Gustav Response: Why Obama is The Service Candidate
by vcalzone, Sun Aug 31, 2008 at 09:04:02 AM EDT
Called it! When it became clear that McCain was going to use the hurricane to try and squeeze political points, I said Obama should use his army of volunteers to try and get assistance to the victims. While this might score political points, it would certainly be the fundamentally decent thing to do. Fortunately for all of us, Obama is a fundamentally decent man.
Sen. Obama gathered the pool outside after services at St. Luke's Lutheran Church. He told us that his camapaign plans to mobilize its huge e-mail list of supporters to volunteer or send money once the impact of Gustav becomes apparent and authorities know better what kind of help is needed. He said his campaign is coordinating with local authorities.
"We can activate an e-mail list of a couple million people who want to give back," he said. "I think we can get tons of volunteers to travel down there if it becomes necessary."
Your pooler asked him if McCain's visit now is appropriate.
His response: "A big storm like this raises bipartisan concerns and I think for John to want to find out what's going on is fine."
"The thing that I always am concerned about in the middle of a storm is whether we're drawing resources away from folks on the ground because the Secret Service and various security requirements, sometimes it pulls police, fire and other departments away from concentrating on the job."
"I'm assuming that where he went that wasn't an issue. Were going to try to stay clear of the area until things have settled down and then we'll probably try to figure out how we can be as helpful as possible."
While John McCain seems to think that service is about individual effort, Obama understands that the path to service is through collective action. I can think of no better example.
As for Obama and my prediction, all I can say is that Obama constantly lives up to my better inclinations and steers clears of my worst ones. I wasn't originally an Obama guy, but I am now.On a less political note, we should all have the residents of that area in our thoughts and/or prayers, and when we get that email, I hope we can all respond.