Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE)
January 3, 2008

...I'm really--Look folks, there's nothing to be sad about tonight.  Let's get something right off the bat.  The Bidens and all the Bidens and Owenses and Buells [phon.] and everybody who's here, we are so, so incredibly proud of you all and so indebted to you all.  [applause]  You have opened your hearts, you have opened you homes  [applause, inaud.]  I know it sounds corny--guys like  Bruce Koeppl [worked on Biden's '87 campaign; now IA Divided We Fail campaign manager] and Paulee [Lipsman] and others that are here will know from years ago, I mean what I say, you can be assured, every one of you here, you can be assured there'll never be a time, a place or a circumstance where, if you ever need any one of us, and there's a bunch of us, that we won't be there for you.  I mean it sincerely.  I mean it sincerely.

One of the great, great things in this kind of adventure is you meet so many incredible, incredible people.  I'm looking at you all now.  I mean you are incredible.

Kevin [State Rep. Kevin McCarthy] you have been, you are, such a strong guy.  I mean you are a guy, I swear to God, Kevin, I wish you were my brother [applause; inaud.].  You are a real hero.

Folks, as we say in the Senate, I plan on continuing this fight.  As they say in the Senate, excuse me a point of personal privilege.  My staff and my friends, I mean you know we've had people, the highest paid guys in the country working for me for nothing on the promise that sometime we'll be able to pay them.  I mean that's incredible.  That's absolutely incredible.  One of the best filmmakers in the country, Joe Slade White, one of the -- I mean John Martillo.  I don't want to, I guess I shouldn't start naming all of these people, but you know David, I mean people who are really, really--Mike Donilon.  These guys are able to command significant, significant sums.  Other campaigns asked to meet with them, and they knew I had no money, because they knew I made no promises.  And they knew that there would only be a time that we will in fact, we will in fact be able to meet their minimum requirements that they provided for us.

There are so many of you who have sacrificed for me.  I feel so indebted to you.

But you know, folks, Jill and I--come on up here a minute Jill.  [applause].  We decided to do this for the right reasons, folks.  You know the reason to do this, the reason to do this, the reason to make all the effort that you made is because we really, really, really do believe in this country.  We really do.  I believe to the bottom of my being in the unmatchable, unlimited potential of the American people.  They need, they need a government as good as they are.  They are so ready.  I mean, I know you've heard me say this, but one of the things I decided when I decided to run, when Jill and the boys and Ashley said hey, dad give it a shot.  I committed that I would say exactly what I believe; I committed that I would not in any way truncate anything I thought needed to be said, and ladies and gentlemen, we've done it.  And listen let me make something clear to you.  I ain't going away.  [cheers, applause, chants "Joe, Joe, Joe"]

I've been listening, as many of you have, to the press--I shouldn't tell you this, I feel like Harry Truman--I went back to the room and I fell asleep 'til it was over.  I shouldn't admit that to you, but I did.  But as I got up and Jill told me the results, I didn't feel, I feel no regret, not one single solitary ounce of regret.  And I hope, I hope we've been able to, I hope we've been able to keep this campaign at least on the issues that we should be talking about.

Ladies and gentlemen, the security of America is at risk.  We have 160,000 men and women who are [?bleeding?] today.  We have 160,000 in harm's way.  We have to end this war.  We have to make sure that no other war erupts.  It's within our capacity to do that.  It's within our capacity to literally reinstate the middle class to a status that is really not drowning, not just treading water, but actually progressing.  We have the capacity and the ability.  I meant what I said.  The world leaders know, they know that America is their hope, and we have to reclaim and we will reclaim, we will reclaim as a country the notion that we are that shining city in the hill.

We've got three good candidates.  I congratulate them all.  I congratulate Barack on such a significant win.  He deserves great credit.

And let me tell you something.  A lot of people said it's a great night to be a Democrat [inaud.], but it's also a great night to be me.  It's a great night to be me.  Because you have invested your faith--it makes me so proud that you're with me.  The people of Delaware--I want to thank the people of Delaware.  [applause]  Because they know I was doing what I was doing because I believe so deeply in it.  They gave me wide latitude; they gave me wide latitude, and they gave me the ability to come out here and campaign.  And so many of my fellow Delawareans came out here.  Hundreds of them came out.  Gave up their vacation time to come out.  So there's so, so many people to thank.

But one of the things I want to leave you with is this.  I don't want anybody, I don't want anybody walking out of here dejected.  I want you walking out proud of what we fought for and determined, determined we're going to continued to push the Democratic Party in the direction of significant responsibility, a Democratic Party that will provide security for this country, a Democratic Party that will provide security across the board, not only our physical security, but our health security, our economic security, our environmental security.  We have the capacity to do this.  I'll be going back to the Senate as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.  [applause].  And I will continue, I will continue to make the case we've been making.  There's a lot of good people, a lot of good people I ran with [inaud.].  One person I want to reference, one person in particular, who is one of the finest people I've ever worked with, one of the finest guys I know and that's Chris Dodd.  [applause].  Chris Dodd, you notice the way Chris Dodd handles things--he's a classy, classy guy.

Folks, I'm going to insist, and I want to make it clear to whoever's the nominee--I'm going to insist, I'm going to insist as a United States Senator that they keep the commitment to our men and women who are still in harm's way.  [applause].  I'm going to insist that they keep the commitment as long as they are president to care for, to spend the billions of dollars necessary to care for those who are coming home wounded, care for those who in fact have made the sacrifice none of us, none of us have had to make.  I'm going to insist, I'm going to insist, and I will be their worst nightmare if they do not.  [applause]  I have no doubt, I have no doubt that they will.

Ladies and gentlemen this has been--one of the press people following us from the Washington Post said all you Bidens seem so happy.  [laughter].  There's no reason not to be happy.  There's no reason not to be happy.  The promise of this nation is immense.  My family, thank God, is healthy.  You all are wonderful, wonderful decent people.  You're the reason why, you're the reason why this country's what it is.  That sounds so corny, when I say it but it really literally is true.  ["We love you Joe."]

Let me end by saying this to you.  You know I'm always quoting those Irish poets.  [laughter].  But it is true, it is true, and I'll end this campaign the way I began it.  "History teaches us not to hope on this side of the grave.  But then once in a lifetime-now-that longed for tidal wave of justice rises up and hope and history rhyme.  My prayer for you is, my plea to you is make sure it does, make sure it does, because we have the capacity, we have the capacity to make hope and history rhyme.  And you've given me great hope and great pride.  Thank you very, very much.

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