We Have to Learn to Win Again
Posted by Chris Bell on October 24, 2006 - 7:37am.
Back during the Texas State Democratic Convention in June, we started telling people that we needed to take a page out of UT Coach Mack Brown's playbook. After the Longhorns won the National Championship, Coach Brown said that they "had to learn to win again." In the Democratic Party, we're learning to win again too.
Of course you can argue that the history of the past 12 years tells us not to get our hopes up. But 2006 is not 2004 or 2002 or any of the other past six election years. It's a new day and we can either wake up and seize it or forfeit an incredible opportunity.
In the last few days, I have had a number of people tell me, "Thank you for running." I appreciate that, but I have also politely told them that I would prefer that they wait a few weeks and then thank me "for winning."
And because I didn't get in this race for governor just so that I could say that I ran. I got in the race because I want to make Texas a better place for my children and for your children, and we can't do that unless we win. Running has given me the chance to spread an important message. Winning will give us a chance to make it reality.
Everything has changed since the debate. The energy on the ground is extraordinary. Now that we have been able to saturate the television airwaves, people are waking up to the unique opportunity we have if we stand united.
Republicans are disheartened and dismayed right now. After the debate, we immediately started receiving emails from Strayhorn and Friedman supporters telling us they were switching their allegiance. But most interesting were those who said they had never voted for a Democrat in their lives but would be supporting me this time around. And even if the angry, disappointed Republicans choose not to get on board with me, they have at least two other ways to express their displeasure with Rick Perry, further driving down his percentage.
On Sunday, hundreds of us marched together down Austin's Congress Avenue carrying a sign that read: "The People of Texas Are Back." It was to honor the memory of Ann Richards and to look toward the future. It was an incredible demonstration of unity as early voting begins today. I told those gathered, "Today they stopped us here at the Capitol gates. In January of 2007, we go all the way inside, my friends."
What can you do? Call and send emails to friends. Block walk. Put up signs. Volunteer at your local Democratic headquarters. And think about how much it would mean to you to have a new Democratic governor and help make it happen with a financial contribution.
Our grassroots support has been incredible, and some donors have stepped up in a very big way, but right now I need your help. Rick Perry will spend close to $10 million between now and Election Day to attack me and distract voters from his miserable record. We need every dime we can get to withstand the onslaught.
We saw in the 2004 presidential election that grassroots Democrats working together can raise more money than the corporate lobbyists and entrenched insiders that are backing our opponents. That hasn't happened yet in this race, but it's not too late. Please, take a minute to think about what a Democratic governor in Texas would mean to you. Think about what you can afford to contribute to make that happen, and act accordingly. If you do that now, we'll have the resources we need to fight back against Rick Perry's attacks and keep our momentum rolling through Election Day.
When we win, we'll take down the "No Trespassing" sign from the fence surrounding the Capitol and will remove the "For Sale" sign from the governor's office. It is going to happen.
I feel it in my gut. I know the future will be so bright - once we learn to win again.
Thanks for all you're doing to support this campaign. With your help, we will win on November 7th and give Texas back to the people.