I want to talk to everyone who put their hard work into President Obama’s re-election campaign and is now feeling a little worn out and a little disappointed that we lost in North Carolina. You need to stay involved.
The Obama administration has wisely chosen to keep their base involved with governing challenges after the election. Looking back on the bulk of the first term, the President’s agenda suffered when his approach to negotiation was limited to meetings inside the Beltway and behind closed doors. As evidenced by the success of this year’s battle over student loan rates (not to mention the election itself), they’ve figured out that the President is more likely to defeat obstructionist Republicans when the public is engaged and speaking out. To that end, they are busy convening meetings like ours with community leaders from all over the country. Maybe you’ve seen some of the other things they’re doing on social media and at public events around the country.
I was recently at the White House with 40 North Carolinians for a working meeting on how we could support the President’s plan for addressing the fiscal cliff. The White House staff committed to continuing to engage the public on future challenges as well. To the pleasure of our crowd, they cited both immigration reform and gay marriage as two issues to come ahead.
But what interested me the most was the groundwork they were laying for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in 2014. In a six-month time span, 30 million uninsured Americans will need to register with a health care exchange. The last time we asked 30 million people to do anything in this country was World War II. To accomplish this massive mobilization, we will need the entire Obama campaign infrastructure to roll out and register people for health care. After all, as Dr. Martin Luther King pointed out, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
Friends, we have to be ready for that challenge! We did not support the President’s re-election just so we could watch him lose battles like he did from 2008-2010. This is about more than Obama. The President’s agenda needs to represent the people’s agenda. The only way to make that happen is for us to be involved.