran -- were wreaking havoc in large areas of Iraq. A year later, coalition and Iraqi forces have killed or captured hundreds of militia fighters. And Iraqis of all backgrounds increasingly realize that defeating these militia fighters is critical to the future of their country.

When we met last year, al Qaeda had sanctuaries in many areas of Iraq, and their leaders had just offered American forces safe passage out of the country. Today, it is al Qaeda that is searching for safe passage. They have been driven from many of the strongholds they once held, and over the past year, we've captured or killed thousands of extremists in Iraq, including hundreds of key al Qaeda leaders and operatives.

Last month, Osama bin Laden released a tape in which he railed against Iraqi tribal leaders who have turned on al Qaeda and admitted that coalition forces are growing stronger in Iraq. Ladies and gentlemen, some may deny the surge is working, but among the terrorists there is no doubt. Al Qaeda is on the run in Iraq, and this enemy will be defeated. (Applause.)

When we met last year, our troop levels in Iraq were on the rise. Today, because of the progress just described, we are implementing a policy of "return on success," and the surge forces we sent to Iraq are beginning to come home.

This progress is a credit to the valor of our troops and the brilliance of their commanders. This evening, I want to speak directly to our men and women on the front lines. Soldiers and sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen: In the past year, you have done everything we've asked of you, and more. Our nation is grateful for your courage. We are proud of your accomplishments. And tonight in this hallowed chamber, with the American people as our witness, we make you a solemn pledge: In the fight ahead, you will have all you need to protect our nation. (Applause.) And I ask Congress to meet its responsibilities to these brave men and women by fully funding our troops. (Applause.)

Our enemies in Iraq have been hit hard. They are not yet defeated, and we can still expect tough fighting ahead. Our objective in the coming year is to sustain and build on the gains we made in 2007, while transitioning to the next phase of our strategy. American troops are shifting from leading operations, to partnering with Iraqi forces, and, eventually, to a protective overwatch mission. As part of this transition, one Army brigade combat team and one Marine Expeditionary Unit have already come home and will not be replaced. In the coming months, four additional brigades and two Marine battalions will follow suit. Taken together, this means more than 20,000 of our troops are coming home. (Applause.)

Any further drawdown of U.S. troops will be based on conditions in Iraq and the recommendations of our commanders. General Petraeus has warned that too fast a drawdown could result in the "disintegration of the Iraqi security forces, al Qaeda-Iraq regaining lost ground, [and] a marked increase in violence." Members of Congress: Having come so far and achieved so much, we must not allow this to happen. (Applause.)

In the coming year, we will work with Iraqi leaders as they build on the progress they're making toward political reconciliation. At the local level, Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds are beginning to come together to reclaim their communities and rebuild their lives. Progress in the provinces must be matched by progress in Baghdad. (Applause.) We're seeing some encouraging signs. The national government is sharing oil revenues with the provinces. The parliament recently passed both a pension law and de-Baathification reform. They're now debating a provincial powers law. The Iraqis still have a distance to travel. But after decades of dictatorship and the pain of sectarian violence, reconciliation is taking place -- and the Iraqi people are taking control of their future. (Applause.)

The mission in Iraq has been difficult and trying for our nation. But it is in the vital interest of the United States that we succeed. A free Iraq will deny al Qaeda a safe haven. A free Iraq will show millions across the Middle East that a future of liberty is possible. A free Iraq will be a friend of America, a partner in fighting terror, and a source of stability in a dangerous part of the world.

By contrast, a failed Iraq would embolden the extremists, strengthen Iran, and give terrorists a base from which to launch new attacks on our friends, our allies, and our homeland. The enemy has made its intentions clear. At a time when the momentum seemed to favor them, al Qaida's top commander in Iraq declared that they will not rest until they have attacked us here in Washington. My fellow Americans: We will not rest either. We will not rest until this enemy has been defeated. (Applause.) We must do the difficult work today, so that years from now people will look back and say that this generation rose to the moment, prevailed in a tough fight, and left behind a more hopeful region and a safer America. (Applause.)

We're also standing against the forces of extremism in the Holy Land, where we have new cause for hope. Palestinians have elected a president who recognizes that confronting terror is essential to achieving a state where his people can live in dignity and at peace with Israel. Israelis have leaders who recognize that a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state will be a source of lasting security. This month in Ramallah and Jerusalem, I assured leaders from both sides that America will do, and I will do, everything we can to help them achieve a peace agreement that defines a Palestinian state by the end of this year. The time has come for a Holy Land where a democratic Israel and a democratic Palestine live side-by-side in peace. (Applause.)

We're also standing against the forces of extremism embodied by the regime in Tehran. Iran's rulers oppress a good and talented people. And wherever freedom advances in the Middle East, it seems the Iranian regime is there to oppose it. Iran is funding and training militia groups in Iraq, supporting Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, and backing Hamas' efforts to undermine peace in the Holy Land. Tehran is also developing ballistic missiles of increasing range, and continues to develop its capability to enrich uranium, which could be used to create a nuclear weapon.

