Just in case you missed it last night in Asbury Park, Save Jerseyans, here’s a victory speech that was decidedly different than any I’ve ever heard (and I’ve heard too many):
That’s that. Election 2013 is now in the books (unless you’re in LD2 or LD38); click here to visit our archives and relive the key moments.
Text of the Governor’s remarks are below the fold…
Ladies and gentlemen, tonight, I stand here as your Governor, and I am so proud to be your Governor.
Born in Newark, raised in Livingston, made my wife from Pennsylvania a real Jersey girl, and raised our family right here in this amazing state, I love just as much as my mother and father raised me to love it.
You see, what people have never understood about us, is that I didn’t any introduction to all of you. I know you, because I’m one of you.
So tonight, first and foremost, I want to say thank you, New Jersey, for making me the luckiest guy in the world.
And the only greatest honor and privilege than being a one-term governor of New Jersey, is to be a two-term governor of New Jersey.
You got to meet my kids again tonight, and Mary Pat and I are so proud of them. Andrew, Sarah, Patrick, and Bridgette, I love you all.
And over the last four years, but especially this year, New Jersey got to know what a special first lady they have, I love you Mary Pat.
I spoke to Senator Buono awhile ago. No, no, she congratulated me, it was very gracious. Very gracious, in her congratulations, and I thanked her for a spirited campaign, and for her 20 years of public service to this state.
Now when we came to office four years ago, we stood behind a podium like this, and said that people were tired of politics as usual, they wanted to get things done, and we promised we were going to go to Trenton and turn things upside down, and I think we’ve done just that.
The people of New Jersey four years ago were downhearted and dispirited, they didn’t believe that government could work for them anymore.
In fact, what they thought was that government was just there to take from them but not to give to them, not to work with them, not to work for them. Well, four years later, we stand here tonight showing that it is possible to put doing your job first, to put working together first, to fight for what you believe in, yet still stand by your principles and get something done for the people who elected you. The biggest thing, the biggest thing I’ve learned over the last four years about leadership is that leadership is much less about talking than it is about listening, about bringing people around the table listening to each other, showing them respect, doing what needed to be done to be able to bring people together and to achieve what we needed to achieve to move our state forward.
Now listen, I know that if we can do this in Trenton, New Jersey, maybe the folks in Washington, DC should tune in their tvs right now to see how it’s done. See, listen, we’re New Jersey. We still fight, we still yell. But when we fight, we fight for those things that really matter in people’s lives. And while we may not always agree, we show up everywhere. We just don’t show up in the places that vote for us a lot, we show up in the places that vote for us a little. We don’t just show up in the places where we’re comfortable, we show up in the places where we’re uncomfortable.
Because when you lead, you need to be there. You need to show up, you need to listen and then you need to act. And you don’t just show up six months before an election, you show up four years before one. And you just don’t take no for an answer the first time no has happened. You keep going back and trying more. Because when I was elected four years ago, I wasn’t elected just by the people who voted for me. I was the governor of all the people.
And tonight, overwhelmingly, those people have said, ‘come on board, it’s fine here, let’s have more people support the governor’ and now we have a big, big win tonight. What people have told me over the last four years is that more than anything else, they want the truth. They want the truth. You know, we don’t always agree with each other in New Jersey. Some folks don’t agree with some of the things I do and certainly they don’t agree with some of the things I say sometimes. But they know, they know they never have to wonder. When they walked into the voting booth today, they didn’t say, ‘hey I wonder who this guy is and what he stands for, what he’s willing to fight for, what he’s willing to do when the chips are down.’
You can agree with me, you can disagree with me. But I will never stop leading the state I love. People across the country have asked me how it is we’ve been able to do what we’ve achieved. And I’m reminded of a story that Pastor Joe Carter of the New Hope Baptist Church told just one week ago today on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. He called what had happened in New Jersey the last year the ‘spirit of Sandy.’ He spoke about people coming together.
He said when the lights went out, no one cared what color your skin was. He said when you didn’t have any food, no one cared whether it was a Republican or Democrat offering you the food. When you didn’t have a warm place for your family because of what happened in the storm, you didn’t care if it was someone who thought government should be big or small. At that moment, the ‘spirit of Sandy’ infected all of us.
