Thursday, May 29, 2008

puppy blogging

Monday, May 26, 2008

Green and Carefree

Just got back from a couple of days at Cricket Flats. As you can see, the wild flowers are in full riot right now. Emily and Tess went out for a walk and returned with a couple of nice bouquets for the dinner table.

The on again off again sunshine made for some nice light both at dawn and dusk.

This also turned out to be the weekend that Beth inducted our children (and Meg's children) into the world of Star Wars. There were some tense moments early on but the kids gave themselves over to Beth, and she guided them safely through the saga. Huge success.

The next day we took a long walk through the Fox Place. Watching the kids run through the tall grass in the direction of the old barn with the puppy nipping their heels put me in mind of Dylan Thomas' lovely poem Fern Hill . (click on the link for the complete text)

...All the sun long it was running. the hay
fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
and playing, lovely and watery,
and fire green as grass....

....Under the new made clouds and happy as the heart was long ,
In the sun born over and over, I ran my heedless ways,... wishes raced through the house high hay,

Oh, as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
Time held me green and dying,
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Get out the vote

For or against the new kitchen table.
Here's the skinny: we picked this up for twenty dollars at a local business which was going out of business. The table, while admittedly ugly, has several compensating virtues. For one thing, it used to live in the infamous local tavern, The Tropidera, at which I misspent a fair share of my bachelorhood. Notice the glass top, the exotic postcards, the odd shape.
Second, it is very heavy and stable, has a pedestal design, and is taller and larger (work space) than the table it is currently replacing.
...oh, and did I mention that it only cost twenty dollars?
On the negative side, it is tacky, perhaps beyond tacky, and it may outsize our kitchen.

We're having a referendum on the subject. Currently the family is split with the kids and me enthusiastically in the tacky table camp and Beth repenting and recoiling from the fact that this thing was her idea in the first place.
Since we decided to have a vote, I've noticed Beth resorting in to some Hillaryesque rhetoric. Listen to the following and substitute "presidency" for "kitchen".
"It is my kitchen after all."
"I don't feel letting a few voters decide my dream kitchen."
"What do they know about kitchens anyway?"
"If I can't have my kitchen the way I want it, nobody can have it."

Lets hope when the passions of the moment subside we can have a united family once again.
In any case, cast your vote early and often.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A story that could be true

I took Colm with me to our faculty golf scramble on Monday. He was excited to get the chance to hit some balls. The big bonus was the golf cart. Normally I walk the course but since everyone in this event used a cart, I followed suit. Colm was elated to have the chance to steer as we wound our way from one tee box to the next.
While I played my game with my partners, Colm played his game which consisted of jumping out of the cart and knocking a couple of balls around until it was time to load up and ride to the next stopping point.
I started well, so well in fact that Colm noticed. "You're the only one who can hit the ball in the hole," he whispered to me as we climbed in the cart and headed for the third tee. I allowed his comment to pass unchallenged and basked a little in our little father son moment.
A couple of holes later, I was hitting the ball much worse but Colm's attention had long since wandered off to other zones. My reputation (with Colm at least) was intact.
By the time the round was finished we had all regrouped at the clubhouse for a potluck and barbecue and beers. Colm got tired of waiting, however and, since he was the only kid there, I let him take a club and some balls down to the practice green just below the deck where we adults were gathered.
I watched him down there, alone on the manicured grass, his shadow tilting away from the sun which itself was settling down softly on the hilltops. He set down a ball and swung. The ball flew out of the grass like a startled bird and then dove down out of sight beyond the green.
Behind me, the high school staff were distributing prizes for sundry exploits on the course. It was a garrulous group. There were prizes for longest drive, closest to the pin, most divots...each little announcement brought a round of cheers.
I watched Colm who seemed to be in search of a lost ball now. He looked up at me, it seemed, quizzically. I wondered if he was getting discouraged. It so happened that I had a ball in my pocket so I fished it out, waved my hand to Colm and then tossed the ball to him. It landed on the green and rolled past him within easy reach. Colm went to it and lined up another shot. I sat there neither with my son nor with my colleagues.
A few minutes later, Colm and I sat just the two of us at a table on the clubhouse deck. We ate in silence, chewing large mouthfuls hungrily. Colm had both hands wrapped around his burger, which hung open at the other end like a mouth agape.
Colm said, "Daddy?"
"I was thinking. If the people were watching me hit a good shot and they were clapping because I hit it."
His expression was devoid of anything I might recognize as vanity. Rather, it seemed mostly curious and tinged ever so lightly with wonderment.
A voice in my head, had already unpacked the riddling moment. They had been jokingly mocking each other's inept and comedic moments on the golf course, they hadn't even noticed Colm down on the green ensconsed in his own private emerald reverie. The swish of the steel on blades of grass, the soft yet solid contact with the ball, the mysterious reach of his arms and his hands communicated to a little white ball...all of that had been interrupted by clamorous voices coming from above him. Childlike perhaps of him to wonder if it was all about him. I started to mention the prizes and then stopped myself....I answered my fatherly calling as well as I knew how.
"Do you think they saw you hit some good shots?"
Colm nodded.
"If they did, then I'm sure they would have clapped. I know that I did." Colm seemed satisfied for he returned almost without interruption to his burger.
It was just an idle moment in the midst of the serious business of eating, but I chewed on it long after I'd had my fill.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

