Sunday, October 31, 2010

How Ron Johnson beat Feingold: "This is not my life's ambition"

While much of the political world has been obsessing over the troubles of Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, or the sparring over Rand Paul and "Aqua-Buddha" in Kentucky, or the controversies surrounding Sharron Angle in Nevada, another Republican newcomer has been running a quiet, direct, and devastatingly effective campaign. Here in Wisconsin, Ron Johnson, a businessman who has never before run for public office, appears poised to pick up a Senate seat for Republicans, defeating Democratic legend Russell Feingold and becoming the first GOP senator elected from the state since 1986.


"This is not my life's ambition, not by a long shot," he tells the Chamber. "But the fact is, I'm 55 years old. I grew up in America that valued hard work, that celebrated success. Remember that? We weren't demonizing doctors. We were putting them up on a pedestal. We were telling our kids, 'Look at that person, emulate them.' Work hard, this is the land of opportunity, you can be anything you want to be. And unfortunately in my lifetime, what I have witnessed has been a very slow but sure drift, and I would argue in the last 18 months just a lurch, toward a culture of entitlement and dependency. It's not an America I recognize. It's not an America that works."

"America is exceptional, and that's being squandered," Johnson concludes. "So if there's one little phrase that tells you why I chose this path, I decided to run for the U.S. Senate because I think we're losing America. I don't think that's overdramatic. I don't think I'm overstating the case. And I'm just a guy from Oshkosh, a husband and a father. We're a group of people who refuse, absolutely refuse, to let America go without a knock-down, drag-out fight."

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