Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Presidential Speech that Never Was

Photo Credit: George Bush Presidential Library

This is the text of remarks written for President George H.W. Bush, to be delivered on November 3, 1992 at the Westin Galleria, in Houston, Texas. But it was a victory speech, a speech that was never to be delivered and has not, to my knowledge, ever been published. In honor of Election Night 2006, here it is:

NOVEMBER 3, 1992

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Move over, Harry Truman.

Just a few moments ago, I received a call from Governor Clinton. He said that the people had made their decision, and he offered his cooperation as we move forward together.

Let me congratulate Governor Clinton and Senator Gore. They waged a skilled and hard fought campaign. They presented their case well and with conviction.

To Ross Perot, let me express my appreciation and respect. He energized millions of Americans and brought freshness and frankness to our democratic process.

And to you, my friends and supporters, to the American people, to the thousands of volunteers who stood in the rain and worked in the phone banks and put up the signs -- who kept the faith -- let me say thank you.

Tonight, the people have spoken.

Many doubted this victory. Many said that it couldn't be done. But you did it.

Our triumph is the triumph of an idea -- the idea that the power of America rests with its people.

The depth of that power knows no limits; its strength is irresistible; its potential knows no bounds.

Our triumph is another page in freedom's remarkable story. It is an acknowledgment -- a verification -- that America's strength and America's hope lies not in its government in Washington, but in all the places we visited -- in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and Vineland, New Jersey, and Akron, Ohio, and Riverside, California. We have always known that the greatest strength of any nation is its people -- and nowhere more so than here, the home of the most resourceful, energetic, kind and generous people in the history of the Earth.

I have many people to thank tonight. To our great Vice President, Dan Quayle -- who performed so brilliantly and so valiantly in this campaign -- to Marilyn and your family -- you have earned the respect of a nation.

To our campaign organization, led by Bob Teeter, to Jim Baker and all those who worked so hard to make this night possible, you have my gratitude.

To the people of Texas, who gave me my start, you have shown again that no hearts are bigger than those of Texans.

To the millions of Americans who honored me with your vote: I will do my best to earn the trust you have bestowed upon me. To those who supported others, I will work to earn yours -- and I will work to bring us together as Americans.

Elections are a choice -- a choice of ideas, a choice of directions. But there is one direction on which all Americans agree -- and that is forward. From tonight, we move forward.

Our mission remains to build a better America. I mean to fulfill that mission: with better schools for our children, with health care that is affordable and accessible to all, with a cleaner environment and a safer world, and with a growing economy that provides opportunity to all.

All societies have their rituals, and democracy's is the most majestic of all. It is the process of renewal -- the strengthening of a Nation made new again every four years by the voice of its own people.

From tonight we move forward. Our agenda is nothing less than American renewal. For the small businessman and the shop owner, we will offer the tools to help our country grow and create jobs. For those without hope in our inner cities, we will offer the opportunity that springs from empowerment, from having a greater stake in your own lives. For those without jobs, we will create them by developing new markets and new technologies and new ideas and new skills. And for the young people of America -- the young people -- remember this. No challenge has ever been too great for any generation of Americans. And none is too great for yours.

Yours is the first generation in a long while to look out at a world at peace -- unhindered by major conflict -- blessed by freedom in more places for more people than at any time in human history.

My responsibility is to help you take advantage of that unprecedented opportunity. Yours is to do so.

God has blessed this great land and each of us with unlimited potential. And now we go forward, knowing that America is another name for opportunity. Knowing that America's best days are yet to come.

With a full heart, I ask for God's blessing and your help. Together, we can renew America.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

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