Reverend Carter was right. And he prayed that day that the spirit of Sandy would stay with us well beyond the days that the recovery will take. My pledge to you tonight is I will govern with the spirit of Sandy. It’s true of New Jersey and all the people who live here, they’re ready to live that way, too. as you governor it’s never mattered to me where someone is from, whether they voted for me or not, what the of their skin was or their political party. for me being governor has always been about getting the job done first. now, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have principles. we have many of them. and we have stood and fought every day to cut taxes, to reduce the size of government spending, to reform pensions and benefits, to reform a broken education system and to make sure that we create opportunity again for New Jerseyans.
And for the next four years, we will fight to make those changes permanent, and we will fight to make them bigger. I did not seek a second term to do small things. I sought a second term to finish the job – now watch me do it.
I want to thank a few people in addition to my family before we go tonight. I want to tell you that I, over the last year have had the greatest campaign team any governor could ever ask for, they ran a flawless campaign and I thank them for it.
And I want to thank my cabinet and my senior staff, who especially over the last year have worked tirelessly with me to help bring back — bring back the great state of New Jersey from the second worst national disaster to ever hit this country.
And I want to thank the second woman, who said yes to me when I asked – New Jersey’s great Lt. Governor, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno.
I used to tell folks all the time that I had the greatest job in the world – for a Jersey kid to be elected Governor of the state where I was born and raised.
It’s the greatest job that you could ever have in your life – I loved it every day, I would get up and know that I would have a chance to do something great. I didn’t do something great every day, but I had a chance to do something great every day for people that I would probably never meet.
But on October 29th of last year, that job changed. It’s no longer a job for me. It’s a mission. You see, a mission is different than a job. A mission is something that’s sacred. It’s a sacred trust that was thrust upon me and you on October 29th of last year.
And that mission, that mission is to make sure that everyone, everyone in New Jersey who’s affected by Sandy is returned to normalcy in their life. And i want to promise you tonight, i will not let anyone, anything, any political party, any governmental entity or any force get in between me and the completion of my mission.
You see, for those veterans out there tonight, you know — you know how sacred a mission is. Sacredness of the mission of a soldier is that no one ever is left behind. No one is ever left behind on the battle field. And on the battle field that Sandy turned this state into, New Jerseyans will never leave any New Jerseyan behind.
I’m resolved to complete this mission, not because of me, but because of you. For the last year I’ve had a lot of people ask me for hugs. A lot of people. [inaudible crowd] You’ll get your hug later, brother. And I can tell you this. [Inaudible crowd]. I guess there is open bar tonight, huh?
People ask me for hugs to comfort them. People asked me for hugs to make sure I wouldn’t forget them. People asked me for hugs just to know that the leader of this state cared about them. And people came up to me all the time in the aftermath and said to me, “Governor, where did you get the energy? Where did you get the energy day after day after to do that?” And I told them, “You don’t understand, do you? Those hugs gave more to me than I could ever give back to them. They gave me hope and faith and optimism for our future.
The people of New Jersey have given me much more than I could ever hope to give back to them. They’ve given me hope. They’ve given me faith. And they’ve given me their trust. And it’s with that hope, with that optimism, that faith, and that trust that we together confront the next four years of opportunity for our state.
I know that tonight a dispirited America, angry with their dysfunctional government in Washington looks to New Jersey to say, “is what I think’s happening really happening? Are people really coming together? Are we really working, African Americans and Hispanics, suburbanites and city-dwellers, farmers and teachers, are we really all working together?” Let me give the answer to everyone who is watching tonight – under this government, our first job is to get the job done. And as long as I am governor, that job will always, always be finished.
I think tonight most particularly – and I know my dad and my brother and sister who are here tonight with me share this same view. I think tonight most particularly about my mother.
All of you who have heard me over the last four years know that she was and still is the dominant influence in my life. As I said on the video, as I said on the video, my mom used to say to me all the time, “Christopher, be yourself. Because then tomorrow you don’t have to worry about trying to remember who you pretended to be yesterday.”
Powerful words from a woman who I miss every day. But tonight, tonight I know that my mom is looking down on New Jersey and saying to me — I can feel it – she’s saying to me, “Chris, the job’s not done yet. Get back to work and finish the job for the people of New Jersey.” That’s exactly what I’ll do. I love you, New Jersey. Thank you very much!