I wanted a few days to pass so that I could have some time to process all that as happened politically in our nation and in my state this week. I'll leave the national stuff for another time (maybe) but I do want to speak a bit about the governor-elect of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick.
While he earned my vote, he did just that, he earned it. Early on I was high on another candidate and literally a few days before the primary, Deval won my vote. I look back on the enitrety of his campaign and the true grassroots movement he created and am in total awe. While I will always have an air of skepicism anout any politician, Deval really does appear to be the real deal.
What follows is the transcript of Deval Patrick's acceptance speech which is easily amongst the five best speeches I have ever heard. Enjoy...
Thank you, thank you all. You better believe we can. Thank you all.
Today, November 7, 2006, the people of Massachusetts chose by a decisive margin to take their government back.
This was not a victory just for me. This was not a victory just for Democrats. This was a victory for hope.
And we won it the old-fashioned way – we earned it. Nearly two years ago, we started on this journey, and by coming to you, where you live and work, by listening to you, by showing that we could disagree with each other without being disagreeable, by asking you to put your cynicism down, by refusing to build myself up by tearing anybody else down, by challenging you to see your stake in your neighbor’s dreams and struggles as well as your own, we built what history will record is the broadest and best-organized grassroots organization this Commonwealth has ever seen.
Now I ask you to look around. Look around, especially those of you who have never been a part of a campaign. Every kind of person is here. You come from every corner of the Commonwealth. You come from great wealth and no wealth. You walk and you use wheelchairs. Democrats and Independents and Republicans are here. You are liberal and moderate and conservative.
You see in common how broken our civic life and how fractured our communities are. You see in common that the poor are in terrible shape and the middle class are one month away from being poor. And you know that government by gimmick and sound bite isn’t working. You know that we deserve better and we are better than that. And for a chance at a better and more hopeful future, you built bridges some of you never thought could be built across all kinds of differences -- and then you crossed them.
You are business executives looking for a better margin and artists looking to be valued. You are college kids in search of a career and high school drop-outs looking for a way forward. You are young mothers trying to balance work and child care and grandmothers trying to hold on to the family home. You are farmers and fishing families wondering whether there is a future in livelihoods that built this Commonwealth and union members wondering why there is so little work when there is so much to do. And the magic is that you have come together not just for your own dreams and your own aspirations, but for each others’.
This has never been my campaign. It has always been yours. The real heroes here are the thousands of you, here and at home, many who have never been involved before in a political campaign, who set aside what you were doing to get involved, who confronted your despair about the direction our Commonwealth has been heading in, and decided to take responsibility for her future.
You are the young man from Boston who took the midnight bus from college in New York to be at the polls to vote this morning, then hopped on the next bus back to New York so that he could be back in time for his internship. You are the mother who thanked me this morning for running a campaign her kids could watch and be proud of. You are the retiree who told me the other day that this campaign changed her life. You are the homeless man who figured out how to register and vote without an address, because he did not want to be left out again. You are the venture capitalist in the office tower who organized other VCs to help, and the cleaning crew who stopped us in the lobby on the way in to say, 'I'm with you, too.' You are the new citizen who says with such pride that you cast your first vote for Tim and me. You are the tired and frustrated public official, who just got your second wind. You are every Black man, woman and child in Massachusetts and America, and every other striver of every race and kind, who is reminded tonight that the American Dream is for you, too.
You are the ones who transformed this from a political campaign to a movement for change, and I am honored and awed by what you have done. You made a claim on history, and I thank you for letting me be a part of that.
I have been blessed with the best campaign manager and the best strategist on the planet in John Walsh and Doug Rubin. I have also been blessed with an extraordinary staff, who stand with me tonight as they have for many, many months now. I have been blessed with an amazing running mate in Tim Murray. And I have been blessed with a family stronger than steel, especially my wife, Diane.
