Jones Wins: “The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice” MLKby CNN December 13, 2017
(CNN) Democrat Doug Jones addressed supporters in Birmingham, Alabama, following his stunning victory in the Senate special election Tuesday. Read his full remarks:
Thank you. Thank you. Everyone, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Oh, my. Folks, I got to tell you, I think that I have been waiting all my life and now I just don’t know what the hell to say. Let me — if you will indulge me just a moment — [CHANTING FOUR MORE YEARS ] No, let’s just get sworn in first before we — folks, I’m overwhelmed but I want to already — let me first make a couple of kind of brief comments.
You know, I have said throughout this campaign that I thought that December 12 was going to be a historic day. But — but I got to tell you, and you know where I’m headed, December 12 has always been a historic day for the Jones family. This is, as you know, mine and Louise’s 25th wedding anniversary. My running mate, my partner. I could not — I could not have done this without her. The love, support, and the encouragement. Earlier in the evening when she just kind of kicked me in the rear end when I was down. So this has been a wonderful night.
I got to thank my family. I’ve got my wonderful sons, Carson, Christopher. My daughter, Courtney. My beautiful granddaughter. Her son-in-law, Rip. All these friends back here. US attorney buddies. My mom who couldn’t make it here. My dad who’s here with us in spirit who’s too ill, and unfortunately my sister, Terry, and her husband, Scott, Terry Savage and Scott Savage, hey girls, thank you, thank you. She couldn’t make it, either. I am truly overwhelmed. I am truly, truly overwhelmed.
But, you know, folks, and you have all heard me say this at one point or another in this campaign, I have always believed that the people of Alabama have more in common than to divide us. We have shown not just around the state of Alabama but we have shown the country the way that we can be unified.
We have spent so many hours, I have got so many people that I can thank, but I will tell you just very quickly, there are three people that I want to acknowledge tonight because if it wasn’t for them, we would not be here. They’re the folks that sat me down in early May and said, Doug, you can do this, and they showed me the way. And I want to make sure that everyone in this room — we had an incredible staff.
It started with a small group of folks, Jess and Wade and Trey and Garrett. But the three people I need to acknowledge before I go any further, I have the greatest political consultant in the world in Joe Trippi. I know you’re tired of seeing my ads, but they were all Joe’s work and he showed me the way. Doug Turner, we’ve been friends for so long, showed me the numbers. And then the one that I called the Yoda of the campaign, Giles Perkins. Giles has had his own issues to deal with over the summer, but this campaign and what he has done is whenever the history is written about Alabama politics, remember those names, Giles Perkins, Doug Turner and Joe Trippi. There are so many — there are too many people here.
I want to just say this, folks, we have come so far. We have come so far and the people of Alabama have spoken. They have said we — they have said to each other that this, I have said from the very beginning this campaign has never been about me, it’s never been about Roy Moore. It has been about every one of you, every one of you and your sons and daughters. It’s all of those volunteers that knocked on 300,000 doors. It’s the volunteers who made 1.2 million phone calls around this state.
It’s those volunteers to make sure that we knew, it was every community. You know, I keep hearing about the different communities in this state. The African-American community, thank you. My friends — my friends in the Latino community, thank you. To all my Jewish friends, happy Hanukkah. We have built this everywhere we have gone. We have had that same energy. We’ve had that same excitement.
At the end of the day, this — this entire race has been about dignity and respect. This campaign — this campaign has been about the rule of law. This campaign has been about common courtesy and decency and making sure everyone in this state, regardless of which ZIP code you live in, is going to get a fair shake in life. And let me just say this, folks, to all of those — all of my future colleagues in Washington, to all — I had such wonderful help.
But I want to make sure, in all seriousness, there are important issues facing this country, there are important issues of health care and jobs and the economy. And I want to — I would like, as everyone in the entire probably free world knows right now, we’ve tried to make sure that this campaign was about finding common ground and reaching across and actually getting things done for the people.
So, I — I have a challenge, I have this challenge to my future colleagues in Washington. Don’t wait on me. Take this election from the great state of Alabama — let me finish. Take this election — take this election where the people of Alabama said we want to get something done, we want you to find common ground, we want you to talk. Take this opportunity in light of this election and go ahead and fund that ChIP program before I get up there. Put it aside and let’s do it for those million kids and 150,000 here in Birmingham, Alabama.
I’m not going to talk too much longer. It’s been a long night. It’s been a long campaign, but let me — no, let me — let me just say — let me — I know I’ve forgotten so much. I’ve forgotten so much, so many thank yous and how we feel. This vote — this vote, I’ve said it before, Alabama has been at a crossroads. We have been at crossroads in the past. And unfortunately we have usually taken the wrong fork. Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, you took the right road.
That’s exactly — [CHANTING USA] on a very personal level, let me tell you, and I said this at the top and I do mean this, it seems — I want to thank each of you for helping me fulfill a lifelong dream of serving in the United States Senate that started out with my mentor, Howell Heflin and ever since then, that has been my dream. Thank you for that.
So as we approach this history — as we approach this crossroads, we have work to do. We have work to do in this state. To build those bridges within this state. To reach across with those that didn’t vote for us to try to find that common ground. I’m pledging to do that tonight, but I will tell you, tonight is a night for rejoicing because as Dr. King said, as Dr. King liked to quote, “The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends toward justice.” Tonight, tonight, ladies and gentlemen, tonight, tonight in this time, in this place, you helped bend that moral arc a little closer to that justice and you did it, not only was it bent more, not only was its aim truer but you sent it right through the heart of the great state of Alabama in doing so. Thank you, all. I love you. Thank you. Thank you. And God bless you and God bless the great state of Alabama and the United States of America. Thank you, all. Thank you. Thank you.