Thursday, January 04, 2007

A New Day Dawns

If you had told me one year ago, while a small group of us were conspiring together at the Town Diner in Watertown to win the caucus for Deval Patrick, that I'd be today trying to squeeze myself into my wedding tuxedo for his inauguration, I'm not sure I'd have believed you. Sure, I'd have hoped you were right -- I wouldn't have volunteered so much of my time if I thought it was a hopeless cause -- but I don't think I ever allowed myself to picture winning.

If you missed today's inauguration festivities (as I did), there's a live blog from the Globe that gives a good flavor. You should also read Governor Patrick's inaugural address, which Blue Mass. Group has posted in full so I don't have to here. The speech was vintage Deval, and those who have followed him will recognize familiar themes and turns of phrase. I would like to point out, though, my favorite part:

We know what to do. We know that our challenges were long in the making and will require long-term solutions. We know what to reach for. And we ought to know that either we invest today or we will surely pay excessively tomorrow. We know that investment in education today beats investment in prisons tomorrow.

Quick fixes, gimmicks and sound bites are not enough. That's not in the spirit of what built this country. That is not what cleared the forest and planted New England's earliest farms. It's not what inspired our great universities and museums. It's not what created the boom in textile manufacturing in its time or a flourishing biotech industry today. It's not what freed the colonies from oppression or the slaves from bondage or women from second class citizenship.

What has distinguished us at every signature moment of our history is the willingness to look a challenge right in the eye, the instinct to measure it against our ideals, and the sustained dedication to close the gap between the two. That is who we are.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm ready for a challenge. Let's get to work.

Well, maybe after the gala...