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Video: Openly gay DNC treasurer addresses convention

by PageOneQ

Andy Tobias, the openly gay treasurer of the Democratic National Committee spoke to thousands assembled in Denver's Pepsi Center at the Democratic National Convention. Focusing his speech on the economy, Tobias explained how historically Democrats have brought a better economy than Republicans.

The line that garnered the most cheers, however, had nothing to do with budgets and deficits, but with Tobias's call for civil rights and equal treatment for all. "As a gay man, I yearn for a president who believes in equal rights for all Americans," he said.

Video of Tobias's speech and full text of the speech as released by the DNC follow...


My fellow Democrats, this is the third time I've had the privilege of addressing you: first in 2000, when things were great, with surpluses as far as the eye could see; then in 2004, when we'd already veered sharply off course; and now, in 2008, when Republican mismanagement has really hit home around the kitchen table, where the bills are paid. But we can begin to change that. Because we sure can't afford four more years of this.

The fact is that the economy and the stock market do better under Democratic administrations. And one of the reasons is surely whom Democrats turn to for advice. Senator Obama turns to people like Warren Buffet, the best-respected businessman in the world, and to former Treasury secretaries Rubin and Summers, who helped Bill Clinton shake off the economic malaise of the first George Bush.

Senator McCain turns to lobbyists like Phil Gramm. You know the guy who said, "We're just a nation of whiners." Are we really? Eight years ago, virtually everyone in America was doing better, from richest to poorest. Now look. Inflation is up. Foreclosures are up. Gas is up. Job losses are up. And our national debt -- just 30 percent of GDP when the Reagan-Bush voodoo economics began, will be up to 70 percent -- $10 trillion -- by the time George W. Bush finally leaves office.

Meanwhile Phil Gramm spends his time accusing us of being down. About the only guy who seems to have done really well these last eight years is a guy with a private jet and so many homes that he loses count. In just the last eight years, the Republicans have cut the value of the U.S. dollar almost in half and added $4 trillion to our children's debt. They've done this in just eight years. And now they want four more?

As an investor, I yearn for a president who looks to financial heroes, not corporate lobbyists, for economic advice. As a gay man, I yearn for a president who believes in equal rights for all Americans. But most of all, as an American, I yearn for a president that the world can root for and be inspired by. Because having much of the world on our side again would not only be good for our national security, it would be good for business. Vote Obama, my fellow Democrats. Because, boy, do we ever need a change.


Originally published on Monday August 25, 2008.

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