Monday, February 21, 2005

Playing well with others

In the wee hours of the morning I sent out an email blast to 8,705 contacts. I have not sent out a message since mid-October, 2004. So, I'm sure I'll get a few bounces. Funny to me, the first of 26 bounces some 12 hours later is this:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Jack Wagner"
To: <>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 03:17:56 -0500
Subject: automated response
Thank you for your note!

We read all of the mail that we receive and try to send personal responses to each message. We just wanted you to know in the meantime that we have received your note and will be in touch soon.


I'm running for Jack Wagner's old seat. They are keeping the email on for me -- like keeping the seat warm -- or "....We'll keep the light on for ya." Tom Bodet of Motel 6 fame. Thanks for such a quick response to my email.

Is it so strange and newsworthy that people get along? In the real world, outreach and communication generally builds respect.

When old rivals get along is one thing. Wait until Deleno gets a sense of our political action committee's make up. A Green Party campaign manager, a yellow-dog Democrat as Social Policy Director, lots of Republicans and a few other Libertarians, Indies too! The big tent and playing well with others is part of who I am.

Jon Delano mentioned in his email blast to PSF:
New Found Friends:

Hey, what's with all these reports that former President Bush and former President Clinton have become good chums? I hope it's true, and certainly their trip to tsunami-ravaged lands can only deepen whatever friendship is emerging. Both men, of course, belong to a very exclusive club wherein they can call each other "George" and "Bill" (and "Jimmy" and "Jerry"), but it's probably more than that. The shared experience of being president is so unique that it ought to give the one-time occupant plenty of grist to talk about. Then, let's not forget that Bill Clinton is the world's number one charmer. Now that his son "W" has won a second term, George I has nothing to fear from the Clintons . . . unless it's Jeb v. Hillary in '08!

On a local level, I have been struck by how two one-time adversaries, former U.S. Sen. Harris Wofford (D/PA) and the man who beat him, U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R/PA), have become friends. I know both well, and both have told me how they have found common ground on faith-based initiatives and AmeriCorps. Santorum once ridiculed the latter [remember his Kumbayah comment?], but -- thanks to Wofford -- has now become a leading advocate for the program in the Senate. I think their friendship is genuine, even though both would admit they have lots of other policy differences.

I come from the school of politics that says lots of things are more important than political ideology. When I was chief of staff to a Pennsylvania congressman, a Democrat, back in the 1980s, some of my closest friends were top aides to Republicans like my friend Dave Gribbin, Cong. Dick Cheney's chief aide. That was considered normal back then. It's a sad comment on today's politics that it becomes a big news story when two former presidents share a friendship!

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