3/20/2008

My First Victory Speech

As you may know, The 7-10 was voted the winner of the Political Blogging Scholarship awarded by College Scholarships.org. The winner of this scholarship must write a victory/acceptance speech which will be posted on the College Scholarships.org website. I have never written such a speech before because I had always considered myself more of a political blogger, rather than an actual politician. But I guess this is something I needed to learn how to do. I've already submitted my speech to the scholarship president, but I felt I should post a copy of it here as well.

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It is with great honor, pride, and humility that I accept this award from Collegescholarships.org. What an amazing opportunity and thrilling experience.

Before going any further, I would like to congratulate David Manes and Jake McGuire for their selection as finalists and for putting together quality blogs that inspired me to improve my own blogging. I hope that both of you will continue to share your insights on the daily political news cycle on your blogs, and I wish you both success in your academic and professional endeavors.

There are so many people whom I would like to personally thank for their tireless effort, unwavering support, and unshakable dedication to this cause. There may be too many people to list here, but I'm going to try. I owe so much to my new and old friends, current and former coworkers, current and former teachers and supervisors, friends of friends, coworkers of coworkers, the University of South Carolina faculty and student body, the Duke University community, my wonderful friends in Japan, the Mixi community, those who left supportive comments of me and my blog on the Collegescholarships.org webpage, and anyone else who supported me at the ballot box and told their friends about this wonderful opportunity.

I would also like to give special thanks to Reginald and Shannon Williams, Oshri Hakak, Tala Ono, John Bailey, the Nohara family, the South Carolina blogosphere, the faithful readers of my political blog, my old Duke friends, and of course, my beautiful wife Eriko, my wonderful sister Brandi, my supportive Aunt Judy, my loving mother, and the rest of my family for their ideas, encouragement, inspiration, get out the vote efforts, and sticking by me regardless of how far up or down I was as the votes were being counted. And lastly, I must thank Collegescholarships.org for providing this unique opportunity and Taegan Goodard and the Political Wire team for informing me of it. To all of you, this honor could not have been achieved without you.

As an independent blogger, winning this scholarship shows that people are not as bimodal in their thinking as the media, punditry, and chattering classes often lead us to believe. No one political party has a monopoly on good ideas, nor is one political party incapable of foolishness. Democrats have good ideas, and Republicans do too. I strongly believe that voters respond when you respect their political intelligence, call it like you see it, act with integrity, and are not afraid to go against the grain that is nominal partisanship. You need two wings to fly a plane, and I'm glad the voters took note of this in this scholarship campaign. I can only hope that real politicians do so as well regarding elections whose stakes are far higher.

Politicians who pick up on this and try to integrate the best parts of both parties into their own platforms stand to go far in their political careers because politics is not about beating the Democrats or teaching Republicans a lesson. It's about the intelligent and meaningful exchange of ideas and looking for practical ways to integrate these ideas into the public square for the betterment of all.

Political blogging may be what I do for fun now, but this scholarship contest has made me think about participating in politics on a more substantial level myself. This experience has been quite educational and has provided me with some unique insights on the way politics is conducted and what goes into political campaigns. It is great to now have a bit of firsthand experience regarding the intensity, organization, determination, creativity, strategy, and networking required to achieve success in this profession.

I will use this scholarship to continue my journalism and political science studies at the University of South Carolina. However, the lessons learned from this scholarship campaign should serve me well in the professional life that awaits me beyond. I don't know exactly what lies ahead or where this political blog will take me, but I sincerely hope that we can take that next step together.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
-Anthony Palmer


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Thank you all for your continued support of me and The 7-10.

7 comment(s):

Nikki said...

Anthony if I were to ever go into politics (which I never would because there would be too much dirt haha) I would hire you as my speech writer!! for real...you have soooo many possibilities, you are multi-talented there is no doubt about that!! congrats!! :)N

Reginald Harrison Williams said...

Again,

Congrats, my friend.

Congrats...never can say this enough.

:)

Schenck said...

Congratulations, Palmer... I love the last line. Spoken like a true politician. Actually, I kinda chuckled a little. :-)

David M Manes said...

Congratulations, Anthony. Your blog is very impressive and I plan on reading it regularly now. I enjoy your analysis and insight.

The whole contest inspired us at Political Cartel to overhaul our blog as well (which I guess you noticed since you have the updated link in your speech).

Anthony Palmer said...

David Manes,

Thank you for being a class act regarding this scholarship. I personally think it would have been nice if everyone who was selected as a finalist could win something, but I do hope that you will participate in the scholarship contest again next year. I have checked out your updated site and it's looking good. Please feel free to contact me regarding advice or if you just want to shoot the political breeze.

Keep turning out a quality product, David. I'll check out the Political Cartel from time to time. Glad to have had the opportunity to "race" against you. Good luck with your classes at Harding U. and keep blogging!

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All,

Thank you again for the kind words. This was a great opportunity that taught me so much about what it's like on the stump. It also gave me a bit of firsthand experience with GOTV (get out the vote) operations and political strategy. If rounding up votes is anything like what I had to go through earlier this month, my hat goes off to politicians everywhere.

Again, I really appreciate your support. Maintaining this blog has become a labor of love and I love reading what you all have to say about what I write here. Thank you all for keeping the discussions thoughtful and civil and for contributing to what this site has become! Let's keep it going!

The Blue South said...

Anthony,

Congratulations on winning the scholarship. It is truly an honor of which you are deserving. Thanks also for bringing a voice of moderation to the blogging community as a whole, and especially for tying that voice to the University of South Carolina and the state as a whole. We appreciate what you're doing and wish you the best in your future endeavors.

Chris McNeal said...

Anthony,

Congratulations on winning. We at the Cartel were pulling for my friend David but I must say, I have been extremely impressed with the writing on this site. Continue the fantastic work!

Chris