Our message to the people of Iran is clear: We have no quarrel with you. We respect your traditions and your history. We look forward to the day when you have your freedom. Our message to the leaders of Iran is also clear: Verifiably suspend your nuclear enrichment, so negotiations can begin. And to rejoin the community of nations, come clean about your nuclear intentions and past actions, stop your oppression at home, cease your support for terror abroad. But above all, know this: America will confront those who threaten our troops. We will stand by our allies, and we will defend our vital interests in the Persian Gulf. (Applause.)

On the home front, we will continue to take every lawful and effective measure to protect our country. This is our most solemn duty. We are grateful that there has not been another attack on our soil since 9/11. This is not for the lack of desire or effort on the part of the enemy. In the past six years, we've stopped numerous attacks, including a plot to fly a plane into the tallest building in Los Angeles and another to blow up passenger jets bound for America over the Atlantic. Dedicated men and women in our government toil day and night to stop the terrorists from carrying out their plans. These good citizens are saving American lives, and everyone in this chamber owes them our thanks. (Applause.)

And we owe them something more: We owe them the tools they need to keep our people safe. And one of the most important tools we can give them is the ability to monitor terrorist communications. To protect America, we need to know who the terrorists are talking to, what they are saying, and what they're planning. Last year, Congress passed legislation to help us do that. Unfortunately, Congress set the legislation to expire on February the 1st. That means if you don't act by Friday, our ability to track terrorist threats would be weakened and our citizens will be in greater danger. Congress must ensure the flow of vital intelligence is not disrupted. Congress must pass liability protection for companies believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend America. We've had ample time for debate. The time to act is now. (Applause.)

Protecting our nation from the dangers of a new century requires more than good intelligence and a strong military. It also requires changing the conditions that breed resentment and allow extremists to prey on despair. So America is using its influence to build a freer, more hopeful, and more compassionate world. This is a reflection of our national interest; it is the calling of our conscience.

America opposes genocide in Sudan. (Applause.) We support freedom in countries from Cuba and Zimbabwe to Belarus and Burma. (Applause.)

America is leading the fight against global poverty, with strong education initiatives and humanitarian assistance. We've also changed the way we deliver aid by launching the Millennium Challenge Account. This program strengthens democracy, transparency, and the rule of law in developing nations, and I ask you to fully fund this important initiative. (Applause.)

America is leading the fight against global hunger. Today, more than half the world's food aid comes from the United States. And tonight, I ask Congress to support an innovative proposal to provide food assistance by purchasing crops directly from farmers in the developing world, so we can build up local agriculture and help break the cycle of famine. (Applause.)

America is leading the fight against disease. With your help, we're working to cut by half the number of malaria-related deaths in 15 African nations. And our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is treating 1.4 million people. We can bring healing and hope to many more. So I ask you to maintain the principles that have changed behavior and made this program a success. And I call on you to double our initial commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS by approving an additional $30 billion over the next five years. (Applause.)

America is a force for hope in the world because we are a compassionate people, and some of the most compassionate Americans are those who have stepped forward to protect us. We must keep faith with all who have risked life and limb so that we might live in freedom and peace. Over the past seven years, we've increased funding for veterans by more than 95 percent. And as we increase funding -- (applause.) And as increase funding we must also reform our veterans system to meet the needs of a new war and a new generation. (Applause.) I call on the Congress to enact the reforms recommended by Senator Bob Dole and Secretary Donna Shalala, so we can improve the system of care for our wounded warriors and help them build lives of hope and promise and dignity. (Applause.)

Our military families also sacrifice for America. They endure sleepless nights and the daily struggle of providing for children while a loved one is serving far from home. We have a responsibility to provide for them. So I ask you to join me in expanding their access to child care, creating new hiring preferences for military spouses across the federal government, and allowing our troops to transfer their unused education benefits to their spouses or children. (Applause.) Our military families serve our nation, they inspire our nation, and tonight our nation honors them. (Applause.)

The strength -- the secret of our strength, the miracle of America, is that our greatness lies not in our government, but in the spirit and determination of our people. (Applause.) When the Federal Convention met in Philadelphia in 1787, our nation was bound by the Articles of Confederation, which began with the words, "We the undersigned delegates." When Governor Morris was asked to draft a preamble to our new Constitution, he offered an important revision and opened with words that changed the course of our nation and the history of the world: "We the people."

By trusting the people, our Founders wagered that a great and noble nation could be built on the liberty that resides in the hearts of all men and women. By trusting the people, succeeding generations transformed our fragile young democracy into the most powerful nation on Earth and a beacon of hope for millions. And so long as we continue to trust the people, our nation will prosper, our liberty will be secure, and the state of our Union will remain strong. (Applause.)

So tonight, with confidence in freedom's power, and trust in the people, let us set forth to do their business. God bless America. (Applause.)

