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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Gov. Rell's oath of office and inaugural speech

From yesterday, here's video of Gov. Rell's oath of office and speech. Comments on her speech are still coming in from the traditional and online media. I'll give you my two cents and let you know what people are saying about the speech later.

Governor M. Jodi Rell's Inaugural Address
January 3, 2007

Ladies and gentlemen, family and friends, members of the Executive Branch, the Legislature, and the Judicial Branch. Thank you for joining Lt. Governor Fedele and me on this special occasion.

To the people of Connecticut, thank you for the honor you have bestowed upon me, in electing me to serve as your Governor. It is an honor that I hold deeply within my heart.

And to my fellow Constitutional Officers, who also begin new terms today -- Dick, Susan, Nancy and Denise -- I offer my congratulations.

This is a day of new beginnings, new promise and renewed commitment.

It is a day marked by pageantry and purpose - a day of high spirits and higher expectations.

For it is on this day that those of us honored by holding public office proudly and humbly affirm our acceptance of the public trust.

It is a trust that has been passed down by generations - indeed over three centuries.

A trust that requires us, as the guardians of government, to toil with genuineness of spirit and intention.

The people of Connecticut look to us for understanding and compassion.

They look to us for reasoned action and responsive governing. They look to us for leadership and inspiration: leadership borne of a desire to make things right, to truly make a difference...

And inspiration that flows from the purity of purpose and integrity.

As the people of Connecticut look to us, we must look within ourselves so that we never lose sight of or waver from our purpose: our sincere reason for public service.

Public service is an incredible blessing - and a burden of immense weight: a blessing of great rewards for helping those in need; and a burden of sometimes unrealistic expectations.

But it is a burden made light if we accept our challenge of leadership, mindful that we will be measured by our actions not our words, by our policies not our politics, and by the resoluteness of our commitment.

In many ways, as we begin a new year, a new administration, and a new General Assembly term, we are at a crossroads in Connecticut - a crossroads of needed economic, social, cultural and educational change. A crossroads crying out for our leadership and our inspiration.

Sometimes though, crossroads are met in personal journeys. The day I first decided to run for office - a seat in the state House of Representatives - I was at a personal crossroads.

I had been asked to run and I agonized over my decision. My children were young, my family needs were many. Candidly, I asked myself if I was up to the job of running and serving in the legislature.

I hesitated, but one day as my husband Lou and I were returning home from
a trip, we crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge. It was during the crossing of that long span that Lou convinced me that I could do it - and should do it.

And he committed to helping me, in ways large and small, so that I would do it.

I was fortunate to have someone in my life who enabled me to embrace a new opportunity, to take a new direction. Someone who stood at the crossroads with me, and in this case, who literally helped me cross the bridge to a new future.

All these years later, after serving in the state House and as Lieutenant Governor and now having taken the oath of office as Governor in my own right, I believe that we stand once again at a crossroads.

It will be up to us - those of us who hold the public trust, who share in the blessings and burdens of public service - to help the people of our state cross the bridge to a new future.

But as we stand at our crossroads, we must also recognize that there is a great yearning in our state.

A yearning for change, for improvement and also for greater equality.

And yet there is a yearning for stability for preserving the history, the tradition and the uniqueness of Connecticut. A yearning: a conflict between change and constancy.

A restlessness to address disparities, meet unmet needs and chart a new course.
Yet, a reluctance to let go of aspects of our heritage we have always known.

Yes, we are at a crossroads of great importance and inspiration. This is our call to leadership. This is our time to dream of a Connecticut that is yet to be.

For the responsibility is ours - beginning anew today – as we take the oath of office, to shape the Connecticut that we seek, but is yet to be.

The challenges we will face along our journey will be many. For change, improvement and greater equality are rarely easily won. And the deep-seated problems confronting us in education, energy, health care, taxation and job creation are not easily solved.

There will be many voices and many visions. The din of democracy,
though sweet, is often deafening.

As your Governor, I will forcefully lend my voice, freely share my vision, and help to shape a Connecticut that is yet to be.

I will seek to lead and to inspire. I will guard the public’s trust and continue to do honor to public service. And I will stand hand-in-hand with the people of Connecticut as we embrace new opportunities and take new directions.

For if we are to accomplish anything, we must work together in this time of
great change and great challenge.

And I commit myself to creating that Connecticut that is yet to be -
a Connecticut that must be - a place of opportunity where every person has the chance to chart their own course, by the integrity of their own heart.

Thank you and God bless the Great State of Connecticut.