|Speech notes. Sen. Obama decried the "smallness of our
politics." "I've been in Washington long enough to know that Washington
needs to change," he said. Obama brought a shirt for the IAFF's "Hero
to Hero" program, which sends shirts with messages of support to troops.
His message was, "Thank you. Be safe. You're coming home soon."
"They need to be coming home soon," Obama said. Obama recounted a
bus ride he took with a group of fire fighters during a recent trip to
Iowa, and how he listened to their concerns. "I believe we can end
the can't do, won't do, won't even try style of politics in this country,"
he said. "We can and we will have universal health care by the end
of the next president's first term; by the end of my first term as president
we will make sure that everybody has universal health care in this country,"
Obama said. Noting that he opposed the Iraq war from the beginning,
Obama said, "It's time to find an end to this war." "I have
a plan that will begin withdrawing our troops from Iraq on May 1st of this
year, with the goal of removing all of our combat forces from the country
by March of 2008." At the same time, Obama said the withdrawal would
be gradual and keep some troops in the region. Obama spoke for about
22 minutes. [prepared
Sen. John Edwards (D-NC)
Gov. Jim Gilmore (R-VA)
Barack Obama (D-IL)
Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
John McCain (R-AZ)
Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
Chris Dodd (D-CT)
Sam Brownback (R-KS)
Bill Richardson (D-NM)
Joe Biden (D-DE)