faces in May...Morgan Lake

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Moon over Obama...(updated)

When we learned that Obama was coming to Pendleton for a Town Hall event, Beth and I took advantage. I got invited to be an event volunteer which meant that I had to arrive at the convention center in Pendleton four hours early - just about the same time Obama was scheduled to begin his rally 200 miles away from us on the waterfront in Portland. Our friend, Jerry, blogs about it here.

I got assigned to the press area where my job was essentially to keep journalists, both local and those traveling with the campaign, inside the press area. The area afforded a pretty cool vantage point on the whole event, although Beth ended up getting closer to Obama.

The convention seats 3,000 and it was overflowing. The fire marshall told me that they had to send folks with tickets home because he deemed it unsafe to allow more people inside.
It was great to watch everyone file in and to get an impression of the range of people in attendance. There were a ton of people from La Grande, many students of mine.
I took advantage of my position to steer a couple of my students and former students to reporters who were looking to interview Obama supporters. It was fun watching them field questions and compose themselves in front of someone who was taking notes on what they were saying.
Speaking of former students, I ran into one serving in the security detail. An ramrod straight State Patrol officer stuck out his hand and said, "Hello, Mr. Cahill." I looked at him and then at his name on his uniform. "Dan!" I said.
Only five minutes later I watched a camera woman filming a TV reporter on the risers in the press area. It dawned on me suddenly that the young reporter was another former student. The uplift among everyone there was palpable. The only people not a part of it were the press people who looked road weary and hard. They didn't smile; they didn't really even acknowledge you. What seemed historic to us appeared to be just a job to them.
While we waited for Obama to arrive - once the crowd was seated we still had at least an hour to kill - I started wondering about the Portland event.
The campaign coordinator got up and took a shot at warming up the crowd. He was pretty good actually. When he came back to our area, I finally asked him. "Did he get the 50, 000 people they predicted?"
Lou smiled at me, "75,000."
"No way."
"Yup...75,000 people."
"Holy shit."
When Obama finally came in, everybody got fired up. Obama gave an abbreviated stump speech in which he good naturedly accepted some ribbing for mispronouncing Wallowa.
The way he reacted was as endearing as it was instinctive. On his first effort, he said it wrong but then somehow heard a woman back in the crowd call out the correct pronunciation. He stopped mid sentence and went back and tried it a second time, better but not perfect. This time he heard it from several people. Obama laughed and said, "hold it now, I want to get this right. Say it again."
A chorus came back with "Wallowa!"
Obama came right back with it just like it was supposed to sound. People clapped.
Obama smiled and said, "That's probably a lot like the first time some people try to say 'Obama'." He got huge laughs on that one. The guy was completely at ease with everyone there and his self deprecating style set well with this crowd. Later in the event he suggested that he might like to come the Round Up in the fall. Big cheers. "Don't ask me to ride a bull. I won't ride a bull. I had a hard enough time bowling; I won't ride a bull."

On substance, the evening offered nothing new or newsworthy. I liked his comments about China. He admonished the crowd not to bash China but to "look in the mirror". America, he said, had forgotten how to live within her means.
One person asked him about the Hanford nuclear waste site. Obama confessed that he didn't know anything about it. It was a startlingly candid admission. He didn't try to dance around it but he did promise that by the time he had landed in Billings, Montana this evening, he would have learned a great deal more about it.
Obama came across as someone who will do his best to see that government becomes more transparent and more accountable, and that people get the government they deserve, the one described in the Constitution, and that people from all perspectives will be invited to the table. More than anything, he appears capable of and committed to using the bully pulpit of the presidency to rouse Americans to their own best efforts.
Smart, tireless, disciplined, approachable, affable, and good. That's how he seemed to me.

After it was all over, I hooked up with Beth and some of our friends in the parking lot. There was a full moon climbing up over the hills. We brainstormed dinner plans.
"Somebody ought to hang a banner from that moon that says "O" bama, " Beth said. Then she grabbed a pen, wrote on her hand, and held it aloft.
I took my new camera out and shot the moon.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Back in business

I finally bought a replacement camera for our broken Canon Powershot A85. As a lifelong Canon user, I considered a couple of Powershot models, the A640 and the A720, but due in part to availability issues,

I went with the Nikon Coolpix P60. I don't think I'm going to regret it either.

Whatever else one can say about any of the cameras I just listed, they're all twice the camera I had before.

Two weeks of letting kid, new puppy, home made chicken coop stuff go was hard. i'm not as handy with this thing as I hope to be but anyway this is the first batch.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Appalachia and America

Let me say right up front that I don't think someone should vote for Obama soley because he is black, though some people probably will do that.
Let me say also, that I've never been to Appalachia.
Those preliminaries aside, I've looked at the electoral map that shows the counties in the US that have gone 65% to Hillary and they are nearly all in Appalachia. Appalachia it seems is a world unto itself.
Obama has won rural states with overwhelmingly white populations like Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Nebraska and North Dakota. It's not like he hasn't shown the ability to connect with Americans of every color and ethnicity. So what gives with Appalachia?
The role race and gender play in shaping people's perceptions is enormously difficult to gauge. Yet there seems little doubt that these factors sometimes trump almost everything else where certain people are concerned.
The clip which follows offers a peek into just how intractable to reason and factual information racial attitudes can be. Remember, these folks are all lifelong Democrats, second and third generation Democrats. As you watch, ask yourself whether any white politician from either party has to repeatedly set the record straight about his avowed religious faith (Christian), about his place of birth (America), about his citizenship (American), about his pledge of allegiance to the flag (he does), about his singing the national anthem (he does),or whether he loves his country.
John McCain says he's a Christian; we take him at his word. Hillary says it; we take her at her word. Obama says it; well, he can say whatever he wants, we don't have to believe it because we have anonymous group emails that say otherwise.

More and more I'm convinced that this election is not about the aspirations of African-Americans or of a black man running for President; rather, it's whether white America really knows how to be color blind when it chooses it's next president or if it's only been paying lip service to that ideal all these years.

McCain can win the general election, and it doesn't have to mean that we're a racist nation. But if Obama loses for reasons like the ones given in this video, well, that will be a bitter pill to swallow. I tend to think that Appalachia is an anomaly rather than a microcosm of America.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Remember Me

Here's a YouTube clip created by a fifteen year old Oregon girl. I found it impossible to get through without having my heart wrenched.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Giver... a poem for my mother

The Giver

Your are the mother.
Of all givers,
you are the one.

In the very beginning,
in the middle of night,
and at the end of every day,
you gave and you gave.

From here my footsteps
trace backwards to you
in a place I cannot conceive.

Forever all my tomorrows
are born of your yesterdays.
Each moment holds you and me
together in perfect stillness.

I who am no longer a child,
who took it all
and who labors now -

as you must have years ago -
to give as well as I got from you,
mother. Of all givers,
you are the one.

by Kevin Cahill

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Obama on fire

In his speech tonight in North Carolina, Obama seemed to get his mojo back. Here's the full text of the speech...Know Hope.

You know, some were saying that North Carolina would be a game-changer in this election. But today, what North Carolina decided is that the only game that needs changing is the one in Washington, DC.

