Leadership, not labels

Published 11:08 pm Thursday, January 10, 2008

By Staff
This presidential campaign season is definitely different from previous ones.
That may portend changes for the good in this nation’s political system.
Mike Huckabee, seeking the Republican nomination for president, won the GOP caucus in Iowa last week. Barack Obama, seeking the Democratic nomination for president, won the Democrats’ caucus in Iowa last week.
Each is, for now, the front-runner of his respective party. That wasn’t the case before the Iowa caucuses. The results of the Iowa caucuses may be indications that most American voters aren’t accepting the “party line” when it comes to which candidate to support, be it a Republican candidate or Democratic candidate.
Several months ago, Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared to be the darling of the Democrats, while Rudy Giuliani appeared to be the poster boy for the Republicans. Well, many debates and one caucus later, the political picture has changed.
Although there seems to be a debate every other night, those debates have provided opportunities for candidates like Obama and Huckabee to get their messages to voters. Clinton and Giuliani aren’t leading their respective packs as they did several months ago.
Perhaps voters are paying more attention to common-sense solutions to the nation’s problems than they are to a political party’s platform. Perhaps voters are looking for candidates somewhere in the middle of the political spectrum instead of candidates at either extreme end of the political spectrum. Perhaps voters just want a change from the way things have been done in the political arena in the past 40 years or so.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg continues to stir up talk about becoming an independent bid for president. He’s arguing that partisanship is crippling the nation’s ability to solve its problems and move ahead toward prosperity, according to a report by The Associated Press. An independent bid by Bloomberg to capture the presidency may appeal to many voters fed up with Democrats and Republicans.
Some of what Bloomberg is saying appears to be resonating with voters.
His remarks brought applause from people at the summit, held to discuss bridging the gap between the Republican and Democratic parties, according to the AP report. Bloomberg, to a great degree, is right. It often seems as if Republicans and Democrats would rather blame each other for problems the nation faces than work together to solve those problems.
American voters are tired of being reminded over and over which party is to blame for this problem or that situation. They want solutions to those problems and situations, not blame.
Huckabee and Obama have also sounded the call for Democrats, Republicans and others to work together to solve the nation’s problems and move it toward better times. Those calls for unity may be what appealed to voters in Iowa last week. Those calls may appeal to more voters as they mark ballots in upcoming primaries this winter.
Whether Bloomberg, if he chooses to run, should be elected president is up to the voters. They will decide who replaces President Bush in the White House.
This nation needs someone who will bring about an attitude of this nation’s people being Americans, not Democrats, Republicans nor other political affiliates.
America needs a president who can reduce polarization and increase consensus among political leaders of all persuasions.
Perhaps it’s time to vote for a person, not a party.