Thursday, February 07, 2008

Just a Thought
I may be a little biased here in TN. But I have an idea for the Obama campaign. His supporters have done an extraordinary thing in response to the news that Hillary loaned $5 million of her own money to her campaign. After a request from the campaign, asking them to match Hillary's money in 24 hours or so, they did that and then some.

My suggestion - to demonstrate real desire to follow Obama's lead and serve the needs of the country - is for the campaign to shut off the online contribution mechanism for a day, and ask supporters to donate to tornado relief and rescue efforts instead, maybe promote the American Red Cross' efforts. Perhaps even challenge Clinton, McCain and Huckabee's campaign to join in. This shows leadership, a spirit of volunteerism and American unity over something besides politics, and acknowledges that we know we can't depend on the current Administration to address this kind of calamity effectively. It also would build on Obama's reasonable claim that government alone can't solve these kinds of problems.

Money is rushing into campaign coffers the last day and a half, and that's as it should be. Democrats are excited about this election and I'm one of the first to argue that a political donation is an important way to help serve your country with your money, if you believe that institutional change is the best and most needed way to better the lives of Americans. But that alone isn't enough. It strikes me that re-directing that energy for a day or so is good politics too, as well as maybe even helping some people that - trust me from seeing the reports here - could really use it. Without actually shutting down the online fundraising effort though, just asking doesn't really amount to much of a statement.

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