John Edwards Announces Bid for 2008 Democratic Presidential Nomination

Courtesy CQ Transcripts Wire
Thursday, December 28, 2006; 10:21 AM

EDWARDS: Good morning. I'm here in New Orleans to -- in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans to announce that I'm a candidate for the presidency of the United States in the election in 2008.

The reason I'm here -- actually, the best explanation of the reason I'm announcing here in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans are these young people who are behind me right here and who worked with me yesterday at this house just over to my right.

New Orleans, in so many ways, shows the two Americas that I have talked about in the past and something that I feel very personally. And it also exemplifies something that I've learned since the last election, which is that it's great to see a problem and to understand it. It's more important to actually take action and do something about it.

And I think that's why I'm in New Orleans, is to show what's possible when we as Americans, instead of staying home and complaining about somebody else not doing what they're supposed to, we actually take responsibility and we take action.

And I don't mean we take action after the next election. I mean, we take action now.

And that's what these young people have been doing. They were with me at a food bank in New Orleans a couple days ago; here working yesterday.

Earlier this year, we were not in the Ninth Ward but in St. Bernard Parish with 700 young people who gave up their spring break to come here and work to help rebuild New Orleans.

This is an example of what all of us can do if we actually take it upon ourselves to take responsibility. And we want people in this campaign to actually take action now -- not later, not after the election. We don't want to hope that whoever's elected the next leader of the United States of America is going to solve all our problems for us. Because that will not happen, and all of us know it. Everyone listening to the sound of my voice right now knows that.

If we actually want to change this country and we want to move America the way it needs to move, we're going to have to do it, all of us, together. Instead of staying home and complaining, we're asking people to help.

You know -- all of us have so much to contribute and we have different things to contribute. And we want you to help not starting later, but starting right now.

And that's why we're here in New Orleans, because Americans can make a huge difference here.

You walk around in these neighborhoods and what you'll hear is most of the good that's been done in New Orleans has been done by faith-based groups, charitable groups and volunteers, people who cared enough to come here and spend some time and actually do some work, get their hands dirty. Well, that's what we need to do again. It's what America needs to do again.

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