Open letter to primary voters
Please consider what America needs when casting your ballot
Dear Fellow New Hampshire Voter,
I am a lifelong Republican, supporter of traditional Republican values and past supporter of great Republicans like George H.W. Bush, Warren Rudman, Walter Peterson, John McCain and others who have made Republicans, Democrats and independents proud to be New Hampshire citizens and Americans, just as I have often been inspired by great Democrats in office. I cannot support Donald Trump for any office. I intend to vote for Bill Weld on Feb. 11, and if you are so inclined and are unaffiliated, I invite you to join me.
However, if you are going to vote in the Democratic primary, I urge you to do so in a way that will lead to a united America, heal our divisions and restore the United States to its leadership position in the world.
If you select a candidate who cannot attract the votes of disaffected Republicans like me, inspire independents to join you and fire up the Democratic base to come out in sufficient numbers, you will fail to take advantage of the opportunity presented you.
Two of the Democratic candidates, Senators Sanders and Warren, are too extreme to attract the vital middle. No matter how attractive some of their proposals may be to many, they are too costly, too radical and too impractical either to pass or to attract voters like me.
Some of the candidates have no experience. The presidency is the most important job in the world. But in this media-driven world, glib speeches and well-done TV ads seem to be more important than years of hard work, public service and accomplishments. Candidates Yang and Steyer, while attractive, sincere and obviously bright, have zero experience.
Mayor Buttigieg, obviously smart, attractive and refreshing, has less experience in elective office than Governor Sununu or most of the members of our Executive Council, and with all due respect, no one is proposing them for president. His military service, while commendable, makes him about as expert on military or foreign policy as my driver’s license makes me qualified to design cars! We have had four years of no experience. We do not need four more.
Mr. Steyer, along with former New York Mayor Bloomberg, are spending massive amounts of their own money. They have the right to do this, but rewarding billionaire spending has its own dangers.
All of which brings us to the candidates who fit my profile for what I hope you will do for your country. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is a candidate three times elected to the U.S. Senate and a proven leader able to reach out to both parties. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado similarly is experienced in the Senate, in local education and politics, and has the ability to appeal to voters in all categories. Both come from the center of the country, with the ability to appeal to voters in the key states that elected Trump. Both would be a refreshing contrast to the incumbent.
Finally is former Vice President Joseph Biden. He has more foreign policy experience than all the others combined. He spent eight years in the White House, putting him in the same experience category as very few others in history, has decades of experience in Congress. He appeals to minority voters and voters in industrial states, is warm and liked by those who know him, and could do the job from the first day.
If his negatives are that he is too familiar a face, is not as exciting as some of those mentioned above, and has made some mistakes in his almost half-century of service, think about what those factors indicate: He knows how to do the job and we know who he is.
Please, when you vote, consider the importance of your vote, think about who can attract the needed votes, think about who can lead us in the world, and give us someone who fits that profile. No matter for whom you decide to vote, however, please take the opportunity and vote.
Worried Fellow New Hampshire Voter
Brad Cook, a shareholder in the Manchester law firm of Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green, heads its government relations and estate planning groups. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.