END 10:02 P.M. EST


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Barack Obama Trounces With 55% (99% of the Votes In)

Not great surprise here that Barack Obama took the prize, but it would have no suprise had Hillary Clinton won. Still, by the numbers, 'ol Hillary was just a second class candidate. In fact, loser John Edwards was closer to Hillary (9%) than Hillary was to Obama (28%).

The surprise would have been John Edwards, who once looked like he was running for Vice President, but now, may settle for assistant mayor of Omaha.

Barack Obama 55%
Hillary Clinton 27%
John Edwards 18%

Obama Wins South Carolina Primary
New York Times
By JEFF ZELENY and MARJORIE CONNELLY COLUMBIA, SC - Senator Barack Obama won a commanding victory over Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday, drawing a wide majority of black support and one-quarter of ...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Democrat Dennis Kucinich is a Quitter

Oh, right. He was running, wasn't he? Maybe he was tired of clicking 'present' during major votes in Congress.

Who will he toss in his support for (read: who will he wife vote for)?

Kucinich abandons White House bid (AP)
CLEVELAND - Democrat Dennis Kucinich is abandoning his second, long-shot bid for the White House as he faces a tough fight to hold onto his other job — U.S. congressman.

In an interview with Cleveland's Plain Dealer, the six-term House member said he was quitting the race and would make a formal announcement on Friday.

"I will be announcing that I'm transiting out of the presidential campaign," Kucinich said. "I'm making that announcement tomorrow about a new direction."

Kucinich drops out of presidential race

Kucinich Abandons White House Bid

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf is Gonzo for John McCain

Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf, otherwise publicly apolitical, speaks up in support of Johnny McCain. For Norm, it is all about war. Too bad. He is smarter than this. For some voters, what Schwarzkopf says about McCain is enough.

It is true. McCain's credentials are great. He's a hero, but can he must post up more than memories and "go get 'em"?

The economy may define the election, not the war. This makes it hard for Republicans. Who do they push in the primaries? What about November? a good war. A bad war. Good economy. Bad economy. They have three viable candidates in John McCain, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, all with different takes. Ron Paul might be running for vice president at this point, as is occasional candidate Rudy Giuliani.

Democrats however, have basically two candidates, and, depending how detailed you look, at a high level, they seem the same. No matter how much nose we heard in the debate, the issue isn't the issues, but who can capably lead. Both are prochoice, progay, antiwar, see economy as troubled.

The rest is race, gender, experience and how much corruption is perceived and/or tolerated.

Norman Schwarzkopf Endorses McCain
by FOXNews.com Schwarzkopf, who with McCain in 2004 was openly critical of then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld over his handling of the Iraq war, said in a statement the Arizona senator “has served our country with honor in war and in peace.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fred's Campaign is Dead: Fred Thompson quits race

No surprise here. Fred Thompson started with a "Eh?" and ended with a "whatever. No news yet on who he will support. Johnny McCain got his nod last time.

Fred Thompson quits race
After a string of poor finishes in early primary and caucus states, the former Senator drops out. » Story
"Today, I have withdrawn my candidacy for president of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort," Thompson said in a statement.

MTV Covers Boxing Match at the Democratic Presidential Debate

MTV covered the debate. Not significant was John Edwards, who was there, but no one cared.

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama Get Personal At Testy Debate
Obama also responds to Bill Clinton's jabs: 'I can't tell who I'm running against sometimes.'
By Gil Kaufman
In a sign of just how tense and close the race for the Democratic presidential nomination has become, Illinois Senator Barack Obama, ...

Planned Parenthood Runs for President

Everything is political, even the life of a child. Whomever Planned Parenthood supports should cause a shift in perspective. Their choice can no longer hide under the guise of "I wouldn't do it, but support the legal choice of those who do." No, no, no. Not that at all.

In fact, Planned Parenthood is doing pro-life voters a service. They are flushing out candidates they think are the most pro-abortion, and most worthy of their support. It clears things up. While we'll hardly know who is most likely to spare the life of a child the mother does not want, a few of the candidates will be winnowed away.

Remember that Planned Parenthood will not just be looking at the most pro-abortion candidate, but they have donor dollars to think about. Those donating to them do not have bottom-less wallets, but, just like pro-life organizations, like Focus on the Family, have a budget requiring efficiency.

That means the candidates Planned Parenthood supports are the ones who also are viable in a national or other main election. They might give a nod to third tier choices, but the big money and big speeches will go to the person with the skill set and popularity to do the most damage to human life in the womb.

Planned Parenthood to Push Candidacies
Wall Street Journal
By BRODY MULLINS WASHINGTON -- For the first time, abortion-rights advocate Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. is launching a major effort to elect pro-abortion-rights candidates to Congress and the White House in November.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Martin Luther King is Not a Day, But a Viewpoint

Much is being said about the forgotten Martin Luther King. We remember "I Have a Dream," and forget that he made other speeches, wrote letters, and stood up for more than racial equality.

Read Martin Luther King's Letter from the Birmingham Jail. What he said then matters now.

King was political. He was an organizer. A debater. No one talks about what political party he was in, or gets strung out that he mixed religion and politics so thickly that one and other became one. Strangely, he has much in common with George Bush, as far as that's concerned.

