On November 4th the voters in Delaware and in the USA spoke clearly. Voters in Delaware chose Jack Markell as their Governor, based on his honesty, fresh ideas, and hope for the future, and determination to form a government of, by, and for the people of the state. Voters in the USA chose Barack Obama for the same reasons. Candidates with old, failed ideas, and with negative campaigns were rejected by voters. Both of these elected leaders helped legislators (state and national) also get elected, providing them with allies who are well positioned to help get their agendas achieved.
While Obama and Markell are both wonderful men and candidates, their success depended on incredible campaigns, and both were based on strong grass roots organizations. Volunteers and contributors made these victories possible. I know a slew of people who put in a slew of time, who contributed lots of dollars, and who simply put their lives on hold this past election season. My hat is off to each of you.
Let me mention the Newark operations. Ann at Snappy Auctions (www.snappyauctions.com ) in Newark donated the use of some of her building (all of her building on the 4th) for the Obama campaign to use, primarily for phone banking, but also for launching drives to PA for canvassing. If you have any stuff to sell on eBay, consider giving her a call at 302-355-3528. If you helped phone bank or canvass, she may give you a discount. Anne and Aaron led the running of the office, with the help of many, many other volunteers. I can’t say enough good things about how incredible Anne and Aaron are.
Paul Ruiz leads the Democrats at the University of Delaware (UD). He built a wonderful team, and together they helped to deliver Pennsylvania for Obama. Anne and I put the word out that the UD students needed financial help, to cover gas money and bus rental money for their drives to PA and pizza money for the phone banking, and we were overwhelmed. I accompanied well over 100 UD students who went to Philadelphia on the 4th, along with three area high school students. There are no slackers there—these young adults all delivered, and they give me tremendous hope for the future of our country. They were blown away by the quick financial support (and offer of driving support) that the community offered with very little notice. Newark delivered for the students, and the students delivered for Obama. Congratulations!
Let me share two concerns I harbor. I will try to avoid using a label to describe Barack Obama (for instance the first African American President, a liberal President, etc), for I think that it is unfair to describe the complete Barack Obama with a single label. This is similar to saying ‘this is my Jewish friend, my black co-worker, my conservative cousin.’ I hope that you do not use such labels with your friends, and for the same reasons we should avoid using them with President-elect Barack Obama. Let’s rise above that. No single label can capture the man that we elected to be our 44th President.
Second, I do not want Barack Obama to pull a George Bush, and govern to his base and disregard/abandon the rest of the country. I recognize that the liberal wing of the Democratic Party fully supported Barack Obama, and was critical to the results on the 4th, however I do not expect him to govern from the far left. I of course want him to consider the concerns of the far left, but I want him to fashion policies that are best for the country, even if they are not policies that are the first choice of liberals.
Michael Moore wrote a letter on his blog this week, and I agree with most of Moore’s points. However Moore encourages Obama to adopt a very anti-war stance, and I don’t feel that this kind of ideological-driven approach, which has failed the country for the past eight years, is the right approach for Obama. That isn’t change that I believe in. I trust Barack Obama to collect all of the information and opinions, from generals (active and retired), soldiers, diplomats (US and foreign), intelligence agencies, leading legislators, and citizens, and to develop policies for the country from a nearly clean sheet of paper, and to be forthright with the country during this process. You may or not share this concern.
So now what? I have a life to get back to, as do each of you, lives that you have neglected in the past weeks and months. But will I put my political life and this email list/blog on hold for two or four more years? No.
The country has many, many very serious problems. We need to remain informed, engaged, and to provide support. Barack Obama will not be able to please you or me on every issue. As a country we have selected him to level with us, to give us the full story, to make very difficult decisions when necessary, and we have promised that we will stand with him, making sacrifices where needed. That is what ‘government by the people’ means. I urge you to 1) share your views, but 2) support President-elect Barack Obama even when he makes a decision that you wish he did not make. We need to ‘have his back.’ The country’s problems are too overwhelming for him to worry about having the full support of the volunteers and voters who brought victory on Tuesday.
These very same issues are equally true for Governor-elect Jack Markell. We need to stay informed, to share our views, and to support his decisions. Together, we can solve the problems facing Delaware, the country, and the world. Let’s stand together with Barack Obama and with Jack Markell. Let’s make the dreams come true, let’s change the world.
Paul S Baumbach
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