by Maura Sullivan – Feb 4, 2020 (SeaCoastOnline.com)
Maura Sullivan is a Marine veteran, Portsmouth resident, and a former Obama administration official. The views expressed are those of the writer.
While foreign policy may seem like it occurs an ocean away on another continent, its effects are felt in our communities. Many Granite State families have loved ones proudly serving in our military — including mine. My little brother serves in the Marines and is currently deployed. My fiancé serves in the Navy and will deploy this year.
As our families face these uncertain times, this election, and who we choose as our next President, will directly impact our future. As I consider the crowded Democratic field, I keep returning to one question: Who do I trust most as commander in chief with the lives of my loved ones?
As a senior Pentagon official serving under President Obama, I saw up close how life and death decisions are made in Washington. Good leadership starts at the top with a President who has integrity, will genuinely weigh the facts, understand opposing views, exhaustively consider the consequences of a proposed course of action, and then lead with conviction, courage, and compassion.
So when I think about my fiancé and my little brother being sent into harms’ way, and the President charged with leading them, the answer is quite simple: Pete Buttigieg is the leader I trust with their lives.
I trust Pete because he has personally experienced what it means to be deployed by a commander in chief. So he will never send our young women and men into a war without a plan to win and the resources to succeed– and only after every economic and diplomatic option has been exhausted.
When politicians in Washington sent us into a war we never should have entered, I saw first-hand the effects of their disastrous decision making in 2005 as a Marine in Fallujah, Iraq. We have lost more than 6,700 American lives in Iraq, where I served, and in Afghanistan, where Pete served. Too many of them come from communities in New Hampshire.
If we want to end Washington’s dysfunction, we need to elect a leader who is rooted in the realities of the American people — not politics as usual.
Pete is that leader.
We are in a moment like no other – this election will determine the course of our country and our global community not just for the next four years, but for generations to come. Consider the strategic threats we are running out of time to address. As sea levels rise, our infrastructure crumbles. Health care costs soar as our nation splinters. The stock market climbs as wages stagnate.
But we can change all that. Pete has the vision, intellect, and strategy to turn the page on the chaos and unite our country so we can finally start facing these unprecedented challenges and delivering meaningful results for all of our families.
There are tough days ahead for all of us — but we have faced challenges before, and we have always come together as a community and a nation to overcome them. Let’s not forget what we did just 12 years ago.
The energy I see around our state for Pete reminds me of what I saw in 2008 when I volunteered to knock doors in Manchester for another young inspirational leader from the Midwest with a funny name — Senator Barack Obama. Before the primaries, some questioned his ability to win, but a strong showing in Iowa and New Hampshire changed the narrative. I will never forget watching him accept the Democratic party’s nomination in Denver — and feeling so full of hope and optimism for our country.
As Democrats, we know when we let fear overtake hope in the ballot box, we come up short. But when we dare to follow our hopes and our hearts toward an exciting, young, fresh faced Washington outsider with a vision for a strong today and a better tomorrow — we win. And win this year we must — there’s too much at stake.
So let’s turn the page on all the chaos and division that we’ve come to expect from Washington and restore character and integrity to the White House. Let’s build an economy that works for working and middle class families again. Let’s fix our healthcare system and tackle climate change. Pete represents our best hope to do all that and more. With Pete, we can finally put the failed and dangerous leadership in Washington behind us.
And so, with that same spirit of hope, of belief in a brighter future, and optimism for a greater tomorrow for America that delivered us a victory in 2008, please join me in voting for Pete Buttigieg for President in the New Hampshire Democratic primary on Feb. 11.