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Bush sets high bar for service initiatives
Question of the Day
Middle school and high school students would be encouraged to contribute at least 50 hours per week to community service with the help of national guidelines and resources for schools.
A former community organizer in Chicago, Mr. Obama also wants to establish a Social Investment Fund Network to provide capital for innovation in nonprofits. He also would create a Social Entrepreneurship Agency to help nonprofits collaborate with government.
Both Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama have said they want to continue the faith-based initiative, which provides government funding for religious organizations. At the Democratic National Convention, the Obama campaign convened several panels on faith-government partnerships.
“I am exceedingly encouraged by what Senator Obama has proposed with his faith-based and community partnerships,” said John DiIulio, who headed the first White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives under Mr. Bush. “It’s an opportunity to be faith-based yet fact-based.”
Mr. Bridgeland, another former Bush adviser, even agreed to back Mr. Obama’s service plan. “The campaign asked me to endorse his plan, and even though I’m a Republican, I did,” he said.
At the same time, he bristles over Mr. Obama’s contention that the Bush administration did nothing to foster national service after the Sept. 11 attacks and instead asked Americans to go shopping.
“It makes my blood boil,” Mr. Bridgeland said.
Nonetheless, he’s hopeful that historians will view Mr. Bush’s tradition of service more generously than the Obama campaign does. That both presidential candidates plan to retain the USA Freedom Corps and other Bush initiatives is a good sign, he said.
“Will they call it by a different name? They might. But it sounds like the legacy will continue,” Mr. Bridgeland said.
About the Author
Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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