Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for your patience. It’s been a long campaign. It’s been a long day.
Thank you so much to Nancy Wieyman. I know Nancy has kept you entertained so let’s give Nancy a round of applause. And the governor, who has had his hands full with many things and was up with our good friend Chris Murphy earlier tonight celebrating another great victory.
I’m needing to thank my wonderful husband of 28 years, Dan. My terrific children Sarah, Thomas, and Johnathon. As well as my mother, who flew in—Mitzy. You have heard about Mitzy as part of one of the feisty women. My mother, Mitzy, helped lead this fight for equality in this country, in part on behalf of my brother, Jamie and his husband, Ray who are also here with us tonight. My sister, Cecilia, whose birthday it is today and my brother Alec are not here with us but we do have extended family with my mother-in-law and father-in-law John and Kathryn, and my brother and sister-in-law [inaudible].
My amazing staff, all of you raise your hand cause I know you’re around and about [inaudible].
There are a whole lot of thank you’s to do tonight. First, first I want to say….What a big night this has been and you know I saw a little bit on the news while we were waiting of the fantastic victory of our friend, our congressman, and our next junior senator from the state of Connecticut, Chris Murphy.
Chris is neighbor, a friend, a mentor, and is a fantastic public servant. He has really set a high mark for our district, and I look forward to his mentorship and I look forward very much to serving with him and the rest of our wonderful, hard-working Connecticut delegation.
Yes, you might have heard, you might have heard we have another little victory to celebrate tonight. Let’s hear it for Barack Obama. That is a victory. That is a victory for Barrack Obama. I know some of us have been a little worried over the last couple of weeks, but the people of this great nation have shown great wisdom and judgment in returning to the White House a man of vision and leadership, who is and will continue to lead this country forward.
I am so honored that we could be part of that effort here in the fighting Fifth District. Getting [inaudible].
But most of all in terms of thanks, my thanks are to you. All of you, my friends and supporters who are here and those who couldn’t join us here tonight. The hour has gotten late. And it was an early start to the day, some of us well before the sun got up.
So let’s face it folks, we were up against the odds on this one. Let’s see, in the last two-and-a-half weeks, count them three, not one, not two, but three out-of-state super PACs. $2.5 million in our little part of the earth here in northwest Connecticut, but we proved in the Senate, we proved in the House: Connecticut cannot be bought.
Special interests are no match for the heart and the sole of the residents of the Fifth District and the American people, and I will tell you nothing is gonna make you fight harder for campaign finance reform than being on the receiving end of three super PACs. I will tell you, I am very, very committed to this cause. I was before and even more now.
This is a fight we must fight. This is a fight we must fight—as a party, as a people, as a country—because it does indeed endanger our democracy and imperil our middle class in very profound ways. And I know I can count on your support in helping raise that voice as loud as it needs to be in Washington.
It’s hard to believe that this grass roots movement with all of you hear today and others elsewhere started a quite some time ago, 20 months ago, with one staffer at my kitchen table. But through all of the unpredictable twists and turns, you know one thing has remained constant and that is our goal. And the goal is simple and it’s clear, it is to bring common sense problem-solving to Washington for the fifth district of Connecticut and for our state. That is what brought us here and that is what is bringing us on to Washington.
Because of your help. You know because you were there. You knocked on those doors. You made those phone calls. Some of you a lot of them. There over tens thousands of doors, hundreds of thousands of phone calls, and that overwhelmed the millions of those dollars that poured in. Because at the end of the day, it is hard work, and it is passion and commitment that counts and we proved it right here and I couldn’t be prouder of all of you and more grateful to all of you for your hard work and your belief that this was possible, that it mattered, and that we can stand up and say there are better ways and we did it with you. Thank you so much.
A few minutes ago I received a gracious phone call from Andrew, and he congratulated me on our victory and it’s our victory. It certainly isn’t mine. It’s all of ours. And I congratulated him for his hard-fought campaign, and I’ve said it before and I say it tonight and I will say it again. You know, Andrew Rohrbeck is a good, committed public servant. I wish him and his wife, Kara, and their son, Andrew Kevin, all best wishes; and I am sure we will be seeing him caring for his commitment to the people of the state of Connecticut in the years ahead.
Now seven years ago, well actually ten years ago, I was an angry PTA mom. I think you know about that. But seven years ago, with a little bit of urging from this one here—Tom—I had that “ahha” moment. You know that moment about what democracy really means and if you see something you can fix, you need to step up and fix it. And I saw things I didn’t like. I saw a school budget getting slashed. I saw seniors not getting taken care of and I realized with a little bit of assistance that I could do that, or at least I could try. And that in a democracy, it’s up to us. It’s not an up-to-them. It’s an up-to-us issue and we as ordinary citizens, we have to be willing to step up and try. There’s no guarantee of success, but there is a guarantee you aren’t going to succeed if you don’t try and that’s what started me on this path. It was that realization, that that is what democracy is. It is us stepping up and making change for our families, for our communities, for our [inaudible].
And sometimes it’s rapid and sometimes it’s hard, and so 20 months ago when our friend Chris Murphy decided he would embark on this quest to represent us in the U.S. Senate, I had that same decision to make. Is this an opportunity to step up? And as I think you know I am deeply committed, as I know you are, to keeping this seat blue. We look at the numbers on those boards, we know important that is and with your help and your commitment to the middle class, to standing up for Social Security, to standing up for the values of our district, we were able to do that. We knocked those doors. We made those phone calls. We took our case to voters, and the voters of Central and Northwest committee, Connecticut chose this vision. Our vision to carry forward, to be their advocate in Washington. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
There’s a lot of problem solving to be done, but I know we got it done here. It wasn’t easy. We can get it done there, and we’ll get it done with your help and your support, with your good ideas, with your encouragement, and probably your occasional nagging phone cal. “You know, Elizabeth, you said you’d do this.”
And I’m counting on you. I’m counting on you to do that because you know that’s a risk down there. You know people get down to Washington and they get sucked into that vortex down there. But I’m counting on you to whoop me upside the head when I need it. To keep making sure I know what’s going on when I can’t be here. And to make sure we are moving forward with that shared vision, with that shared vision. To make sure that our manufacturers have a level playing field. Our children—every child in this great state—has an opportunity for a quality education. That our small businesses have access to credit to create good-quality jobs right here in America. That our seniors can retire in dignity and respect with the Medicare and Social Security that they’ve earned, and that we are creating good jobs for the future for everyone who wants and is able to pursue them.
That is a vision we share. That is what you are making possible for me to be your voice with your votes and your encouragement. It’s a fight worth having. It’s a fight we’ve engaged with. I thank you so much for your efforts, for your faith, for your trust, but I am going need you to ask you to step up again because we know, the problems we face in this country they are not Republican problems and they’re not Democratic problems and they’re not Independent problems: they’re American problems. And they are going to take American solutions, and that’s going take all of us. Good ideas and good effort, and good heart and passion and hard work, and hard work, and hard work.
And we know something about that in this race. We were The Little Engine That Could. Knowing that, I’m confident. I’m confident it can be done.
And I think you’re confident it can be done, too. So again thank you all so much. The hour is late, but my heart is full of respect, admiration, and gratitude to all of you for what you have made possible here tonight. For what we have done to reelect Barrack Obama, to elect Chris Murphy, and [inaudible].
Thank you. I love you.
Speech from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2eSFAg_Wso.