Bill Bradley for President, Inc.

National Ad
5 min. (4:20 running time) TV spot ran on CBS at 10:54 p.m on March 2, 2000 (after "48 Hours"). 

Crystal Team

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Bill Bradley: I am running for President for a very simple reason: because I want to improve the prospects and quality of life for you and your family. 

I knew when I got into this race that it wouldn't be easy.  Anything worth fighting for in life rarely is.  But my convictions of where we are as a country and where we can go are so deep that I made the decision to take on the establishment and run. 

We're living in a time of rapid change and unprecedented prosperity.  A soaring economy, globalization, technological change all give us opportunities to do things we could never dream of before.  But one thing could stop us: The absence of leadership.  Failure to see these changes as opportunities. 

Yes, the economy's good, but I don't think that's enough.  It's no accident of history that we are discussing, in this election today, the same issues that we talked about eight years ago and four years ago -- and after each election, failed to use the great opportunity given us by our economic prosperity: to teach the young, care for the sick, clean the environment, and heal the racial divide. 

When I left the Senate, I said "politics is broken."  By that I meant money had corrupted the political system and too few politicians say what they believe. I got into this race to reform the political process.  A politics of reform sees what is fundamentally wrong in our country, and then changes it -- fundamentally. 

I also meant that the historic purposes of the Democratic Party were being betrayed for temporary electoral advantage -- in the interests of making the Democratic Party almost indistinguishable from its Republican adversaries. Woodrow Wilson once asked, "What use is a great political party unless it has a great purpose?" 

The Democratic purpose has always been to give voice to the voiceless, to represent all groups and interests in this sprawling and multi-huge society.  If we betray that promise, if we betray our purpose, if we fall into the hands of the powerful and self-interested, then we have forfeited the meaning -- the reason -- of the Democratic Party. 

You know, I've been on the road for more than 30 years now in America -- as a basketball player, a writer, a speaker, a U.S. Senator, a businessman.  And I think I've developed a sense of who we are, who the American people are.  We're a good people.  There's goodness in most of us.  And whenever I see somebody who can see beneath skin color or eye shape, or sexual orientation to the individual, I think to myself, all of us could be that good. 

Whenever I see a company innovate as so many of our companies do today, and change our future right before our eyes, I think most of our companies could be that good. 

And any time I see a neighbor give to another neighbor with no expectation of return, I think more of us more often could be that good. 

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that the reason the civil rights movement didn't occur sooner than it did in this country was because of the "silence of good people."  What my campaign is about is asking good people to join me so that our voices will be heard. 

I want to be President of the United States to use the power of that office to do good. 

Some people say, "You're never going to eliminate child poverty.  Never."  I don't accept that. 

Some people say, "You're never going to give health insurance to every American."  I don't accept that. 

Some people say, "You're never going to end gun violence in America."  Why not? 

Some people say, "You're never going to be able to keep this economy growing and moving and at the same time give working families a chance to move up the ladder." 

Of course we can.  And when we do all those things, all of us will be stronger. 

That's why I entered this race against all odds.  That's why I will fight for every last vote to be your President. 

And that's why I need and ask for your vote on March 7.