This has been a consequential presidency which has revitalized our economy and reasserted a confident American role in the world. Yet in the election of 2004, we did more than campaign on a record. President Bush ran forthrightly on a clear agenda for this nation’s future and the nation responded by giving him a mandate. Now we move forward to serve and to guard the country we love.
There is an old saying, Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks. In four historic years, America has been given great tasks and faced them with strength and courage. Our people have restored the vigor of this economy and shown resolve and patience in a new kind of war.
Our military has brought justice to the enemy and honor to America. Our nation has defended itself and served the freedom of all mankind. I’m proud to lead such an amazing country, and I’m proud to lead it forward. Because we have done the hard work, we are entering a season of hope.
You stood for hours and hours to let your voices be heard. Well, we heard you. And I want you to hear me. This campaign may end today. But the battle for you and the hard-working Americans who built this country rages on. The battle rages for the factory worker and the mill worker who says, I want to work. I just want a job. The battle rages on for the mother who sits in the emergency room with her daughter and wonders how she is going to pay the bill … It goes on for the young child who doesn’t understand why they are treated differently just because of the color of their skin. And it rages on for the mother who wants to know why her son was sent over there and will not come home. This fight will continue in our homes and in our union halls, in our churches, and in our schools, in our offices and over the Internet.
We will keep marching toward that one America and we’re not going to stop until we get there. You know, I’ve learned a lot of lessons in my life. Two of the most important are first, there will always be heartache and struggle. You can’t make it go away. But the other is that people of good and strong will can make a difference. And we can make a difference. Rest assured, we will make a difference. One lesson is a sad lesson, but the other lesson is inspiring. And we are Americans, and so we choose to be inspired. We choose to be inspired because we know we can do better, because this is America, where everything is still possible.
My friends, it was here that we began our campaign for the presidency and all we had was hope and vision for a better America. It was a privilege and a gift to spend two years traveling this country, coming to know so many of you. I wish that I could just wrap you up in my arms and embrace each and every one of you individually all across this nation. I thank you from the bottom of my heart…
We are required now to work together for the good of our country. In the days ahead, we must find common cause. We must join in common effort, without remorse or recrimination, without anger or rancor. America is in need of unity and longing for a larger measure of compassion. I hope President Bush will advance those values in the coming years. I pledge to do my part to try to bridge the partisan divide. I know this is a difficult time for my supporters, but I ask them, all of you, to join me in doing that. Now, more than ever, with our soldiers in harm’s way, we must stand together and succeed in Iraq and win the war on terror.
Email from My Friend Dave, Election Night, 11:35pm
Truly fascinating day. I spent most of the day monitoring a polling location here in Las Vegas (which is now legal pursuant to a 2003 law) to ensure that there weren’t shenanigans pulled by the Republicans to turn Democrats away from the polls (like requiring i.d.’s or not offering provisional ballots). We also canvased Democratic voters to make sure that they made it to the polls. In many ways it was very rewarding (other than the way the results are going). Despite what the results are looking like it was a very, very cool experience. I actually have renewed faith in the democratic process – which was pretty awesome to see from this perspective.