It describes the way we're made. It describes what we believe. It captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations; that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others; and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story."
While Obama focused on the rights and responsibilities of citizens, Rubio focused on the hope our nation gives to people.
"This dream — of a better life for their children — it's the hope of parents everywhere," Rubio said. "Politicians here and throughout the world have long promised that more government can make those dreams come true.
"But we Americans have always known better," he continued. "From our earliest days, we embraced economic liberty instead. And because we did, America remains one of the few places on earth where dreams like these even have a chance.
"Each time our nation has faced great challenges, what has kept us together was our shared hope for a better life.
"Now, let that hope bring us together again. To solve the challenges of our time and write the next chapter in the amazing story of the greatest nation man has ever known."
Obama's close grouped all citizens together, with shared rights and responsibilities. Rubio's close brought Americans together through hope for the future, and an embrace of economic liberty — not government — as the way to solve problems.
It will be interesting to watch and listen as the national conversation about the alternative stories take place and to see how our chapter of the American Story turns out.
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