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Saturday, November 11, 2006

And That's the Way it Is

Unseasonable weather gave us a reason to pitch ourselves this week into the outdoor work that needed catching up. In two days, we painted four tall columns on the house, waterproofed the deck, cleaned the gutters, raked those 1.8 billion leaves of which I spoke, and moved all the summer stuff and plants out of the elements.

By yesterday, the elements were in full force! as they are everywhere--even in political campaigns and seasons.

First, let me say that for an experience akin to being threatened minute by minute with a shredder--I loved campaigning. I still love politics, and--for all its heartbreaks--the American political process as it is meant to be.

There are just no words, however, for the turn things can take. Those of you who are savvy about that process (and about how it can be abused) understand what has happened here. Those of you who may not be so politically active are in various stages of personal disappointment. Believe me, we ALL share that one.

A heartfelt thank you to each of the 90,000-plus people who honored me with your vote--and with it your confidence and your trust. For a couple of years now folks have said "Oh, I HOPE you get in." It is especially humbling when they are praying for it, for the nation and for you. It is gratifying when they say: "It's time for a change." And nothing short of thrilling to hear: "We NEED you in there!"

I wish there were some alternative way to repay the smaller but ever-growing circle of you who supported me in so many ways beyond that. If I said it to myself once, I said it a couple of hundred times: "I had better win this one, because I can't BELIEVE what this person is putting into this!"

On Election Night, I remarked that God has blessed me with getting to know and work daily with the men and women who have made up our campaign staff. A special singling out has to go to our regional coordinators and campaign volunteers. They carried the message and the fight far beyond what we could have done alone--all over this sprawling, gerrymandered 17th District.

One of the true rewards of this particular campaign was to make the friendship and see the commitment and work ethic of college Republicans--from Western Illinois University, from Knox College, from Blackhawk College, from Augustana College and from UI-Springfield. Do not fear for the future with the likes of young people like these!

Our future is determined by our past, and on this Veterans Day, I am proud to have had the privilege of shaking the hand of every veteran with whom I knowingly came in contact. You try it. Not once was I rebuffed: after all,have you ever rejected someone thanking you for putting your life on hold for them? For laying your life on the line? Let me tell you, if ALL of us did that, it wouldn't be too many handshakes for these men and women. It is because of them that we enjoy a free, fair election process. It is because of them that America goes on.

If I had one wish, it would be...... well, OK, if I had a SECOND wish, it would be that every American, every voter would somehow be involved with a campaign--running for office or helping someone else run. Each of us would quickly learn that you can't do it alone. And each of us would develop a deep appreciation for the many, many elected officials out there and what they go through just to SERVE, before ever stepping into the difficult job itself.

I don't know what's ahead--and that's a feeling and a state of being which I plain despise. Maybe, as I said tongue in cheek to a reporter, this was one very public way to put one's credentials and references out there in search of meaningful work. There's a lot of experience, know-how and energy here waiting to be used.

Whatever happens, I do know that I hope my life in some way continues to include politics. We have a unique, beautiful opportunity in these United States to determine our fate. God bless us every one--God bless the U.S.A.


Anonymous Steve Daniels said...


Congrats on a hard fought campaign. You represented yourself well and deserved serious consideration. Keep up the good work and best of luck.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Edgar Reid said...


I had really hoped that you could break the Democrat hold on the district. What a terrible district that has been created to keep a Democrat in office.

I moved to the district in 1983 and voted for Ken McMillian in 1984.

Your campaign is the first political campaign I ever contributed money to. I was pleased to meet you at the Canton Airport fly in breakfast.

I wish you well in whatever the future brings.

Edgar Reid

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Bill Bloom said...

Andrea, with the resources at your disposal, you came close to pulling off a miracle. We are proud of you.

Maybe you helped sweat a few pounds off your opponent...

You have helped me realize we have to campaign year-round, every year. We have to watch and comment on the issues of government as they occur. In this gerrymandered district, we have to have an educated voter if we are to stand a chance. My commitment to you is that I will stay engaged year round in this effort.

Bill Bloom
Moline, Il.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Clarke Barnes said...


You surely know that I wanted you to go to Washington to represent a small part of Illinois but more particularly to represent people who understand the need to base their desires, actions and commitments on character and responsibility, not greed, special interests and personal rights.
I have been very pleased to get to know you, to support your quest and to be identified with a person of your caliber and integrity.
I also know what it feels like to lose a long political battle, when you commit so much of your time and resources to pursue a dream. (I have been there twice - once in a four county race and once a 21 county race)
Life goes on, we recognize our only true need is our relationship with Jesus Christ. I didn't have to be an Appellate Judge, you don't have to be a U.S. Representative to have a lasting impact for good on the lives of many struggling people.

Bless you, my friend. God will use you in a new and exciting way!

Clarke Barnes

12:49 PM  
Blogger mike81859 said...

Thank you Andrea for all your hard work and dedication to the 17th District. You did an excellent job in getting your message out and heard by many.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one could have delivered the needs of the 17th District better than you, Andrea. Unfortunately, Hare rode on Evans tails (and if they all knew about the Abramhoff scandal, would they choose oherwise?). So in 2 yrs let's see how much more they can hang themselves........ HARE is fat - FIGHT HIM ,RUN AGAIN!!!!!


10:43 PM  

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