Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Following a true leader's example - and answering a question from one very important friend

I had the good fortune to be in the Pepsi Center tonight while Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the Convention. Senator Clinton was at the top of her game. She hit all the important notes she struck throughout the primary season. And then, a woman of her word, she encouraged and asked all Democrats to vote for Senator Barack Obama. Senator Clinton promised to help Senator Obama win the presidency in June, and she keeps on keeping that promise. That's integrity.

After I returned from the Pepsi Center, a very important friend asked me why I am not willing to work to get Senator Obama elected, since somebody I admire so much - Senator Clinton - is herself willing to do so. I replied that I thought I could help the Democratic Party more by focusing on making sure that it earns back all the credibility its current leaders have cost it.

And I do think that. But when an important friend asks me a question in good faith, integrity demands a better response.

Having reflected on the question, here is a fuller response, and one that I think is better. I have offered in the past to actively advise Senator Obama. His campaign has not approached for my advice, and that's natural enough since I am sure they have no idea who I am. But for what it is worth, here is my best effort to advise Senator Obama on how to win in November, assuming that whatever process takes place on August 27th yields him as the Democratic Party nominee.
  • Immediately and publicly demand Dr. Dean's resignation as DNC Chair.
  • Ditto for all other top DNC officials.
  • Ask President Clinton to take charge of seeing who might be willing to run for and accept the office of DNC chair.
Were Senator Obama to take these steps, and assuming that Dr. Dean et al. would indeed resign, Senator Obama would thereby accomplish a number of things that would, in my opinion, up his currently not so hot chances of winning in November. First, he would make it clear that he appreciates the dire need for change in DNC leadership. Second, he would reassure all Democrats the health of their party is among his top priorities. Third, by seeking President Clinton's leadership in the quest for successors to Dr. Dean etc. Senator Obama would demonstrate that he understands the appropriate way to treat a former U.S. President - the only two-term Democratic President of Senator Obama's life-time - that is, by clearly demonstrating respect. Fourth, Senator Obama would demonstrate that he is smart enough to ask somebody who so successfully revitalized the Democratic Party before to play a large hand in doing so once again.

So, there my important friend, is my best shot - as of this writing at least - at helping Senator Obama win the White House, assuming he becomes the Party's nominee.

3 Comments:

Blogger Runa said...

Heidi,
You do know that you are wasting your time - Senator Obama does not have the backbone or the brains to follow your advice.I do appreciate that you are trying. Yesterday I watched a strong ,powerful American leader who would have made a powerful and progressive President give a speech that was eloquent and inspiring.She just happened to be a woman and we lost out on the best candidate for the 2008 election.

August 27, 2008 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger CognitiveDissonance said...

You're too nice, Heidi. :-) I would add to your demands that he publicly apologize on prime TV for smearing the Clintons as racists, and also for employing fraudulent tactics in the caucuses. Of course, he will never do that, even though real integrity demands it. Thus, he will never get my vote.

August 27, 2008 at 2:39 PM  
OpenID sharmajee said...

Heidi, very eloquently presented, and I heartily second cognitive's demand too. This is a very good way to 'heal' the party. Hillary did her part, Sen. Obama, turnabout is fair play, Sir!

August 27, 2008 at 3:16 PM  

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