Michael S. Dukakis photo

Remarks Conceding the Presidential Election in Boston, Massachusetts

November 08, 1988

Thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you all very very much.

Kitty and I and our family can't even begin to express our gratitude to you and to hundreds of thousands of people like you across this country who have given so much to us, and to the American people, in the last 18 months.

Just a few minutes ago, I called Vice President Bush and congratulated him on his victory. And I know I speak for all of you and for all the American people when I say that he will be our president and we'll work with him. This nation faces major challenges ahead, and we must work together. And I extended my best wishes to him and to Mrs. Bush, and the members of the Bush family.

Kitty and I also had a chance to talk to Lloyd and B.A. Bentsen-and we-and I know we express your feelings when I say that he and she were superb running mates. They're wonderful friends. I'm so proud of that choice. So proud of both of them, and we have formed a friendship which will last as long as we live on this planet. They are two wonderful people, and Lloyd Bentsen has been one of the great assets of this campaign.

Just 18 months ago on what some of you will recall was a cold and snowy April day, I asked you for your support in running what I call a marathon for the highest honor that the American people can bestow on anyone. I said there'd be good days, and we had a lot of good days didn't we? And I said there'd be not-so-good days, and we had a few of those too. And I talked about another marathon that I had run in April of 1951, when I found myself struggling up a hill or two and people saying to me, "Looking good Duke go to it." That is what you have done, I'm very grateful to you. We had those good enough so good days. We reached Heartbreak Hill and overcame it, and then we found the strength to make that final kick. And tonight my heart is filled with gratitude that everyone who has made this extraordinary experience of ours possible-From my friends and neighbors here in Massachusetts, to those 3,000 people who were waiting for us at 3 o'clock this morning in Des Moines, Iowa.

As I think back on this marathon, I'll never forget the beauty of this magnificent land, from those beautiful colonial villages of New Hampshire, to the farmland of Iowa, to the magnificence of Yellowstone and the California coast. But most of all, I'll remember the people I've met. Their strength, their values, their generosity, and their hospitality to Kitty and me and to our family. And it is very important that we continue to fight for them and for families all across America.

We've got to fight for that young family in Levittown out in Long Island, New York who wants to buy a home in the community in which they grew up and can't afford it. We've got to fight for that family in Sioux City, Iowa that can't afford health insurance to pay the bills for its young son. We've got to fight for those high school students in Los Angeles who are saying "no" to drugs and "yes" to their future. We've got to open up that door of college opportunity to every young person in this country who is qualified to do college work. We've got to fight to end the shame of homelessness in this country and this great and good nation ought to be able to do that. We've got to fight for those unemployed steel workers in McKeesport, Pennsylvania and Youngstown, Ohio who ought to be able to have a good job at a good wage to support themselves and their families. And we've got to fight for those families I met with in Glen Avon, California whose children today are permanently crippled because they happen to live next door to one of the worst toxic waste dumps in the United States of America.

This campaign has not been just about me and Lloyd Bentsen. It's been about these families and the challenges they face every day of their lives. It's been about all of us and the values and the ideals that we share. That's what we've been fighting for, and that is what we must continue to work for every day and every week and every month of our lives.

I'm going to continue to work for these goals with you, with my fellow governors, with a Democratic Congress, and I'm proud to say that we not only will continue to have a Democratic Congress, but it looks as if a strengthened Democratic Senate. We'll be working with the new administration and above all I'll be working with the people of Massachusetts.

Let me say thank you to many, many people in this country, those who gave us their support, those hundreds of thousands of volunteers who worked so hard and so long and so tirelessly. I want to thank the members of the world's oldest and greatest party, the Democratic Party, for all that they did. I want to thank this wonderful family of mine, Kitty and John and Andrea and Todd and Lisa and my mother and Kitty's Dad. They've been terrific.

And let me simply conclude by saying this to all of you and to people like you all across the country, and especially to those of you who are young people, and there are many young people here. There is nothing you can do in this world more fulfilling and more satisfying than giving of yourself to others and making a contribution to your community and your state and your nation and your fellow citizens.

And one of the things that I'm proudest of in this campaign is the thousands and thousands of young people who are involved. I don't want you to be discouraged. I want you to be encouraged by what you've done in this campaign. I hope many of you will go into politics and public service. It is a noble profession, a noble profession.

I remember what my dad used to say to me over and over again: Much has been given to you and much is expected of you. Much has been given to the young people of this country. The opportunity to live and grow up in the greatest nation on the face of this Earth, and you have a responsibility to give something back.

Our hearts are full. We love you all. We love this country. And we're going to continue to fight with you and the American people, so that every citizen of this country can be a full shareholder in the American dream.

Thank you all very very much.

Michael S. Dukakis, Remarks Conceding the Presidential Election in Boston, Massachusetts Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/345905