Letter: Feb. 15



Arizona is an immensely important state in the 2012 race for U.S. president.

A traditionally red state, aside from one ‘90s race, Arizona last delivered its electoral votes to the Democratic candidate in 1948 to Harry Truman. Back then the state only had four votes — now it has 10. Arizona has had a distinctively conservative heritage since that election: Barry Goldwater, John McCain and the state’s positions on gun rights and immigration policy.

And yet President Barack Obama is setting his sights on a blue Arizona come November.

The president’s ambitions to win the state have been mentioned in some political articles covering the 2012 campaign. Jim Messina, Obama’s campaign manager, even visited the Phoenix campaign office last week, according to the Arizona Obama for America Twitter account (@OFA_AZ).

But I’m not writing this to inform; I’m writing this to invigorate.

Everyone, no matter your political alignment, should get involved in the 2012 presidential race. It’s rare that a state gets spotlighted like Arizona will soon be. I’m telling to make use of the attention and make sure your voice has an impact. I know who I’m supporting for president, and I’m going to work my hardest to make sure that candidate is elected. You should, too.

The importance of grassroots action is timely given the influence Super PACs are having on the campaign already. When one person is allowed to donate endlessly, the voice of the people becomes muted. Don’t let Arizona be won in November because one candidate had more high-profile donors. Make it so the candidate who inspires and motivates the public earns the state’s electoral votes.

Political commentators have started comparing Obama’s recent speeches and policy proposals to President Bill Clinton in 1996. You know how I said Arizona went blue for one race in the ‘90s? It was Clinton in 1996.

Pete Heidepriem College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


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