Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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A witness to Obama’s  power to inspire

To the editor:

Gov. Mitt Romney has told the world that the 47 percent of Americans who are strong supporters of President Obama are hopeless bunch. “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility for their lives,” he said.

Well, Mr. Romney, I have met personally about 100 volunteers in the last two months who are very much taking responsibility for their lives by working very hard to defeat you and re-elect President Obama. Many of these same people are working their tails off to defeat Scott Brown and elect Elizabeth Warren.

In Monterey, Calif., in early February 2008, I was at a rally to promote Obama, three days before the California primaries. Monterey is mostly upper middle class and white, and in the midst of the gathering was a very tough looking Mexican-American man.

I was intrigued and went over to welcome him. When I asked what brought him there, he told me he owed Barack Obama his life. That while he was in prison he had read the president’s first book, “Letters from My Father.” He said it affected him so deeply that when he got out of prison, he got a job and got his family back together.

To say that day’s encounter fueled my fire for the long-shot candidate is an understatement. It seems our current president does have the ability to convince people they should take responsibility for their lives.

Mark L. Whitney

South Deerfield

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