The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


I'm sure Wes Flinn, Michael Wilcox and I will all compete to see who can put up a "review" of Deval's speech to the Central Berkshire Labor Council this morning. Read them all with the caveat that we are all involved in his campaign....

But it didn't take a political genius to figure out that, once again, he was a rock star. His message of hope and affirming the American dream really resonated with the audience, people like me who had worked hard to get where they were. Probably the story that affected me most (besides the observation that he showed up at Milton Academy the first day in a windbreaker because the mailing had said that young men should wear jackets to class....) was his recounting of the call home to his grandmother to tell her he had been admitted to Harvard. He was all excited and his grandmother was too. Then she paused and said "Now, just where is that?"

Of course the crowd howled. But then he gently pointed out the lesson. "She wasn't so much interested in or aware of the prestige. She was happy for me because I was going to have the OPPORTUNITY."

God helps those who help themselves, but we all need an opportunity first. Deval's story of the opportunity that the A Better Chance (ABC) program gave him to go to Milton and the opportunity he got to attend Harvard and HLS are the kinds of dreams that we are still trying to create. And his reminder to us that government can be the instrument of that possibility is one of the things his candidacy is about.

As a kid who went to a Seven Sisters school on a half scholarship, and got survivor's benefits from the Social Security system to finish, I can only say, "AMEN."

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