On September 8, 2010, while seeking the Republican Party nomination for Stark County (Ohio) Treasurer, Minerva Councilman Phil Davison delivered the following speech. Though Davison did not win the nomination that night, his passionate delivery went viral, leading to a media frenzy. Davison became the subject of countless news reports and interviews. Comedy Central placed him on the March 8, 2011 episode of Tosh.0, and Volkswagen cast him in its 2013 SuperBowl commercial. The speech also raised Davison’s political prospects. In 2012, he sought the highest office in the land, running for the Boston Tea Party‘s nomination for President of the United States.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Stark County Republican Party, Executive Committee, Good Evening, and thank you, not only for your attendance, but for allowing me the opportunity to speak.
MY NAME IS PHIL DAVISON! AND I AM SEEKING OUR PARTY’S NOMINATION FOR THE POSITION OF STARK COUNTY TREASURER on November tenth. November of 2010, excuse me.
In terms of my background, I am from the village of Minerva, where I am serving my thirteenth year of elected service as a Minerva Council Member.
In terms of education, I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, a Bachelor’s Degree in History, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, AND A MASTER’S DEGREE IN COMMUNICATION!
In terms of elections across Stark County, I have represented our party twice, ON THE COUNTY BALLOT, in both the primary and the general elections, when I ran for Stark County Clerk of Courts in 1996 and Stark County Commissioner in 2000, AND I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR MY TONE TONIGHT!
I HAVE BEEN A REPUBLICAN IN TIMES GOOD! AND I HAVE BEEN A REPUBLICAN IN TIMES BAD!!! (pause)
ALBERT EINSTEIN ISSUED ONE MY MOST FAVORITE QUOTES IN THE HISTORY OF THE SPOKEN WORD, AND IT IS AS FOLLOWS:
‘IN THE MIDDLE OF OPPORTUNITY’…[shriek]…Excuse me, ‘In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.’
I am going to repeat that so I have clarity tonight:
‘IN THE MIDDLE OF DIFFICULTY LIES OPPORTUNITY.’
THIS IS THE OPPORTUNITY WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR! THE STARK COUNTY TREASURER’S OFFICE IS A MESS! IT IS IN DIRE NEED OF STRUCTURE AND GUIDANCE! AND NOW IS THE TIME TO SEIZE THIS OPPORTUNITY WITH AN AGGRESSIVE CAMPAIGN AND EVEN MORE AGGRESSIVE CAMPAIGNER!
IF NOMINATED TONIGHT, I PROMISE EACH AND EVERY PERSON IN THIS ROOM, I WILL HIT THE GROUND RUNNING, COMING OUT SWINGING, AND END UP WINNING!
LET’S SEND A MESSAGE TONIGHT TO THE PEOPLE OF STARK COUNTY AND TO THE PEOPLE OF THE STARK COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY! WE’RE TIRED OF BUSINESS AS USUAL! DRASTIC TIMES REQUIRE WHAT? DRASTIC MEASURES! YES! WHO SAID THAT? THANK YOU! DRASTIC TIMES REQUIRE DRASTIC MEASURES!
We will not tolerate incompetence and irresponsibility ANY LONGER! Now is the time to snap the Democratic stranglehold on the Treasurer’s office in two. And I hearken back to what my friend Alex just said. He ran against the treasurer in 1996. It was a problem then. It’s a problem now. INFESTATION!
Politics is not touch football. Politics is winner take all. It ALWAYS HAS BEEN, AND IT ALWAYS WILL BE!
If nominated tonight, I want to develop and expand my campaign for what I believe is the greatest strength of the Stark County Republican Party and that is ITS PEOPLE!
I believe in the axiom that all politics is local. And because of this belief, I want to harness the thoughts and ideas that individuals in our party have, concerning Stark County and its political subdivisions.
And use that to its fullest extent. Knowledge is power. Let’s dab into this knowledge and use it as a tool to win the Treasurer’s office. Let’s use this knowledge not only as a tool, but as A WEAPON!
We must win this election. If nominated tonight, I WILL WIN THIS ELECTION! AND I’M GOING TO SAY THAT AGAIN SO THAT THERE’S NO MISCOMMUNICATION TONIGHT! IF NOMINATED TONIGHT, I WIN!!! TELL YOUR FRIENDS! TELL YOUR NEIGHBORS! TELL RANDY GONZALEZ!
I’m coming. Both barrels, guns loaded. I believe in the entities and the principles of the national Republican Party, the state of Ohio Republican Party, and the Stark County Republican Party. And if nominated, I WILL NOT HIDE THOSE BELIEFS ON MY MARCH TO VICTORY ON ELECTION DAY!
IF NOMINATED TONIGHT, I CAN GUARANTEE WITH 100% CERTAINTY THAT WHAT YOU ARE SEEING FROM ME TONIGHT, IS WHAT EVERYONE OUTSIDE THOSE DOORS IS GOING TO GET OVER THE NEXT EIGHT WEEKS!
I USED TO BE AN IDEALISTIC THINKER, I AM NOW A PRAGMATIC THINKER! GOVERNMENT MAY BE ABOUT SERVICE, POLITICS IS ABOUT WINNING!
Tonight as a candidate seeking the Republican nomination for the position of Stark County Treasurer, I humbly ask for your vote as members of the Stark County Republican Party Executive Committee. Thank you.