Eight years ago, in San Francisco, some of us tried to convince America that while President Reagan was telling us we were all one "shining city on a hill," there was another city, where people were struggling, many of them living in pain.
And we tried to tell America that unless we changed policies -- unless we expanded opportunity -- the deterioration of the other city would spread. We Democrats failed to reach enough Americans with that message, and now the nation has paid the price. The nation cannot afford to have us fail again.
Of course, the American people want change; of course, we want something better than George Bush and the politics of decline, decay and deception.
And beginning with this convention, we must demonstrate to all the American people that change for the better is at hand, ready, able and eager to serve -- in the person of Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas.
And this time we cannot afford to fail to deliver the message -- not just to Democrats, but to the whole nation. Because the ship of state is headed for the rocks.
The crew knows it. The passengers know it. Only the captain of the ship , President Bush, appears not to know it.
Remember the savings and loans? Governors and mayors had gone to Washington to plead for help for education, for job training, for health care, for roads and bridges. "Sorry, there is none," said the president. "We're broke. We have the will but not the wallet."
Then Americans discovered that wealthy bankers -- educated in the most exquisite forms of conservative, Republican banking -- through their incompetence and thievery, and the government's neglect, had stolen or squandered everything in sight!
I heard no moralizing about values then from our Republican leaders. Instead, mirabile dictu -- all of a sudden -- the heavens opened, and out of the blue, billions of dollars appeared. Not for children. Not for jobs. Not for the ill. But hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out failed savings and loans.
All this time, Bill Clinton has worked to relieve other people's discomfort because he remembers his own struggle. Because Bill Clinton still remembers -- because he is equipped to break the gridlock in Washington and to deliver effective government -- because Bill Clinton will remind us that we are too good to make war our most successful enterprise, because he does not believe that the way to win political support is to pit people against one another.
So step aside, Mr. Bush. You've had your parade! It's time for change -- someone smart enough to know, strong enough to do, sure enough to lead. The Comeback Kid. A new voice for a new America.
Because I love New York, because I love America, I nominate for office of the president of the United States the man from Hope, Ark., Gov. Bill Clinton!