Highlights from McAuliffe’s inaugural address

January 11

The following are key passages from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s inaugural address, taken from the remarks prepared for delivery Saturday in Richmond:

“It is humbling, and the highest honor of my life, to stand before you today. It is humbling because of the responsibility that you have given me and because of the history and tradition of where we stand.”

“Virginia is the national model for fiscal discipline because our leaders — leaders like Governor Doug Wilder — decided long ago to put the common good ahead of short-term politics.

“That’s the Virginia way. It’s a tradition that we should be proud of. But it is also a tradition that must be sustained through constant work by leaders who choose progress over ideology.

“Common ground doesn’t move towards us, we move towards it.”

“But as we celebrate our past, the truth is that we still face serious economic headwinds over the course of the next four years.

“And, like four years ago, the skeptics are predicting divided government driven to gridlock by partisanship.

“Virginia, together, we will prove them wrong again.”

“We must also recognize that Virginians have placed great trust in us and expect transparency, and decision-making that avoids improper conflicts. That is why I will sign an executive order later today imposing a strict limit on gifts on myself and the members of my administration.

“I commend the members of the General Assembly from both parties who are making significant steps forward on this issue, and I will ask the entire General Assembly to enact the strongest possible new ethics rules to hold all Virginia elected officials to the highest of standards.”

“The greatest policy challenge we face is diversifying Virginia’s economy in the face of inevitable federal spending cuts and heightened competition from abroad.

“Mr. Speaker and members of the General Assembly, as we begin this term together, know that my top priority will be to lay the groundwork for a diverse and growing economy in every region of the Commonwealth. And I know it is your top priority as well.”

“As I said on election night, the test of my commitment to finding common ground in Virginia will not be a speech at an inauguration; it will be my actions in office. And I expect those who did not support me in November to hold me to my word.

“No one who has served as an elected official has looked back and wished they had been more rigid, more ideological or more partisan.”

“Mr. Speaker, Delegates and Senators, these next four years will be our moment to again show Americans what can be accomplished by mainstream leaders, and to show Virginians that we will live up to their expectation of consensus-driven progress.

“In Washington today, that talk of consensus can seem quaint, illusory or even naïve.

“But in Virginia, political progress in divided government is a tradition that we must continue.”

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