The Washington Times - September 12, 2008, 07:53PM



CONCORD, N.H. Actually, it feels like last winter all over again. About this time last year, I was hanging out with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson on the seacoast here.


Today, with Sen. Barack Obama as the nominee, we’re in a crowded gym and it’s cold, raining and downright dreary outside.


But the partisan rhetoric inside is hot, as Obama is late and the crowd is ready for some red meat.


Rep. Paul Hodes lit up the crowd by pushing the Obama talking point of the day.


“John McCain doesn’t know how to send email, but he says he’s ready to lead this country in the 21st century,” the freshman Democrat and early Obama endorser said. “He wants to simply change the nameplate on the door on the White House but that’s not change.”


He said McCain wants to “take away a woman’s right to choose” and led the crowd in a chant of “Bush McCain, is more of the same!”


Even the music was on message, as some in the crowd nodded along to this lyric from “The Who’s” classic: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”


Rev. Jed Rardin, pastor of the South Congregational Church in Concord, delivered the opening prayer, asking for the election to go “beyond 30-second ads” and to be “wider than special interests.”


“We know that as a nation we have strayed from your path. We have grown weary of being told we need to be afraid. We have grown all too willing to sacrifice truth on the altar of expediency. We have become a country where often the value of me is elevated above the worth of we. We are tired of isolation and war,” he said.


“But we also acknowledge that if we are truly to become a nation restored to justice, we will all need to heed your voice and not only our own … we will all need to listen to more than just those with whom we agree. If we are to become a nation bold enough to seek new resolutions to old conflicts, we will all need to explore new ways of being strong.”


“In the weeks and the months ahead, make of us we pray, a nation whose desire is to seek to be on your side and not simply assume that you are on ours.”


He offered blessings for the Democratic ticket, and “though they are campaigning on different platforms, bless also Senator McCain, Governor Palin and their families and those who support them.”


He finished with: “And in November, oh God, bring us all to a place of new hope and possibility. In your holy name, we pray. Amen.”


Christina Bellantoni, national political reporter,
The Washington Times


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