Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Obama's Speech on November 4, 2008

First a short snippet from Obama's victory speech on election night:

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection." And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For the complete speech, see the following links: (includes a link to a video version)

The video can also be found at

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thoughts on local politics

For reasons I've expressed elsewhere, I've long felt that there needs to be more political diversity--at least more willingness to vote for a qualified Democrat--in Utah.

Though we've made progress, a lot more needs to be done, especially in Utah Valley. The Utah County Democratic Party has worked very hard over the past few years to develop a moderate platform and to encourage the best people they could find to run. I've been told (and I'll phrase it carefully since I have it second hand and I don't believe it's supposed to be public knowledge) that Church leaders at the general level, meeting with potential candidates, not only encouraged them to run as Democrats but encouraged them to be open about their Church service and to emphasize the Church's political neutrality.

This year, the Utah County party fielded an exceptional group of candidates, including former mission presidents and other highly qualified people with unquestionable Church credentials. Several of them were clearly superior to their opponents. I'm afraid none of them won.

I worked very hard for one of the candidates--Claralyn Hill--who I would say is clearly 3 or 4, maybe 5 or 6, times as qualified as her Republican opponent. She was endorsed by Stephen R. Covey, Truman Madsen, Susan Easton Black, and other well known residents. But it appears she's lost.

I'm not sure what combination of bias and lack of awareness is at work. But it's frustrating to feel like nothing could get a Democrat elected--that even Joseph Smith would lose in Utah County if he ran as a Democrat. (Read his presidential platform, and I think you'll find he might just lean in that direction.)

I don't know what more could be done--apart from either having the Church assign people to be Democrats or having somebody with enormous wealth provide the resources for an educational effort to change people's attitudes.

Anyway, that's my one feeling of frustration on a morning that I am otherwise very, very happy about.

Here are the results from some of the races I've been interested in:

State Senate District 16
Bramble, Curt (REP)
60.95% Votes: 10,207
Hatfield, Radene (DEM)
39.05% Votes: 6,539

State House of Rep. District 59
Fowlke, Lorie D. (REP)
63.75% Votes: 5,162
Thompson, Paul (DEM)
36.25% Votes: 2,935

State House of Rep. District 60
Daw, Bradley M. (REP)
66.42% Votes: 6,215
Mcaffee, Boyd (DEM)
27.49% Votes: 2,572
Swain, Scott P. (CON)
6.09% Votes: 570

State House of Rep. District 61
Grover, Keith (REP)
64.25% Votes: 6,421
Turley, Deon S. (DEM)
35.75% Votes: 3,573

State House of Rep. District 62
Herrod, Christopher (REP)
58.3% Votes: 4,594
Hill, Claralyn (DEM)
41.7% Votes: 3,286

State House of Rep. District 63
Clark, Steve (REP)
63.31% Votes: 2,788
Jarvis, Donald K. (DEM)
36.69% Votes: 1,616

State House of Rep. District 64
Lockhart, Becky (REP)
65.71% Votes: 5,180
Petersen, Boyd Jay (DEM)
30.41% Votes: 2,397
Ashby, Nathanial (LIB)
3.88% Votes: 306

I know several of the candidates personally. In my judgment several of the losing Democrats--for instance, Radene Hatfield, Claralyn Hill, and maybe a couple of others--are clearly better than their opponents. Later I'll add further thoughts on some of them and on my involvement.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Republicans for Obama

In addition to Colin Powell, other prominent Republicans have chosen to endorse Obama. (Of course, a prominent Democrat--Joe Liebermann--has endorsed McCain. But the movement has been much more in Obama's direction.)

Good sources on this phenomenon include, "The Moderate Voice," and "The Jed Report" (though this one adds Republicans who still endorse McCain but have been critical of some of his decisions).

Here's a partial list of those who have actually endorsed Obama:

Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Jim Leach, Former Congressman from Iowa
Lincoln Chafee, Former United States Senator from Rhode Island
William Weld, Former Governor of Massachusetts
Arne Carlson, Former Governor of Minnesota
Wayne Gilchrest, Congressman from Maryland
Charles Mathias, Former United States Senator and Congressman from Maryland
Larry Pressler, Former Senator from South Dakota
Richard Riordan, Former Mayor of Los Angeles
Lowell Weicker, Former Governor and Senator from Connecticut
Claudine Schneider, Former Congressman from Rhode Island
Harris Fawell, Former Congressman from Illinois
Jim Whitaker, Fairbanks, Alaska Mayor
William Milliken, Former Governor of Michigan
Phil Arthurhultz, Former Michigan State Senate Majority Leader
Linwood Holton, Former Governor of Virginia
Ken Duberstein, White House Chief of Staff under Reagan
Douglas Kmiec, Head of the Office of Legal Counsel under Reagan & Bush (the 1st one)
Charles Fried, Solicitor General of the United States under Reagan and a conservative economist
Susan Eisenhower, Granddaughter of President Eisenhower
Francis Fukuyama, Advisor to President Reagan
Larry Hunter, Former President Reagan Policy Advisor
Scott McClellan, Former Press Secretary to President George W. Bush
Ken Adelman, Served in the Ford administration
Lilibet Hagel, Wife of Republican Senator Chuck Hagel
George C. Lodge, Assistant Secretary of Labor under President Eisenhower
William B. Ewald, Jr., Special Assistant under President Eisenhower
Richard S. Seline, Finance Director, Republican Party of Texas
David Caprara, Faith-Based Initiatives Director, Federal Volunteer Service Agency under Bush (the 2nd one)
John Perry Barlow, Former Dick Cheney Campaign Manager
David Friedman, Economist and son of Milton and Rose Friedman
Christopher Buckley, Son of National Review founder William F. Buckley and former National Review columnist
C C Goldwater, Granddaughter of Barry Goldwater

Another prominent Republican to go at least part way is Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He and Obama have worked together on legislation to keep loose nuclear weapons out of the wrong hands.