Hillary Clinton, hardly a spokesperson for anything religious, like all the major candidates, agrees with King, but, thanks to King, she does not need get caught in the kind of racial politics King was responding to.

We have much to learn, and more to grow, but King gave us something to work with.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Johnny McCain Wins South Carolina

McCain knows losing. However, in South Carolina, he comes out ahead.

McCain wins tough battle
John McCain wins the South Carolina primary, the state that cost him the GOP nomination in 2000.
» Details

Sen. John McCain won a hard-fought South Carolina primary Saturday night, avenging a bitter personal defeat in a bastion of conservatism and gaining ground in an unpredictable race for the Republican presidential nomination. Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama split the spoils in Nevada caucuses marred by late charges of dirty politics.

Hillary and Mitt Kicking Up Dust in Nevada

Looks like Hillary Clinton's momentum is kicking, as is Mitt Romney's. My present money is on this mix in November, but I would not count Barack Obama out just yet.

Bill Clinton, however, is starting to look shrill, to use a turn of phrase often given to someone else.

Hillary survives, Mitt cruises
Hillary Clinton survives heated Nevada caucuses, while Mitt Romney wins easily.

» Keys to victory
How close?
Rivals slam Obama
Mormon factor
Full coverage

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Clinton Scores Lonely Victory in Michigan's Hobbled Democratic Primary

Clinton Scores Lonely Victory in Michigan's Hobbled Democratic Primary
By Marie Horrigan, CQ Staff
Whole story
Wed Jan 16, 2:38 AM ET

New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton headed off a potentially embarrassing situation Tuesday when she won Michigan's Democratic presidential primary -- a contest, tarnished by a scheduling dispute between the national and state party organizations, in which she was the only top-tier Democratic candidate on the ballot.

Clinton ended up with 55 percent of the vote in the lightly attended Democratic contest, with 40 percent of the voters choosing the "uncommitted" line.

The peculiar contest resulted from the hard line taken by the Democratic National Committee against Michigan's rule-breaking Jan. 15 primary date, which ultimately led to the national party's revocation of all 156 of the state's delegates to the party's August national convention. The DNC's demand that most states, including Michigan, stick to a Feb. 5 starting date for the presidential nominating process prompted Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards -- Clinton's chief rivals for the nomination -- to withdraw their names from the ballot

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama Kiss and Make Up

As I said, an important reason not to vote for Hillary Clinton is gender. Pleased to see, too, that the race race is being quelled by Barack Obama.

These candidates each have their strengths and weaknesses, and letting race or gender define either is small-minded. Even John Edwards knows that, having neither gender nor race.

Sydney Morning HeraldClinton Shines In Vegas
By John Fout After a slow start bogged down by a show of unity that bordered on blather, the Democratic debate in Las Vegas managed to reveal important character traits.

Republican of the Week Award: Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney wins the Republican of the Week Award. Now that everyone has had a turn to win a primary (except Rudy, but he doesn't count anymore, and will eventually see that he is John McCain light, and hand over his supporters to him), let's see who will be facing Hillary Clinton in the big November election.

Romney's Michigan win shakes up GOP race

CNN -- Mitt Romney claimed a much-needed victory in Tuesday's Michigan Republican primary, making the race for the GOP presidential nomination anybody's game.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hillary Clinton: January 2008 Press Releases

Prolific in releasing statements to the press, Hillary Clinton keeps an archive on her website. Here's all of January to date.

January 2008

Statement by Senator Hillary Clinton Commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday

Morning HUBdate: “Voice”

New Clinton Spanish-Language TV Ad Airing In Nevada

Hillary To Appear On Tyra Banks Show

Labor Rights’ Leader and Activist Richard Chavez Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

Yesterday in the States

Clinton Campaign Hires Colorado Communications Director

Statement of Hillary Rodham Clinton

Fact Sheet: Sen. Obama's 129 Present Votes

New Mexico Lt. Governor Diane Denish Endorses Hillary for President

California NAACP President Alice Huffman Endorses Clinton

U.S. Representative Mike Thompson Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

Obama Camp Keeps Making False Claims About Sen. Obama’s Record on Troop Withdrawal

Amber And America Endorse Hillary

Morning HUBdate: Comfortable and Knowledgeable

Statement from Bob Johnson on His Comments Today in South Carolina

Statement from the Clinton Campaign’s Senior Economic Adviser Gene Sperling

On Meet The Press, Hillary Examines Sen. Obama On Iraq

Morning HUBdate: The Full Hour

Colorado Hispanic Leadership Council Kicks Off “Un Nuevo Día” Volunteer Recruitment Effort

Clinton Campaign’s Volunteer Network to Launch Home “Dialing for Hillary” Phone Bank Initiative

Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

Morning HUBdate: Gaining Ground

Clinton Unveils Aggressive Plan to Jumpstart U.S. Economy

Morning HUBdate: Jumpstart

American Samoa Governor Tulafono Endorses Clinton

Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

Clinton Says Her Campaign Is About Making A Difference In People’s Lives In New Ad Airing In Nevada, South Carolina

