Thursday, October 26, 2017

I Say Run Joe, Run!

Joe Biden
Joe Biden has announced that he will not rule out running for President in 2020.

It's an uphill climb for old Grandpa Joe from Delaware, but I'm telling you that if he runs, I'll be all in for him.

It would be Joe's third bite at the big apple, and his first two runs ended rather quickly. He made it further in 1988 before he was derailed by a plagiarism scandal. He admits, he messed up. In 2008, he ran a credible campaign, but he came up short against Barack Obama.

Biden and Obama ended up as perhaps the closest Vice President and President in history.

My admiration for Joe Biden, however, goes back years. As a man, he's suffered and endured more pain than many. He endured the personal pain of losing loved ones, certainly, but Biden also survived an often fatal brain aneurysm. One thing that his personal pain has done is that it's humbled him.

That's why, even though he would be 78 years of age when inaugurated in 2021, I would enthusiastically support him. Joe Biden, unlike our current occupant of the Oval Office, understands what it's like on Main Street, USA. He's just Joe. That's why we love him.

I don't think there's a better embodiment of what it should be to be a Democrat than Joe Biden, but I also know that Biden knows how to get things done in government. He's an expert having stalked the halls of the U.S. Senate for years. He can heal the nation.

It's a long shot. There will be others running, and I know people will have their doubts. I'm just saying that I hope Joe Biden runs and that I get the chance to support him just one more time. Say the word, Joe, and I'm in.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Democrats Must Articulate Message for Future Success

President Trump
Harold Ford, Jr. was on Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday, and he said something that I've been saying for a while.

If Democrats are going to do anything in the next few election cycles, they are going to have to do it on message and not counting on making Donald Trump into a supervillain. My advice to the DNC would be to ignore Donald Trump and let him sink himself. He's doing a great job of it. What Democrats need to do is get back to being the party of the people.

Now, I do believe it's fair to talk about Donald Trump and his leadership. I think it's fair to talk about how he's been divisive, but that can't be the only message.

Trump has systematically rolled back almost every bit of progress President Barack Obama made on many fronts. We have to remind people why the progress was made is incredibly important. We have to become the party of defending the Affordable Care Act. We have to become the party of defending Dreamers. We have to become the party of human rights and equality. We have to push a plan and get candidates who can help Democrats to push it.

For 2020, we have to put forth a 50-state strategy again. If we take a winning message and put it behind a strong candidate, we will win. Don't expect a landslide, but expect those states that flipped in 2016 to flip back in 2020 if we hit the right message. We have to play electoral politics as well as we can play it and hope that we can bring some more states over, too.

It's just not going to be easy, and I would assume that Donald Trump will be President in 2020. Republicans have a civil war going on in their own party, and we can't do the same thing. We have to find a candidate that unites the party and get behind that candidate.

Finally, once Democrats get the message and the candidate, the move must be made to go digital. Work so hard on social media platforms...just like the Trump campaign and the Republicans did in 2016.

The bottom line is that without the first part of this, a coherent message that resonates, the rest of my plan won't work. We can't cede the messaging to Trump and the Republicans, and we certainly can't win by getting into the mud with him no matter how much he tries to take us down there.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

In Memoriam: Tom Petty (1950-2017)

Today, we learned of the death of rock and roll legend, Tom Petty. Tom was 66 years old.

Not to be petty, but it was a heartbreaker.

Tom's been a part of my life, whether he knew it or not, since I was a kid. I remember seeing his "Don't Come Around Here No More" video on MTV when I was a child of six or seven. I can remember being slightly frightened by it, but I knew it was special.

Petty's music was special. It was the soundtrack of a summer night or an afternoon at work. Tom's lyrics were subtly complicated but easily accessible, and, while his voice was never the best in rock, his showmanship and musicianship stand unquestioned.

"Learning to Fly" was an important song in my life. It came out when I was in high school, and I can remember playing it on WBDG during my student DJ days. The lyrics spoke to me, a young man trying to find myself in the big world, because they told a story and a lesson all at once.

Losing Tom Petty is like losing that friend you've had most of your life. You know he's gone, but his music will continue to inspire people, young and old, for ages to come.

Goodbye old friend.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Apologies to Tom Petty and Family

When I saw the death of Tom Petty confirmed by CBS News and Rolling Stone, I wrote my in memoriam blog post on his death and how his music affected my world.

It appears that Mr. Petty may still be with us, and I hope that's true. I've retracted my blog post.

My apologies to Tom Petty and his family.

Coming Together To Change Our World Takes Unity

What an awful start to October.

When I woke up this morning, I flipped on the television to be greeted not by Julia Moffitt, Ben Hill and Chuck Lofton, but the coverage of last night's mass shooting in Las Vegas.

As I was at work, I kept checking Twitter for updates, and the death toll continued to go up. Unbelievably more than 500 people were injured.

Obviously, I send my condolences to all those that have lost and wish the best to those recovering. I send thoughts of comfort to those in mourning. Your burden to bear is so much.

It's true that we're not safe anywhere from terror...foreign or domestic. It's also true that we can't stop living our lives. It's more likely that I could get hit by a semi on 465 on my drive to work than me being the victim of a terrorist attack.

We still don't know the motive of the attacker in this case, but he was able to do a lot of damage and shake up a lot of lives in just a few minutes. No one person should have that much power or the means to do it, but we can have that debate on another day.

I firmly believe that today is a day for coming together. For giving each other hugs and hoping and praying, if that's what you do, for a time when these mass killings are a distant memory and when human beings value each other's worth so much that no one ever wants to take another's life for any reason.

You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I hope I'm not the only one.