Let me finish tonight with this matter of corruption.
"Power tends to corrupt," Lord Acton wrote. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
It's my experience that anyone who comes to Washington, this capitol city, better come with a strong moral code. There are other things you "can" pick up here. This is a city about power and its division. It is a good place to learn how to gain it, exert it, and, yes, share it. Limiting power, forcing people to share it, is what our constitution is all about.
Let me finish tonight with a stirring movie I saw last night, "Fair Game."I had heard of the first-rate script, the masterful performances by the leads, Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.
What I was not prepared was "Fair Game" itself, the wondrous, dramatic courage of it all.
Let me finish tonight with George W. Bush.
Years ago, a member of the British cabinet got caught in an embarrassment and, of course, denied it.
To which his accuser said, "Well, he would, wouldn't he?"
Denial is the norm of political life, especially of the awful.
President Bush says that the Iraq War was justified because it prevented "another 9/11"?
Let me finish tonight with the heart of America - the part of this country that built this country since the days of the Pennsylvania rifle.
I'm talking about the industrial center of this country - from Eastern Pennsylvania through Ohio and Indiana and Illinois and Wisconsin - from Scranton to Oshkosh.
Let me finish tonight with a tribute to one of the great Americans of my lifetime.
In late 1952, Ted Sorensen sat in a hallway of the old congressional office building. He was in the midst of a job interview.
A young congressman, 35 years old, had just been elected to the US Senate and wanted someone to help him write legislation.
That hallway interview, he didn't have his new office yet, and how well it went, changed history.
Let me finish tonight with the whiff of street thuggery in this tea party.
I don't know about you, but I've learned to pay attention to when political movements begin to act out their extremist streaks.
You tell me the last time a mainstream American candidate hired strong-arm types, paramilitary types, to provide him with street security?
Let me finish tonight with what Sarah Palin started tonight.
She's started laying the groundwork for a presidential run. She's started the countdown. She'll talk to her family and decide whether any candidate running can match her "common sense, conservative, pro-Constitution passion."
So that's what this is about - not her qualifications to be chief executive of the United States, not her readiness to play the premier post in world leadership, to grapple with global economics and strategic policy, but her degree of "common sense, conservative, pro-Constitution passion."
Let me finish tonight with what it takes to be a great leader.
You are free to do with it what you will. After all, I got it from someone else, a Canadian pollster named Allen Gregg.
Every great leader, he told years ago, has three key elements: motive, passion, spontaneity.
Motive. You know why they're in public life, know what they care about, what they have devoted themselves to achieving.
For Lincoln, it was slavery.
For Roosevelt, it was the victim of the Great Depression, the person he called "the forgotten man."
Let me finish tonight with the joy it was to go out this week to those college campuses.
You can give all the speeches in the world about democracy.
There's nothing like getting out there with real American young people, with all their hope and dreams and vulnerability. They don't have it made but, boy, do they have wonder in their eyes.
Here are some voices from the college tour, fresh from American youth - first from the University of Louisville, then the University of Illinois at Chicago, finally from Temple University last night in North Philadelphia.
In an interview with Hardball’s Chris Matthews, Joe Sestak, the Democratic contender in Pennsylvania’s Senate race, reiterates his belief that challenger Pat Toomey is “too extreme,” and that voters are looking for someone who can “change” a Senate that’s “just not working.”
In an interview with Hardball’s Chris Matthews, Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic Senate candidate from Illinois, defends his record, criticizes that of Republican challenger Mark Kirk, and offers his take on the future of U.S. spending.
Watch Chris Matthews' interview with Kentucky Senate Candidate:
In an interview today with Chris Matthews, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway defended a recent campaign ad claiming that his Republican opposition, Dr. Rand Paul, had mocked Christianity in his college years. Conway said that the purpose of the ad was to question Paul’s actions, not his faith.
Let me finish tonight with a report from the U.S. Department of Defense.
The item didn't get much play in the papers because it was so quietly displayed on the website of the U.S. Central Command.
It's an estimate of the number of people killed in the Iraq war.
77,000 is the figure.
Interesting number, seven thousand more than the U.S. government said were killed the day we dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima.