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Opinion: Obama's Inauguration Should Usher in Era of Republican Cooperation

Candidate for state Senate in the 34th District Mark Alexander, of Montclair, talks about President Barack Obama's second inauguration and a new course for America.

The following letter was written by Mark Alexander, of Montclair. He is a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama and current candidate for the New Jersey State Senate in the 34th District. 

Monday is a day many pundits predicted would never happen: President Barack Obama is being sworn-in for a second term.

Ten months ago, this day didn’t seem likely. With a shaky economy and energized Republican base, conventional wisdom pointed towards President Obama being relegated to a one-term presidency. The fact that he was able to overcome so many obstacles demonstrates the popularity of his policies and his ability to connect with normal Americans. He truly speaks to the problems facing working class people across our nation.  

When I started working for then-Senator Obama in the early days of the 2008 campaign, a lot of folks thought we were on a fool’s mission. How could this man – fresh out of the Illinois State Senate – get elected President? How could an African-American win the Iowa Caucuses? How could Obama overcome the powerful Democrats and organizations aligned behind Senator Hillary Clinton?

We got a lot of questions. And we had a lot of answers. 

My own run for the state Senate is driven by the same themes that drove President Obama. A commitment to public service, an urge to show people that government can – and is – a force for good in our society, and a desire to help make our state and nation a more fair and just place.

As he is sworn into a second term by Chief Justice John Roberts, we should consider what we could do to improve our communities and help one and other. 

With so many pressing problems facing our nation, I know President Obama is the right leader to confront and solve these issues. He is already starting our nation on a path towards a fair tax policy that puts the interests of the middle class ahead of millionaires and special interest groups.

He has proposed a comprehensive gun control package that will keep our children and families safe and prevent senseless gun violence. Addressing climate change and immigration reform remain top priorities during in his second-term agenda. 

It is my hope that more than just welcoming in the second term of President Obama, this inauguration ushers in a new era of Republican cooperation. In order for President Obama to continue to move the country forward, Republicans in Congress need to stop sabotaging his agenda – an agenda overwhelmingly supported by the American people on Election Day – and put our nation first.

The time for political posturing must end, and the work of solving the problems facing our working class families must begin. With a new four-year term starting today, I hope Republicans get that message. 

The time for grandstanding and obstruction is over. Work with this president and start solving the problems facing normal Americans.

M07042 January 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Re: Second Amendment....a good read.http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2013/01/22/do-gun-control-laws-control-guns-n1493958/page/full/ Any thoughts Mark Alexander?
Centrist in UM January 22, 2013 at 04:27 PM
I think 07042 was trying to link to this: http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2013/01/22/do-gun-control-laws-control-guns-n1493958/page/full/
Centrist in UM January 22, 2013 at 04:28 PM
And I also would love to hear Mark Alexanders response. Since he wants my vote in the election, I need to hear more than a canned speech posted on the Patch. Mark?
Joe Kavesh January 22, 2013 at 06:27 PM
Mr. Alexander is basing his candidacy, in part, on the fact that the "entrenched" leadership in Trenton (which, according to him, includes his primary opponent, Senator Gill) has not pushed back hard enough against Governor Christie. Now, he is calling for “Republican cooperation” in Congress. Yes, Republicans should work with President Obama on a myriad of issues, including gun control, immigration reform and fair tax policies. In this regard, Mr. Alexander is correct. But so, too, should Democrats in Trenton work with Governor Christie on critical state issues. Cooperation runs both ways, as does political posturing.
chris January 22, 2013 at 06:51 PM
I about fell out of my chair reading this article. Let's re-hash - WHO crammed down major legislation without one republican vote - stimulus, obamacare -- The president and his minions. Cooperation to you people is accept our policies as they are or go fly a kite. My way or the highway is NOT cooperation. And for the record, I beg to differ that the American people "overwhelmingly" voted him in for a second term because they love his policies. I think many people are frankly, quite ignorant of exactly what his policies are doing to this country! I think the Democrats successfully mobilized their base, bused people into polling precincts and won. I also think Obama is charismatic, a likable figure to a lot of people who clearly don't demand a lot from their politicians. Unemployment about black women & youth is at 14% -- clearly he doesn't have to do much to get their vote. I for one hope we get through this next four years relatively unscathed. Government's job is NOT to make this "a more fair and just place" That is terrifying! If you want to kill American entrepreneurial spirit, kill what this country is all about, keep drinking that kool aid Mr. Alexander. I pray to god the American people wake up in time to turn this titanic around before it's too late. You definitely will not be getting my vote.
chris January 22, 2013 at 07:18 PM
One more thing -- what's so incredibly sad is that the people at the bottom are truly the ones hurt most by Obama's policies. They are the ones who can't get a job. They are the ones who will be hurt most when doctors start disappearing from the field in droves and you can't get an appointment to save your life (thanks to Obamacare) People with money will survive, not as well off as before, but they will survive. And probably afford to get concierge physicians -- which will make the 'haves and have nots' divide even greater in this country. Give a man a fish and he'll have dinner for one night. Give him a fishing pole and teach him how to fish and he'll have dinner for life. More government programs and regulations are not the answer to prosperity. The title of this article should be: Obama's Inauguration Should Usher in the End of Blaming it on Bush!!!
mtc parent January 22, 2013 at 09:12 PM
Same piece on Baristanet already...yawn. Self-serving campaign speech.
Peter Zorich January 23, 2013 at 01:45 PM
We know that Mr. Alexander worked for the Obama campaign and that he supports the President's agenda. However, Mr. Alexander is not running for a seat in Congress or the U.S. Senate. I hope he will address the laundry list of issues facing NJ - including the crushing property tax burden or the ticking time bomb of pension/health care legacy costs for public sector employees
A. Gideon January 28, 2013 at 11:33 PM
"Give him a fishing pole and teach him how to fish and he'll have dinner for life. More government programs and regulations are not the answer to prosperity. " Unless the government program in question provides fishing poles and instructions on their use? ...Andrew

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