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I'm not sure if it's already been posted somewhere else, and if it has, then I'll remove it. But I think it's worth repeating, and not just because it's the first time in the campaign where McCain has seemed sincere.

Well, except for the part about Palin. :)

Text of Republican John McCain's concession speech Tuesday in Phoenix, as transcribed by CQ Transcriptions.


MCCAIN: Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you for coming here on this beautiful Arizona evening.

My friends, we have — we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly.

A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him.



To congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.

In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.

This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.

I've always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too.

But we both recognize that, though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation's reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.

A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters.

America today is a world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States.

Let there be no reason now ... Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.

Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer him my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day. Though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.

Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain.

These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.

I urge all Americans ... I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.

It is natural. It's natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again.

We fought — we fought as hard as we could. And though we feel short, the failure is mine, not yours.


MCCAIN: I am so...


MCCAIN: I am so deeply grateful to all of you for the great honor of your support and for all you have done for me. I wish the outcome had been different, my friends.


MCCAIN: The road was a difficult one from the outset, but your support and friendship never wavered. I cannot adequately express how deeply indebted I am to you.

I'm especially grateful to my wife, Cindy, my children, my dear mother ... my dear mother and all my family, and to the many old and dear friends who have stood by my side through the many ups and downs of this long campaign.

I have always been a fortunate man, and never more so for the love and encouragement you have given me.

You know, campaigns are often harder on a candidate's family than on the candidate, and that's been true in this campaign.

All I can offer in compensation is my love and gratitude and the promise of more peaceful years ahead.

I am also — I am also, of course, very thankful to Governor Sarah Palin, one of the best campaigners I've ever seen ... one of the best campaigners I have ever seen, and an impressive new voice in our party for reform and the principles that have always been our greatest strength ... her husband Todd and their five beautiful children ... for their tireless dedication to our cause, and the courage and grace they showed in the rough and tumble of a presidential campaign.

We can all look forward with great interest to her future service to Alaska, the Republican Party and our country.

To all my campaign comrades, from Rick Davis and Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter, to every last volunteer who fought so hard and valiantly, month after month, in what at times seemed to be the most challenged campaign in modern times, thank you so much. A lost election will never mean more to me than the privilege of your faith and friendship.

I don't know — I don't know what more we could have done to try to win this election. I'll leave that to others to determine. Every candidate makes mistakes, and I'm sure I made my share of them. But I won't spend a moment of the future regretting what might have been.

This campaign was and will remain the great honor of my life, and my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude for the experience and to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Senator Obama and my old friend Senator Joe Biden should have the honor of leading us for the next four years.


Please. Please.

I would not — I would not be an American worthy of the name should I regret a fate that has allowed me the extraordinary privilege of serving this country for a half a century.

Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone, and I thank the people of Arizona for it.


MCCAIN: Tonight — tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama — whether they supported me or Senator Obama.

I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender.

We never hide from history. We make history.

Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you all very much.

Originally posted to yann on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:31 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  To John McSame.....Who is Barack Obama? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bottles, Front Toward Enemy

    The next President you SOB!!!

    I dislike Harold Ford even more every time I listen to him on MSNBC...what an asshole.

    by larryww on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:37:18 AM PST

  •  If Obama had been running against this McCain, (16+ / 0-)

    the race might have been closer.  Maybe McCain will use his remaining time in office to try to improve his party and steer them from their extreme positions.  He could yet salvage his reputation.

    Now, go spread some peace, love and understanding. Use force if necessary. - Phil N DeBlanc

    by lineatus on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:37:18 AM PST

  •  now, if only (3+ / 0-)

    he could un-speak the hundreds of ugly, deceitful and divisive speeches he made over the last year.

  •  Booing Sarah Palin? (6+ / 0-)

    Did anyone else hear a few boos for Palin in Phoenix when McCain mentioned her.  I heard some cheering (not a huge amount), but I think I also heard a few boos.  Anyone else?  Or were those voices in my head?

  •  I think .... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magenta, Front Toward Enemy

    McCain's speech was good ... it was quite obvious he was very sad... and he lost beause he deserved it .. thats a fact ... now what i wait to see is palin's future in politics

    There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.Indira Gandhi

    by linx on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:41:54 AM PST

  •  It was a gracious speech (7+ / 0-)

    but it can't erase the fact that when McCain had the power to try to reshape his party and marginalize people who are allied with the GOP for purely hatefilled reasons, he didn't.  He elevated an ideologue in the form of Sarah Palin instead.  I think McCain knew from the beginning that in all likelihood, he was going to lose this election.  He chose to lose in a fashion which IMO did a net harm to this country by flooding us with zealotry and giving credibility to the extremists who pretty much destroyed his party with their kookish theories and disdain for fellow Americans.  The speech just seemed to be in line with the McCain pattern: do the wrong thing, then sound decent later when there's nothing left to lose.

    "If you don't have a record to run on...You make a big election about small things." - Barack Obama

    by GN1927 on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:42:35 AM PST

    •  Possible, I guess (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927, MemphisProfessor

      on the other hand, he could have acted like a sore loser and urged his people to continue the fight. Which wouldn't have done America any good at all.

      •  You're right, he could have (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but IMO there was nothing in it for him to have taken that route, and John McCain always does what's best for John McCain.  Again, it really was a gracious speech, but it just feels like the same McCain pattern: do the wrong thing if he can detect a benefit; behave decently afterwards when there's nothing more to gain by not doing so.

        I think he's going to go back to the senate and reassert his friendly maverick image.  But it won't erase his actions when he was the leader of his party as its presidential nominee and rather than reforming it, he gave in to the GOP's worst excesses.

