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A lot of you know that I had kind of a close election last time.  I won by 312 votes.  And when you win by 312 votes, you know that there are a lot of people out there who worked hard, who made more than 312 phone calls, who knocked on more than 312 doors – a lot of people who literally made the difference between my going to Washington and my not going to Washington.

That’s a lot of people I have to thank.  A lot of people I have to tell that they could be the reason I won.

So, let me start by saying thank you.  Thank you if you picked up a phone.  Thank you if you knocked on a door.  Thank you if you went to a rally.  Thank you if you wrote a check.

But 2008 was about more than just my race.  It was about choosing a new course for our state, and for our country.

And that year, many of you didn’t just do one volunteer shift, or go to one rally, or write one check.

You worked and worked and worked. You gave more money and time than you could reasonably be expected to give.  You wore out your shoes and sacrificed your hobbies. You blew your diets and ignored your families.

Remember how hard you worked?  Remember how tired you got?  Remember how much your legs hurt after four hours of canvassing?  Remember how gross it was when the earpiece on your phone got all sweaty after a long phone bank?

Well, let me ask you this.  If, back in 2008 – when you were working harder than you had ever worked before – if, back then, you could have looked four years into the future, and seen…

…the day health care reform passed and millions of kids finally got coverage despite their pre-existing conditions…

…the day Wall Street reform passed and we finally won one over the big banks and credit card companies…

…the day the Recovery Act passed and put Minnesotans back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges…

…the day the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed and women could finally fight for equal pay…

…the day President Obama implemented the DREAM Act and millions of young immigrants finally got the chance to contribute without the threat of deportation…

…and, yes, the day the Iraq War finally came to an end…

…if you could have looked four years into the future and seen all those great days, would you have regretted even one minute you spent working your heart out?

No.  Me neither.  And that’s why I’m ready to work even harder over the next 12 days.

Because we don’t know what the next four years are going to look like.

But here’s what we do know.

We know there are going to be a lot more great days in the next four years if Barack Obama is our President. And if we make sure Democrats keep the majority in the Senate.

So what you do in the next 12 days isn’t just about the next four years.  It’s about the next generation.

And if we could see into the future, I know we’d all walk out of here ready to cancel everything on our calendars for the next 12 days so we could work even harder than we did four years ago.

Because, as Paul Wellstone said, the future belongs to those who are passionate and work hard.

So let’s get out there and do this.  Let’s get up early and stay up late.  Let’s knock on doors and make phone calls.  Let’s wear out our shoes and, yes, if you have to, ignore your families.

I promise, we won’t regret it.

Originally posted to Al Franken on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 09:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by DK Poli, Barriers and Bridges, J Town, and I Vote for Democrats.

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