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Greg Bluestein

Kasim Reed at DNC: ‘We choose diversity over division’

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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed laid out a spirited argument for electing Democrat Hillary Clinton – and offered a stump speech of his own about a certain Southern Democrat who helped teach his city’s residents how to “lean on one another.”

The Democrat, a likely candidate for higher office, took the stage Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention to introduce former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who he has partnered with to push for more gun restrictions and climate change restrictions.

But following Vice President Joe Biden has its perils: Most of the networks skipped his speech and instead focused on their pundits reliving Uncle Joe’s speech. So here’s your rundown of Hizzoner’s address in case you missed it.

Reed opened by telling the crowd he was there “because I believe in our future.”

“I believe we have a responsibility to one another, and to the next generation, to ensure that our opportunity is limited only by our imagination. I share this belief with Hillary Clinton: That our achievements are limited only by what we can dream and do.”

And then he made his case for how he revived a city down on its luck.

“You see, Atlanta is a city of dreamers, but when I became Mayor, our city was struggling through the worst recession in 80 years. We were broke. Crime was up. I looked around our city, and I saw that the way forward was to lean on one another, to turn to one another, and to make an agreement: That if a young woman was willing to learn, we would put a book in her hands. If a young man was willing to work, we would put a job and a paycheck in his hands. If you’re willing to step up, then we will meet you half way and, together, we would put your future back in your hands.”

He closed by turning his focus back to Clinton:

“Fellow Democrats, tonight we choose diversity over division. We choose a steady-handed Commander-in-Chief over a loose cannon. We choose a leader who would rather be in the trenches securing healthcare for eight million children than in a suite putting his name on a tower.”

Here’s the text of the entire speech:

Good evening. As the Mayor of Atlanta, a city that burned to the ground and rose again from the ashes; which became the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the home of the Civil Rights Movement; and because we were the “city too busy to hate,” we are now the economic center of the South. I am here today because I believe in our future.

I believe we have a responsibility to one another, and to the next generation, to ensure that our opportunity is limited only by our imagination. I share this belief with Hillary Clinton: That our achievements are limited only by what we can dream and do.

You see, Atlanta is a city of dreamers, but when I became Mayor, our city was struggling through the worst recession in 80 years. We were broke. Crime was up. I looked around our city, and I saw that the way forward was to lean on one another, to turn to one another, and to make an agreement: That if a young woman was willing to learn, we would put a book in her hands. If a young man was willing to work, we would put a job and a paycheck in his hands. If you’re willing to step up, then we will meet you half way and, together, we would put your future back in your hands.

We turned our city around, and at the same time President Barack Obama was turning America around. Today we are stronger, and we will grow stronger still when President Hillary Clinton builds an economy that works for everyone.

Fellow Democrats, tonight we choose diversity over division. We choose a steady-handed Commander-in-Chief over a loose cannon. We choose a leader who would rather be in the trenches securing healthcare for eight million children than in a suite putting his name on a tower.

We choose something different tonight, because Americans are ready to get to work to make the possible real. Hillary Clinton is the leader to take us there.

President Harry Truman once said there are a small number of people in America who have the power, the prestige, and the connections to make sure their interests are looked after. But for everybody else, there’s the President. More than sixty years later, that still holds true.

Tonight, we have someone who will look out for all Americans, and will do so every day of her presidency, with all of her heart. Ladies and gentlemen, we have Hillary Clinton. 

And now, I am honored to introduce someone who has been a friend and mentor to me during my time as Mayor. 

Michael Bloomberg has articulated an optimistic, performance-driven vision for New York City that has also lifted up other cities around the world, thanks to his purpose-driven philanthropy.