10 September, 2008

Barack Obama - Ready to Serve

Forwarding from Writers for Obama, memo by Wade Hudson:
[NOTE: After receiving lots of very positive feedback to my "One-pager?" post last night and some suggested changes, I've rewritten it a bit and reformatted it. If you want a one-page Word doc that you can print and distribute in your campaign work, email me and I will send it to you. Feel free to remove my name if you wish. Also, I've posted it on my blog at http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/wadehudson/gG5LY7 if you want to comment there or refer people to that version.]

Barack Obama: Ready to Lead
by Wade Hudson wadehudson@progressiveresourcecatalog.org>

Given his temperament, track record, and life-long commitment to public service, the American people can trust that if elected President Barack Obama will run the Executive Office effectively, with the common good foremost in his mind. He will also use the “bully pulpit” of the Presidency to rally ordinary people to counter the power of the special interests and their lobbyists. He will continue to inspire us to care for each other and work together to improve ourselves and the larger community.

We know this because of how he has run his campaign.

  • This long, arduous effort has tested him severely and through it all, he has demonstrated that he can manage a large operation with great skill and grace.
  • He has responded to moments of pressure calmly and intelligently.
  • He brings people together and forges consensus.
  • He inspires and holds people accountable without being harsh.
  • He makes decisions thoughtfully, after taking time to listen to others and reflect on what they have to say.
  • His first decision after winning the nomination, selecting Joe Biden as his running mate, illustrates his judgment.
  • He knows how to lead, without being authoritarian.
  • He’s willing to compromise when it’s necessary to make progress, while consistently holding to his core principles.
  • He’s able to cooperate with others, including other countries, while maintaining an essential strength.
  • He recognizes the need to limit the arbitrary, top-down power of the President.
  • His campaign has been based on building the largest, grassroots organization in the history of U.S. elections, thereby empowering citizens.

John McCain, on the other hand, ran a chaotic campaign until he brought in a protégé of Karl Rove to tighten the ship.

  • Rove and his people know how to run nasty political campaigns, but as demonstrated by the George Bush Administration, they don’t know how to manage the federal government.
  • Moreover, McCain has shown that his explosive temper makes him ill suited to be President.
  • A fellow Republican, Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has known him for more than three decades, said, “The thought of McCain being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.” (“GOP Senators Reassess Views About McCain: His Old Foes Still Wary Of His Pugnacious Style,” Paul Kane, Washington Post, February 4, 2008, A01.)
  • McCain has admitted that he often makes decisions rashly and suffers the consequences later.
  • His selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, made in only a few days at most without proper investigation or public discussion beforehand, demonstrates his tendency to make decisions secretly and unilaterally.
  • His early cheerleading for the occupation of Iraq, even before President Bush had talked about it publicly, reveals an inclination to rely excessively on unilateral military action.
  • Once in office, McCain would surely continue the Bush pattern of centralizing more power in the hands of the President, inevitably leading to more abuse and the violation of fundamental liberties and human rights.
  • McCain’s campaign is resorting to the same old, divisive, slash-and-burn tactics that the Republicans have used for years.

The choice is clear.