I want to start by congratulating Senator Clinton on her victory in the state of Indiana. And I want to thank the people of North Carolina for giving us a victory in a big state, a swing state, and a state where we will compete to win if I am the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

When this campaign began, Washington didn't give us much of a chance. But because you came out in the bitter cold, and knocked on doors, and enlisted your friends and neighbors in this cause; because you stood up to the cynics, and the doubters, and the nay-sayers when we were up and when we were down; because you still believe that this is our moment, and our time, for change - tonight we stand less than two hundred delegates away from securing the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

More importantly, because of you, we have seen that it's possible to overcome the politics of division and distraction; that it's possible to overcome the same old negative attacks that are always about scoring points and never about solving our problems. We've seen that the American people aren't looking for more spin or more gimmicks, but honest answers about the challenges we face. That's what you've accomplished in this campaign, and that's how we'll change this country together.

This has been one of the longest, most closely fought contests in history. And that's partly because we have such a formidable opponent in Senator Hillary Clinton. Tonight, many of the pundits have suggested that this party is inalterably divided - that Senator Clinton's supporters will not support me, and that my supporters will not support her.

Well I'm here tonight to tell you that I don't believe it. Yes, there have been bruised feelings on both sides. Yes, each side desperately wants their candidate to win. But ultimately, this race is not about Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama or John McCain. This election is about you - the American people - and whether we will have a president and a party that can lead us toward a brighter future.

This primary season may not be over, but when it is, we will have to remember who we are as Democrats - that we are the party of Jefferson and Jackson; of Roosevelt and Kennedy; and that we are at our best when we lead with principle; when we lead with conviction; when we summon an entire nation around a common purpose - a higher purpose. This fall, we intend to march forward as one Democratic Party, united by a common vision for this country. Because we all agree that at this defining moment in history - a moment when we're facing two wars, an economy in turmoil, a planet in peril - we can't afford to give John McCain the chance to serve out George Bush's third term. We need change in America.

The woman I met in Indiana who just lost her job, and her pension, and her insurance when the plant where she worked at her entire life closed down - she can't afford four more years of tax breaks for corporations like the one that shipped her job overseas. She needs us to give tax breaks to companies that create good jobs here in America. She can't afford four more years of tax breaks for CEOs like the one who walked away from her company with a multi-million dollar bonus. She needs middle-class tax relief that will help her pay the skyrocketing price of groceries, and gas, and college tuition. That's why I'm running for President.

The college student I met in Iowa who works the night shift after a full day of class and still can't pay the medical bills for a sister who's ill - she can't afford four more years of a health care plan that only takes care of the healthy and the wealthy; that allows insurance companies to discriminate and deny coverage to those Americans who need it most. She needs us to stand up to those insurance companies and pass a plan that lowers every family's premiums and gives every uninsured American the same kind of coverage that Members of Congress give themselves. That's why I'm running for President.

The mother in Wisconsin who gave me a bracelet inscribed with the name of the son she lost in Iraq; the families who pray for their loved ones to come home; the heroes on their third and fourth and fifth tour of duty - they can't afford four more years of a war that should've never been authorized and never been waged. They can't afford four more years of our veterans returning to broken-down barracks and substandard care. They need us to end a war that isn't making us safer. They need us to treat them with the care and respect they deserve. That's why I'm running for President.

The man I met in Pennsylvania who lost his job but can't even afford the gas to drive around and look for a new one - he can't afford four more years of an energy policy written by the oil companies and for the oil companies; a policy that's not only keeping gas at record prices, but funding both sides of the war on terror and destroying our planet in the process. He doesn't need four more years of Washington policies that sound good, but don't solve the problem. He needs us to take a permanent holiday from our oil addiction by making the automakers raise their fuel standards, corporations pay for their pollution, and oil companies invest their record profits in a clean energy future. That's the change we need. And that's why I'm running for President.

The people I've met in small towns and big cities across this country understand that government can't solve all our problems - and we don't expect it to. We believe in hard work. We believe in personal responsibility and self-reliance.

But we also believe that we have a larger responsibility to one another as Americans - that America is a place - that America is the place - where you can make it if you try. That no matter how much money you start with or where you come from or who your parents are, opportunity is yours if you're willing to reach for it and work for it. It's the idea that while there are few guarantees in life, you should be able to count on a job that pays the bills; health care for when you need it; a pension for when you retire; an education for your children that will allow them to fulfill their God-given potential. That's the America we believe in. That's the America I know.

