The Melody is deeply uncomfortable that it was just asked to play "Everyday People" on its sound system. This is a high-class establishment, folks, and the "everyday people" in the room are underdressed. Except for the firemen, who are overdressed. What!
Finally, the crowd over here musters some enthusiasm, as Kitzhaber takes the stage at about 8:45 pm. He tells us that he just got a "very gracious" call from his "good friend Bill Bradbury" to concede; "what Bradbury won't concede is his love for Oregon" (NEVER CONCEDE!). Kitzhaber is looking forward to "working shoulder to shoulder with Bill... towards a bright and prosperous future to bring Oregon together."
Kitzhaber's speech is mostly about the economy, and the lessons we can learn from Oregon's past: "Just as the recession of the 1980s marked a transition from a resource-based economy to a technology-based economy, our current recession... offers us an opportunity to breathe new life into the green sector."
"It is that understanding of Oregon history that can help lead us out of the current recession, to help make this the best place in the nation to do business... by investing right here in the state of Oregon." Kitzhaber continues, noting that it's that understanding that can also help improve education; narrow the achievement gap; "ensure that every high school graduate has access to at least 2 years of post graduate secondary education;" ensure that the nation's new health care legislature actually makes health care more affordable; help preserve Oregon's environmental heritage; and "make sure rural Oregon fully participates in our economic recovery." (I'd thought the crowd had stopped paying attention, but he got some applause with the rural Oregon line.)
"To be successful in this great endeavor, we can't rely on the tools and strategies we used during the 20th century. This a time to celebrate our history and all the great lessons of our past, and to use those lessons to forge a new future."
"I am very very proud to be a Democrat in Oregon tonight," he says. "I believe that the hunger for progressive change that people voted for tonight goes far beyond our party. We're going to meet the future not as Democrats, not as Republicans, not as independents, but as Oregonians.'
"The last eight months, I have run straight at our problems and challenges, not always telling people what they wanted to hear, but telling them what they needed to hear. We are going to give Oregon a campaign about honestly confronting the challenges we face.”
"Tonight, let’s recommit ourselves to each other [AWW!—Eds] and our state, because tomorrow we’re going to continue to tell the truth... [and] continue to face our challenges with confidence and optimism.” 9 pm, and he's done, and so am I. Over 'n' out.