Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006

2/11/2005

Text of Kennedy Announcement

Mark Kennedy’s Announcement for Senate February 11, 2005

This morning I’m here to announce my candidacy for the United States Senate. I’d like to spend a few minutes today telling you why, after careful thought and a lot of prayer, I made the decision I did.

I know great things can happen if we trust the people, and make sure government helps, rather than hinder them as they pursue their dreams.

I believe Minnesotans deserve representation that embodies the best of our character: hard work, common sense, faith in God, cooperation to get things done, and a sense of optimism.

Minnesota deserves 2 Senators who get up every morning looking to get things done for us.

Minnesotans also deserve two legislative bodies in Washington, a House AND a Senate, that work for them; two bodies that deliver results, rather than get bogged down in partisan obstruction and petty politics.

I believe we must replace angry words with bipartisan solutions.

We must replace bitter partisanship with common sense.

We must replace Washington values with Minnesota family values.

I’m the kind of guy who was taught that you only say something if you mean it, something that’s too rare in politics.

As your United States Senator, I can tell you that I will…

Give our military men and women the tools they need to win this war on terrorism. We need to win the war over there so we don’t have to fight it here.

Keep our economy growing and creating jobs. That means we need to get spending under control and hold government accountable, keep taxes low, eliminate the junk lawsuits, and reduce over regulation of our farmers and small businesses.

Protect and strengthen Social Security, making sure we keep protecting it for seniors like my mom and dad who rely on it and making sure it’s there for our children and grandchildren.

Follow in the footsteps of my hero, Teddy Roosevelt, our greatest conservationist, who challenged us to pass our environment to our kids “increased and not impaired in value.” Something near and dear to all of us who hike or hunt or fish.

Make sure our schools are preparing our children to be informed citizens and successful adults, with good jobs and fulfilling careers.

Promote and defend the values that made our state and our nation great: life, marriage, and faith.

These are the values I learned at home, from some very special people who are here with me, my parents, Eugene and Alvina Kennedy.

My mother used to sit all seven of us children down in the living room and read us newspaper clippings so we knew how to apply our values to the issues of the day. She still sends me newspaper clippings and calls me to make sure I read them.

You know, the other side likes to give me grief for voting with the President. But I tell them, look, I vote with my mother 100% of the time. It just so happens that the President agrees with my mother most of the time.

My father taught me to listen. They say that everyone can brighten up a room, some when they enter, some when they leave. Well. My father brightens up a room when he enters, then never leaves.

And, of course, you met my wife, my partner, Debbie. In a few months, we’ll be celebrating our 25th anniversary. That’s a testament to her patience and the love we’ve shared since we met in 4-H as teenagers.

Finally, I’d like you to meet our children, Charles, Emily, Sarah, and Peter, part of the 5th generation of Minnesota Kennedy’s,

The Kennedy family story is uniquely American. It’s the story so familiar to millions of our fellow citizens who came to America, and to Minnesota, looking for a better life.

We Kennedy’s have been in Minnesota since the 1860s. We think it’s a pretty special place.

Our ancestors started out without much, farmers along the rail line. But they knew that if they worked hard, trusted in God, and served causes larger than themselves, they could prosper, and give their children a better life.

That same spirit carried down through the generations, right to the present day.

Standing before you is a guy who started out in life sharing a bedroom with 3 brothers, began working at 14 picking strawberries and pumping gas, was the first boy in my family to go to college, and never lived in a town of more than 1,000 until then.

But because we live in Minnesota and America, I married the girl of my dreams, got an MBA, spent 20 years in business, including here at Pillsbury, and was elected to the United States Congress, something my ancestors knew was possible, but would never have imagined.

My friends, I know I can represent the hopes and dreams of Minnesotans, because I have lived them.

I will always work hard to make you proud. I will deliver results and solutions.

When times get tough, you have my word that I will never stop working for you, or stop fighting for your dreams no matter how difficult the challenge.

We must always keep faith with the people who built our state; whether they mined ore, built the railroads, milled flour, or plowed fields like the Kennedy’s.

So long as I have the honor of serving you, we will keep the dream alive for generations of Minnesotans to come.

Over the course of the next two years, I intend to take my message to every corner of this great state. I look forward to listening to the people of Minnesota and sharing my ideas about our future.

Thank you. God bless you and God bless America.

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