“Ask Hillary,” She Answers

Radio Actuality: Adams County Assessor Gil Reyes Discusses Clinton’s Aggressive Plan to Jumpstart U.S. Economy

Clinton Unveils Aggressive Plan to Jumpstart U.S. Economy

Clinton Statement on Gov. Richardson Withdrawal

Henry Cisneros and Edward Romero Endorse Hillary for President

State Senator Bob Coffin Endorses Clinton

Clinton Continues Momentum At Campaign Events Across the Country

Hillary Clinton Statement on Small Business Administration Proposal Affecting Women-Owned Small Businesses

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley Endorses Clinton

Delaware Governor Ruth Ann Minner Endorses Clinton

Clinton Momentum Sweeps Across the Country

Clinton Campaign Announces North Dakota Steering Committee

Clinton Campaign Announces Kansas Steering Committee

Continuing the Momentum, Clinton Campaign Announces Connecticut Steering Committee

Clinton Campaign Announces Endorsement of Former Missouri Governor Warren Hearnes and First Lady Betty Hearnes

Clinton Campaign Announces Oklahoma Steering Committee

TODAY: Wellington Webb and Clinton Campaign Volunteers to Discuss Hillary’s Record of Change and Momentum Moving Forward

Former Biden State Director Ronni Council Joins Clinton Team

Morning HUBdate: Rhetoric vs. Results

New Hampshire for Hillary Campaign Makes Final Grassroots Push

Former Biden Supporter State Representative Bill Hatch Endorses Senator Clinton for President

Former Biden Supporter State Representative Jim Webber Endorses Senator Clinton for President

GOP Gets It On: Duking It Out In Michigan

On the Republican side, the heat kicks in, despite the chilly weather.

Michigan further wrinkles close GOP race
By LIZ SIDOTI and GLEN JOHNSON, Associated Press Writers
24 minutes ago

DETROIT - John McCain sought to keep his momentum going. Mitt Romney looked to keep his candidacy afloat. Mike Huckabee simply wanted to keep defying expectations.

No matter the winner, the Republican presidential primary in Michigan on Tuesday promised to add another wrinkle to a volatile nomination fight that lacks a clear favorite.

"It's going to be a very, very close race," predicted McCain, the Arizona senator hoping that independents and Democrats would join Republicans to help him repeat his 2000 win here.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and native son of Michigan whose late father once was the governor, was more confident, declaring in Grand Rapids: "Michigan is going to vote for a Romney again!"

McCain, Romney in tight race in snowy Michigan

'08 race (according to Yahoo)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

African-American Leader Bob Johnson Criticizes Obama

While Barack Obama has not chased the race vote as much as he might, he must be disappointed when BET (Black Entertainment Television) has chosen to put down Obama's character. (read CV Rick's thoughts on it all [trackback])

Bob Johnson criticizes Obama

By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. - One of Hillary Rodham Clinton's most prominent black supporters said Sunday he was insulted by the characterization by rival Barack Obama's presidential campaign of her remarks about the civil rights movement.

Bob Johnson, the nation's first black billionaire and founder of the BET cable television network, said Obama's campaign had acted dishonestly and had distorted Clinton's remarks about Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, January 11, 2008

RIP Hillary: Sir Edmund Hillary, That Is

The media surrounding Hillary Clinton, and related opinions is the normal focus here. However, a man who achieved a great feat with tremendous class has died, and this Hillary should be talked about.

Edmund Hillary, first to climb Mt. Everest, dies
Los Angeles Time
His exploit brought him worldwide fame and a lifelong fealty to Nepal.
By Dennis McLellan January 11, 2008 (more)

Sir Edmund Hillary, the mountain-climbing New Zealand beekeeper who became a mid-20th century hero as the first person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, has died. He was 88.

Hillary, who made his historic climb to the top of the world's highest peak with Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay of Nepal, died today at a hospital in Auckland City, New Zealand, according to Prime Minister Helen Clark. A statement from the Auckland District Health Board said he died of a heart attack.

"Sir Ed described himself as an average New Zealander with modest abilities. In reality, he was a colossus," Clark said.

Wikipedia on it:

Sir Edmund Percival Hillary, KG, ONZ, KBE (20 July 191911 January 2008)[1][2] was a New Zealand mountaineer and explorer. On 29 May 1953, he and Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers known to have reached the summit of Mount Everest. They were part of the ninth British expedition to Everest, led by John Hunt.

Edmund Hillary was born to Percival Augustus Hillary and Gertrude Hillary, née Clark, in Tuakau (south of Auckland), on 20 July 1919.[3] His grandparents were early settlers in northern Wairoa in the mid 19th century after emigrating from Yorkshire.[4] Hillary was educated at Auckland Grammar School. His daily bus journey to and from school was over two hours each way, during which he regularly used the time to read. As he grew up he was smaller than his peers and very shy so he took refuge in his books and daydreams of a life filled with adventure. At 16 his interest in climbing was sparked during a school trip to Mount Ruapehu. Though gangly and uncoordinated he found that he was physically strong and had greater endurance than many of his tramping companions. In 1939 he completed his first major climb, reaching the summit of Mount Oliver in the Southern Alps.

