Good afternoon and welcome fellow New Jerseyans, members of the Rutgers community and welcome to our very special guest, the President of the United States, Barack Obama! Now, we are all here at the PNC Bank Arts Center, yet it matters not where you sit, but by whom you sit. Look now to your right, look to your left. They are your friends, they are your peers; this is your community, this is our state. We are here today for the common purpose of demonstrating our confidence in and our support for the governor of the great state of New Jersey – Jon Corzine!
If education is not our top priority today, then we invite failure tomorrow. To this noble end, Governor Corzine has endeavored to strengthen our schools, support our teachers and inspire our students. Without fear, Governor Corzine has not simply stepped on the so-called third rail of New Jersey politics, but has in fact dared to neutralize it. Once considered improbable, if not impossible, he signed legislation to consolidate school districts and services, thereby eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy and realizing greater efficiencies.
Breaking a 40 year impasse on school funding, Governor Corzine implemented a new formula that has brought our state’s students back into focus, one which provides for a more equitable distribution of funds and increases funding for special education.
Owing to our governors great efforts, we boast the highest graduation rates in the country. New Jersey is ranked #1 by Education Weekly for preschool enrollments and New Jersey students are also considered among the best prepared for higher education. We must now resolve to work hard so as to allow Governor Corzine another four years so he may continue raising the standards in education.
Jon Corzine is a chief executive, with proven successes in both public and private sectors, who has made tough decisions, and whose steady hand has steered our ship of state through a dark time. The current financial crisis looms large over us all, but we may find comfort in the seasoned financial expert, that is our governor, who leads our state. It is today, more than any other, worth mentioning that when the Obama administration crafted the economic stimulus plan, which has saved tens of thousands of jobs and strengthened our economy, they went to one of the nation’s foremost authorities on finance – Jon Corzine. Described by Vice President Joe Biden as, “America’s Governor,” Jon Corzine possesses precisely the knowledge and ideas of leadership necessary in this tumultuous time.
As president of the Rutgers Democrats, I am here today as, yes, a partisan. So-called partisan politics is decried in the media as a dirty word, but let’s take a look around. We should be proud to call ourselves democrats! I am proud to be here with my peers from the University, I am proud to be here with Rutgers President Richard McCormick, and I am very proud to be here with Jon Corzine and Barack Obama!
Speaking now, to those specifically of my generation, we must realize that what our president has said is true – that this is our time! We can no longer sit idly by with indifference and apathy. We possess the potential for immense political power, but many of us choose to ignore our obligations, instead finding blissful ignorance in hollow distractions. Don’t get me wrong, we all require and deserve outlets and levity, but I beg you to focus your energies this fall to the task at hand of re-electing Governor Corzine.
Today we have had an open and honest dialogue with one another. Yes, we are, for the most part, all democrats, but it need not be limited to one party. If explained gently, with kindness and patience, our friends from the other side of the isle will recognize what we know to be true. I recognize politics will not change overnight, but I also acknowledge that is changing.
I believe we stand at a precipice. Bastions of the old guard have signaled that even they are aware of the change that is so undeniably in the air. Look to Washington, where a woman serves as Speaker of the House, where a man who less than century ago could not even vote, serves as our nations president. Look to Europe, once separated by differences, now united in their common humanity. Look even to the Vatican, where Pope Benedict speaks not of maintaining the status quo, but of large changes. Up until today, there has been only tacit acknowledgement of the immense change that is taking place. Well, today, I challenge you to join me in turning the page. The seemingly endless chapter of old, dirty politics is over – we must turn the page. The days we were on the sidelines are over – turn the page. Gone is the fear and insecurity – We will turn the page this November! But let it not stop there. Let us continue this frank discussion. Let us continue to have ideas and to take action. We must endeavor to bring back the public square that is so necessary for the vital exchange of ideas, which drives that steady march of progress.
So with that said, I invite those of you Rutgers students, to join our organization, the Rutgers Democrats on Facebook, Twitter.com/RUDems, or rudemocrats.com so we can continue this discussion as we move forward.
Finally, I would like to thank the Corzine campaign for the opportunity to speak today. I also would like to express my appreciation to Rutgers University. They have gone above and beyond to help our student organization in this effort. I am proud to be a product of Rutgers University.
In closing, Martin Luther King told us that, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” I want you to know that this matters! November 3rd matters! Our state matters! And re-electing Jon Corzine matters! We will not be silent! Go vote and spread the word! Thank you!