Lieberman's Night, Gore Officially Nominated
Los Angeles, August 16 -- Sen. Joseph Lieberman stepped into the spotlight Wednesday night to praise Al Gore, and share his joy in being the first Jew ever to run on the presidential ticket of a major party.
Echoing the words he used when Al Gore first picked him to be his running mate more than a week ago, Lieberman exclaimed: "Is America a great country or what?!"
Later in the evening, Gore received the official and unanimous vote of approval from delegates at the Democratic National Convention to be their presidential candidate
-- an outcome expected since early spring. Gore gives his much-anticipated acceptance speech Thursday evening.
And so it was Lieberman's night at the convention where he was greeted by a roaring crowd inside the massive Staples Center. With a beaming smile, the Connecticut senator shared his thoughts about religion and the nation's increasing diversity.
"As every faith teaches us, we must, as Americans, try to see our nation not just through our own eyes, but through the eyes of others," he said. "In my life I've seen the goodness of this country through many sets of eyes."
Hear Lieberman's full speech at the convention.
Taking Aim at Republicans
Later, he opened fire on the Republican presidential ticket, dismissing it as void of vision and full of empty talk.
"I am glad the GOP has changed their rhetoric," he said in a veiled reference to rival George W. Bush's campaign of compassionate conservatisim. "But I wish they would also change their policies."
He then singled out Texas where Bush serves as governor and accused the Lone Star State has having some of the worst air and water quality in the nation, and said the state ranks next to last in providing health insurance for women and children.
"We know that health care is one of the most important problems facing families today." Lieberman said of Democrats. "Al Gore and I are the only candidates in this race who will extend access to health care coverage to every single child in America.
He also called for increasing education funding, targeted tax cuts for working families, affordable healthcare, a patients bill of rights and stronger environmental protection.
With today's robust economy, he said, the nation enjoys a special opportunity that Republicans have failed to acknowledge. "We Democrats will do what is necessary to expand the prosperity, they will squander it," he claimed.
Following Lieberman, actor Tommy Lee Jones and Gore's daughter, 27-year-old Karenna Gore Schiff, stepped forward to pitch in on Gore's official nomination and share personal tales of the vice president.
College Buddies and Family Stories
College buddies at Harvard, Jones recalled an evening with Gore: "We shot pool and watched Star Trek, when maybe we should have been studying for exams."
And when the country was torn apart by the Vietnam war and the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jones saw Gore struggle to maintain faith in his country. "I can tell you, he never did lose faith in America," Jones said, "but I always knew he had the brains -- and the heart -- to change the whole world.
Hear Jones' full nominating speech of Al Gore.
Gore's daughter Karenna share stories of her father making breakfast, keeping an unlisted phone number so people could call him, and building igloos in the snow. But she then turned to telling the convention that her father should be president because of his support for healthcare, education and his support for a woman's right to choose abortion.
Karenna Gore Schiff at Convention
Photo by Joshua Barlow/ Copyright © 2000 NPR
"I believe in every woman's right to choose -- and I know my father will always, always defend it," she said.
Afterwards, her father met her on stage for hugs and good wishes, but he offered no words to the convention hall.
Here Karenna Gore Schiff full speech.
Gore arrived at the Burbank Airport earlier Wednesday.
At a rally with cheering supporters in an airplane hangar, Gore took a few moments to preview his own acceptance speech that he will give on Thursday evening.
"Let others argue the case for the old guard," said Gore with Lieberman standing by. "We're the new guard, and we're going to bring positive change."
Gore then ran down some of the subjects he would touch upon: higher pay for teachers, smaller classrooms, an increased minimum wage, new guarantees for patients in managed care groups, prescription drug benefits in Medicare, stronger gun laws and cleaner air and water.
Listen to NPR's All Things Considered host Linda Wertheimer talk with William Daley, Gore's campaign chairman, about the campaign ahead, and what Gore
needs to do to win the election.
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