Richard May, Obama volunteer/activist from Washington State:
Obama's original message was not the John Edwards "angry populist" message. It was not the Kucinich "stand alone, if necessary, on the hard issues" message. Those would be a dream come true for 30%-40% of the voting public, but we share the country with a much wider range of people.
Obama's message that brought tears to my eyes in 2004 (and ever since) had to do with being able to negotiate and be respectful with people and ideas that he partly disagrees with, binding us together to get stuff done by focusing on what parts of an issue that we DO AGREE ON : taking some bad with the good, rather than grinding to a halt with walls and stubbornness. He got bills passed unanimously in Illinois state senate. He played poker weekly with legislators he usually voted the opposite of.
That means not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It means making tough decisions that include some bad, in order to keep the good moving forward. It means not writing off the "red states"... remembering that there are gays and union workers and lefties there. It means not being presumptious about our "blue states" because they also contain evangelicals who support the Iraq war. It means sometimes looking at the big picture on compromise bills that will put a flawed patch on the tire and get us down the road to where we can fix a wider range of things more fully.
Bi-partisan is not "selling out to the enemy". Let's move toward a time where Americans disagreeing with Americans is more civil and respectful and not thought of in terms like "enemy". A more perfect union. The United States of America. Ring a bell ? That was Obama's original message, as far as I recall.