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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Quit the campaigning

Please, can’t we just get on with solving the nation’s problems?

B. Jay Cooper

If you’re like me, you’re probably ready to cry “Uncle” – and then some!

Do I like failed executives getting bonuses? Of course not! Do I want Rush Limbaugh as the “head of the Republican Party”? Nope.

More important, I don’t want the people we elected to run our country – at a time of the most dangerous economic situation in anyone’s lifetime … and at a time when terrorists still can strike anytime, anywhere – to waste our time endlessly talking about the need for bipartisanship. So, I say “Uncle! Enough! Stop it already with all this political maneuvering and posturing.”

What do I want? I want my lifetime savings back so I can retire at some point soon in the years I have left. I want my grandchildren to enjoy the splendors of the United States without living in fear of a plane crashing into a building or of a suicide bomber blowing himself up in a restaurant where they’re enjoying a meal.

I want President Obama to keep his campaign promise to end partisan politics in Washington – or at least make a solid effort to keep that pledge.

There is absolutely nothing, for instance, stopping the president from telling his White House staff to stop wasting their time developing a strategy against Rush Limbaugh on company time. You want to play politics, go work for the Democratic National Committee. You want to run a government, stay in the White House.

And that’s my primary issue with the current White House. They are still running a campaign and not running a government.

It’s time to switch, guys and gals! Switch to the grown-up, governing mode. You now “own” the media. They will cover what you do.

You don’t need gimmicks, you don’t need “hooks” … you won. Your man is the president of the United States, for gosh sakes. You have dozens of reporters – not to mention a few hundred bloggers – waiting to breathlessly report everything you do. You don’t “gotta have a gimmick” – especially, a giant straw man who calls himself El Rushbo.

What you gotta have is a plan. What you gotta do is keep your campaign promises. What you gotta do is have Democrats and Republicans working together to solve our problems.

I’m not one of those Republicans who want the president to fail. Lord knows, I not only want him to succeed – he’s gotta succeed!

Have you looked around lately? Unemployment grows every day and once flourishing businesses go belly-up. Families are living in one room in seedy motels because they can’t afford their own home. IRAs, 401(k)s and savings are disappearing. Ninety-year-old men and women are going back to work as greeters in discount stores to earn some money.

I really don’t care who’s to blame anymore. I really don’t care who gets an advantage in the next election. Personally, whoever starts solving our problems and acting like a grown-up gets my vote.

B. Jay Cooper is the deputy managing director of the Washington headquarters of APCO Worldwide, a global strategic communications firm (