I'm writing today first and foremost to thank the people of Delaware.
I sought the Democratic nomination for president because I felt so strongly that America was at a crossroads. There was -- and is -- such a need to fundamentally change our foreign policy and refocus our national attention on the middle class.
There is so much at stake: our national security, the physical security of our children, the retirement security of our parents, the economic security of our families. If we don't get the Iraq exit strategy right, our children and grandchildren will be fighting there for a generation to come. If we don't solve the health care crisis now, we may never get it under control.
So when people say, "This is the single most important election in my lifetime," they're exactly right.
And while there's so much at stake, there's also room for tremendous opportunity.
We have a historic opportunity to bring our country together, as well as unite the world. People are ready -- our nation is ready and the world is ready -- for renewed American leadership.
And although I ended my campaign for the presidency, I hope that the issues I brought to the floor -- the need for a 21st-century education plan; a plan to end our dependence on foreign oil; a path toward universal health care; and most of all, the need for a sound foreign policy -- contributed to the debate.
I hope that because you allowed me to be a presidential candidate, our country will focus more seriously and more honestly on solving these challenges. I'm going to continue to work for these changes because I believe the opportunity for America is immense.
But most of all, I want to thank the people of Delaware -- those who volunteered for me in other states, those who contributed your time and energy for me here at the national headquarters in Wilmington, as well as those of you who permitted me as your senator to make this effort.
The Delaware presidential primary is coming up on Feb. 5. Under the law, I am not able to remove my name from the ballot. But I want to make it clear that I strongly urge all Democrats participating in the primary to cast their vote not for me, but for one of the candidates still actively seeking the nomination. They are Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards.
When I began this campaign I committed to run on the issues that would revitalize this county and re-establish our leadership in the world. I still believe that must be done, and with the continued support of the people of this great state, that's what I'll keep working my hardest to do in the U.S. Senate.