Local view: Ness' campaign work for Obama will help Duluth in the long run
I support Don Ness' decision to help out in the presidential campaign ("Ness joins Obama campaign," Jan. 15). And I believe the negative feedback the newly elected mayor is receiving is coming from people with good intentions but who end up just ...
I support Don Ness' decision to help out in the presidential campaign ("Ness joins Obama campaign," Jan. 15). And I believe the negative feedback the newly elected mayor is receiving is coming from people with good intentions but who end up just being cynical.
We tend to do that too much in Duluth, I feel.
I understand the concerns and the need for Ness to work on Duluth issues rather than presidential-campaign issues. Being mayor is job one, and Mayor Ness has said he would focus on Duluth first. We can hold him to that.
For the mayor to also be working, on the side, on Barack Obama's presidential campaign is the right thing for him to do and will, I feel, be good for Duluth.
I mean, wow, what an honor for our city to have Ness involved with a front-runner for the presidency. He'll be able to gain the attention of state and national leaders. The contacts he could make could help him promote Duluth issues. You can't buy such exposure. In this world, reputation and who you know drives what issues get hearings on the national level and which ones don't.
We in Duluth want -- we need -- our mayor to be known as a leader on the state and national stages so he can have influence with legislators, Congressional members and even the president.
The involvement of mayors and governors in presidential campaigns has a long precedent. This year, Gov. Tim Pawlenty has endorsed and is actively campaigning for John McCain. And Minneapolis Mayor R.T Rybak is Ness' co-chairman for the Minnesota Obama campaign.
It makes sense: Those who already are leaders should have something to say about who runs for president. Whoever inhabits the White House will surely affect Duluthians in many ways. If I were mayor I know I'd want to be involved.
This particular presidential election has the potential to change the world and is just too important to ignore. Record numbers of people of all ages and persuasions in Iowa and New Hampshire showed up at the polls this year, demonstrating unprecedented interest in the campaigns. Everyone seems to know how important this election is.
I'm a 39-year-old father of three. No election in my lifetime has meant more to me. There is so much riding on who will next lead America.
Will America give up the protections of the Bill of Rights to fight off real and imaginary terrorists? Will we talk with our enemies or just bomb them? Will we ever get universal health care, removing the biggest worries of many families and businesses? Will we actually do something about global warming before Minnesota turns into Missouri? Will we continue to send children to die in the Middle East? Will we get rid of our need for oil once and for all? Will we fund real education and real learning vs. test-taking? Will we come together as a nation, united and inspired by our leaders? Or will our leaders continue to be irrelevant, ignoble and inert?
Duluth and everyone needs to understand that real change is needed or the path this country is on will start dictating changes none of us will like.
Good for Don Ness. Nothing is more important this year than the presidential campaign. I know if he said he'll spend the majority of his time on Duluth issues, that's what he'll do. I and others will hold him to that. I'm glad he's getting involved in the national campaign.
Daniel Billings of Duluth is a health-care consultant and a precinct captain for the Barack Obama presidential campaign.