Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Health issues Politics

The Clinton Library will be opened by president Bush on Thursday.

Hi, everybody. I would like to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your well wishes after my heart operation. Thank you for the letters, flowers and e-mails. I appreciated them very much.

You know, when they tell you they are going to open up your chest to reroute some major arteries, it just takes the life out of you. What can you do? You’re lying on your bed, staring at the ceiling, sometimes ready to die, sometimes crying, sometimes hyperventilating.

I’m human too, you know? Sometimes I too need that arm around my shoulder. Your letters, flowers and e-mails were that arm for me. Thank you very much for caring.

I have always tried to be honest about my health. I feel good. Reasonably good. I’m not as strong as I used to be. I don’t have the energy I used to have, but I’m feeling better and better each day.

My assistant Bobbi Lamoon had promised to keep you updated about my health. I was the one, who asked her to stop posting. I had a major setback a few weeks ago. I had been outside in the rain. I had a common cold and I had to sneeze. This is very dangerous when your stitches haven’t healed yet. You know how your body jerks when you sneeze. One of the rerouted arteries could have snapped during a sneeze. It could’ve caused internal bleeding.

So for quite a while there was a major crisis. There was an ambulance on standby. The doctors did what they could, but the cold needed its time to go away. For quite a while I was pretty close to death, because of this and I needed round the clock attention.

If the media had known about the seriousness of my bad health, it would’ve sucked all the air out of John Kerry’s campaign. He needed all the media attention he could get. Voters didn’t really know him right then. That was the reason I kept my health a secret for a while, till I felt healthy enough to campaign for John Kerry.

But as I said I feel good right now.

We, Democrats lost the election. The elections. It breaks my heart to see all the progress we made disappear year after year. Election after election. How did our nation go from a road leading towards tolerance, respect and inclusiveness to a road leading towards divisiveness, disrespect and fear for “the other”?

My old friend James Carville is right. A party has only one purpose: win elections, put Democrats into office all over the country. Some Democrats were saying, well at least we got our message out. That’s not what a party is for. That’s what pressure groups like Greenpeace, Planned Parenthood and even churches are for.

We lost all these elections all over the country, because we forgot all about politics. Many, many times I had to really restrain myself from picking up the phone and telling Democrats, this is the way we can win. They wouldn’t have listened. The whole party was in some sort of delusional haze, which had nothing to do with the nuts and bolts of politics.

I don't want to criticize anybody, but we need to look at the future right now. The Democratic party lost, because we lost our way. The result? The Republicans have 4 more years to turn back the progress we made during the past 40 years. We cannot afford to lose again.

This is the reason I’ve decided to come back to this daily diary. The publisher started this weblog as a way to keep the people informed about my book tour. This election I got to see how extremely important the internet can be. Just think about the Dean campaign, MoveOn.org and the SwiftVets. A modern election can not be won without a massive internet presence.

After the sorrow, the tears, we must now begin preparations to win the congressional elections in ’06 and the presidential election in ’08. I want to help my party to win. This is the reason I’ve decided to use this medium to reach out, inform, educate, talk to, exchange views with the grassroots of our party. The internet is the right medium for me.

I want to be part of the rebuilding of our party into the majority party it once was. I have 35 years of experience. I will offer my advice. Whether Democrats decide to use it or not, is up to them.

From now on I’ll be posting regularly. My party is important to me.