I have also been blessed many times over by the people of Massachusetts. A people so proud, so optimistic, so practical, so hopeful. I'm not forgetting Ron Bell, relax. I'm not forgetting you, either, and I never will. The people of Massachusetts are so proud, so optimistic, so practical, so hopeful. A people of ingenuity and drive and grit and determination. A people of fundamental civility and warmth. A people from a tradition of high standards and high expectations. This is the character of the people of Massachusetts. This is the character you reflected in this campaign. And these are the people I am honored to serve come January as your Governor.
Unfortunately, there is unpleasantness in any political campaign. This one had perhaps more than its share. But let’s put all that behind us. See, that's yesterday. I am not here to serve as governor of the winners. I am here to serve as governor of the whole Commonwealth. So, just as you have built bridges across differences to create this grassroots movement, go build bridges with supporters of the competing campaigns. They are our neighbors, too. They are a part of this community, too. They have a stake in a fair and purposeful government, just like the rest of us.
Let me start by congratulating Kerry Healey, Christy Mihos and Grace Ross. They had the courage to put their ideas and their vision on the line, and subject it to scrutiny and critique. They deserve our gratitude and respect for the thoughtful contributions they each made to the public discourse.
Let us also thank Mitt Romney for his service. (boos from the crowd) No, wait a minute. That is not what we are about. We have had our differences, but every resident of this state owes a debt of gratitude for anyone willingness to serve, and I thank him for him for that service and the accomplishments of his administration, and I look forward to working with him and his team to ensure a smooth transition.
Tonight we celebrate, but soon our thoughts must turn to governing. We are charged with an awesome responsibility. We have a mandate to revive this economy, to assure excellence in every public school and college, and to deliver on the promise of decent health care. We have a mandate to make the streets safe and housing more affordable. We have a mandate to get the Big Dig right and to help the creative economy flourish. We have a mandate to change the way we do business on Beacon Hill and to keep the grassroots alive and growing. And that mandate is Commonwealth-wide, and it comes from everyone here and everyone in the Commonwealth in search of a reason to hope.
You know change won’t come in a flash. You know that it will take focus and commitment and patience. But you also know that government by gimmick and photo op and sound bite has failed us. Do not expect more of that from me.
What you should expect is that I will work as hard and as smart as I can; that I will listen closely and carefully; that I will be straight with you, as I expect you to be with me; that I will make mistakes, as humans sometimes do, and that I will learn from them when I do; that I will bring every day the best that I have and the best that I am.
And what I expect from you is that you keep this renewed sense of community alive; that you see your stake in each other every day; that you ask what you can do to make Massachusetts stronger and do it; that you don’t let cynicism win, ever -- even when I make mistakes. We didn’t build up this grassroots just to win an election. We built up the grassroots to govern in a whole new way, to make change real, and lasting, and meaningful. And that means, to be sure, that we have to refuse the politics of division and fear “out there.” But it also means some changes “in here,” within the Democratic Party. We have to learn to listen to those who want to help with what’s wrong with Democrats just as openly as we listen to those who tell us what’s wrong with Republicans. See, the grassroots is a power of citizenship. It transcends party, it outlasts party, and it has to lift us all up. And it doesn't end with this election.
In an article in mid-January 2005, the Boston Globe first reported that I was considering getting into this race. I visited my ailing mother that evening to show her the headline. She smiled, kissed me and she said her last good-bye – and then a few hours later, she passed away. We spread her ashes just this morning, Election Day, as a way to mark this milestone in our family’s journey, and to honor her lasting presence in our lives.
She was a remarkable woman. Tough and ornery, and blunt, and opinionated. When we were waiting at the Chicago airport in 1970 when I was 14 years old, as I was about go off alone to Massachusetts for the first time, someone asked her whether she was afraid for me. She said, 'No, he knows he can always come home.'
Nearly 40 years later, Massachusetts is still my home. If I ever had any doubts about that, your support and encouragement and your grace in countless ways over the course of this long campaign has affirmed that for me and for my whole family. What my mother gave me, in that comment, was a confidence about the foundation on which the future is built, and our ability to shape it, and you have strengthened that.
I have told you before that my grandmother used to say, “hope for the best, and work for it.” Well, we have succeeded in raising each others’ hopes, and I can’t wait to get to work.God bless you all. Thank you so much.