It is particularly meaningful to accept the nomination in Florida, where so many of my friends own so many things. The Miami Dolphins. The Orlando Magic. The Doral country club. I have friends who own some of Florida's finest hotels, resorts, yachts, and real estate.
To reach this day, I have lived the American dream. I grew up on the real streets of America, in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. My father, a public servant, scrimped and saved enough of his earnings as CEO of American Motors to send me to the Cranbrook prep school, France, and Harvard.
From those humble beginnings, I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and become part of the middle class of this country. As part of the middle class, I have been able to buy various homes, four cars, and several horses. Sure, there are government workers who make more than I do, but I am not complaining. I, like millions of Americans, have been unemployed.
To reach this stage, I have crossed this great land by chartered jet, from the cul-de-sacs of Greenwich, Conn., to the hills of La Jolla, Calif. Along the way, I have felt a kinship with my fellow Americans - not just those in East Hampton, but also those in Grosse Pointe. I met unfortunate Americans struggling to get by on less than $374,000 in speaking fees - which, I can tell you, is not very much.
And though I am not concerned with the very poor, I have a good sense of the indignities working people face, because I have enjoyed firing a number of them myself. I have seen a checkout line at Wal-Mart. I have worn clothing from the Gap. I have stood with those forced to wear plastic ponchos at sporting events because they do not have big bucks. I know the terrible feeling of struggling to find a Lincoln in my wallet because it was hidden behind a Franklin.
In winning the nomination, I have survived false attacks. My opponents accused me of quadrupling the size of my $12 million home in California, but I was only doubling the square footage, if you don't count the basement and garage. A New Hampshire woman asked me to give up some of my four houses, but I only have three, and that's counting the little place with the boathouse on Lake Winnipesaukee.
I am accepting your nomination on behalf of the millions of Americans who fear they will get a pink slip - a fear I have felt as well. I may not have struggled to make a mortgage payment, but my friends the Marriotts run many lodging facilities. I know what it's like to be an office worker because my colleagues and I used to own Staples. I know people can have trouble sleeping at night because we had a stake in Sealy. I know how hard it can be to put food on the table because we owned Domino's. And I understand American ingenuity because we owned part of Brookstone.
Corporations are people, my friends, and I'd particularly like to thank a few very special people - Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Credit Suisse.
So let us go forth from this convention to win the White House. To those who say we cannot win, I have a simple reply: I'll bet you 10,000 bucks.
Dana Milbank is a Washington Post columnist.