Tonight is a big night here in Massachusetts. Thousands of delegates from every corner of the Commonwealth are making their way to Worcester right now for the Massachusetts Democratic Party convention.
Around 8 pm this evening, I'll be addressing the convention and asking delegates to help us stay in this fight. And if all goes well (knock on wood!), I'll accept our party's nomination for reelection to the U.S. Senate.
This kicks off a new, intense phase of our campaign here in Massachusetts. I'm glad to have you by my side in this fight as we head into the general election.
As I sit here making the final edits to my speech, I keep thinking about this time six years ago, when I went to this same convention during my first-ever political campaign.
It was a bit like a giant pep rally crossed with a student council election. And I had exactly 15 minutes to make my pitch for the delegates -- talking about how families were getting pounded and it was time to take on Wall Street, time to take on Big Oil, time to fight back.
Then, I got backstage to wait for the results. And wait, and wait, and wait. I think I was on my tenth game of Go Fish with my granddaughters by the time they called me back and announced the result: I had received 95.7% of the vote, meaning the primary process was over!
The race was going to get even more intense over the next few months, but I understood that the Massachusetts Democrats' endorsement meant the people in that arena were ready to fight. I was ready, too.
But a lot of people would say something very different: "I've never been involved in politics in my life." "I've never campaigned for anyone." "This is is my first time."
I never in a zillion years thought I was going to run for public office. But one of the first things I learned when I got into the race was that nobody does this on their own.
We won because we fought in the trenches together. And we did it the old-fashioned way: by building a grassroots army. The biggest one that Massachusetts had ever seen.
More than 350,000 people chipped in to help fuel our campaign. That's more contributors than to any Senate campaign in the history of this country. More than 50 percent of our contributions were for $25 or less, and more than 80 percent were for $50 or less.
And here's the one that really gets me: The weekend before Election Day, 19,000 people right here in Massachusetts knocked on more than 346,000 doors and made more than 747,000 phone calls.
That is hand-to-hand grassroots work. And that is what democracy is about.
We live in an America right now where people despair. They despair not only about our leadership -- they despair about whether or not their own voices will ever be heard. They despair about the future of this country, and they despair about the future of this democracy itself.
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