        "If you don't have a record to run on...You make a big election about small things." - Barack Obama

        by GN1927 on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:59:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Pals around with terrorists" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927, Front Toward Enemy

      "Black Panthers Intimidating voters"
      "That One"
      "Sex Ed for kindergarteners"

      Too little, too late, McCain.

      You fail.

      Who was Bush_Horror2004, anyway?

      by Dartagnan on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:51:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  He was a class act last night. (6+ / 0-)

    Even if some of his supporters were downright thuggish. He should rest for awhile.  A campaign like he just went through is really not good for one's health.

    I was disturbed throughout the process that he let himself get hijacked by creeps and I think he now regrets his decision to go that route.  Unlike some others, Nixon comes to mind, I think strong work on ethics reform, tranparency, and cutting pork will help him rehabilitate his reputation rather quickly.  

    This concession speech was the first step.

    "Those dunes are to the Midwest what the Grand Canyon is to Arizona and the Yosemite is to California." - Carl Sandburg

    by Critical Dune on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:44:07 AM PST

  •  After her actions? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geronimo, Katie71, Front Toward Enemy

    I hope the people of Alaska kick her sooo far out of office she will need to borrow one of Todd's snow machines to find her way back home where she can first hit her knees and thank her God that breathing is an automatic response and second that she is roundly ignored and shunned for her bile, lying tactics in this election.

    •  What's the matter with Alaska? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Maggie Swan, Front Toward Enemy

      They re-elected Ted Stevens, so I no longer have much faith in their good judgement.

      I'm glad to see that Palin is politically wounded, but not dead, after this exerience.  She will be around to lead a faction in the coming bloody republican civil war.  Let her turn her ignorance and hatefulness on the more moderate, corporate republicans for a while.  Fun for all of us.

      •  I'm starting to think Alaska's kinda stupid. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Everything I've seen out of that place over the past 6 months or so has been just a cavalcade of ignorance and stupidity and extremist bullshit.  I'm sure they've got some good people, too, but they're being misrepresented by some loud morons.  The leadership of that state seems to be all crooks.  Palin, Stevens... it's like they admire corruption or something.  I hope the good people there manage to shake these scumbags off...

        "Does anybody know what the difference between a bulldog and a hockey mom is? The bulldog gets vetted!" - Bob Barr

        by Front Toward Enemy on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:05:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sarah's future (0+ / 0-)

      I just asked my husband what he thought the future has in store fir S.Palin...He swears she will become a pundit and I pretty much agree.

      " My goal in life is to be as good of a person that my dog already thinks I am"

      by Limabean on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:59:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Too little, too late (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geronimo, Dartagnan, Captain Pants
    As I said before. So someone wrote a pretty speech for him, big deal. This doesn't somehow nullify two months of venom-spewing, in which he and his campaign insinuated that Obama was a terrorist, a communist, a socialist, someone who was not proud of his country, someone who did not want the best for his country, someone who--as Palin said--now thought the terrorists were the good guys--

    No, a pretty speech penned for you by someone else simply does not undo a deliberate decision to take the road that McCain invested millions of dollars in taking.

  •  It was classy (7+ / 0-)

    I was proud of THAT John McCain.  Had he been the candidate, things might have been different.

    •  He sounded like DeKlerk in 1993 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      conceding to Nelson Mandela.

      The historic parallels were striking.

      The dancing in the streets across this land reminded me of that day in South Africa as well.

      "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

      by greendem on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 07:53:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greendem, npb7768

        The parallel that really struck me was Robert E. Lee telling Southerners at the end of the Civil War to stop fighting and to accept the results.

        Had he not done that, Confederate rebels might have continue to fight a guerrilla war, making reconciliation impossible.

    •  Which McCain is the myth? (0+ / 0-)

      We have two versions of McCain, the straight-talking individualist, and the undisciplined, selfish opportunist.

      I submit that the straight talker is the myth.  Consider McCain's early adulthood.  He did very poorly at the Naval Academy (894 out of 899).  His Naval career was aided by his father the admiral at every step.  By all accounts, including his own, he was a callow party boy as a young man.  He divorced his swimsuit model wife when she was broken by a car accident.  He then married a pretty rich girl with whom he'd been having an adulterous affair.  Her family set him up in politics just as his own had in the Navy.

      Throughout this campaign, we have witnessed a soulless opportunist with no moral center or political philosophy.  His choice of Palin shows the worst of his selfishness - and his laziness!  He had months to vet a VP and build an organization, but yet again, Johnny couldn't be bothered to do his homework.  Country First: what crock of shit.

      I believe that it is the straight talking, America first McCain that is the myth.

  •  I noticed on NPR this morning (0+ / 0-)

    that when they replayed clips from McCain's speech, they cut out the crowd reaction (boos, shouts).

    Not surprisingly, when Obama mentioned McCain, the crowd clapped.

    People in my neighborhood - the ones who proclaim themselves "squarely upper middle class" and support Bush/McCain - are just like those in McCain's crowd last night who were booing. Sadly, they really have no idea what "class" is.

    Obama-Biden and the Tampa Bay Rays - hittin' it out of the park!

    by Maggie Swan on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:05:04 AM PST

  •  Todd Palin... (0+ / 0-)

    Did anybody catch Todd Palin's face during McCain's speech?  He looked like his hair was going to light on fire!

    He was PISSED, not sad.  Another immature republican tool.

    Proud member of the "Reality Based Community"

    by dsagherian on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 08:22:26 AM PST

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