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'Really a prairie fire of new hope and zeal'

January 06, 2008|From the Associated Press

Excerpts from the victory speech by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to his supporters in Des Moines after the Iowa caucuses:

I'm amazed, but I'm encouraged, because tonight what we have seen is a new day in American politics. A new day is needed in American politics, just like a new day is needed in American government. And tonight it starts here in Iowa.

But it doesn't end here. It goes all the way through the other states and ends at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. one year from now.

I think we've learned three very important things through this victory tonight. The first thing we've learned is that people really are more important than the purse, and what a great lesson for America to learn. Most of the pundits believe that when you're outspent at least 15 to 1, it's simply impossible to overcome that mountain of money. . . .

Well, tonight we proved that American politics still is in the hands of ordinary folks like you and across this country who believe that it wasn't about who raised the most money but who raised the greatest hopes, dreams and aspirations for our children and their future. . . .

What is happening tonight in Iowa is going to start really a prairie fire of new hope and zeal. And it's already happening across this nation because it is about we -- we the people. We saw it tonight. We've seen it in other states. And we're going to continue to see it, because this country yearns and is hungry for leadership that recognizes that when one is elected to public office, one is not elected to be a part of the ruling class; he's elected to be a part of the serving class. Because we the people are the ruling class of America.

G.K. Chesterton once said that a true soldier fights not because he hates those who are in front of him, but because he loves those who are behind him. Ladies and gentlemen, I recognize that running for office, it's not hating those who are in front of us. It's loving those who are behind us.

It's recognizing that behind us are great patriots dating back to the beginning of this wonderful country, when 56 brave men put their signatures on a document that started forth the greatest experiment in government in the history of mankind, and gave birth to the idea that all of us are created equal, and we have been given by our creator inalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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