Gov. O'Malley joins Clinton supporters at democratic convention

CONCORD, NH – Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley today joined hundreds of Senator Hillary Clinton’s New Hampshire supporters and volunteers at the New Hampshire Democratic Party State Convention to address nearly 1,000 Democratic delegates from across the state. When he addressed the delegation, he spoke with them about Senator Clinton’s leadership and experience as well as her lifelong commitment to the middle class and working families.

The Governor also met one on one with delegates and attended meetings throughout the day. He was joined by New Hampshire Campaign Co-chair Bill Shaheen and State Senate President Sylvia Larsen, who announced her endorsement of Senator Clinton earlier this month. The Clinton campaign handed out nearly 1,000 fans that said, “I’m a Hillary Fan,” and bottled water to delegates in the hot gymnasium.

The following are excerpts from Governor O’Malley’s remarks as prepared for delivery today:

“Thank you very much, Ed, and good afternoon, New Hampshire Democrats.  My name is Martin O’Malley, Governor of Maryland, and it’s my great privilege to be here on behalf of the next President of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

I want to thank Governor Lynch, Representatives Hodes and Shea-Porter, and the rest of New Hampshire’s Democratic elected officials for giving the people of the Granite State more effective and more forward-looking governance.  Thank you, Chairman Ray Buckley, for your leadership…and Kathy Sullivan for your years of dedicated service to the party.

Most of all, it’s an honor to be with the men and women who make the New Hampshire Democratic Party such a powerful leader for national change.  I have been here before in pivotal years, and like you, I have knocked on doors in Berlin, Manchester, and Dover.  There are few experiences more re-assuring about the future of the republic than to experience the seriousness and commitment that the people of New Hampshire feel about their first-in-the-nation duty of selecting our next president.  

There’s no question that our party has fielded an exceptional group of presidential contenders; and however competitive this primary is today…the hopeful truth of this contest is that, come November 2008, together we are going to restore forward-looking Democratic leadership to the White House.

We will win in 2008 not because of the things that divide us; but because of the things that unite us.

We are united in our belief in the dignity of every individual, we are united in our belief in our own individual responsibility to advance the common good, and we are united in our understanding that there is a unity to spirit and to matter, and that what we do in our own lifetimes does matter, that one person can make a difference and each of us must try.

These are the beliefs that have sustained and guided Hillary Rodham Clinton through a lifetime of public advocacy and public service.  And these are the beliefs to which we hold firm and fast in these very challenging times – not just as Democrats, but as Americans.

We know that it will take a strong leader to change America’s course from the self-abusive and irresponsible course of the Bush-Cheney years.  It will take a strong leader to pick-up the pieces and lead us all forward again...

Forward again to an America that strengthens and grows our middle class and our family- owned businesses. 

Forward again to an America that invests in the power of our own children’s education from pre-school through affordable college. 

Forward again to the ideal of an America that is a force of hope, healing and freedom to the peoples of our world. 

Forward again to an America where hard-working people are able to live openly and freely in the sunlight of opportunity, community, and the just rewards of their own toil and effort.

Forward again to universal health care for every American family.  She’s fought that battle before, with courage and conviction.  She’s got the scars to prove it and the experience to get it done as President. 

Forward again to that country we still love and still carry in our hearts; where no man, woman or child is invisible to their government; where we proclaim through our actions that there is no such thing a spare American.

Fortunately, our country has just such a leader in Hillary Clinton – a leader of strength and intelligence; a strong leader tested and tried under the glare of national spotlights and microscopes; a strong leader with a powerful and penetrating vision that speaks to the hopes and dreams of middle-class families…families that are the core of our country’s greatness.

I am merely a surrogate from a distant State, but in the moments left, let me share with you the most important reasons that have compelled me to support Hillary Rodham Clinton as I ask you to consider them as well.
As Chair of the Task Force on Homeland Security for the bi-partisan U.S. Conference of Mayors, I have worked with Congressional leaders ever since the attacks of September 11th.  Not one has been a stronger, more insightful, more diligent champion for the homeland security mission of our Fire, Police and First Responders than Hillary Rodham Clinton.  She has walked the rubble of that fateful crater in lower Manhattan.  She has mourned with the families of 9/11.  She has worked diligently and tenaciously to help New York recover and rebuild. As President she will confront the challenge of securing our homeland head-on.  

Hillary Clinton also knows, as you do, that our nation’s Iraq policy is a tragic failure that is doing grave damage to our national security interests.  Sending more troops to execute the same flawed plan just makes no sense.  She knows, as you know, that open-ended escalation is nothing short of foreign policy malpractice.  And if George Bush will not end this war, then as our next Commander-in-Chief, Hillary Rodham Clinton, will.

But Hillary Clinton also understands that the United States derives its super-power status not only from our economic and military power but from an even more powerful force – the power of our revolutionary principles, principles that have been trampled in the eyes of the world by the Bush-Cheney years. And because of her unique position in American history, Hillary Clinton, with your help, has the ability to restore our international credibility almost overnight.

Soon, at long last, we can have a President committed to making our country work…for the people who work so hard and have sacrificed so much for our country.  I urge New Hampshire to rise again to your historic role and lead the change for which all of us have waited so very long.  

I leave you with the words of a great American, Bruce Springsteen, who a few years ago wrote:  “It is through the truthful exercising of the best of human qualities -- respect for others, honesty about ourselves, faith in our ideals -- that we come to life in God’s eyes.  It is how our soul, as a nation and as individuals, is revealed.  Our American government has strayed too far from American values.  It is time to move forward.  The country we carry in our hearts is waiting.”

Named by Business Week as one of the “Five Fresh Faces” to lead the Democratic Party, O’Malley officially endorsed Senator Clinton in early May. He is currently serving as the campaign’s Maryland Chair. When he was Mayor of Baltimore, TIME Magazine named him one of the top 5 Mayors in the country, and in 2006, out of 36 states gubernatorial elections, Governor Martin  O'Malley was the only challenger to defeat an incumbent. He has been hard at work making Maryland's government work again, and bringing people together across ideological and regional divides to make real progress for middle class families. Recently, Governor O'Malley received national praise for signing the nation's first statewide living wage law.

Governor O’Malley is credited with revitalizing Baltimore during his tenure as mayor. Under his leadership, Baltimore experienced the largest decline in violent crime of any big city in the country, increased achievement and test scores in city schools, and saw a $38 million budget surplus – the largest in Baltimore’s history.