“Don’t you dare let them take this election away from you,” Bill Clinton told more than 3,000 APWU members in a spirited, wide-ranging speech to the union’s All-Craft Conference Nov. 5 in Las Vegas.
The former president urged postal workers to help choose leaders who will tackle our biggest problems at home and abroad, and told them we will solve the problems of the 21st Century only when we recognize that “our common humanity is more important than our differences.”
“This is a really big election,” Clinton said. “We saw what happened in the last seven years. We made decisions in elections based on trivial matters.” He reminded the audience that Al Gore was ridiculed in 2000 for being stiff; that decorated Vietnam veteran and 2004 presidential candidate John Kerry was “Swift-Boated;” and that Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA) — who lost three limbs in Vietnam — was defeated in 2002 amid charges that he was “soft on terror” because he tried to preserve collective bargaining rights for Homeland Security Department workers. (The infamous Georgia campaign ads compared Cleland to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.)
“This election belongs to you, and to your children, and to the future of America,” Clinton told APWU members. “Don’t be divided,” he cautioned. “Our best days are still ahead. Claim them.”