Raw tape #19 for Vito Marzullo documentary. 1978 Democratic Party Dinner in Chicago. President Jimmy Carter delivers his keynote address to an audience of more than 7,000 Chicago democrats, including Alderman Vito Marzullo.
00:00Copy video clip URL Thanking the event organizers, Carter encourages everyone present to make individual efforts to support Democrats in that fall’s midterm elections. “They can’t win unless there’s a sustained commitment to them by all of you… and all the others who look to you with envy and admiration for your own leadership positions.” Carter doesn’t fail to take a couple of stabs at the Republican party, either.
01:46Copy video clip URL Carter thanks the support of the congressional delegation from Chicago, including Sen. Adlai Stevenson and Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, whose political career would later shatter when he was indicted on corruption charges.
02:49Copy video clip URL He then turns his praise to Chicago’s Democratic Party, calling it “unique” and “special.” “The basis for our democratic political system is the worth of the individual, but quite often the ones who need government services the most are the ones who have a very weak voice,” Carter says. “In most parts of our country, they would have no way to reach out with that weak voice… and reach the core of government. But here in Cook County, they can do it, and the connecting link is the Democratic Party and its structure.” He attributes this connection to the direct interaction people have to government through aldermen. Carter even goes so far as to say, “The best democratic organization in the United States is yours,” he says.
06:48Copy video clip URL Carter takes another stab at Republicans and recalls a previous trip to Chicago while praising the leadership and virtues of former Mayor Richard J. Daley and then-current Mayor Michael A. Bilandic. Carter says, “[Bilandic] said when the board of aldermen meet in Chicago, he can predict that the vote is going to be 47 to 3 [in favor of the Democrats]. That’s the kind of organization, Danny [Rostenkowski] that I’m counting on you for in the house.”
09:04Copy video clip URL The President goes on to list qualities about the Democratic party that make up the “essence of our strength,” and praises the Chicago Democrats present for electing fellow party members to prominent offices.
10:41Copy video clip URL Turning his attention to the Republican Party, Carter says that though they might be able to outspend the Democrats during the upcoming election, “they can’t outwork us.” “The Republican Party… has never been able to earn the deep, and penetrating, and abiding loyalties of the people of this country,” he says. He later adds, “We’ve set the political agenda for our nation,” and praises the progressive changes that he sees the Democratic Party making. He concludes by urging the audience to keep the party’s ideals alive and serve the people. He receives a standing ovation, and the organizers bring the event to a close.