Las Vegas Sun

September 20, 2014

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Sen. Harry Reid’s prepared remarks introducing President Obama

“The last time President Obama and I met in Nevada, it was the Saturday before Election Day. I had the good fortune to introduce him at Coronado High School in Henderson for one of the last rallies in the final hours of a remarkable campaign that would change America.

It was our nominee’s 20th visit to the state since he began his improbable journey to the White House. I am immensely proud that his 21st visit here is as President of the United States – and I am immensely grateful that he has chosen tonight to come back to Nevada to be with us.

Our honored guest is able to return as President because of many of the people in this room.

Last fall, the people of this state loudly declared their belief in him – and in our collective determination to point our country in the right direction.

In his campaign, he motivated millions by asking each of us to reach for something bigger than ourselves. He reminded us that we are all in this together – Democrats, Republicans, Independents – Americans.

The more time I spend with President Obama, the more impressed I become. He cares deeply for his family, his friends and our country. With President Obama, what you see is what you get.

We grew up in different places and overcame different challenges. The paths we’ve traveled were not parallel, but I am gratified that they have intersected at this moment in history.

You all know President Obama’s story. As a boy, he moved from city to city and even country to country – but with uncanny talent and focus, he propelled himself to the best universities in America and to the top of the Harvard Law Review in historic fashion.

I was born just about an hour away from here. I grew up in a home that didn’t have hot water or an inside toilet, in a town that didn’t have a single phone, a single television or even a grocery store.

In elementary school, one teacher taught every grade. For me, high school was 46 miles away in Henderson – the same city where years later I would stand with one of our nation’s most unlikely candidates and introduce him to the people who hours later would elect him President of the United States.

More than any other lesson we would learn in school, President Obama and I learned that each of us can make a difference in America. I am thankful every day that the people of Nevada have chosen me to represent them in the capital, that my colleagues in the Senate have chosen me to lead them, and that I am in a position to help the people in my state – particularly in these most troubled economic times.

Every American from every background deserves the chance to succeed. That is what President Obama and I are working so hard to do. And – if I don’t say so myself – I think we make a pretty good team!

The mistakes made in this decade have left us in a deep hole. Nevadans struggle every day. We feel the full force of this recession as intensely as anyone in America. I know that, and I never forget that.

The steps we have taken – in the face of extraordinary challenges and in the context of unprecedented crisis – have been possible because we in the United States Senate have such an effective partner in President Obama.

• With his leadership, we are creating and protecting thousands of jobs for those in Nevada who face losing a paycheck at a time they need one the most.

• With his support, we are cutting taxes for hardworking families.

• With his guidance, our nation is firing the first shots of a clean energy revolution – and Nevada is leading the charge.

• Just last week, we passed and the President signed into law a bill to keep more Nevadans in their homes and to protect them from scam artists who seek to take advantage of them.

• And, of course, President Obama fulfilled his promise to end the plan that would have made Nevada the nation’s nuclear dumping ground. Yucca Mountain was a terrible idea. It endangered our future, and I am happy to say that it is finally history.

A handful of great Presidents have led America through uncertain times. Washington, Lincoln, the Roosevelts, Kennedy, Reagan.

I am confident when history is written, the work President Obama is doing to move America forward will reserve for him a spot at the top of that list. President Obama brings a steady poise to the instability in our markets at home and the tensions on the other side of the world.

I mentioned that in some respects, President Obama and I share some things in common. But there are at least three areas where I readily admit we differ.

The first is that President Obama is a much better basketball player than I am.

The second is that – to my knowledge – I have never been photographed in my swimsuit.

And the third – as much as this may surprise some of you – is that between the two of us, he is the better speaker. And I am so grateful that he is here to speak to you tonight.

It is an honor to introduce the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.”

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