Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Am Voting For John Callahan Because....

I had planned to set out some reasons why John Callahan should be elected to Congress. I had planned to review his proposals on the economy, on jobs and on the other issues of the day. I still may do that but the reason I am voting for John Callahan is that he is John Callahan.

I had decided to support my Mayor before he decided to announce. I was not even certain of many of his views, Bernie O’Hare challenged me on this fact but I had decided. As the campaign progressed I have become more certain that I made the right decision.

I knew I could not support Charlie Dent. Charlie Dent is a nothing, he has done nothing, he has accomplished nothing and he will be remembered for nothing. Charlie Dent has spent his entire adult life as an elected representative and yet he has done nothing to improve our lives. Charlie Dent in Harrisburg used to just go along to get along. In Congress Charlie Dent does whatever John Boehner tells him to do. Charlie Dent is low fat vanilla pudding, he is just there. I want more.

I have spent a lot of time around a lot of public office holders and candidates for public office and I have never seen someone who tackles these roles with as much joy and as much positive energy as John Callahan. During his first campaign for city council he impressed everyone with his drive. During his campaign for Mayor he took on the city establishment and quite frankly bitch slapped them. The Morganelli/Leeson/Schweder crowd has never forgiven him for not waiting his turn and they have never forgiven him for depending on the advice of the citizens of my city rather than their small group of good old boy elites. These guys thought that they were the chosen ones and the city government belonged to them. The voters of Bethlehem realized this gifted, talented and hard working young man held the keys to the future of Bethlehem not these sons of leaders past.

But, I digress.

John Callahan is so comfortable in his own skin. I recently attended a LGBT event in honor of John Callahan and I have never seen a straight guy so relaxed and so at ease in a room full of mostly gay guys. I have seen him with business and corporate executives and he dominated the room. I have seen him with young professionals and he was one of the kids (I’m old). I have seen him with the movers and shakers of the Arts community and he fit right in. He hung out with us during a Celticfest Pub Crawl and was treated like a rock star by many of the participants and seemed shocked by the attention. When Oprah Winfrey said that Barack Obama was “the one” she had clearly not ever met John Callahan.

Whenever Mayor Callahan sees me he never fails to greet me even if he has to walk across the room to do so. And, when we talk he ensures that I am the center of his attention for the time we are talking. I have observed him at many events over the past year and he treats everyone the same. As he speaks to people he treats them as if they are the most important person in his life, he does not look over the persons shoulder for someone more important and his eye contact is so focused it is almost uncomfortable. I have seen this trait in two of the other best and most successful political figures on the scene today; Ed Rendell and Bill Clinton. As they say on the street “The brother has mad skills.”

John Callahan entered politics because he wanted to give back to the community that supported him during his youth (see the post titled Mafalda Speaks). He wanted to improve his community, his city and now he wants to take that zeal to Washington to try to improve his nation. John Callahan had nothing handed to him; he has earned everything through hard work and dedication. Imagine a member of congress with a passion to try to make the system work for the betterment of his constituents rather than a congressman who votes against the interest of the working people and small business owners of the district because the man with a tan tells him to do so. I am convinced that Charlie Dent’s interest in congress is as a stepping stone to the US Senate not to aid and assist the people he represents.

Charlie Dent has tried to diminish the success of John Callahan in order to suppress the votes coming out of the Bethlehem area. I wonder why Charlie Dent has not discussed his own accomplishments during this campaign. Oh that’s right he has none so he has to try to sully the reputation of arguably the most successful mayor in Bethlehem’s history. Dent needs to convince people to vote against John Callahan in order to win. Imagine wanting to win an election based on people voting against your opponent rather than wanting to vote for you. This campaign has shown that Charlie Dent really has no shame and nothing is beneath him.
I am voting for John Callahan for his passion, for his intelligence, for his life story, for his vision and for his past successes. I am voting for John Callahan because I believe in him and I know that he will make me proud that I have voted for him.

Often voting is a lesser of two evils; in this year’s 15th Congressional district race there is only one lesser and it is not John Callahan.

I am voting for John Callahan and I am proud to casting this vote, this is a vote I want to cast, this is a vote I am honored to cast.

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