What Hillary Clinton said (in an alternate universe)
Someone from an alternate universe that runs a few hours ahead of ours just emailed me this transcript of the second presidential debate. (They apparently have long opening statements.)
RADDATZ: Opening statements? Secretary Clinton?
CLINTON: Yes, thank you, Martha. My fellow Americans, the man standing across the stage from me is not worthy of the Presidency of the United States. He has shamed the Republican Party, he has repeatedly shamed our great nation, he does not represent who we are and what we believe in. His hateful attitude toward people of other races and genders is a poison, and we must not let it infect us or the world we lead by example. His disregard of the truth is offensive to anyone who cares about the real world. His temperament is that of a spoiled, unpleasant, small child. The latest straw, and evidently the last straw for many of you, was the videotape of the Republican nominee for the presidency of the United States confessing to serial sexual assault. This is a dark, dark moment for this country.
Let’s put it behind us as quickly and decisively as possible.
Now I am not just asking you to vote against Donald Trump. I am also asking you to vote for Hillary Clinton. I know for some of you, that feels like a bridge too far. I know some of you think nothing I say can be believed. But I ask you, in this extreme moment, to listen to me:
I realize I am an imperfect being. Over the many years that I have been in public life, I have been overly secretive, overly pragmatic, and overly manipulative. I have enriched myself in ways that are not available to almost anyone else in this country. I responded overly defensively and selfishly to decades of personal and political attacks. But I did so because I wanted to survive. I wanted to make it here. I wanted to become President of the United States, and I wanted to make this great nation and this increasingly fragile world a better place.
Nothing I promise means anything if I’m not willing to be held accountable. So first and foremost, I will be transparent. I will hold weekly press conferences, weekly public meetings with congressional leadership, weekly public meetings with different constituencies of regular Americans. There will be frequent webcasts of internal White House meetings, and blog posts describing the decisionmaking process for major decisions. Recognizing the need to be questioned and hear opposing views, I will create the role of ombudsman at the White House and cabinet agencies who can only be hired and fired, not told what to do, and who are given carte-blanch access to any administration officials for on-the-record, public interviews. I will tell you in the next week who I intend to nominate for key positions in my Cabinet and the Supreme Court.
Then I will listen to and govern for all Americans. To those of you who became so enthusiastic about Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders because you feel like the American economy is rigged against you? I have heard you. And I agree with you.
I strongly believe there is a common-sense agenda that, say, 75 percent of Americans could enthusiastically support. I believe that agenda includes a strongly progressive income tax, where the rich and the big corporations pay their fair share; and a strong program that make sure that no one in this, the richest country in the world, lacks food, or a decent home, or health care.
And here’s something I haven’t said enough. Globally, this age of denial about climate change must end. Some more conservative leaders actually deny it is happening, which is foolishness. But liberal leaders are in denial too, in the sense that they are insufficiently alarmed. January 20, 2017 marks the beginning of a Green Revolution in this country, where switching over from fossil fuels generates jobs, superpowers the economy, and arguably saves the world.
Well I see my time is up.
But this, my fellow Americans, is the only way to make America, the greatest nation in the world, even greater. Again.