Arnold Schwarzenegger

California Governor-Elect Victory Speech

delivered 8 October 2003, Los Angeles, CA

 Audio mp3 of Address


[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]

Jay Leno: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you. I think -- Thank you very much. I think tonight is a testament of just how important one appearance on "The Tonight Show" can be, ladies and gentlemen.

You know, the critics said, "Well, Arnold can't be an administrator; he's an actor." "Oh, Arnold can't be an environmentalist; he is an actor." "Oh, Arnold can't be governor; he's an actor."

And of course, Arnold was thrilled: For the first time in his career, the critics are calling him an actor, ladies and gentlemen! This is a historic night!

Apparently, we have all been wrong -- it is pronounced "C-A-L-E-E-F-O-R-N-E-E-A"

Ladies and gentlemen, the Governor of the great State of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger!

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. What a great celebration. Thank you all for being here today. Thank you. Thank you.

You know, there are so many people that I want to thank. But I want to start first with my wife, Maria. I want to thank her. I want to thank her for the love and the strength that she has given me. I want to thank her so much for being the greatest wife and the most spectacular partner. And I know how many votes I got today because of you. Yes. Oh, yes. Oh, yes.

I also want to thank my parent in-laws, Eunice and Sargent Shriver, right over here. And also, all my brother-in-laws and extended family. As a matter of fact, all the people behind me are the Shrivers. Okay, so you know. I want to thank them also for coming out here. I want to thank them all for coming out here from Washington. I really appreciate their support.

And I want to thank also our children: Katherine, Christina, Patrick and Christopher. So much, yes. I want to thank them for being so understanding, even though they asked me every day, "When is this campaign going to be over?"

Unidentified Audience Members: It's over. It's over. It's over!

Schwarzenegger: I know. That's what I -- That's what I tell them. It is over. So I really appreciate their understanding.

And I want to thank also all the people on this campaign, all the people that volunteered, the hard work they've put in there. All of you people here.

I want to thank them for manning the phones, for stuffing the envelopes, for handing out the fliers, handing out the yard signs, handing out the bumper stickers, raising the money, the fantastic job they've done working around the clock, all of them on my behalf.

I wouldn't be standing up here today if it wouldn't be for you all.

I want to thank all the volunteers, all of you for the great work.

I want to also thank the people of California. From the time I came over to this country, you have -- you've opened up your arms to me. You've received me. You've given me opportunities, endless amount of opportunities. Everything that I have is because of California. I came over -- that's right. I came here with absolutely nothing. And California has given me absolutely everything. And today, and today, California has given me the greatest gift of all. You have given me your trust by voting for me. Thank you very much to all the people of California for giving me their great trust.

And let me tell you something. I will do everything I can to live up to that trust. I will not fail you. I will not disappoint you. And I will not let you down. For two months, I've been speaking out about the needs of bringing back fiscal responsibility to this state, bringing back the positive business atmosphere, bringing back businesses, bringing back jobs, and bringing back our education. It's very important that we need to bring back the trust in the government itself.

For two months, I went up and down the state and listened to the people. I met good, honest, and hard-working people, people that want to raise their families here, people who want to do business here, who want to have jobs here, who want to educate their kids here, people that want to enjoy the clean air and the clean water. And I have heard your voice. I have heard your voices loud and clear.

We have to now -- We have tough choices ahead. The first choice that we must make is the one that will determine our success. Shall we rebuild our state together? Or shall we fight amongst ourselves, create even deeper division and fail the people of California?

Well, let me tell you something, the answer is clear: For the people to win, politics as usual must lose.

I will reach out to Republicans, to Democrats, and Independents, to those who supported the recall and those who did not, those who supported me today, and those who did not. I want to reach out to everybody, to young and old, rich and poor, people of all religions, all colors, and all nationalities. I want to be the governor for the people. I want to represent everybody.

I just received a gracious phone call from Governor Davis. Yes, a very gracious phone call from Governor Davis, who promise me that he would -- no, no, no, no -- gracious phone call from Governor Davis, ok? I really appreciated that call, because he promised me that he will work hard to make this transition smooth, and I really appreciated that phone call -- yes. And I believe -- I believe very strongly that a smooth transition is very important for the people of California. And this is why I instructed my transition team to treat their counterparts with the utmost respect.

I will call tomorrow the leaders of the legislators [legislatures], both Democrats and Republicans, and I will let them know that my door will always be open, that I want to work with them together for the good of California. And the same goes also for the members of the legislators [legislatures]. It doesn't matter if they're to the left or to the right or to the center. I extend my hands to them. I want to work with you. I need your help. And to the other candidates for governor, I also extend to you the olive branch of political reconciliation, so that we can move California forward.

Tonight, we are all here celebrating, and we all have all reasons to celebrate. But tomorrow, the hard work will begin. Oh, yes.

And in closing, I want to say something to you that I've been saying for the last two months, traveling up and down the state. I want to be the people's governor. I want to represent everybody. I believe in the people of California, and I know that together we can do great things. I know that together we can make this again the greatest state of the greatest country in the world.

Thank you very much. Thank you. And God bless all of you. Thank you.

Book/CDs by Michael E. Eidenmuller, Published by McGraw-Hill (2008)

Page Updated: 12/14/23

U.S. Copyright Status: Text = Public domain. Audio = Uncertain.



































Top 100 American Speeches

Online Speech Bank

Movie Speeches

Copyright 2001-Present. 
American Rhetoric.
HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.