With his brother, Rex, Hillary became a beekeeper,[3][5] a summer occupation that allowed him to pursue climbing in the winter.[6]

World War II
On the outbreak of the war Hillary applied to join the air force, but withdrew the application before it was considered because he was "harassed by my religious conscience".[7] Following the introduction of conscription on the outbreak of war in the Pacific, in 1943 Hillary joined the RNZAF as a navigator and served on Catalina flying boats. In 1945 he was sent to Fiji and to the Solomon Islands where he was badly burned in a boating accident, after which he was repatriated to New Zealand.[7]

Hillary was part of a British reconnaissance expedition to Everest in 1951 led by Eric Shipton before joining the successful British attempt of 1953.
In 1952 Hillary and George Lowe were part of the British team led by Eric Shipton that attempted Cho Oyu. After that attempt failed due to the lack of route from the Nepal side, Hillary and Lowe crossed the Lho-La into Tibet and reached the old Camp II, on the northern side, where all the pre-war expeditions camped.

1953 Everest Expedition
The route to Everest was closed by Chinese-controlled Tibet and Nepal only allowed one expedition per year. A Swiss expedition (in which Tenzing took part) had attempted to reach the summit in 1952 but was turned back by bad weather 800 feet (260 m) from the summit. During a 1952 trip in the Alps Hillary discovered he and his friend George Lowe had been invited for the approved British 1953 attempt and immediately accepted.[8]

Shipton was named as leader but was replaced by Hunt. Hillary considered pulling out but both Hunt and Shipton talked him into remaining. Hillary was intending to climb with Lowe but Hunt named two teams for the assault: Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans; and Hillary and Tenzing. Hillary therefore made a concerted effort to forge a working friendship with Tenzing.[8]
The Hunt expedition, like many such expeditions, was a team effort. Lowe supervised the preparation of the Lhotse Face, a huge and steep ice face, for climbing. Hillary forged a route through the treacherous Khumbu Icefall.[8]

The expedition set up base camp in March 1953. Working slowly it set up its final camp at the South Col at 7,900 metres (25,900 ft). On 26 May Bourdillon and Evans attempted the climb but turned back when Evans's oxygen system failed. The pair had reached the South Summit, coming within 100 metres (330 ft) of the summit.[9] Hunt then directed Hillary and Tenzing to go for the summit.

Snow and wind held the pair up at the South Col for two days. They set out on 28 May with a support trio of Lowe, Alfred Gregory and Ang Nyima. The two pitched a tent at 8,500 metres (27,900 ft) on 28 May while their support group returned down the mountain. On the following morning Hillary discovered that his boots had frozen solid outside the tent. He spent two hours warming them before he and Tenzing attempted the final ascent wearing 30-pound (10 kg) packs.[8] The crucial move of the last part of the ascent was the 40-foot (12 m) rock face later named the "Hillary Step". Hillary saw a means to wedge his way up a crack in the face between the rock wall and the ice and Tenzing followed.[10] From there the following effort was relatively simple. They reached the summit at 11:30 am.[3]. As Hillary put it, "A few more whacks of the ice axe in the firm snow, and we stood on top."[11]

Tenzing Norgay on the summit of Mt Everest. Photograph taken by Hillary, 29 May 1953
They spent only about 15 minutes at the summit. They unsuccessfully looked for evidence of the earlier Mallory expedition. Hillary took Tenzing's photo, Tenzing left chocolates in the snow as an offering, and Hillary left a cross that he had been given.[8] Because Tenzing did not know how to use a camera, there are no pictures of Hillary there.[12]

The two had to take care on the descent after discovering that drifting snow had covered their tracks to complicate the task. The first person they met was Lowe, who had climbed up to meet them with hot soup.[8]

"Well George, we finally knocked the bastard off."
– Hillary's first words, to lifelong friend George Lowe, on returning from Everest's summit
News of the successful expedition reached Britain on the day of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The group was surprised by the international acclaim that they received upon arriving in Kathmandu.[8]

After Everest
Hillary climbed ten other peaks in the Himalayas on further visits in 1956, 1960–61 and 1963–65. He also reached the South Pole as part of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, for which he led the New Zealand section, on 4 January 1958. His party was the first to reach the Pole since Amundsen in 1911 and Scott in 1912, and the very first that motor vehicles had ever reached the Pole.

He led a jetboat expedition, titled "Ocean to Sky", from the mouth of the Ganges River to its source in 1977. In 1979, he was scheduled to act as a commentator on the ill-fated Air New Zealand Flight 901, an Antarctic sightseeing flight, but had to pull out due to work commitments elsewhere. He was replaced by his close friend Peter Mulgrew, who perished as the aircraft crashed on Mount Erebus.[13]

Hillary took part in the 1975 general election, as a member of the "Citizens for Rowling" campaign. His involvement in this campaign was seen as precluding his nomination as Governor-General,[14] with the position instead being offered to Keith Holyoake in 1977. However, in 1985 he was appointed New Zealand High Commissioner (ambassador) to India, Nepal and Bangladesh, and spent four and a half years based in New Delhi.

