By Brent Budowsky - 04/21/08 03:54 PM EDT
The endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) by former Sens. Sam Nunn and David Boren presages the possibility of a unity government that rises above the cynicism of our times, while a tidal wave of small-donor democracy could raise $300 million by November.
This week HBO is running the finale of its series about John Adams that traces the final days of Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
They were brothers founding America, adversaries representing the North and South poles of our Republic, friends who spent their final years in great communion about America.
On July 4, 1826, exactly 50 years from the greatest hour in the history of freedom, they left us together, thinking of each other.
Is it romantic to believe that God taking Adams and Jefferson from us on that July 4 was a message designed to be remembered for the ages?
Neither Obama, nor Clinton, nor McCain, is Jefferson or Adams, but we are all their successors in a nation yearning to come together, as they did.
The challenge of competing with the Clintons is that they dare us to enter the politics of the lowest denominator of attack, to divide and polarize, to tear down, even at the price of electing Republicans.
For the loser of elected delegates, popular votes, and states won to run a campaign of destruction against the winner, for the purpose of showing contempt for the voting that Adams and Jefferson valued so highly, is a tactic no Democrat has ever used against another. Is electing the Republican the intent, or might it merely be the result, of this?
What is striking about Obama is that the first black candidate with a genuine chance for the presidency, faced with dark-side attacks from both sides of the aisle and a media that relishes the shallow and slanderous, maintains both his dignity and his lead.
Obama, like Clinton, like McCain, is imperfect but he truly aspires to be a president of national unity, which is why he has won the support of former Sens. Nunn and Boren.
Sen. Nunn may be America’s most credible and experienced voice on national security. Nunn and Boren were leading organizers of the bipartisan January summit of “notables” who want to bring America a national unity government.
Their support dramatizes, again, the potential of an Obama presidency.
Obama, more than any candidate in a generation, has inspired a surge of political participation and a fundraising revolution that could reach 3 million small donors by November.
This election is about a patriot I’ll call Susan, a single working mom who wrote to me about how her teenage daughter made her a “Barack Rocks” T-shirt, which inspired her to make a small donation to Obama.
If Obama renounces public financing, he could achieve the first $100 million fundraising month in history.
Every new wave of attack will be met with a tidal wave of small donors who could raise $300 million by November.
Do not underestimate the transforming and democratizing power of this. Imagine when the most powerful special interest in America is the working mom of a teenage daughter who donates $30 a month, along with millions of others, to bring patriotic change to America.
Jefferson and Adams would be proud.