Dear Senator Obama:
After Wisconsin, the math seems insurmountable for Hillary.
I think that is a disappointment for the country since she is the best candidate in the race. I am hoping for a miracle.
But, as an old man I have seen many things and I don't believe in much, except this: we make our own future.
Somehow Hillary made her own future and now you will make yours.
I pray you do a good job.
I recall hearing a college commencement speech from years ago in which the speaker told the fresh faced grads this, more or less: "You know how you worked really hard on that big semester project. You stayed up late and asked your friends for help. You rewrote it several times and finally it was done. You felt good that you had completed the biggest job of your life and that it was the hardest you had ever worked.
Well, in the real world it is like that every day."
Welcome to the real world Senator. You worked real hard to win lots of delegates and your chances of winning the nomination are good. The real world starts when you face McCain.
Senator McCain is a better man than you are, Senator. As a politician, he prety much torpedoed Romney on a debate and it was over.
Read McCain's speech from yesterday to see what I mean. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/19/us/politics/19text-mccain.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
He has a clear vision for the country and has demonstrated the personal integrity and gravitas the country needs to lead us.
But, he has many weaknesses as well, most of which come from his Republican beliefs and baggage.
The country will be better served with you as a Democrat as President. But, that will happen only when you become a better man.
I think you can become that better man and we all hope fervently that you become one real soon.
Here's how to become one.
I am not asking that you suffer a great personal tragedy as an adult such as the loss of a child or a divorce. Either of those can temper a man.
But the country needs some things from you that I have not seen yet.
First, it needs the recognition that a President stands in the shoes of Washinton, Jefferson, both Adams, both Roosevelts, Truman, Clinton and both Bushes. That requires a little humility. Constant calls for change diminish the memory of our heritage. Sure, that heritage includes some bad stuff, but it has a lot of good in it. You need to acknowledge the good.
Start by wearing the flag on your lapel; take it back from the Reps.
Second, it needs a clear and consistent positive vision for the future. Where is that?
So far, your consistent vision is that you are black and you hope for change.
Well, maybe that gets you the nomination; but it won't get you the election.
The country is in an unusual place. Bush has created a machinery of repression and class warfare that has voters in an uproar. That's why a call for change resonates. But with Bush becoming quieter as his term closes, the calls for change will be yesterday's news very soon.
You need a positive vision. You don't have one yet. And a lot of that vision will center around economics, which is my field.
Here's an example of how you raise concerns: Yesterday you said that you believe in free markets and that you would make sure that our children did not have to play with toys that had lead filled paint on them.
Well, Senator, those positions are mutually inconsistent. And, if you don't know that, it raises concerns.
If you favor free markets, you favor business interests over children. That sounds just like the Bush policies you say you want to change. But, if you favor children over business, you become a big government Democrat and lose business support.
Your job is to 'parse' those position and create a policy statement that will gain you support from both groups. Until you can do that, you are not ready for prime time and McCain will eat your lunch.
The reality part is this: you face the same problem on ALL the issues that face our country.
Here's a partial list of those problems:
Deficits and Taxes
I think you know the rest of the list.
In closing Senator, I hope that you will recognize the spirit in which these criticisms are offered and will take from them what you find useful. If so, I will be honored if you wish to continue the discussion in a form you find useful.
PPS - Acording to KPFA radio February 20 on Flashpoints, your campaign finance chair is Penny Pritzger who is directly involved in the bank which originated the sub prime mortgage bonds which are directly responsible for the mortgage meltdown.
Additionally, her bank received favorable treatment from the FDIC so that her family benefitted before the depositors in her failed bank.
It would seem that this, if true, might require a comment from you, especially since you are rightfully proud of your large number of contributors. But, a very wealthy, perhaps ethically challenged finance chair is not in the spirit of your 'new' politics.