I caught this over the weekend, and frankly was rather encouraged by it:
On Thursday night President Bush spoke to the nation from my city. I am not a Republican. I did not vote for George W. Bush — in fact, I worked pretty hard against him in 2000 and 2004. But on Thursday night, after watching him speak from the heart, I could not have been prouder of the president and the plan he outlined to empower those who lost everything and to rebuild the Gulf Coast…
I know, maybe better than anyone, that there are times when it seems that our nation is too divided ever to heal. There are times when we feel so different from each other that we can hardly believe that we are all part of the same family. But we are one nation. We are a family. And this is what we do. When the president asked us to pitch in Thursday night, he wasn’t really asking us to do anything spectacular. He was asking us to be Americans, and to do what Americans always do….
Mr. President, I am ready for duty. I am ready to stir those old pots again. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work.
Man, do we need more of this!
Donna Brazile was Al Gore’s controversial campaign manager in 2000–an aggressive and outspoken partisan, often controversial, with a long history in civil rights activism and Democratic political strategy. She may be one of the people I would expect least likely to step up to the plate and support George Bush–having served as an attack dog against him in recent campaigns. There have been, however, some indications that she has much more political savvy than your average Democrat pol seems to possess these days: in 2004, she penned an opinion piece bemoaning the fact that Democrats have so thoroughly abandoned the heritage of Scoop Jackson and other pro-defense and national security-conscious Democratic senators and representatives of days past. She seems to understand that simply being against everything, critical of everything, attacking everything your politcal opponents do has great potential for undermining the unity and strength we Americans possess when we swallow our differences and unite in common cause.
I suspect that Donna Brazile and I would disagree on virtually every major social and political issue you could name–but I applaud her for her courage and integrity in joining hands with her bitter political enemy for the benefit of her city–and her country. Thank you, Donna–and may your tribe increase. You go, girl!