Gov. Doug Wilder
Concluding Remarks of the State of the Commonwealth Address

Joint Session of the Virginia General Assembly
Richmond, Virginia

January 8, 1992

 [Remarks Prepared for Delivery |  C-SPAN Video]

...I know that we are a people that will lead the way for America and therefore the world into the 21st century, and we don't need a big package of programs to get us there, either. Rather, we need to be reminded of the strength and wisdom of our heritage and to embrace values of hard work common sense, and motivation that got us where we are today. I will not let our people down. And I ask each of you to join with me. Surely, we shall not fail.

Now, having considered what I have determined to be the State of the Commonwealth, I would ask you to allow me a moment to address an issue which indirectly affects the Commonwealth. I have called on the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia to give unselfishly. I have said this is a time for some of us to forgo that which they had intended to achieve. I have spoken around this nation on the need for healing. And I am reminded of one who sought to heal and as a physician was wisely admonished, physician heal themself. That admonition has rung in my ears as if those words were spoken directly to me. How hypocritical it would be of me to seek to lead in times like these without giving my all.

Balancing the rigors of running a state government and conducting a national campaign have not been easy. I decided to run because a job had to be done and a message spoken. I thought it was not impossible to juggle two jobs at once. The responsibility of holding two jobs is shared by many Americans. Working mothers of America have been doing it every day for years.

Well today I have more respect for working mothers than ever before.

I now understand how frustrating it can be to have people at work say, you can't do much about your family and to have members of your family say you don't spend enough time at home. The truth may be that you are doing both just fine. But it's human nature for some say you're not doing enough. Long before I announced for president, I said that if it became too difficult for me to govern the Commonwealth and conduct a presidential campaign, I would terminate one endeavor.

I was left with a choice: either to devote all my energies to delivering the message or to guiding Virginia through these difficult times. I have chosen the latter, as my pledge and responsibilities dictate. Therefore I stand before you to state that I am hereby withdrawing from the presidential race.

Ladies and gentlemen, I relish with great anticipation working with you during these challenging and exciting two years. Thank you and God bless you.