According to Rudyard Kipling’s ageless poem “If,” you become a person of substance and character if
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same…
I coached many youth sports teams — different sports, different ages, different skill levels. At the ends of games, we didn’t talk about “winners” and “losers.” We had “winners” and “learners.” And believe me, I had teams that won every game, other teams that “learned” every game, and everything in between.
Tonight we are learners. Earlier, I called Yadira and expressed: “Congratulations to you and your team for your victory.” I also said, “Be well, and do good.”
Now, what we learners shouldn’t, and couldn’t possibly try to do tonight, is unpack all we’ve seen and heard over the 4 months-plus of this hotly contested campaign.
Now is the time for the winning side to celebrate their victory. They’re entitled. But we’re ALL entitled to celebrate the successful operation of another free election.
And now is the time for me to express thanks to all who supported this campaign.
First, I want to thank the corps of more than 50 supporters, from various phases of my and Deborah’s life over the past 40 years or so. They know who they are, although many have not met many, or any, of the others, and I have sent them all a message earlier in the day, and I will be doing a formal thank-athon sometime soon.
Second, I thank the handful of nearby non-New Rochelle, elected Democrats who showed their respect for my long-time loyal support of them by refraining from jumping on the enticing bandwagon of my opponent bearing down on our campaign!
Finally, thank you to my little nuclear family of 5 — that’s Deb and me and our three kids in their early 30s, who all played important roles in the campaign. Our youngest, Harry, was particularly heroic, flying in from Seattle last week to organize our volunteers’ final contacts with likely voters in person at doors, big stores and the train station, and phoning, texting and emailing, to dovetail with traditional glossy mailers and 2,400 personally written post cards, most to people with whom I had any personal contact over 4-and-a-half months.
At the end of an adventure like this, by which I mean my whole political career, if you can look your kids in the eye and see pride and admiration; and if you can visualize how your late parents would take pride in how you handled a moment like this, that’s all that’s important, personally.
Finally, it would take a milliner’s warehouse to hold the many hats Deb has worn in this and every one of my campaigns. I won’t even try to describe them all, but fall back on the famous line from Ralph Kramden: Baby, You’re the Greatest!
Now comes the time for rest. For me to get over this continuing bout with bronchitis. For all of us to help push forward, in a fair and equitable way, this beautiful experiment in diversity, cooperation and hope that we call New Rochelle.