[applause] Thank you….
….These are interesting times. That’s the old Chinese curse, “may you live I interesting times.” We’re in uncharted waters. Two major conflicts in the Middle East, a recession that’s touching so many families, uncertainty, and yes, as Robin [Carnahan] mentioned a few minutes ago, fear. But we can’t lose sight of who we are and where we came from.
Robin, I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful, wonderfully kind words. I might tell you I have know the Carnahan family well through the years. Robin was my very first Carnahan friend. We met and froze together at an inauguration long before your daddy’s, if you remember. And she became my good friend then. I’m extremely proud of her. You’re a great Missourian, you’ll make a great Senator. [applause]
I think things are looking up. We’re still having a financial challenge but the experts are telling us that the bottom might be near and starting to climb back up. But we will get there. But what we have to do is remember who we are. We’re Americans. And speaking about history, as you look at the history of our country we have faced major challenges through the years and we’ve come out on top of them. The one strain of thought that has never left our country is the strain of optimism….
….[on Franklin Delano Roosevelt] And there’s something about that man, I remember as a boy my mom and dad talking about him, that raised hope and kept hope alive in America when we were in the depths of the depression and the horrors of the second World War. People believed in him, not just as a President….
….[on hope] but he also gave this to the nation. That’s what we must keep alive. Is the hope for our country and the optimism of our country and the fact that we’re getting better and we’re gonna come out on top. We have challenges that we’ve really never had before all combined at one time. But we can do it. We can do it. We pull together, lay this partisanship aside, work for the betterment of our neighbors, love our country, be proud of our country, and move forward. That’s what we need to do.
Hope is the by word. Let’s leave here tonight with that thought in mind….
….Well, as I say, these are interesting times. We will experience a challenging election. It will be a tough election. I want to continue to represent you. But I’m telling you you will undoubtedly see across our state one of the nastiest elections you’ve ever seen. Let’s not fall into that trap. Let’s be positive, let’s win, let’s win big, and show ’em that if you’re positive good things can happen. [applause]…
A billboard along U.S. Highway 50 in LaMonte, Missouri. “…[O]ne of the nastiest elections you’ve ever seen…” has already started.
…Well that’s our challenge. Democracy is a challenge in and of itself. But we have the grandest civilization ever known in the history of mankind and we didn’t get there by accident. We got there because of people like you and your moms and your dads and your grandparents – all pulling together at tough times and good times… Let us be worthy of those who went before us. Let us be worthy of the name American, for we are a great country. But we can’t let negativism tear us down from within. We have to build – you’re either getting better or you’re getting worse. And you get worse if you are negative in your thoughts and your deeds. So with that in mind, let’s face the challenge. Move forward without doubts, without discouragement….
….I saw there in the case the original speech that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was to deliver the following day, April 13, 1945, which was, of course, Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. He died, as you know, the day before. It was an undelivered address. It was typed, except he made a few little corrections in it in pencil. At the bottom of this speech, which I copied [as a teeneager] in pencil in the Big Chief tablet, the bottom of this speech were the words: “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.” That was the challenge then, that is the challenge now. Let’s do it. Let’s be positive. Let’s continue to be a great nation. I love you. God bless. [applause]