inform | empower | engage
Reaction to the Mayor from Nowhere of September 22 included concerns that IDn was betraying a bias against the Republican ticket and that this is not consistent with being an Independent. This is an important point and requires a response.
Being an Independent doesn’t mean that a person does not develop a candidate preference during the course of an election. The first criteria of an Independent is that his or her political preference is not directed by identification with one political party or another. Independents come in all shades, conservative, moderate and liberal. (See Independent Way.) Being Independent means being more analytical, more concerned about the facts than who is saying them or how they fit with a particular platform or agenda. The genuine Independent is not concerned so much with what others think or do as his or her own values and needs. Like IDn’s bumper sticker says, We don’t herd very well but we hear great!
This having been said, there is the matter of the Mayor from Nowhere, i.e., that there was nothing in Governor Palin’s experience or accomplishments that would prepare her to serve as this nation’s president. We stand by this view.
There are those, though, of the view that the experience of the Organizer from the Windy City is no more impressive. Perhaps. Indeed, had Sen. Obama had been plucked arbitrarily from political obscurity by a Democratic presidential nominee eight weeks before the election, had he not participated in 20 nationally televised debates, not run in more than twice that number of primaries and caucuses from Iowa to Puerto Rico, not raised an army of supporters and volunteers registering well over two million new voters, not raised nearly $500 million from more than 1.5 million donors, not defeated the closest thing this country had of to a political machine, then the same might have been said of him.
But he did do all of these things. Senator Obama literally created himself as a political force, raised his own resources, created his own momentum, ran against his own party’s establishment and took the prize. More substantively, it was Obama who, from the beginning, built his campaign on the one theme that each of the late runners came to claim as their own – Change. He worked the process, won the votes and set the course of the election. He has engaged the voter on a par with Reagan and Kennedy and those who would dismiss him do so at their own peril.
As for the Mayor from Nowhere, she remains largely sequestered from the media save several less than distinguished outings with Katie Couric and Charles Gibson, and reporters questions hurled at here and there as she is shuttled from one controlled environment to the next.