In 2008, the contenders for the nominations of both parties will contend in an America that is as different post-Bush as the America that President Reagan left us in 1988; it is my belief that the President will, ultimately, get his way on a broad range of issues: tort reform, tax reform, social security reform, Supreme Court appointments and many others. But despite his historic victory in 2004, and even though he will probably push through major sections of his agenda in the next four years, the President leads a deeply divided nation which is sometimes at odds with his views.
I am reminded of the words of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, in which that great godfather of our party told America that “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in”. Let us finish this divisive work of reforming the nation in these next four years – but the task having been accomplished, what will it profit us if we do not come back together as a nation?
What is needed, more than anything else in 2009, is for America to come back together as one nation, not the estranged red states and blue cities.
What is needed is a President who believes in bipartisan compromise and unity.
What is needed is a President who will bring us back together as one nation, under God, after years of division and radical change.
I am supporting Olympia Snowe because I believe that she can be that President.
In previous comments that I have made about Sen. Snowe’s electability, I have tended to brush past too quicly and too glibly something that we would rather not speak of: there is still a lingering uncertainty as to whether America will vote for a female President. I believe that circumstances can dictate the answer to that question, and I offer two points in answer.
Firstly, the reality is that sooner or later, someone is going to be the first female President of the United States; why not Olympia Snowe? Wouln’t it make a degree of sense that if anyone is going to be, it will be a moderate Republican (yes – I have to swallow pretty hard when I say this – a pro-choice Republican) who is a hawk on the budget and defense? In other words, I think that America can be ready for the RIGHT female President, and I think that Sen. Snowe could answer this point.
Secondly, there is still the issue of whether the Democrats might nominate Sen. Clinton; while I think that they would be maybe unwise to do so, it remains possible that they will, and I believe that while America is ready for the right female President, it is not likely to countenance a President Hillary Clinton. Sen. Clinton’s nomination by the other party, therefore, would virtually seal Sen. Snowe’s victory.
So, to sum up: Olympia Snowe offers America and the Republican party a strong and unique voice from the center of politics, a record of dedicated public service, and a compelling personal narrative of triumph, and the possibility of completing a realignment of American politics that will make the Republican party the natural party of government for more than a generation, by reuniting the country after nearly two decades of divisive change and partisan conflict. I support her wholeheartedly, and will work for the next four years to pursuade her to widen her constituency to take in not only Maine, but all residents of these fifty united States.