I grew up in a household that was a labor household. My dad was a Teamster and a milk truck driver. My mother was a secretary. Neither of them got through high school. But they worked hard and they gave me very, very important opportunities to go to school, get a good education.
Those who have prospered and profited from life's lottery have a moral obligation to share their good fortune.
In 1988, as an unknown candidate, totally unknown, I won Iowa, came in second in New Hampshire, won South Dakota. I was ahead in every Super Tuesday state the day after South Dakota. The only problem was I didn't have enough money. I had a million dollars left, and Al Gore had three and Michael Dukakis had three and it was lights out.
What we have is two important values in conflict: freedom of speech and our desire for healthy campaigns in a healthy democracy. You can't have both.
I filed a brief as a friend of the court in the U. of Michigan to keep affirmative action at the U. of Michigan, which I attended the law school. And I was one of the original sponsors of making the Martin Luther King birthday a federal holiday.
You don't lock into a ten-year family budget. You take it a year at a time - maybe even six months at a time. And then if the income really comes in the way you hope it does, then you can make some of those expenditures that you've been waiting to make. We think that same principle should apply to the national family we call America.
Unlike the Contract with America, which was created by Washington pollsters and insiders, Families First was developed from the grassroots up. Congressional Democrats from across the country spent months meeting with people back home, asking them what issues were important to them, and what Congress could do to make their lives a little easier.
In 1993, as House Democratic Leader, I led the fight to pass the Clinton-Gore economic plan - a plan designed to slash the deficit, invest in education, cut taxes for working families, and ask the wealthy among us to pay their fair share... Not one Republican voted for that plan. They said it was a job killer.