Gabrieli's kickoff speech--full text

I think I've captured Gabrieli's digressions from the prepared text, but I kept getting distracted by his mother-in-law Smoki Bacon's outrageously large glasses, so I may have missed a flourish or two.

Thank you all so much for being here today.

[Thanks his family. Smoki Bacon's specs are colossal.]

But I especially want to thank those of you who spent weeks traveling across Massachusetts, going door to door to collect the 500 signatures we needed to get onto the ballot at the Democratic convention in June. You know, a lot of people said it couldn't be done, but you did it. Thank you.

Now, I owe you an answer, so here it is: Yes! Yes, Massachusetts faces great challenges. Yes, it's time to start getting results. And yes, I am running to be the next governor of Massachusetts.

Now, I'm doing this for a lot of reasons, but more than anything, I'm doing this for one reason: I love this state. You know, I went to college here. I met my wife here. I'm raising my five kids here. And unlike Johnny Damon, I'm staying right here.

You know, when I moved here, I couldn't imagine any better place in this whole country to live. There's so much opportunity, so much history, such incredible people, and I think all of us who live here still feel that way. But when I look around today, I see jobs leaving the state. I see people moving elsewhere because they can't find an affordable place to live. I see the cost of just about everything skyrocketing. And I see too many parents worried the American Dream is fading for their kids.

But you know what I don't see? I don't see Republican governors getting the job done to solve our problems, and I'm tired of it. For 16 years, all we've heard is promises, but we still haven't seen results. We're 46th in the nation in job creation, we have the highest cost of housing, millions of tax dollars are wasted every year. And yet there's no accountability to voters and taxpayers.

Even so, without fail, every four years, Republican candidates for governor tell us balanced government alone is the most important thing. But what use is balance if the only result we get is stagnation?

Like so many people across Massachusetts, I'm frustrated with the lack of results we're getting from government--but I'm not discouraged. I refuse to believe that Massachusetts can't do better. And I will always believe that with the right leadership, government can get real results for people.

Real accountability for real results. Those principles have guided me my whole life. I've spent my entire career bringing people together and getting things done, and I'm proud of the results.

I spent 17 years helping dozens of innovative young businesses succeed and grow. In total, over $1 billion was invested in the economy, and we helped create over 100,000 new, good jobs.

These are real results, and I'm proud of them. [NOTE: This phrase, which you're about to see again, was italicized on the text handed out to reporters, so it's obviously a major point Gabrieli wants to hammer home. Oddly, however, he kept offering variations on this theme, which was a little self-defeating. Read on.]

I've always been passionate about education, and when I realized our kids spent only 20 percent of their time in school, I started my own nonprofit foundation devoted entirely to expanding after-school programs. Thousands of kids now have a place to go after school to learn and be safe...

I'm proud of the results, and they're real. [?]

It always bothered me how little Massachusetts pension money we actually invest in our own states. So I brought people together, and working with Treasurer Cahill, we convinced the state to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the local economy--money that's expanding opportunity and home ownership, and creating jobs in Massachusetts as we speak.

That's a real result, and I'm proud of that. [??]

When Mitt Romney threatened to veto stem-cell research--research that could cure diabetes, Parkinson's and countless other diseases--I joined with the Legislature, academics, doctors and parents to fight back, and we overrode Governor Romney's veto.

That's a real result, and I'm proud of that. [Sigh.]

And really, at the end of the day, that's what we want from our governor--results that help people.

Aren't you tired of all these politicians who stand in front of you every four years and make nothing but big pronouncements, like "Mission accomplished," or "No child left behind"? Please, find me one person who's for leaving kids behind. Aren't we all for better schools?

The bottom line is, leadership shouldn't be a competition to see who can make the grandest promises--it should be about who can get the best results. Results you can measure; results that are tangible; results that improve people's lives and make our state a better place to live.

Now, how do you get those results? You bring people together from all sides. Governor Romney was right to join me in calling for after-school programs, but he was wrong to oppose stem-cell research. When he was right, I worked with him; when he was wrong, I worked against him. In both cases, we've gotten results. As governor, I'll work with both Republicans and Democrats to get things done. I won't get bogged down in petty political battles; I won't make empty promises; I won't shy away from accountability.

When it comes to issues of principle, I’m going to give a clear answer. Gay marriage? I’m for it. Death penalty? I’m against it. Abortion? I’m pro-choice.

But when the issue is complicated, I’m not going to give you some meaningless, poll-tested answer that gets us no closer to solving problems.

Like on jobs--you know, you need more than a pledge to personally recruit jobs. You need specific ideas, like getting big pension funds and university endowments to invest in the local economy. Like investing in technologies most likely to create jobs of the 21st Century, such as stem cell research and renewable energy. And it’s the same on education. It’s a complicated issue. Blaming teachers doesn’t get us anywhere. And anyone who claims you can just throw money at the problem doesn’t get it. You need concrete ideas, like expanding learning time and encouraging enrichment through after school programs. Like making college tuition more affordable by making college savings tax deductible. Like creating magnet science and technology high schools for our most promising students.

Ideas like these--you know, they may not make the biggest headlines, but I know they’ll get big results. This is a time for serious leadership. We’ve got real problems here in Massachusetts, and we can’t just sit around and wait for Washington to solve them for us. We need a governor who will bring people together to try new things. A governor who will tell you where he stands. A governor with concrete ideas to make people’s lives a little easier. A governor who’s not going to promise everything and deliver nothing. A governor who has a proven track record of getting things done. A governor who’s going to hold himself accountable.

My name is Chris Gabrieli. And I’ll be a governor who solves problems and gets results. In this campaign, I’m going to travel all over the state, pounding the pavement, doing whatever it takes to talk directly to people and win this race. And I believe that if I do my part, and you do your part, then come November, we’ll have a great victory for Massachusetts.

My name is Chris Gabrieli. I’ll be a governor who solves problems and gets results. And I can’t wait to get started. Thank you very much.

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