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.