This is the country that gave my grandfather a chance to go to college on the GI Bill when he came home from World War II; a country that gave him and my grandmother the chance to buy their first home with a loan from the government.

This is the country that made it possible for my mother - a single parent who had to go on food stamps at one point - to send my sister and me to the best schools in the country on scholarships.

This is the country that allowed my father-in-law - a city worker at a South Side water filtration plant - to provide for his wife and two children on a single salary. This is a man who was diagnosed at age thirty with multiple sclerosis - who relied on a walker to get himself to work. And yet, every day he went, and he labored, and he sent my wife and her brother to one of the best colleges in the nation. It was a job that didn't just give him a paycheck, but a sense of dignity and self-worth. It was an America that didn't just reward wealth, but the work and the workers who created it.

Somewhere along the way, between all the bickering and the influence-peddling and the game-playing of the last few decades, Washington and Wall Street have lost touch with these values. And while I honor John McCain's service to his country, his ideas for America are out of touch with these values. His plans for the future are nothing more than the failed policies of the past. And his plan to win in November appears to come from the very same playbook that his side has used time after time in election after election.

Yes, we know what's coming. We've seen it already. The same names and labels they always pin on everyone who doesn't agree with all their ideas. The same efforts to distract us from the issues that affect our lives by pouncing on every gaffe and association and fake controversy in the hope that the media will play along. The attempts to play on our fears and exploit our differences to turn us against each other for pure political gain - to slice and dice this country into Red States and Blue States; blue-collar and white-collar; white and black, and brown.

This is what they will do - no matter which one of us is the nominee. The question, then, is not what kind of campaign they'll run, it's what kind of campaign we will run. It's what we will do to make this year different. I didn't get into race thinking that I could avoid this kind of politics, but I am running for President because this is the time to end it.

We will end it this time not because I'm perfect - I think by now this campaign has reminded all of us of that. We will end it not by duplicating the same tactics and the same strategies as the other side, because that will just lead us down the same path of polarization and gridlock.

We will end it by telling the truth - forcefully, repeatedly, confidently - and by trusting that the American people will embrace the need for change.

Because that's how we've always changed this country - not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up; when you - the American people - decide that the stakes are too high and the challenges are too great.

The other side can label and name-call all they want, but I trust the American people to recognize that it's not surrender to end the war in Iraq so that we can rebuild our military and go after al Qaeda's leaders. I trust the American people to understand that it's not weakness, but wisdom to talk not just to our friends, but our enemies - like Roosevelt did, and Kennedy did, and Truman did.

I trust the American people to realize that while we don't need big government, we do need a government that stands up for families who are being tricked out of their homes by Wall Street predators; a government that stands up for the middle-class by giving them a tax break; a government that ensures that no American will ever lose their life savings just because their child gets sick. Security and opportunity; compassion and prosperity aren't liberal values or conservative values - they're American values.

Most of all, I trust the American people's desire to no longer be defined by our differences. Because no matter where I've been in this country - whether it was the corn fields of Iowa or the textile mills of the Carolinas; the streets of San Antonio or the foothills of Georgia - I've found that while we may have different stories, we hold common hopes. We may not look the same or come from the same place, but we want to move in the same direction - towards a better future for our children and our grandchildren.

That's why I'm in this race. I love this country too much to see it divided and distracted at this moment in history. I believe in our ability to perfect this union because it's the only reason I'm standing here today. And I know the promise of America because I have lived it.

It is the light of opportunity that led my father across an ocean.

It is the founding ideals that the flag draped over my grandfather's coffin stands for - it is life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It's the simple truth I learned all those years ago when I worked in the shadows of a shuttered steel mill on the South Side of Chicago - that in this country, justice can be won against the greatest of odds; hope can find its way back to the darkest of corners; and when we are told that we cannot bring about the change that we seek, we answer with one voice - yes we can.

So don't ever forget that this election is not about me, or any candidate. Don't ever forget that this campaign is about you - about your hopes, about your dreams, about your struggles, about securing your portion of the American Dream.

Don't ever forget that we have a choice in this country - that we can choose not to be divided; that we can choose not to be afraid; that we can still choose this moment to finally come together and solve the problems we've talked about all those other years in all those other elections.