Edmund Hillary in 1957 after accompanying the first plane to land at the Marble Point ground air strip, Antarctica.

In 1985 he accompanied Neil Armstrong in a small twin-engined ski plane over the Arctic Ocean and landed at the North Pole. He thus became the first man to stand at both poles and on the summit of Everest.

In January 2007, Hillary traveled to Antarctica to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Scott Base. He flew to the station on 18 January 2007 with a delegation including the Prime Minister.[15][16][17] While there he called for the British government to contribute to the upkeep of Scott's and Shackleton's huts.[18]

On 22 April 2007 while on a trip to Kathmandu he is reported to have suffered a fall. There was no comment on the nature of his illness and he did not immediately seek treatment. He was hospitalized after returning to New Zealand.[19]

Public recognition

Edmund Hillary on the New Zealand five-dollar note

Hillary was created a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) on 16 July 1953; a member of the Order of New Zealand (ONZ) in 1987; and a Knight of the Order of the Garter (KG) on 23 April 1995. Various streets, schools and organisations around New Zealand and abroad are named after him. A few examples are Hillary College (Otara), Edmund Hillary Primary School (Papakura) and the Hillary Commission (now SPARC).

In 1992 Hillary appeared on the updated New Zealand $5 note; Hillary was the only New Zealander to appear on a banknote during their own lifetime.

To mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first successful ascent of Everest the Nepalese Government conferred honorary citizenship upon Hillary at a special Golden Jubilee celebration in Kathmandu. He was the first foreign national to receive such an honour from the Nepalese.

A 2.3-metre (7.5 ft) bronze statue of Sir Ed was installed outside The Hermitage hotel at Mt Cook village, New Zealand, in 2003.

Family life
Hillary married Louise Mary Rose on 3 September 1953, soon after the ascent of Everest. A shy man, he relied on his future mother-in-law to propose on his behalf[6][5][20]. They had three children: Peter (1954), Sarah (1955) and Belinda (1959).[9][3]

In 1975 while en route to join Hillary in the village of Phaphlu, where he was helping build a hospital, Louise and Belinda were killed in a plane crash near Kathmandu airport shortly after take-off[5].

Hillary married June Mulgrew, the widow of his close friend Peter Mulgrew, on 21 December 1989.[6][21]

His son Peter Hillary has also become a climber, conquering Everest in 1990. In April 2003 Peter and Jamling Tenzing Norgay (son of Tenzing) climbed Everest as part of a 50th anniversary celebration.[22] Hillary has six grandchildren, including Amelia Hillary who is also involved in Hillary's work in the Himalayas.

He devoted all of his life to helping the Sherpa people of Nepal through the Himalayan trust, which he founded and to which he had given much of his time and energy. Through his efforts he had succeeded in building many schools and hospitals in this remote region of the Himalayas. He was the Honorary President of the American Himalayan Foundation, a United States non-profit body that helps improve the ecology and living conditions in the Himalayas.

Wikinews has related news:
Sir Edmund Hillary angry with mountaineers who left British climber to die
Hillary spoke of his disdain for the attitudes displayed by many modern mountaineers. In particular he publicly criticized New Zealander Mark Inglis and 40 other climbers who, in various groups, left British climber David Sharp to die in May 2006. He said:
"I think the whole attitude towards climbing Mount Everest has become rather horrifying. The people just want to get to the top, it was wrong if there was a man suffering altitude problems and was huddled under a rock, just to lift your hat, say good morning and pass on by."
He also told the New Zealand Herald that he was horrified by the callous attitude of today's climbers:
"They don’t give a damn for anybody else who may be in distress and it doesn’t impress me at all that they leave someone lying under a rock to die."


Wikinews has related news:
Sir Edmund Hillary dead at 88
On 11 January 2008, Sir Edmund Hillary died of heart failure at the Auckland City Hospital at around 9 am NZDT at the age of 88.[23]
Hillary's death was announced by New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark at around 11:20 am during which she stated that his passing was a "profound loss to New Zealand"[24]. His death was recognised by the lowering of flags to half-mast at the New Zealand Parliament, Auckland Harbour Bridge and at Scott Base in Antarctica[25]. Actor and adventurer Brian Blessed, who attempted to climb Everest three times, described Sir Edmund as a "kind of titan"[26].
He was in hospital at the time of his death but was expected to come home that day according to his family[27]. A state funeral has been planned.

