Text of Gov. Mark Dayton's inaugural remarks, as prepared for delivery
Let's Get Minnesota Working Again ... By Working Together
Thank you, Chief Justice Gildea.
Vice President Mondale; our excellent Lt. Governor, Yvonne Prettner Solon, and other distinguished guests; my wonderful sons, Eric and Andrew, and family; my friends; my fellow Minnesotans.
I am honored, humbled, and grateful to stand before you as Minnesota's 40th Governor.
I especially want to thank my fellow citizens, who voted for me, and placed your trust in me. I will do my very best to serve you well.
To those who voted for my two worthy competitors, I will do my very best to also serve you well.
I believe we all share the same aspiration -- for "a Better Minnesota" -- for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. We may disagree on the details. May we never forget, however, that our honest disagreements and our freedom to express them are the essential rights and great strengths of our democracy.
Yet what a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago today, I was sworn into office in the United States Senate. Back then our country was on top of the world and on course to stay there. Tragically, two massive federal tax cuts, two lengthy wars, and two devastating recessions have damaged our pre-eminence and our prosperity.
Here in Minnesota, two state tax cuts, two wars, and two recessions later, we stagger from one huge deficit to the next. 208,000 Minnesotans are out of work. And a state which used to lead most others in economic growth has fallen toward the bottom.
The past decade has left our country, our state, and many of our citizens worse off than before, with lower standards of living, larger debts and deficits, and less assured of future success.
The stakes now are high. This coming decade will determine whether we suffer the historical declines of previous superpowers, or write a new chapter for future historians. If anyone can do it, we can. And we must.
Previous generations of Minnesotans and other Americans faced graver dangers, under worse conditions, with fewer resources, than we do today. They summoned their collective knowledge, courage, and resolve. They persevered. And they prevailed. By working together.
They won their independence. They preserved our nation. They overcame the Great Depression. They worked their way to the top. By working together.
Now it's our turn, our challenge, and our responsibility. Now is the time for us to summon our best, to be our best, to do our best.
To all Minnesotans, I say: Let's get Minnesota working again...by working together. That is what we are called upon to do - for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.
To the 201 Minnesota legislators, who will take office tomorrow, I say: Let's get Minnesota working again...by working together. That is what we were elected to do.
We were all elected by just a fraction of Minnesotans; but our responsibility now is to serve all Minnesotans. If we serve only the people who voted for us, we guarantee destructive division, and we risk paralyzing gridlock. We must do better than that. The people of Minnesota expect better from us than that. Their futures depend upon us being better than that.