We are writing this letter to you with no assurance that you will see it before tomorrow evening’s debate. So we are sharing it with all of our #TeamPete friends in the hope that if they share it too, you might somehow see it and know what most of us — your most ardent supporters — are thinking.
We support you because we know that your closely held values are infused into your honorable rules of play. During the previous debates, you have had substantial policy conflicts with your competitors on stage. And you have responded with strong, cogent rationales for the policies you have posited to benefit more and more Americans — and to deliver justice and opportunity in equal measure for all. We fully understand that it goes against your nature (and frankly, ours too), to name-call, belittle anyone or engage in behind-the-curtain scheming. You have always called upon us to be our highest selves when canvassing, calling, texting, or rallying in your name. No shenanigans. No bullying. We understand that a win achieved because of back-room conniving would be a tainted win to you. We agree.
That said, please hear this: You have held yourself high above the rest in the country’s most publicly ruthless pursuit — Presidential politics. But we feel strongly that it is possible for you to stand on the debate stage, take the microphone and forcefully, yet respectfully, rebut any mischaracterizations or outright falsehoods about you, your campaign or your policies. If fact, you have done so in the past — and quite well. But now, it is more important than ever because votes are being cast, and the contests are close. We are by no means suggesting that you abandon, even for a moment, any facet of your personal moral code. But you are in a game that plays by its own rules — one of which is that the headlines coming out of a debate have significant impact on the very next primary contest.
For example, during the last debate, when Amy Klobuchar suggested you would rather turn on cartoons than watch the impeachment trial, calling her out for taking your remarks completely out of context would have been a headline-making reprimand. Quite possibly, it may have been enough to prevent the resultant surge that made her competitive in New Hampshire. Perhaps something like this would have worked: “Senator, if you knew the first part of that remark I made during a rally, my guess is that you would have read the rest of the sentence, which was that I urged my supporters NOT to turn the channel to cartoons, but to watch the trial, as hard as it would be, because the verdict was in their hands. Why did you knowingly choose not to tell this audience the whole story?” That might have done it. Respectful. Honest.
So Pete, we hope you will receive this letter with the admiration and respect with which it was written. Oh, and one more thing. The mainstream media seems to have anointed one of your competitors as the front runner in the Democratic race for the nomination. But perhaps they have forgotten that YOU are the candidate that is ahead in the delegate count, and you have consistently surpassed the expectations of the majority of polls and pundits. You’ve got this. We’ve got you.
With love and support, #TeamPete
P.S. When you first announced your candidacy and began to “wow” audiences with your ideas, knowledge, reason, calm and heart, you quickly became the “shiny new object” in the race. Those of us…in fact millions of us now…who took a very close look at it soon learned what it was. Pure gold.