Who can help be inundated with reports about the speeches at the Democratic National Convention? I must admit I was pretty excited with the start of the convention. How does the national political scene affect us at home? Plenty.
North Carolina, according to the Obama campaign, is a state that very well could turn Blue in November (no surprise with this statement). Obama has visited here several times, and may indeed come back before November. If he does start to show some strong polling results here in the state before then (if he hasn’t already), he could pull US Senate candidate Kay Hagan right along with him. However, she is indeed holding her own right now against Elizabeth Dole. Having a democratic senator will mean big changes here in NC. Kay has such a large, strong constituency here in the state and she will work hard with every individual in mind, versus working in Washington with George Bush and special interest groups in mind as Dole has done. Dole needs to go on out with Bush, especially since she voted with him most of the time. She also is ranked in the bottom ten of all US Senators in effectiveness. Why on earth would we put her back in Washington for North Carolina? I consider myself a politically aware and engaged citizen (and elected official) and I cannot give you one example of anything she has done to make our lives better here.
Kay will bring positive change and it will be palpable on a local level. I’ve talked with Kay about it and I trust her. She invited me to participate in a conference call that included about ten people: state representatives and national ones, most notably US Senator Claire McCaskill from Missouri. I highlighted some of the issues facing Orange County (as I was designated the conference call “rep” from Orange County) and was able to participate in a very lively conversation about what others are experiencing around the state and how Kay will work to solve the local problems. Sen. McCaskill was there to offer up the more global, senatorial experience and what it would take to get Kay elected here in NC. She is a great supporter of Kay, and also gave a speech at the convention in Denver.
Obama winning the national election is not a given, even though there is much excitement about it. Democratic supporters must work hard here on the grassroots level in NC as they always have to spread the word and encourage people to get out and vote. This is the most important election of our time. Change is so desperately needed, locally and nationally. Please participate in the process and realize the importance of national politics and how it plays a part in our local lives.