Opening Statement

Today’s post comes from Ninth District Congressman Loomis Beechly, representing all the water surface area in Minnesota, which actually covers a lot of (wet) ground.

The Congressman Introduces Himself To Some Anglers.

Greetings Constituents,

Representing all the water surface area is a perfect job for me. When I was a kid I stole my dad’s pontoon and went joyriding. The Lake Patrol came and got me and they pretended they were going to lock me in jail. I did them one better – I pretended I was excited about becoming a ward of the state, and they backed off.

I love debates because it’s so much like going out on the lake in a boat. There’s lots of wind and you circle for hours.

But one thing you have to be sure you’ve got down pat before you participate in a debate is a good Opening Statement. Experts call it your “Elevator Speech” – a one minute summary of who you are and what you’re about. They say you’d better give up running for office if you don’t have one of these ready to go. But I’ve never understood that because I managed to get elected without one! But I wrote something anyway.

Here it is.

Hi, I’m Loomis Beechly and I’m asking for your vote to represent the 9th district in Congress. I could tell you that I’m the best person in the world for this job, but we both know that’s not true. There are lots of nice folks who would be excellent Members of Congress, but they’re not running and I am.

I could tell you that I’m just like you, and that I will do what you would do if you went to Washington in my place. But that’s impossible. Only you can be you. I have to be me. Some days, I can barely pull that off, but I promise I will always, always try.

They say I should have clear talking points on every issue, but I just can’t remember what my positions are supposed to be and so I’ll always say whatever comes into my head. Some people argue that this makes me unfit for office, but I disagree. Yes, I’m inconsistent, but I’ve always been that way. It’s true that I sometimes have changeable policies, but that’s my way of fully representing every single person in my district. People’s views vary. It’s my goal to be in complete agreement with each of my constituents for at least one minute during the course of my service. Maybe the timing will work out and I’ll cast an important vote during the sixty seconds I totally agree with YOU!

I know it’s not the usual bio, but that’s who I am and I hope that’s good enough to convince you to give me your boat.

I mean your vote.

So that’s my speech. If we get caught in an elevator somewhere on the campaign trail over the next few weeks, now you already know what I’m going to say. Unless something else comes to mind!

See you on the campaign trail,

Loomis Beechly

What’s YOUR opening statement?

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78 thoughts on “Opening Statement”

    1. Happy birthday, Donna. Have a good day where everyone shows some respect and where you don’t need to use your opening statement.

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  1. Good morning. Not what Donna said, but that is a good one. I don’t have one. I just say whatever comes to my mind. That isn’t necessarily a good thing as I found out on some occasions. I will be looking forward to getting some good ideas for openings. I might consider using Donna’s, but not too often.

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    1. Wish I could take credit for that little gem, Jim. It’s on a refrigerator magnet given to me by one of my darling offspring. Suppose I’ll have to remove it eventually if I ever get a grandchild.

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      1. My refrigerator magnet says “Age Improves with Wine” – I’ll toast you with a glass this evening, maybe you can join me. :)

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  2. Damn it but Dale got into my head and psyche and dreams last night.
    I read this at 4 this morning and went back to sleep. I woke up 15 minutes ago in a weird dream in which I had written a play called “Talking to the Campfire.” It was a one-man play, at least there was only one person on stage when I woke up. An old retired guy who was doing a sort of elevator speech to a campfire explaining that he never really had known anything or had any solutions or answers. That the sole joy of retirement should be no longer having to pretend he had anything to say but a life-time of earning money by talking meant he simply could not shut up even on blogs.

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    1. That’s remarkable dream, Clyde, which I hope you will not take to heart. Keep pretending you have something to say. That’s what I do.

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  3. It would be fun, for a change, if presidential candidates tried the novel strategy of telling the unpleasant truth in their opening statements tonight. Here is what Obama should say (but won’t).
    1) When I took office and had to tell you (the American people) how screwed up our economy was, I didn’t tell you the truth. It was WAY more of a mess than I said because if we’d told the truth we would have scared the crap out of everybody and made the situation worse.
    2) The truth is, the US economy was in such lousy shape that nobody–NOBODY–knew how to fix it.
    3) All that stuff we tried . . . well, a lot of that was desperate flailing around, and only some of it worked. Still, the critical thing was that we were TRYING and not giving up.
    4) While my administration wasn’t really in control, we did the best we could under the circumstances (like a hostile Congress).
    5) If my economic team wasn’t always performing brilliantly, we at least weren’t following the Republican script which basically has maintained that what we need to do is more of the same stupid stuff that got us into this mess, throwing gas on a fire already out of control.
    6) I’m in over my head, folks, but if you think I’m ineffective you could vote for the other guy and find out what a total meltdown looks like.

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    1. Or he could say that he did more or less what other presidents do which was to give in to the wishes of the 1%, but that would be way too much truth telling I am afraid.

