Tammy Baldwin Acceptance Speech (Transcript)

PHOTO: Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, left, and Democratic candidate, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, participate in a debate at Marquette University, Oct. 26, 2012, in Milwaukee.
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This is the ABC News transcript of Tammy Baldwin acceptance speech to the U.S. Senate for Wisconsin.

"Thank you!! Wow! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, thank you everybody. Tonight—tonight we have won a huge victory for Wisconsin's middle class!

And it is that battle for Wisconsin's middle class that has been what this journey is all about. Everywhere that I have gone in our beautiful state, people have told me that they want a senator who will listen to the middle class when they want help. A senator who will stand on the side of the middle class. A senator who will wake up every morning and fight for the middle class. They have told me that they want an economy in which everyone plays by the same rules and does their fair share!

They have told me that they want a level playing field. One where China cant cheat our workers, millionaires cant dodge taxes, and wall street cant crash our economy with risky gambling. They have told me that they want to pay down our debt without short changing our future. They have told me that they want to be able to rely on the guarantees of Medicare and SS not just today but for future generations. Most of all, they have told me the special interests have too much power in Washington and it is time for the people's voice to be heard!

Well, the people's voice was heard tonight, Wisconsin! And come January, your voice will be heard in the U.S. SENATE!

I am honored and humbled and grateful and ready to get to work. Ready to stand with President Barack Obama. And ready to fight for Wisconsin's middle class!

Now, I am well aware that I will have the honor of being WI's first woman senator! And I am well aware that I will be the first openly gay member!

But—but I didn't run to make history. I ran to make a difference! A difference in the lives of families struggling to find work and pay their bills. A difference in the lives of students worried about debt. And seniors worried about their retirement security. A difference in the lives of veterans who fought for us and need someone fighting for them and their families. A difference in the lives of entrepreneurs trying to build a business and working people trying to build some economic security. But in choosing me as the person to tackle those challenges, the people of WI have made history. And I can't tell you how grateful I am in the trust you have placed in me, and all I can tell you is that I will work as hard as I can to keep that trust!

I know that many of the people listening to the speech tonight may not have voted for me, but I want you to know I will stand up for you and I ask you to work with me to move our state forward. Here is the promise I want to make you: I WILL BE A SENATOR FOR ALL OF WISCONSIN! Now, our state has had some incredible leaders from both political parties and all across the ideological spectrum. And I have a lot of good examples to follow. One is Herb Cole. You know that when he first ran for the U.S. Senate, his slogan was NOBODY'S SENATOR BUT YOURS. But now his senate became a title, one that he has earned every day that he has served the state of Wisconsin. I am so grateful to have had his support throughout this campaign and humbled to carry his deep commitment to public service. I also want to thank Tommy Thompson for his life in public service, and before I do I want you to indulge me on an acknowledgement on a very personal level. I just got off the phone with him, he was very cordial, congratulated me and wished me and everyone of us well. But, I want to tell you a quick little story about Tommy Thompson on a very personal level. I still remember the first time I met him. I was 30 years old and a Freshman member of the Wisconsin assembly. He was greeting new members of the WI legislature at the governor's mansion. We didn't talk politics. I explained to the Governor that I was Joe Baldwin's daughter and I had never met him until his father passed away. Tommy's face lit up. He had known my father in college and would delight in sharing remembrance every time I saw him and that meant the world to me. Tommy and I didn't always agree -- in fact, in this campaign we didn't agree in much. But there can be no doubt that he shares my love and all of our love in Wisconsin!

Tonight I want to reach out to his supporters and ask them to join me in standing up for our belief that we are all in this together. Now, make no mistake, I AM A PROUD WISCONISN PROGRESSIVE!

Which means I believe in holding the powerful accountable. I believe in fair play, and I believe that when people are struggling, you don't talk down to them, you help lift them up. And I believe in Wisconsin's workers and work ethic that I will fight for every day. But I also believe we can only move forward if we move forward together. Now, this has been an incredible journey. One that has shown me the best our state has to offer. WI workers put the made in America label on boots of our soldiers, engines, and ships. I met with potato farmers in Clover. I ate wall-eye in Fund lack and the best cream puffs in the world at the state fair. And I am grateful to so many people tonight. I want to thank the people of the second congressional district for giving me the honor—cheers and applause—for giving me the honor of serving you for the last 14 years. And I want to congratulate Mark Pokhan who will do a terrific job representing—cheers and applause—It has been a privilege to serve in the House of Representatives and I had a committed and dedicated team in my staff who do a tough job campaigning in my name but on your behalf!

Led by my dear friend and chief of staff, Bill Murat, I want to recognize this amazing group of people. I am grateful for all the elected officials and public servants who stood with me throughout this campaign. In particular, Glenn Moore who famously reminds me whenever she sees me I WAS FOR YOU BEFORE YOU WERE FOR YOU. And Russ Feingold.

I have never been a part of a campaign organization as amazing as this one. And I want to thank my friend and campaign manager, Karen Johansson for helping me build this team of determined, inspirational, and incredible staff, supporters, volunteers—it has been incredible and I am grateful for the campaign. Now, you have all heard about my grandparents who raised me. My grandmother was born in 1906 before women had the right to vote, and lived to see her granddaughter elected to the House of Representatives!

I know she would be proud tonight. I am happy and so fortunate to have with me tonight my mother Pam! Now— Among all the things I could tell you about her, she had the prophetic wisdom to name me Tammy. How could she have known that one day there would be headlines reading TAMMY VS. TOMMY? I am also thrilled to be joined by my Uncle and Aunt. And I just want to thank my family for their love, support and encouragement. So tonight a long journey comes to an end but we know our work is just beginning. And whether you voted for me or not. Whether tonight you are celebrating a victory or dealing with a defeat, I hope that when we wake up tomorrow morning we are ready to work. Ready to fight for our middle class. Ready to keep the promises to our seniors. Ready to have a level playing field for our workers and make sure everyone has a fair shot. READY TO MAKE OUR COUNTRY STRONGER MORE PROSPEROUS AND MORE EQUAL. READY TO DO WHAT WISCONSINITES HAVE DONE FOR GENERATIONS. STAND TOGETHER AND MOVE FORWARD. THANK YOU!"

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