• WisPolitics

Saturday, June 14, 2008

 1:01 AM 

Doyle: This is our time

Gov. Jim Doyle told Democrats today that Sen. Barack Obama's candidacy brings hope to people who are struggling, saying that they know Obama will be "a president who is going to be on their side."

Doyle pointed to workers who are losing their jobs at the GM plant in Janesville, families of service members worried their loved ones will get sent back to Iraq, and a middle class couple Obama spoke to who were having trouble getting by in Kaukana.

"Those people, when they look at Barack Obama, know they will have a president who is on their side," Doyle said.

Wisconsin may be the state that decides the presidential election, Doyle told attendees as he challenged them to do everything they can make sure Obama wins the state.

"Wisconsin, this is our time," Doyle said. "We could well be the state ... that will decide what the results of this election will be."

Doyle called the task an "enormous responsibility" and pointed to attacks on Sen. John Kerry's war record by Republicans as an example of the level of attacks they may have to battle in the coming election.

But Doyle pointed to gains in the last election and Kerry's 2004 win in Wisconsin as examples of how Democratic activists have been effective in turning out the vote.

"You've done remarkable things electorally in this state," Doyle said.

While Doyle noted there had been some division in the Democratic Party over the primary, he held Obama up as a uniter.

Doyle said that in Wisconsin Obama was able to bridge divisions between age race and gender during the primary.

"Barack Obama in Wisconsin showed it isn't about those divisions," Doyle said. "He brought us all together in February and he will do it again in November."

Doyle said Obama has incredible character and is honest and smart. "Smart? A smart president?," quipped Doyle with a smile.

Although Doyle spent a good portion of his speech on the presidential race, he also discussed statewide issues.

Doyle pointed to successes Democrats in Wisconsin have seen over the years, like getting increased participation in BadgerCare, getting more money for Milwaukee Public Schools for math education, passage of the Great Lakes Water Compact and free tuition for veterans. In each case, Doyle gave examples of how Republicans either openly opposed the measures or failed to fund them when they passed.

"It shows the difference between what a Democratic vision is in Wisconsin and what a Democratic vision can be nationwide," Doyle said.

While Doyle said there have been successes, he said work needs to be done to require insurance companies to cover autism and to pass a statewide workplace smoking ban.

Listen to Doyle's speech: http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/_080613Doyle.mp3

-- By David Wise


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