Friday, March 21, 2008

An Endorsement for the All the Right Reasons

I have been a parent for twenty years. Every day for those 20 years I feel that my actions, my words, and my choices have important implications for myself and my family. How I conduct myself in the community, how I communicate with my spouse and my children, my decisions to take positions that may or may not be popular (but that I believe are right), how I deal with conflict - are opportunities to teach. For twenty years, my children have watched and learned from me, and as a result I have an awesome responsibility to try to do it right.

I can't help but compare this Democratic primary election to a family. The family is the American people, the parents - our candidates and their surrogates. So when public figures act in ways that are antithetical to basic human values - behaviors that we as parents would never demonstrate and certainly wouldn't accept in our children - it only makes me stand in disbelief. On the other hand, when these individuals stand up and act the way parents should, it make me proud, it warms me and offers hope.

This morning, Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, stood up and did the right thing. Despite his long standing friendship with the Clintons, he endorsed Barack Obama. In his own words,

''I believe he is the kind of once-in-a-lifetime leader that can bring our nation together and restore America's moral leadership in the world,'' Richardson said in a statement obtained by the AP. ''As a presidential candidate, I know full well Sen. Obama's unique moral ability to inspire the American people to confront our urgent challenges at home and abroad in a spirit of bipartisanship and reconciliation.'

Govenor Richardson has not let the game of politics blur what he believes in his heart is the right thing to do. He could have easily endorsed Hillary - it was the safe decision. But he did what was right and not necessarily what was easy. This is the standard that Barack Obama is setting for our country. The Governor knows that Senator Obama will lead us with a moral compass. The value and importance of this quality is the beginning of a new kind of Presidency.

Governor Richardson understands his responsibility to the American people and I hope that other Democratic leaders will break their silence. I respect leaders who are thoughtful in their decision-making, however, a leader is not a leader if he or she cannot take a position. This family needs its leaders to act like strong, confident parents who the children depend on to make decisions that will be best for the family. Al Gore, John Edwards, and Howard Dean - stand up, be brave and help put an end to this calamity. This family needs to stop fighting.

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