Text of Sen. Michael Bennet's Primary Night Victory Speech

Received by e-mail from the Bennet Campaign: Senator Michael Bennet's full speech tonight after his primary win:

Thank You, Colorado!

Aren't we lucky to have Mark Udall representing us in the Senate? Thank you, Mark.

It was just a week ago that the political pundits and Washington odds-makers started to count us out. They didn't think we were negative enough, that the way to win was to shout the loudest and angriest; to spend more time talking about our opponent than talking about what we stand for.

To the pundits and talking heads, I have a simple message: Welcome to Colorado.


This election is the first time my name has ever appeared on a ballot. And after only 20 months in the Senate and on the campaign trail. After traveling over 25,000 miles to all 64 counties, from the Western Slope to the Eastern Plains, from the San Luis Valley to the Denver suburbs, I know one thing:

Washington has a lot to learn from Colorado.

The fact is Washington is full of politicians who are more interested in scoring points and calling names than doing the hard work to turn our country and this economy around. And the gap between what we hear from the talking heads on television and what I hear in town halls across Colorado has never been wider than it is today.

But there is good news. Our country doesn't end at the Potomac River.

And every week, when I return home to Colorado, I am reminded that we have the power to change our politics. That we can start making decisions based on what's right and what works and not what makes the best sound bite.

I am more optimistic than ever that Colorado will lead the way, creating better jobs, better schools, and a brighter future for this state and our country.

And I know that we can do it together, Democrats, independents, and Republicans - that we can check our party registration at the door, that we can set aside long-held grievances, that we can show Washington it's time to get to work.

Coloradans know the stakes are too high and this election too important to settle for tired arguments and political games. They know elections are about choices, about where we stand on the issues, and this November the choice couldn't be any clearer.

Do we want to return to the failed Washington policies of the last decade that drove us into the mess we're in today?

Or are we going to move forward, together, to build an economy that works for every single American?

Will we surrender to destructive anger and cynical politics?

Or will we embrace optimism about how much we can overcome, and accomplish, together?

Do we want a Senator who answers only to the extremes in his/her party, even when it flies in the face of progress?

Or will we remember our Colorado independence, roll up our sleeves, and get to work?

But tonight, I want to take a minute to thank everyone whose blood, sweat and tears went into the last year and a half, volunteering, knocking on doors, making calls and talking with your friends and neighbors. You are the reason we are celebrating tonight.

To our dedicated staff and volunteers who worked long days and nights to build this campaign - thank you, thank you, thank you.

And I want to thank the thousands of Coloradans who have come to my town hall meetings, some to agree with me, some to disagree; some to share their ideas, and some to criticize. You have all made me better at my job.

By the way, there's something else I can tell you, after traveling so many thousands of miles around Colorado.

We live in the most beautiful state in the union.

And - most important - to my wonderful wife Susan and our three little girls - Caroline, Halina and Anne.

This race is about the future of Colorado's families, and for us it's been a family project every step of the way. It hasn't been easy for me to spend so much time away from you, and I know it has been far harder for you to put up with the uncertainty and even cruelty that can come with politics. I love you more than words can ever express.

For those of you here tonight and all across this great state who gave your time, your energy and your support to this campaign - to ensure we can keep on fighting for Colorado together -tonight is your victory.

And to those of you who cast your vote for Andrew Romanoff, I will work hard to prove myself worthy of your support. The issues that have divided us in this campaign are so much smaller than the hopes and values we share.

Andrew has spent his career committed to this state and our party. I know this campaign doesn't mark the end of that work, and I look forward to working with him to build on the progress we have made.

In this campaign, we will work hard to earn the votes of Democrats, independents, and Republicans, by offering real-world solutions, based on real-life experience, for creating jobs, improving our schools, and cutting the deficits that threaten to drown our children in debt.

My time at the Denver Public Schools and working with John Hickenlooper to balance budgets and improve our city have prepared me to get things done in the Senate. And my experience in business has given me a perspective that is different than most people back in Washington.

But I had no idea that being a parent would prepare me for the Senate most of all.

I think you all know exactly what I am talking about. 45 minutes into a long road trip, after the excitement wears off, the kids are in the back seat doing everything they can to bother one another. And every time you turn around they immediately put on their best smile and point their finger at each other. Well that back seat is a lot like the United States Senate.

The bottom is this: Washington needs a lot less finger pointing and name calling. And a lot more problem solving.

A little less hiding behind the Senate rules, and a lot more standing up for the American people.

What we need is a little less talk and a lot more action.

I know we can do this - that we can honor the legacy of our parents and grandparents by facing up to our problems, solving them, and leaving more opportunity, not less, to our kids and grandkids.

And it starts right here in Colorado.

I have to admit, toward the end of this primary, I got a little tired of seeing all those tv ads. How about you?

So I took off for a 24-hour tour, covering hundreds of miles and visiting 18 cities and towns, in red parts of our state and blue parts. I listened to hard-working men and women who are trying to make ends meet for their families by holding down the graveyard shift in factories, coffee shops, fire stations, and hospitals.

And let me tell you something. They are completely uninterested in the political games.

I saw some of our most hopeful workplaces, like Ascent Solar, where I watched as workers created bendable solar cells for use in luggage and even clothing, turning a great idea into reality right here in Colorado. In Watkins, in the middle of the night, I met a group of firefighters just back from an emergency. Some were volunteers, putting in 36 hours a month - the equivalent of a full week's work, for free, to help their neighbors. "It just gets in your blood," one of them told me. And in Fort Morgan, I met a woman who had just completed her nursing degree and was proud to be working the night shift in the emergency room, helping people who badly needed it. She liked working nights, she said, so she could be with her kids during the day.

They have hard jobs and heavy responsibilities. They deserve a government that doesn't add to their burdens, but helps them do their jobs and protect and educate their children.

And one more thing, they deserve leaders who shares the optimism of the Colorado's Spice Brothers. At the farmer's market in Greeley, I bought a shaker of their mixed spice because they said it was great for beef jerky. They had just gotten started, they told me, but their sign showed they had big dreams. "Soon to be world famous," it read.

"Soon to be world famous."

Now THAT's the spirit of Colorado!

Yes, times are hard right now. But together, we will build a future where our kids and grandkids will thrive.

Together, we'll start making responsible choices, and stop writing checks for our children to cover.

Together, we will turn this economy around and put our country back to work.

We will strengthen our schools and make sure that America remains the world's leader in business, innovation, and opportunity.

And, together, we WILL win this Senate seat!

Colorado, it's time to cast off the divisive, do-nothing politics of the past and get to work.

This is the time to seize our place in history and work to meet the shared aspirations we have for our kids and grandkids, and prepare Colorado and this country to lead in the 21st century.

And we'll do it together.

Thank you.

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  • Display: Sort:
    His youngest daughter... (none / 0) (#3)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 10:02:51 AM EST
    ...is awful cute.  He should get her in a couple more commercials.