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National and Local Change

By Dr. Phil O'Dwyer, Chair
December 22, 2008

2008 slips into history as a year of mixed blessings. Its greatest blessing may be that the end of the Bush era is near. Most observers agree that George W is clearly the worst President in the nation's history. Both of his elections were shrouded in deception. "Hanging chads," voter suppression, missing boxes of ballots in Florida, disenfranchised voters in Ohio - all nicely solved by a Supreme Court decision or dubious computerized voting machines that were designed to be unauditable.

It is no surprise that his administration had no difficulty disregarding the Constitution and making a political football out of the Justice Dept. He claimed that he was "chosen by God to be President" and presided as though he was above the law but unfortunately he discovered he was not above the economy. His policies ensured the collapse of the economy and undermined the financial security of the country.

On the hopeful side of 2008, a new President-elect is assembling his team to take over on January 20th. Amazingly, he didn't turn to fourth-tier right wing law schools to recruit his personnel but instead he sought the brightest, most experienced, and most talented he could find. Some call them a "team of rivals" recalling similar selections made by Lincoln. Sending Gary Peters to Washington to help this new President is a big contribution from Oakland County.

Locally, our party has also made changes in leadership positions. Mike McGuinness was elected chair of the Oakland County Democratic Party (OCDP), with Jenny Suidan elected Treasurer. Both had leading roles in the campaign that elected Andy Meisner to be our next Oakland County Treasurer. Berkley's own Cathy King continues as an officer, serving as Corresponding Secretary. All will bring new energy and new ideas to the task.

Former Chair Dave Woodward graciously did not seek reelection. We are thankful for his years at the helm and the sacrifice of time he made for the party. These transitions are not always easy and sometimes feelings can be bruised in elections among friends. Mike McGuinness enjoyed widespread support and has a clear vision for building on the achievements of the past. We congratulate him on his election and pledge our support as he leads our county party.

Our party is united at the county and congressional district levels, and that strength will hopefully result in the expansion of clubs across the county and especially the restoration of clubs that are currently struggling to survive.

These changes, crafted in 2008, offer hope as a New Year dawns. Working together we can solve the problems that bring a heavy heart to so many of our fellow Americans this Christmas Season. Our land is awash in debt; our people awash in anxiety. Yet when our nation's energy and ingenuity are inspired by trusted leaders, no challenges go unresolved.

With a hopeful spirit I urge you lend your support to President-elect Obama and to our party leaders. Democrats were elected to lead us out of this mess. We must ensure that they deliver. I wish you a joyful and peaceful Holiday Season.