This time can be different than all the rest. This time we can face down those who say our road is too long; that our climb is too steep; that we can no longer achieve the change that we seek. This is our time to answer the call that so many generations of Americans have answered before - by insisting that by hard work, and by sacrifice, the American Dream will endure. Thank you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Shutter down

Good news, bad news...Tess turned 7 years old today...the age of reason (not to be confused with the Age of Enlightment), and my Canon Powershot A75 finally gave up the ghost right at the beginning of my daughter's 7th birthday party today.

It was a great party though - Spy vs Spy, the kids all wore disguises and had aliases. In attendance were agents Ruby Rose (Tess), Kitty, Red Heart, Nighthawk, Chimmichimmichowow (Colm), Sneaky Goose (not pictured), Agent 99, Giddyup Gabbie, Irene Nevretzki (Beth), and Monsieur X (moi).

We collected finger prints, played memory games, printed out clues in secret code and invisible ink and succeeded in capturing the Cupcake Thief (yours truly). It was very cute seeing these first and second grade girls carrying their little notebooks about, recording clues and observations. I wish I could get my high school students to take notes like these girls did. Tess and her friends displayed some pretty serious code cracking skills. They were a hoot to play with.
Colm, being younger than Tess's friends, and not so skilled in letters yet, came to me near the end of the search for the eight hidden clues. I was standing alone in the back yard just about to plant the final clue while the girls scoured the inside of the house. I could tell he was getting discouraged.
"Daddy...could tell me where the clue is?" he whispered, not so conspiratorially, more like he knew he was whipped and he just needed a little wind in his sails.
"You stand right here, " I said as I slipped the final envelope into the secret mailbox under treehouse and flipped up the signal flag. "When the girls come running outside and see the flag, you run for the mailbox. Get there first. Okay?" Colm nodded.
"I'll stand right here," he repeated, his spy instincts coming to the surface.
Seconds later the girls came storming out. They were chattering all at once. I looked at Colm. He had a ten yard headstart if he took off right now. But he was completely distracted by the girls. I called him but he didn't hear me. I tried again. No use. Then one of the girls saw the flag. This was it. I shouted over their heads at Colm who stood as if in a dream alone on the lawn. "Go!"
He snapped out of it, turned on his heels and dashed for the mailbox. He got there just ahead of the swarming girls. He opened the box, took out the envelope, turned and ran back, splitting the crowd of girls, eluding their hands, waving the envelope high over his head, a glittering smile on his face. I'll remember that expression for a good long time.

Unfortunately, I've got almost no photos to show for it.
These are officially the last photos ever to be taken by this camera.
So... I'm out of the photography business for awhile until we can budget for a new camera.

French Horse Whisperer

This is kinda cool. When we were in Arles we saw horses like these everywhere in the marshes. They're from the Camargue just south of Arles.

Friday, May 02, 2008

A challenge to Democrats

Here's a letter I sent to the local paper. It'll be published in the next couple of days.

I’m a registered Republican, and I’ll be voting for Barack Obama in the November general election…if the Democrats nominate him, that is.

One of the reasons Obama has my vote is that I’m disgusted with the political culture of this country. For the last eight years that culture has been personified by George Bush and Karl Rove. Before them it was Bill Clinton and Dick Morris. Now we have the specter of Hillary Clinton bringing us Rove redux as she wages her own scorched earth campaign against Barack Obama.

Whatever high ground, Democrats may have imagined they had after the debacle of the Bush presidency, they are in the process of frittering it away by revealing themselves to be held in thrall by the same Machiavellian imperatives that the GOP used to divide this country and remain in power. I’m embarrassed by my own party’s divisive and unprincipled tendencies; I wonder if conscientious Democrats feel much better about their party.

Say what you will about the Clinton and Bush political policies and legacies there is no denying the fact that the American electorate has until now become increasingly disenchanted with our political process. It’s been 38 years since 60% of registered voters even bothered to cast a ballot for president in a general election.

Take a moment and digest that fact.

Now ask yourself, who among the three candidates running for president has the most potential for reviving public participation in American democracy and for restoring pride in our government and for mobilizing coalitions of people from across the political spectrum to tackle the problems facing our country?

Democrats: wake up and deliver Obama to us. America needs him.