...although the sweet tea and BBQ is delicious.
One year from tonight, I know we will have our victory at last. As you know, it was just one short year ago tonight we came within 330 votes of victory because of you and your willingness to support a teacher and former mill worker who had no background in politics other than voting. You sustained me when no one else had belief in my campaign.
We have never stopped running since that night, but last night in Biscoe we officially kicked off our campaign with friends and supporters at our headquarters and with folks joining us via teleconference and live blog as well. What a great day it was!
We started out at 7 a.m. talking with commuters in Charlotte and hearing their concerns about rising gasoline prices, access to health care, education, and the economy. Then I was pleased to have Majority Leader Steny Hoyer meet me at Charlotte Douglas Airport for a tour of the USO to visit with troops and their families. I appreciated his kind words for our campaign and his support for our fighting men and women.
During the tour of the USO, I met a married couple from Stanly County on their way back to their base in Virginia. The wife is active duty and they have two young daughters. I also met with a soldier on his way home from Iraq for an emergency leave to visit his father in New York who is battling cancer. The sacrifice and service these young families make for our nation every day is commendable and inspiring. The troops, their families and the organizations such as the USO that work to offer comfort and assistance to them deserve our support. We have to start our campaign to change America today. We have lost more troops this year than any other of the war as of today. (I encourage all of you to donate items to the USO and remember they get no government support. They need supplies and they need volunteers.)
We all have to take action and reach out and give of ourselves to projects other than just political ones. That's what it's all about - Taking Our Country Back to help people. Last year we sponsored cheap gas for people hit hard by ever-increasing fuel costs, and it brought home to me the wonderful opportunity to do good with our campaign. Campaigns should be more than just TV spots arguing with other TV spots.
We have a marvelous opportunity to start our campaign to change America today. We don't have to wait for Election Day. We can help rebuild our economically devastated communities starting now. We cannot depend on politicians and politics to solve our problems. Last night, we asked folks to bring unwrapped toys and non-perishable food to our campaign kick off and we got a great response. There are too many families in need and we can all spare something to make their upcoming holiday better. Those families can't wait for a year from tonight.
I challenge you to demonstrate your belief in your fellow man and go do something good for others this week, volunteer your time and talent and help make someone else's life better. Visit a USO and comfort a soldier or their family member, tutor a child, buy a few dollars of extra canned food and contribute to your local food bank, call a struggling friend and offer to take care of their children, or help a senior citizen or disadvantaged person with some yard work. Remember a time in your life that someone's help made a difference in your life and do the same for another whether it is a friend or a stranger. Remember, this is YOUR chance to make a difference.
A year from tonight we can celebrate more than just a political victory. We can look back and see that we ran more than a campaign, we made our community a better place and made peoples lives richer. Isn't that why we are supposed to be doing this in the first place? It's why I stood up, and YOU stood with me and believed.
Now we can all believe again. Today's Charlotte Observer says "Democrats regret not supporting Kissell in '06." Today's News & Observer says "Kissell's failed bid upsets Hoyer." But today's Fayetteville Observer really says it all with simply "Kissell kicks off campaign," and this from Majority Leader Steny Hoyer...
While Hoyer was briefly in Charlotte, he met with Kissell and then attended a fundraiser for Rep. Heath Shuler, the Democrat who represents western North Carolina.
Hoyer said Kissell could have made a similar fundraising, or political, request but he didn’t. He asked Hoyer to tour the USO facility. This, Hoyer said, shows Kissell’s character.
“Most importantly,” Hoyer said. “Kissell understands people.”
I really appreciate Rep. Hoyer saying that, and coming with me to visit with the troops and good folks at the USO. Because I've got to tell you friends, it aint all sweet tea and BBQ
Thank you for your support and all you do to make the world a better place! Good luck to good people in all of tonight's elections.