Saturday, November 04, 2006

President Clinton and Governor Granholm Rally Supporters in Detroit

Click the picture for an expanded view. The Michigan Democratic All-Star Lineup- front row, left to right- Carmella Sabaugh, Amos Williams, Carl Levin, Kwame Kilpatrick, Debbie Stabenow, Jennifer Granholm, Bill Clinton, John Cherry (hiding behind the podium), John Dingell, Debbie Dingell, John Conyers, Sandy Levin, two more down is Jim Blanchard, and on the end, Nancy Skinner.

From the Free Press-

When former President Bill Clinton took the stage Saturday morning at Wayne State University and began to talk about the election, the rowdy crowd of about 500 people suddenly became silent and attentive.

"It's like this everywhere," Clinton said, recalling a recent visit to Iowa, one of 29 states where he has campaigned for Democrats. "It was real quiet. Everywhere I go, people know there is something fundamentally wrong."

The crowd went from thunderous applause and cheers to rapt attention. The speech they heard was informative, articulate, funny, moving... and it practically brought me to tears remembering a time when it seemed that everything was moving forward and things would only get better...

I had some bones to pick with Bill back then. Big ones. So much so that I was ready to take it out on Al Gore, go third party in 2000. In the end I didn't, I voted for Al- but now I'm horrified to think that I almost did otherwise.

With my fabulous 20/20 hindsight I now see how much I took for granted.

We can argue about Bill's shortcomings all day. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, it doesn't matter anymore. No politician is ever going to be a perfect fit, and Bill is no exception.

But it was great to remember a time when our President was intelligent, knew his facts, had the plans, did the best he could for all the people, for all the country. He didn't run around the world with an arrogant "I'm right, you're wrong" attitude- the USA was admired and respected. Balanced budgets, fiscal responsibility, an overall optimism that life would continue to get better.

I took it all for granted.

I don't anymore. I never will again. I don't have to tell you how far we have fallen in such a short time. You know. You see it everyday.

My heart just breaks at the promise we have lost, and what we stand to lose if we don't get out there and vote next Tuesday.

I look around now at the divisiveness, the nastiness that is going on, particularly here in Michigan because that is where my focus is- but I know it's going on all over, too.

I wonder how we are ever going to heal.

That brings me to the Governor.

One of the things that I admire about Jennifer Granholm is that she did try to work with everyone, be inclusive in her leadership. She has the strength and the intelligence to listen to all sides and try to bring people together. Some people now think that makes her weak. All I know is she tried to do the right thing, and it seems she is paying a price for it.

She has learned, and it has made her stronger.

We are in a transition time right now. The Governor brought along some of the people who have made that transition- in this picture she is pointing to the couple from the Electrolux commercial. People try to highlight the irony of Clinton and NAFTA, but there is a difference-

From the moment that he lamented he had to speak after Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Clinton had the crowd, even though he was one of the main architects of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Democrats have cited as one of the main reasons for Michigan's economic malaise.

"I was a little more favorable toward trade agreements than some Democrats, but when I make a deal, I expect people to stick by it," Clinton said, referring to the number of enforcement actions initiated by his administration against trading partners.

I believe he said the ratio is 5:1. Bill tried to keep this in check, make the playing field level. Bush gave away the whole store, and the Michigan Republicans want Jennifer Granholm to pay for it.

Don't let this happen.

Don't take this woman for granted.

Because if we do, and we let her go, we are going to find out just how bad it can get right here. Everything you see in Washington- from the fiscal irresponsibility, to the favors for only the supporters and the wealthy, to the secrecy, to the social division, to the arrogant attitude of the Republican leadership- we will see it all. Amplified. We already are seeing it in the DeVos campaign. He is telling you who he is everyday, and who he is is already on display in DC.

And our state will suffer as the country has suffered.

Please vote next Tuesday. Get your friends, get your family, get the dog, I don't care, just make sure we keep this Governor.

And vote straight Democratic. If you love Michigan, if you love America, it's the only choice you have.