Elliott HartsteinObama: A candidate for our time
by Elliott HartsteinWe as Americans are at a critical juncture in the history of our nation, We have been bogged down in an endless war which we embarked upon based on a shaky rationale in the first instance. On a daily basis we pick up our newspapers, and watch our TV sets to see partisan gridlock which inhibits getting results and getting the job done on issues ranging from health care to immigration to social security, energy, trade, education and so much more. The challenges facing us continue to mount, and as a grandfather looking at the smiling face of my grandson, I want to see real change now so that my grandchildren and their progeny can live and grow up in a nation that has its house in order. Never before has our nation been held in such low esteem in the eyes of the world. We need to regain the respect and stature as a world partner that can rally the nations of the world to stand together to prevent the spread of terrorism and regimes that threaten the world order and so we can cooperate and collaborate to meet the challenges that effect us all like global warming, world trade that will enhance strong economies throughout the globe and to provide for our collective security.To meet these challenges head on,we need political leaders motivated by what is best for our nation and the next generation as opposed to positioning that will put their respective party's in good stead for the next election. Business as usual just does not get it done. Experience in the ways of Washington does not insure we will move forward but merely promotes the same old strategic positioning to try to tilt the balance of power. We cannot continue to fight the same old battles with each side of the aisle trying to demonstrate that their side somehow has the edge when it comes to patriotism ,family values,compassion,economic strength and security. There was a time in our history when the diversity and broad spectrum of approachs within each political party facilitated bipartisan cooperation that led to a cohesive approach to foreign policy and security and promoting what was in national interest as reflected in accomplishments like the momentous civil rights legislation. Since the Viet Nam war the last several decades has seen the emergence of more homogenous political parties that has led us to the partisan divisiveness and split we continue to see on the national scene. If we are to move forward, we need real change, We need leadership to facilitate change. We need leadership that is not wedded to the past nor invested in positioning for party advantage. We need leadership that understands and appreciates the diversity of the world order to place us in the position as a nation to influence others through persuasion and collaboration rather than a "my way or the high way approach" on the world stage.Though there are many good and capable people seeking to lead our nation in the current presidential field, good and capable is not good enough. The times dictate that we need a special kind of leader who can bring us together to bridge the national divide and rally and excite the nation to come together to meet many of the special challenges that we face at this juncture. Barack Obama stands tall in the presidential field as that special kind of leader who is not only intelligent and capable but one who has demonstrated the ability to provide the kind of leadership we need at the helm of our nation. Barack has the uncanny ability to get people to work together and demonstrated that special skill when as a State Senator he got leaders on both sides of the aisle to work together to get health care for kids and ethics legislation adopted. Barack has the breadth of life experiences to understand and lead with respect and commitment for diverse needs and backgrounds of people throughout our nation and the world that comes from living and being exposed to diverse cultures in other parts of the world and being a community organizer that fought for closing the gaps for neighborhoods and workers in our cities. He has the ability to inspire, excite and generate enthusiasm and excitement for change that we have not seen since John F Kennedy invoked us to each ask ourselves what we can do for our country rather than ourselves. What you see in Barack is what you get. He is not a packaged and programmed candidate. He is the real thing and quite genuine. Barack does not feel compelled to tell people what they want to hear but tells what needs to be heard as when he spoke of fuel efficiency needs before auto workers or merit pay before teachers .Barack is not afraid to give details of stands he would take and encourage in grappling with major issues as when he made clear that he would support lifting the caps in social security that determine how much income should be subject to tax. Though he makes clear his willingness and commitment to use force as needed to maintain our security ,he makes clear his willingness to speak to our adversaries to explore diplomatic solutions. His commitment and understanding of our constitution as a former teacher of Constitutional law puts him in good stead to insure that under his leadership our government will not stray from fundamental basic constitutional rights and protections that are the bedrock of our American democracy and a beacon to the rest of the world . As a skilled orator he is one that will be able to use the bully pulpit to inspire and rally the nation. Barack's reflection of integrity and dedication to serving the public good transcends any disagreements one may have with him on a given issue. It is rare when someone comes onto the public scene who personifies those special and unique traits of a leader to is right for the times. Let us not miss the opportunity for us as citizens to each do our own part to insure that we elect a leader who will listen and lead , understand and unify and effectuate change for a brighter tomorrow throughout our nation.That is why I have gone to Iowa on 3 weekends to knock on doors for Barack Obama.That is why I have made phone calls to find out what issues matter to people and to talk to them as to why they should caucus or vote for Barack. That is why I have held and gone to volunteer organizing meetings for Barack. That is why I have made financial contributions to the Obama campaign. That is why I have emailed and called others to join me in supporting Barack . That is why I have encouraged fellow mayors and other public officials to endorse Barack. That is why I go onto Barackobama.com to keep up with what is happening on the campaign and to continue to find activities that will move the campaign forward. You too can make a difference for the future of our nation by getting involved in the Obama Campaign by finding similar ways to advance the Obama Campaign. With the Iowa caucus nearly upon us and other early primaries quickly approaching we are at a pivotal point in determining whether we have the opportunity to elect a unique leader like Barack Obama to ignite and excite and unify our nation for the changes we all expect for our families, neighbors and fellow Americans. Don't wait. Get involved and lend your support to Barack Obama today. The future of our nation is in our hands and we cannot afford to fail. Your prompt commitment of support and involvement will insure that when we wake up to read headlines of early Obama victories in Iowa and the other early primaries we will have laid the cornerstone paving the road towards a bright new future for our country. I welcome your thoughts on the campaign or questions about involvement by email.