Democrats give Hillary roaring sendoff
First lady Hillary Clinton
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton told cheering Democrats on Monday night, "I can't wait to watch Al Gore take the oath of office" next January to ensure continuity of "the most peacful, prosperous and promising time in our nation's history."
In remarks setting up the swan song speech of President Clinton on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, the first lady thanked Americans for their support of her husband's "visionary leadership" and for bestowing on her "the honor and blessing of a lifetime" and the support given her "in good times -- and in bad."
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"We're a stronger, better country than we were in 1992," she said.
"How can we continue America's progress? By electing Al Gore and Joe Lieberman the next president and vice president of the United States."
The cheering delegates waved banners emblazoned with her name and encouraging her to "Give 'em Hell, Hillary."
But while she served as a cheerleader for the Gore-Lieberman ticket, her own husband's legacy and her own candidacy for the U.S. Senate in New York, Mrs. Clinton focused her remarks on a favorite subject -- children -- and the future.
"I think our generation has a a rendezvous with responsibility," she said. "It's time to protect the next generation by using our budget surplus to pay down the national debt, save Social Security, modernize Medicare with a prescription drug benefit and provide targeted tax cuts to the families who need them most," she said.
"At this moment of great potential, let's not squander our children's futures. Let's elect leaders who will leave no child behind," she added, using words and images evoked by George W. Bush on the campaign stump and in his own recent acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.
"Leaders who don't just talk the talk, but walk the walk -- leaders like Al Gore and Joe Lieberman."
The crowd roared.
Mrs. Clinton also evoked nostalgia as she recalled the changes her daughter Chelsea has undergone in the eight years the family has spent in the White House. She said she and her husband "want to thank the American people for giving her the space to grow.
"Bill and I are closing one chapter of our lives, and soon we'll be starting a new one," she said.
"For me, it will be up to the people of New York to decide whether I'll have the privilege of serving them in the United States Senate."