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  4. i do elevator speeches often and its fun to figure out some way of introducing the essence of your existence in a 60 second snipit. i like loomis am consistent in my inconstancy. its part of the beauty of the deal. the fun is in the spontaneity the ability to offer a little song a little dance a little seltzer down the pants. life is an ever changing opportunity and if you need to have the elevator speech typed up and folded in your pocket you have a message you dont even need to be there for.
    i think that is one of the major qualifications of being the presidential nominee for the republican party at the current point in time. it would be possible i believe to put the elevator speech in the pocket of twenty three men and women and have them read it off in the most presidentail voice and choose the one who deficates in his or her hat the least. spontinaity? what i want to say? what i think is the best thing for america? let me refer to the typed up platform i have folded right here in my blue suit. the only decision they tell me about at the last minute is if i wear the red tie for power or the blue tie so people like me. the 30% gray hair need to stay at 30% when it goes to 70% i am going to look old old old and my cover will be blown. then it will really be time for the regan solution. i look forward to seeing you all on television tonight so cozy up and make a bowl of popcorn and enjoy the most expensive elevator speech ever written. if you dont like what he has to say tune in next week , they need time to reevaluate what the elevator speech should say. he has been very careful to say very little about his position and his plans up until now. there is a reason for that. flexibility. resolve and flexibility and no taxes, yeah thats the ticket. and god… and thats all i need … and stronger america. thats all we need america… thats all we need.

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    1. Husband just heard this: KFAI is going to broadcast tonight’s debates with time delay after Obama’s and Romney’s comments, giving time to other candidates to respond. 8 – 10 pm. Hope I got that right…

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      1. Actually, KFAI is NOT going to broadcast the Obama-Romney-Stein-Anderson extended debate, because we are in the midst of a membership drive and the program, brilliant as the idea is, constitutes three hours of uninterrupted talking. But there will be excerpts tomorrow morning on Democracy Now at 8 am, and perhaps spread out through the next two weeks on KFAI’s “Morning Blend” from 6 to 8 am, if I can get around to doing the editing. And you can hear the Extended Debate as it happens online, at Democracy Now’s website.

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  5. My opening statement at work (mainly to very young children) is often “Hello, I”m Dr. Renee and I am the person you have come to see today.”

    Happy Birthday, Donna. How do you plan to celebrate?

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    1. :) I like that one, Renee, that might work in a few scenarios if I don’t try to use the Dr. part.

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      1. Sometimes that line is pretty scary, and I have to qualify it with “But I’m not the kind of doctor who gives shots.”

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  6. Happy Birthday today, Donna, and a belated one to Joanne yesterday… It’s a lovely week to celebrate in.

    Have to think about this question for a while.

    OT: a small baboon contingent is heading over to the Tapestry exhibit at American Swedish Institute this Friday. Meeting in the gift shop at 12:00 noon. Come if you can… the more the merrier.

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    1. It IS amazing. Clyde, you’re right! My daughter and I also enjoyed the remarkable Swedish bobbin lace on the bottom floor. Have a good time!

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  7. I like “give me your boat,” Dale. I think that just about sums it up!

    Hi, I’m Krista, and if you think the world is too divided, too crazy and too impulsive, we’ll get along just great. I haven’t attempted to do much about world problems lately because the minute I speak up about something, someone else screams really loud in my face about how wrong I am and I back down like a spineless worm. Behaving like a spineless worm is not good for my credibility, so I’ve just decided to live with it and hope for the best. I value justice, peace and quiet, living simply, music, and nature. I don’t think I can change the world to make it ideal for me, but I hope that, if you value the things that I do, we can work together to at least create a little peaceful place somewhere and maybe from there our worldview can grow and spread and include more people like us, until the whole world lives in peace.

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    1. Good one, Krista. That will give me a good place to start if I ever get around to having an opening statement.

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    1. Good one, Edith! Do you have a bandana over your face and your finger in the pocket of your jacket when you say that?

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  8. “I want to know everything, so I’m a seeker of knowledge. But though I understand a lot, I have a hard time reiterating much of what I believe. I am always searching for ways to express what I believe in, and people who find the same things as I important. I totally understand Mr. Beechly, because new information that I come upon can seem very important initially, and change the way I am talking for a time.”

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  9. OT! The ground here is covered with snow. It started about 10:00 am. We are expecting 1-3 inches. It was 77 degrees yesterday.

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    1. Yes. It is true! Husband was an absolute hero today and brought in all the late eggplants, green beans, tomatoes, butternut squash, chard, and a huge arm load of basil. It is wet and sloppy, but we are grateful for any moisture in this drought. Daughter had her first experience with winter driving. She survived and so did her car.

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  10. The number of times I would speak first on an elevator is zero. So really, I enjoy all of your statements more than I would enjoy my own.
    At school, however, I have something I usually say about how much I enjoy teaching earth science to eighth graders.

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  11. Thanks, Kids, for the fun mix of b-day wishes and tunes. I love you guys! Hic.

    Ooh ooh – gotta go – the debate’s starting – can’t wait to hear Clinton again!!

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  12. Happy birthday Donna and belated birthday wishes to Joanne.

    Today my elevator speech is, “Good afternoon, have you seen a bit of grey matter walking about? My brain seems to have leaked out my ears and gone walkabout…” Or perhaps, “Hi, my name is Anna and I…oooh look! Did you see the leaves? They’re so pretty! And hey, I picked apples this weekend – I was thinking I’d make apple sau…dang it, I need to remember to call, um, someone about that thing…don’t you just love this weather? Lovely day for a bike ride. We stopped and said hello to the elf who lives by Lake Harriet…ooh – hey, shiny!”

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      1. No – the signs were gone. My guess (if they weren’t photoshopped, and it looked to me like someone made them) is that because the elf lives on park property they had to come down b/c they are “political speech”. Sigh.

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