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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Supporting Barack Obama to the White House

<se vote for Obama on Tuesday. As a Carl, I know how hard it can be to take ten minutes out of your busy schedule. As an Obama supporter, I know that Senator Obama has the right policies, the right experience, and judgment to usher in a new American era.

Minnesota votes Tuesday along with 21 other states. Minnesota uses a caucus system. Students can vote in the Democratic Caucus at the Northfield Middle School. Students for Obama will be arranging transportation to and from the middle school. The caucus starts at 6:30

Every voter needs to get to the caucus. Every delegate is a struggle and every delegate counts. A good showing in Minnesota will make a difference. A great showing, like Obama’s win in South Carolina can help even more because Minnesota doesn’t stop counting support at fifty percent. Candidates earn a share of Minnesota’s delegation proportional to their support on Caucus day. Even one delegate at the national convention may matter this year with two strong campaigns.

If you support Obama, get fired up and ready to go. Make sure your friends plan on caucusing and go together. Votes on Tuesday could choose the next administration and the direction that we take for the next eight years. We need more than just our supporters; we need independents and republicans, democrats of all stripes. If you’re undecided or think you just will not vote on Tuesday, please reconsider. Watch some speeches and check out what the campaigns are about. On you can find position papers, community blogs, and videos of speeches, debates, and town hall meetings. This campaign is its supporters. When you caucus on Tuesday bring a few friends. Talk about why you support Barack or why you think we need change, or simply your hope for a better tomorrow.

In the fall Democrats are going to need a leader who can organize the country around what unites us so we can win the White House. Then the President will need that organization and drive to work for our goals. Change does not happen spontaneously; change requires hard work and long-term engagement. As an organizer, Obama understands that change will also take national service, which he plans on expanding and rewarding with a free ride at any state university.

Obama has demonstrated the courage to speak truth directly to those who need to hear it, the courage to organize on the streets of Chicago, and the courage to unite the country around solving our problems. Leading a unified, inspired Democratic Party in the fall will let Obama unify and inspire the country in the White House. Unity isn’t about compromising on core positions: it’s about winning a huge mandate for change. Unity will foster change because unity inspires hope. Hope inspires action. Americans are tired of divisive politics and we have a once-in-a-generation chance to reject the politics of cynicism in favor of real change. The more definitive the refutation of dirty politics, the more politicians will respond.

The government needs to function better than it did under Bush, but it also needs to be more transparent so America can’t be hoodwinked again. Lobbyist reform will take time, but will be sped by more voters claiming their share of power. Barack Obama has had the courage to fight for transparency and ethics laws in Illinois. He had the backbone to fight to expose lobbyist bundling in the U.S. Senate.

Barack is a humble man whose judgment and experience are exactly what we need now. We need a clean break with the Bush Administration, and Barack Obama is the only candidate who had the judgment to oppose the invasion of Iraq at the time. He wasn’t intimidated into silence by Republican attack ads in a time when the war was popular. He wasn’t afraid to tell voters the truth though it was an unpopular position. We need the government to earn back the people’s trust. Consistently, Barack tells voters where he stands even though the crowd may not want to hear the truth. Senator Obama went to Detroit to lay out his plan to increase fuel efficiency, not an environmental group.

Playing the same Washington game with the same players over and over again has gotten us nowhere. An Obama presidency will be marked by innovation and a dedication to getting results. The emphasis on organization and community network development over the course of this campaign is not a mistake. It is the reaches of a true grassroots movement. The Obama campaign is calling simply for an era of honesty in government, in trustworthiness, and openness to prove it. Poverty is still widespread, the earth still warms, the violence in Iraq still simmers, and our economy is in trouble. These are enormous problems, but what concerns me is smallness of our politics. Washington can solve these problems; we just need to make sure Washington responds to the people. Luckily, the solution is that the people demand that regard.

It’s important that the Democratic nominee be able to articulate sharp differences between ideas, but it’s more important those contrasts presented honestly. The contrasts will be sharper if the Democrat’s campaign has not taken any PACs and lobbyist money. Change has to come from the people, and this year people seem to be waking up. The government has to be responsive to those people. Change will come from the electoral victories and the tone the campaign sets, but it doesn’t end there. There is a huge amount of work to do in Washington and none of it will be easy. We’re going to need someone who has stood up for others his entire life.

This year turnout has been remarkable. Turnout in Iowa almost doubled participation from the 2004 caucus, and in South Carolina more people voted for Obama last Saturday than voted for all candidates combined in 2004. We are smashing turnout records across the country. People are standing up to change our country. Now is your chance to lead; your first goal is to get more supporters to the caucus.

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