Kirsten Gillibrand has said she wants to see more women in politics.
I say, "Let's give her what she is asking for."
New York and America face a momentous election in 2012.
It is time for choosing between two radically different paths and there is nothing routine in the decisions that we are called to make. If we can be sure of anything, it's that the immense challenges facing our state and our country will not be overcome by the same people in the same offices casting the same votes for the same failed policies.
Men and women of good faith in every party want to see a new way of doing business in Washington. That is what I intend to offer in this campaign and that is what I will deliver as the next United States Senator from the State of New York.
I learned as a young girl that the Empire State was a center of history, culture, free enterprise, industry, agriculture, and natural beauty. I want to work for the people of New York to make it shine brightly again as a jewel in our national crown. Already, many good people all across this great state have put their trust in me. I intend to make myself worthy of that trust.
My political views were formed during my college years, when Ronald Reagan was President. I served under two great Republican Senators, Bill Armstrong from Colorado, and Gordon Humphrey from New Hampshire: Senate leaders in the Reagan Revolution who voluntarily served just two terms because they believed in the ideal of a citizen legislature.
I had the great honor of serving under two of the greatest living judges in America: Judge Ralph Winter on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York and Justice Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court of the United States. I learned firsthand from them about the imperative of judicial restraint - of judges sticking to the text, history, and principles of the Constitution instead of substituting their own political preferences for those of the people as expressed through their elected representatives.
I've worked in the private sector, in private law practice in New York, and most recently, I worked to build a national nonprofit group to help win U.S. Senate confirmation of President Bush's great nominees to the Court: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito.
The work closest to my heart has been taking care of my family. Like many women - and men too - I've felt the crush of being a caregiver for generations on both sides: caring for young babies and toddlers at the same time as ailing and dying parents, and trying to practice law at the same time. I understand the struggles faced by so many New Yorkers with serious disease, disabilities, and problems with health insurance.
My siblings and I nursed my mother through five years of inevitable and progressive paralysis and death from Lou Gehrig's disease. My husband and I are raising our children in New York City, with all its culture and opportunity, but where I see every day the struggles of parents trying to raise children of good character and values in a society that is often poisonous.
It breaks my heart to see children who cannot get the same wonderful public school education that I had and who do not have access to the same educational opportunities that my own children have because of the corrosive effects of big government and self-interested bureaucracies on our public schools.
What really propelled me into this race is love: love for my children, our state, our country, and our written Constitution, which I believe is our greatest export to the rest of the world.
There is nothing wrong with America, or New York, or the rich, or the poor, or our children, or our senior citizens. Something is very wrong with the elected officials like Barack Obama and Kirsten Gillibrand who wield power over them.
There may be some years when a comfortable, entrenched, well financed incumbent Senator can take re-election for granted, but 2012 is not one of them. Politicians like Senator Gillibrand take far too much for granted as it is.
They vote for $862 billion in "stimulus" spending, which "stimulated" nothing except corporate cronyism as our hard-earned dollars went to Obama campaign supporters and failed companies like Solyndra.
This is intolerable.
They run up outrageous levels of debt - almost $16 trillion of it to the point that our national debt exceeds our gross domestic product. In midtown Manhattan, we've had a national debt clock for over 20 years. Thanks to President Obama, Senator Gillibrand, and their fellow Democrats, the United States has added 5 trillion dollars in new debt since 2009, the debt clock is running faster and faster every day.
We have reached the point where even interest on the debt - every dollar of it - is now paid with more borrowed money.
This is intolerable.
Year after year, Senator Gillibrand and her friends fail even to produce a federal budget - the most basic job that we taxpayers are paying them to do.
This is intolerable.
They tell us that we can make up for their lack of an American energy policy and their failure to build pipelines and refineries by inflating our tires, tuning up our cars, driving electric cars, and using algae to create energy. This as gas prices have doubled since Barack Obama was elected and Kirsten Gillibrand moved to the Senate side of Capitol Hill.
This is intolerable.
Year after year, Senator Gillibrand, now ranked by National Journal as the #1 most liberal Senator in America - due in part to her vote as one of only seven Senators to continue funding the scandal-ridden ACORN organization with taxpayer dollars - and her elite liberal crowd in Washington treat the money we earn as theirs for the taking- even here in New York, one of the highest-tax states in America.
This is intolerable.
With so many serious issues and responsibilities before the United States Senate, New York needs a Senator who thinks for herself - not just someone who rubber-stamps the Obama agenda or checks with Chuck Schumer and says, "Me too!"
Independence is a quality that New Yorkers used to count on in our Senators- regardless of party. Think of names like Kennedy, Buckley, Moynihan, Clinton, D'Amato: a lot of political differences come to mind. But they have something in common, too: they are names associated with purpose, with ideas, and with stature worthy of a Senator from New York, not a cheerleader on the sidelines of an administration whose policies have so clearly failed.
And this brings me to the heart of my candidacy.
The main purpose and idea of my campaign is not original. I can't claim authorship. An inspired group of New Yorkers and other Americans came up with the idea, about 225 years ago.
It's called limited self-government, of the people, by the people, and for the people.
No one in this country is above the law, and no one is beneath it. The law is what protects the weak from the strong, affirms the dignity of every person, and overlooks no one in its demand of equal justice.
The principles and ideals of the American Constitution and Declaration of Independence are what give us hope for a future that is bright for businesses large and small, for jobs and free enterprise and private property in New York, for safety for our families, and for individual freedom.
More than anything else, our Constitution and its principles are what unite us, and always have.
I won't go to Washington looking for enemies, but I won't go there fearing anyone either. With all the troubles our country faces, we can no longer take time for granted. I know I am not the only one who sees this nation at a turning point- where things could get much worse or much better- depending on the choices we make in this election.
President Ronald Reagan, who carried New York two times, reminded us that "government cannot be clergyman, teacher and parent. It is our servant, beholden to us." This is the spirit of my campaign - and I will ask the support of every man and woman in our state who believes in the limits of government and the possibilities of freedom.
This is the right path. And it is the only path can lead us to victory on the sixth of November.