Books written by Hillary include:
High Adventure (1955), Oxford University Press (Paperback) ISBN 1932302026
High Adventure: The True Story of the First Ascent of Everest (1955), Oxford University Press (Paperback) ISBN 0195167341
East of Everest - An Account of the New Zealand Alpine Club Himalayan Expedition to the Barun Valley in 1954, with George Lowe (1956), E. P. Dutton and Company, Inc. ASIN B000EW84UM
No Latitude for Error (1961), Hodder & Stoughton. ASIN B000H6UVP6.
The New Zealand Antarctic Expedition (1959), R.W. Stiles, printers. ASIN B0007K6D72.
The crossing of Antarctica; the Commonwealth Transantarctic Expedition, 1955-1958 with Sir Vivian Fuchs (1958). Cassell ASIN B000HJGZ08
High in the thin cold air; the story of the Himalayan Expedition, led by Sir Edmund Hillary, sponsored by World Book Encyclopedia, with Desmond Doig (1963) ASIN B00005W121
Schoolhouse in the Clouds (1965) ASIN B00005WRBB
Nothing Venture, Nothing Win (1975) Hodder & Stoughton General Division ISBN 0340212969
From the Ocean to the Sky: Jet Boating Up the Ganges Ulverscroft Large Print Books Ltd (November 1980) ISBN 0-7089-0587-0
Two Generations with Peter Hillary (1984) Hodder & Stoughton Ltd ISBN 0340354208
Ascent: Two Lives Explored: The Autobiographies of Sir Edmund and Peter Hillary (1992) Paragon House Publishers ISBN 1557784086
View from the Summit: The Remarkable Memoir by the First Person to Conquer Everest (2000) Pocket ISBN 0743400674

^ Radio New Zealand News website
^ New Zealand Herald News website
^ a b c d Christchurch City Libraries, Famous New Zealanders. Retrieved January 23, 2007.
^ Tyler, Heather Tyler Authorised Hillary biography reveals private touches. NZ Herald. October 8, 2005.
^ a b c Robert Sullivan, Time Magazine, Sir Edmund Hillary—A visit with the world's greatest living adventurer, 12 September, 2003. Retrieved 22 January, 2007.
^ a b c National Geographic, Everest: 50 Years and Counting. Retrieved 22 January, 2007.
^ a b Calder, Peter (11 January 2008). Sir Edmund Hillary's life. NZ Herald. APN Holdings NZ Limited. Retrieved on 2008-01-11.
^ a b c d e f g Hillary, Edmund, High Adventure: The True Story of the First Ascent of Everest
^ a b The New Zealand Edge, Sir Edmund Hillary—KING OF THE WORLD. Retrieved 22 January, 2007.
^ Ascent: Two Lives Explored : The Autobiographies of Sir Edmund and Peter Hillary
^ PBS, NOVA, First to Summit, Updated November 2000. Retrieved March 31, 2007
^ Joanna Wright (2003). "The Photographs", in Everest, Summit of Achievement, by the Royal Geographic Society. Simon & Schuster, New York. ISBN 0743243862. Accessed 2008-01-11.
^ New Zealand Antarctic Veterans Association, Operation Deep Freeze—The New Zealand Story, Retrieved January 20, 2007
^ Rowling: The man and the myth by John Henderson, Australia New Zealand Press, 1980.
^ NDTV, Sir Edmund Hillary revisits Antarctica, January 20, 2007.
^ Claire Harvey, The New Zealand Herald, Claire Harvey on Ice: Arriving at Scott Base, January 20, 2007.
^ Radio Network, PM and Sir Edmund Hillary off to Scott Base, January 15, 2007. Retrieved January 20, 2007.
^ The Press Hillary slates Brits over historic huts , retrieved February 12, 2007
^ Stuart Dye, The New Zealand Herald, Clark sends goodwill message to Sir Edmund, Tuesday April 24, 2007
^ Famous New Zealanders. Retrieved 22 January, 2007.
^ Sailing Source, Sir Edmund Hillary to Start Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race. Retrieved 22 January, 2007.
^ NPR, Everest: To the Top of the World, 25 April, 2003. Retrieved 22 January, 2007.
^ http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10482156
^ CNN.com, Clark statement on Hillary death Retrieved 11 January, 2008
^ Stuff.co.nz, Flag flies at half-mast over a sad Scott Base Retrieved 11 January, 2008
^ Lastingtribute.co.uk, Obituary Retrieved 11 January, 2008
^ Stuff.co.nz, State funeral for Sir Ed Retrieved 11 January, 2008

External links

Wikinews has related news:
Sir Edmund Hillary receives honorary doctorate

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Edmund Hillary
Edmund Hillary hospitalised
NZEdge biography
Himalayan Trust UK site
American Himalayan Foundation
Hillary lands in Antarctica
Picture of statue at Mt Cook
1966 Encyclopaedia entry
TIME: The Greatest Adventures of All Time - The Race to the Pole (interview with Sir Edmund)
On top of the world: Ed Hillary - Full biography of Edmund Hillary on NZHistory.net.nz
Sir Edmund Hillary - Obituary and Tribute
Hillary, Edmund Percival
Mountaineer, explorer
20 July 1919
Tuakau, New Zealand
11 January 2008
Auckland, New Zealand
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Hillary"