The following are excerpts from The text of Tom Corbett's speech at his inauguration as Pennsylvania's 46th governor, as prepared before he delivered it:
Chief Justice Castille; Governor Rendell, Judge Rendell; members of the judiciary; leaders and members of the General Assembly; members of Congress; my fellow Pennsylvanians: today we celebrate a long, proud, and sustaining tradition of democracy.
Over three hundred years ago, a free society took root here in Penn's woods. The leaders of those times were uneasy with a government more prone to political favor than fairness to the people. They were deeply troubled by government exploitation and excess and through the course of human events, envisioned the potential for a new government — a new ideal — based in unalienable rights and power derived from the consent of the people.
That debate conducted by our forefathers, beginning with William Penn and carried through the 13 colonies to Philadelphia's Independence Hall, was not without moments of rancor or sacrifice. But those noble leaders stood true to the belief that civility stands at the core of fair and peaceful governance.
As we open this new chapter in Pennsylvania's history, let us also step forward firmly dedicated to a civil discourse. Let us not confuse acrimony with passion or partisanship with principle. Rather, let us take this opportunity to begin a new kind of debate — one that honors our shared history and unites us as citizens in common purpose. In doing so, I have great faith that we will unleash a new common prosperity to benefit all Pennsylvanians.
It is fitting that I assume the office of governor pledging my oath on William Penn's bible. As governor, I will lead each day grounded in the truth of Penn's first charted liberties and mindful of the role we have in democracy's endurance. I will honor your trust by standing firm in my guiding principle to do the right things, for the right reasons, even in the most challenging of times. And I will dedicate each and every day over the next four years to fiscal discipline and a responsible, limited government.
I have had the privilege to see and experience all that is special about Pennsylvania. Our land is rich in resources. Our industry is rooted in innovation. And our people — our people are extraordinary in their diversity and determination. As they work to make a living and raise their families — our people are exceptional in their dignity.
Our people — our fellow Pennsylvanians — make this an exceptional state. Today I call upon everyone in state government to summon all of the will and talent within you to advance the promise of our Commonwealth and to perform exceptionally for all Pennsylvanians.
This will require creativity and courage, and be assured that where there is creativity and courage we will navigate the pending storms.
We need good government. The people now demand it. And they deserve it. We will lead the way toward a government that understands that, . . . . .
You will never hear me say "impossible." To say it, or worse, to believe it, would accomplish nothing. I see the possible. And in the possible I see a promising future for Pennsylvania.
I believe in Pennsylvania and I believe in Pennsylvanians.
All of this will take time. The challenges we face were not created overnight
I am confident.
Join me. With God's protective guidance we will lead with clear minds, full hearts, and eyes set toward new generations of Pennsylvania's true and sustaining greatness.
May God bless you. May God bless our Commonwealth and may God bless the United States of America.
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