The President of the United States asked us all to support his bid for a second term in a clear, concise, and specific speech that transcended party lines and reminded Americans of the deeper bonds that unite us as a people. He addressed us in Charlotte at the close of a day filled with speakers who reminded us of our heritage of hard won rights and also the cold hard facts of the choice before us this November.
Yes, there was a lot of policy; there was a lot of record to review, and there was plenty of contrast between the President's path forward and his opponent's. But what struck me this evening was his clarion call to understand the character of Americans, the promise of our nation, and the meaning of one critical word, "citizenship."
He said citizenship was at the "heart of our founding" and the "essence of our democracy." And in a thought that recalled John F. Kennedy's inaugural - he stated that citizenship was not about what can be done for us but rather what can be done by us. It was a powerful reminder of the power of American citizenship.
President Obama's central argument really hinged on character and values. He forcefully declared where his allegiance lay - and he called on each of us to choose which path forward we want to be remembered for. The fundamental difference he layed out was between those who see the future as something we build together as opposed to those who believe we can simply get what we want by acting alone.
Since the last convention in Denver, something profound has changed in the President. He has borne the country through hard times for four years. And he has grown as many of us had confidence he would. Toward the end he stated profoundly that he wasn't a candidate, he was the President. It meant that he has an immeasurable advantage we should be loathe to lose - experience.
The President (and the marvelous Joe Biden along with others before him) underscored the momentous decisions and hard choices he has had to make in office.
When all was said and done, my personal view was that the election really won't be that close - as long as we do our jobs and ensure that voters get to the polls to exert their will.
The DNC convention redefined the campaign - the Romney/Ryan campaign was made almost trivial and adolescent in comparison to the call to embrace the truth of the historic American experience - an inclusive, courageous, barrier breaking, can-do nation that never hides from hard times. Our party leadership and the speakers we heard from look like our nation's future. The diversity of our convention delegates represents the America we are and are becoming.
America's values are in the balance and that is what the President and the Vice-President and so many other speakers made clear over the past three days. The future is not something Americans should ever fear. And America's future cannot possibly lie behind us; it can only be found if continue to move forward.
So that's the fundamental truth that rang out to my ears. And now it is up to each of us. Are you in? Ready to build a country that aspires to our highest values? The Obama campaign has three offices in Bucks County. The main office at 33 South Main Street in Doylestown is open 7 days a week from 9am to 9pm. Stop by and get involved. I'm fired up - Ready to Go! How about you?
And here are some of the highlights from earlier in the day.
Shout out to Mark Anthony for delivering a beautiful and faithful rendition of the national anthem, James Taylor for doing a set that began with Carolina (thank you Charlotte!) and the Foo Fighters who rocked it out of the arena.
Tears were flowing when Gabby Giffords led the Pledge of Allegiance. Caroline Kennedy reminded us all of the cost of progress. We discovered how incredibly deep the Democratic bench is and how much humor our leaders have. Thank you Senator Kerry, Gov. Granholm and Gov. Schweitzer.
John Lewis reminded us of the terrible price we have paid for progress and Bucks County's own Patrick Murphy was honored on stage as part of a delegation of veterans who represented the sacrifice of our courageous armed forces. Thank you Patrick for your leadership on the repeal of DADT!
Tomorrow the pundits will do their polling and analysis. My view is personal based on attending the convention from gavel to gavel every day. Thank you for electing me to be one of your representatives in Charlotte. I took my responsibility seriously, attended faithfully, and cast my vote proudly on your behalf for our President.
I will be back in Doylestown soon. I can only hope that you were as inspired as me and will make some time in your busy schedule to help us win this November. The stakes are very high for our nation. The country has a real choice to make. If you read this, you already care and probably know a great deal about all of the issues that hang in the balance. And yet there are many of our neighbors who do not know what you know. Do you you really know how they will vote - whether they'll vote? I don't want to risk losing - and I certainly don't want to repeat the mistakes of the Bush policies. Please help us. Let's go win this thing.