The art of the concession speech

Mike McFadden prepares to take the stage to concede the Senate race at the GOP election night party in Minneapolis. Courtney Perry / For MPR News

An odd thing happened when Senate candidate Mike McFadden gave his concession speech last night. He gave a campaign speech.

The name of the man who beat him never came up. There was no call for unity. McFadden sounded very much like a candidate who is still a candidate.

Not too many people heard what McFadden had to say. By the time he got to this point in his speech, the local TV stations had already cut away from his speech.

Unlike his opponent, Sen. Al Franken delivered a prepared speech, and gave McFadden a shout out.

McFadden has already taken himself out of a challenge to Sen. Amy Klobuchar in the future. He spent much of the last week of his campaign extolling her virtues.

Related: Here Are Some Of The Least Graceful Concession Speeches in History (Business Insider).

  • Gary F

    As we saw last night, much of the nation thinks Mike’s way. We here in Minnesota, like our Obama/Franken prosperity.

    I wasn’t that big of a McFadden fan going in, but was coming out.

    • The part of his speech where he declared, “it’s time to stop being angry” was fascinating. I wish he had explored that further. Who exactly was he talking to? How was this anger manifesting itself? Why was it bad?

      • Veronica

        I listened to only a tiny bit of the last McFadden/ Franken debate, but that part I did listen to was when McFadden told Senator Franken he hadn’t done a single thing for Minnesotans, and Klobuchar was doing all of the work.

        I don’t know about anyone else, but that’s a very negative comment, and not something that someone should say and then ask others to “stop being angry.”

        Maybe, MAYBE…people need to stop being rude and stop demonizing others first, and angry will take care of itself.

    • Chris

      I think you mean much of the nation that voted last night thinks Mike’s way. In 2008, 2012 and I presume again in 2016 things will look differently. I don’t think I want to trade what we have in Minnesota for what they’ve got going in Georgia or North Carolina.

      I agree, the stop being angry line was great, and if the GOP can shake off the politics of resentment, they might get somewhere.

  • Keith

    Never understood the whole concession speech thing. In an election, you either win or you lose by the vote count. There is no giving up or surrendering, which is what a concession implies.

    • My favorite part of football games is the end when the players shake hands. It doesn’t mean, say, the Patriots players are now Denver Bronco supporters. It’s an acknowledgement of the nobility of the fight and a reminder that while disagreement obviously exists, there is a greater good that must be acknowledged.

      A concession in no way implies a cause has been forever lost. You can shake hands, acknowledge the shared belief in the institution, and still have a philosophical fight.

  • DavidG

    And then there was Jeff Johnson, who had to take a swipe at public employees at the end of his concession speech.

    • Stay classy, JJ.

  • kevinfromminneapolis

    I think it can be handled via phone call to the winner and a short message to supporters.

  • Guest

    Tough to compete with Nixon, though …

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya1GWB2AMnY

  • John Peschken

    Gee, Mike … Whatever happened to the nice guy “Dad/Coach/Businessman”? Was he really kind of a jerk underneath it all?
    It reminds me to pay attention to policy, not personality.

  • Ron Fresquez

    McFadden was never in the race. He was always behind double digits, The MN Regressive Party will continue to go down in defeat as long as they continue to nominate candidates like McFadden and Johnson.

  • Robert Moffitt

    When everyone else talks about who won the election, Bob focus on what the loser said. Well, that’s an Cleveland Indians fan for you. 😉

    • Gee, Bob, it’s like it’s your first day at NewsCut, the whole mission of which is to look in another direction when everyone is looking at something.

      But, yeah, you’re right. I should’ve written about the art of the concession speech by picking apart the speech of people who win an election. :*)