Democratic Candidate Campaign Speech Series

[ Posted Monday, July 13th, 2015 – 14:38 UTC ]

[Update: Here are links to the speeches, in the order that they ran in:]

Jim Webb

Martin O'Malley

Lincoln Chafee

Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders


For the next few days, we're going to present the full text of speeches given by Democratic candidates for president. We did this back in 2007, and we still feel it's an important thing to do.

You can read my original thoughts on why I felt this sort of thing was a public service, from back then, if you'd like (I go into the reasons more extensively than I'm going to today). In a nutshell, this is a throwback to an earlier age. Long ago, when presidential candidates gave speeches, the local and national media would just print the text of the entire speech. That fell by the wayside quite a while ago, obviously. But what campaign journalism has morphed into is nothing more than "horserace" articles (Who's up? Who's down?) and chasing "gotcha" scoops and gaffes from the candidates.

The reporters assigned to cover national political campaigns, understandably, get very bored hearing essentially the same stump speech over and over again. They consider these speeches "not news" or "old news" and don't report on the content of the speeches much at all, except if a candidate changes one paragraph here or there. Personally, I think that's kind of a shame.

Now, I realize that in the modern age, any interested voter has the ability to visit campaign websites themselves, and either watch video of candidate speeches or read transcripts (at least, on well-designed campaign websites). I understand that we're not living in an age where journalists are the only filter through which all political information has to pass. Those days, happily, are also long gone.

Even so, I still feel it's worthwhile for me to run a speech transcript from each Democratic candidate. I say this for two reasons, one noble and one crass. The noble one is that it tends to absolve me for all the other articles I'll be writing during the campaign (many of which will indeed focus on horserace numbers or "gotcha" moments -- I'm as bad as everyone else in this regard). I feel obligated to provide at least one column from the mouth of each candidate, so they can speak directly to you, rather than through the filter of my own keyboard. The crass reason is that (like back in 2007) we are going on vacation this week. Well, we're going to Netroots Nation, so it's really a business trip, but I've never been a fan of trying to "liveblog" the convention, so it's better for me to have columns lined up and ready to go instead.

I do have to say that I'm being optimistic by beginning this series. I have not heard back yet from every campaign's press office. So I cannot, at this point, promise we'll have a speech from every candidate, although I do remain hopeful. If a few candidates lag in their press communications, then perhaps I'll run them later, but I sincerely hope we'll be able to bring you all five columns this week.

I'll be updating this article with links to the whole series, as I get them. Each candidate's campaign organization was given the choice of which speech to choose, and I will present all of them unedited (except for minor punctuation corrections) and in full. We'll be starting with Jim Webb, whose speech I will be posting later today, so check back for it soon.

One last program note: new columns will resume next Monday.

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


2 Comments on “Democratic Candidate Campaign Speech Series”

  1. [1] 
    dsws wrote:

    Is Lyndon Larouche still running?

  2. [2] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws -

    LaRouche... the Trump of the Left...



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