As you know I have been considering whether or not to seek the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.
My reasons for doing so are deeply felt.
They are the reasons that brought me to the United States Senate in the first place and that energize me to fight every day on behalf of the citizens of Massachusetts.
We're a great country and we have accomplished a great deal but the truth is there is much more for us to do.
I know that our schools can be better -- a lot better -- that every child deserves the best education we can deliver -- and I know that there is much more we can do to guarantee that every child in all of our schools has the skills needed to hold a decent job and to make the most of their lives -- and I have spent a lot of time in the last two years laying out a specific way that we can get there -- and that is a fight I want all Americans to join.
Even as we have grown so much richer as a nation -- the richest nation on the face of this planet -- one fifth of all our children live in poverty, and childhood poverty has grown by 50% over the last thirty year, our nation's time of greatest economic growth. It is just unacceptable that so many of our children go home after school to houses or apartments that remain empty until late hours in the evening; or have no child care -- no adult supervision -- simply because working parents cannot afford to provide it. I believe very deeply that we can do better to improve life for children in need and for communities in despair.
And all across this great country or ours our fellow citizens increasingly feel an anxiety about the future -- they know they work harder and harder but wages are lower that they were ten years ago -- they know that too many women live in poverty in retirement -- they know that too many of their neighbors have no health care and millions more have health plans that cheat them -- or nickel and dime them -- literally to death! -- and they know that it is increasingly hard to save money -- for education -- for home -- for sickness -- for even the fundamentals of life.
These fights demand new engagement -- new leadership and new soldiers. And I believe that Americans want to engage. They just don't believe in the old approaches. It's our responsibility to give them new answers -- and a renewed confidence in our ability to move America forward.
And that brings us to the new battles we must fight.
Rather that reiterate the old false choices -- left or right, government or the private sector, federal or local solutions -- we must redefine the relationship between federal, state, and local governments; we must create new partnerships with the private sector to find different and less costly solutions to a broad set of problems -- from environment -- to health care -- to community building -- and we must trust corporate leadership -- to help us get there together.
Government doesn't have to either control or abandon -- there is another way for it to work -- it can leverage and excite creativity -- liberate good thinking from bureaucracy -- and challenge our best minds to harness the marketplace and find solutions to our most imposing challenges. And we must have that discussion across the country.
And we must also enter a national debate about our global responsibilities and challenges. We have entered an age where there is after all no "foreign policy" as we have known it. Main street America is affected as never before by global choices -- how to assure fair trade practices --- help our workers to never be left behind -- but there is more we can do to harness the benefits of technology and much more we can do to put a human face on global change. We are doing well as a country and we know we have benevolent intentions -- but we are misunderstood and even disliked around the world. That must change. We must do more to understand other people's expectations of us and above all, we must do more to live up to our own expectations of ourselves.
These are some of the things I would like to talk to America about. But I have decided that the time is not right for me to do it as a candidate for president in the year 2000.
I have concluded that to raise the necessary amount of money, with only ten months to do so, compounded by the newly accelerated primary schedule, simply isn't possible at this time. I have also concluded that, at this point in time, my not running may be more helpful to our party's efforts to win in November. And I want you to know, I will be doing all I can in the next two years to help elected Democrats across this country.
Let me say to my fellow citizens of Massachusetts -- you have trusted me with a terrific, challenging job and I love it -- I look forward -- with all of the energy and enthusiasm I can muster -- and believe me there is much -- to fighting for Massachusetts in the United States Senate -- to helping make life better and safer -- here in our state and throughout the nation.
I also want to thank many wonderful people from New Hampshire to California -- all across the country -- and of course here at home -- who were ready to march with me and who encouraged me to run -- I assure you -- I am not going away and I will continue the fight.
I want to thank the many elected officials across the state -- colleagues in Congress, the State House -- mayors -- who were ready to be supportive and go to work.
I especially want to thank my family -- my wife Teresa and our children -- they too were and are ready to march. There will be other battles to fight together.