Monday, March 07, 2005

University of Washington

The situation is spiraling out of control. I’m in a very bad mood. I will talk about last night later. I need some time to collect my thoughts first. I just don’t know what to do about my brother.

Reader’s e-mail:

Dr. President Clinton-
I recently completed your on audio CD. What impresses me the most about the novel is the hope that you provide for young progressives like me in the end. After the last election, it seemed that liberalism was lost and that my history teacher’s comment that “Every time a democrat becomes president it is a hiccup” had come true. However, your novel dispelled all of the dark thoughts I had about politics and entering into a career of public service.
Your book makes me truly believe that I could in fact become president someday.
I am Vinny Spotleson, a Senior at Silverado High School in Las Vegas. I am currently the president of my speech and debate team (I compete in Policy Debate and Original Oratory), and I am the student body treasurer of my school. Just like you did when you were my age, I attended Boys’ State last summer, where I was elected to Lt. Governor by a 65% to 35% ratio, even with the republicans outnumbering us 2 to 1. I feel that the odds are in my favor for being able to be elected to a high office in politics here in Nevada, partly because of the state’s size.
I met you once when you were visiting Brian Greenspun. He is my father’s employer, and I have spoken with him about politics several times. If I get far enough in Law School, and get the education that I desire, along with the right opportunities and lucky breaks, I should be able to secure campaign funding from the Greenspun Corporation and other business partners of theirs.
My political goal is simple: to be the best leader that I can be, never compromising either my love for humanity, or my hatred of greed. To be elected to Governor of Nevada would be a dream come true.
I see you as both an icon and a role model, someone that I would like to be compared to. You have revealed that politics does not have to be a corrupt, selfish game, but that politics can be the single most effective way to give help to a wide range of people.
Before I enter into college, I would like to know any advice that you have for an aspiring public servant like myself. What can I do to increase my chances of success, is there any one thing that you wished you would have known when you were my age? My e-mail is, for I will be sending this letter both through regular and internet mail.
Thank you very much for reading this and taking the time out of your crazy life to respond to me (that is, of course, assuming you do respond). Good luck in yours and your family’s future, and I hope that you get involved in the UN and help that organization become as effective as it should be in the modern inter-connected world.
Thank you,
Vinny Spotleson
PS - I have been accepted to Gonzaga U, but would rather attend the University of Washington.

Hi Vinny,

I would like to thank you for your e-mail and your kind words. They mean a lot to me, especially right now, when I don’t feel very good about things in life.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody, who sent e-mails and left comments on my diary. Bobbi prints them out and puts them on my desk. I can’t read all of them, but I read some of them. They give me a lot of strength to continue, when I have the feeling I’m drowning. Thank you very much.

Vinny I would like to congratulate you on being accepted by Gonzaga University. They have a good law faculty. Apart from that they put a lot of emphasis on the Roman Catholic religion, which will be of benefit to you if you do decide to go into politics. Roman Catholics are an expanding constituency, which we Democrats need to regain if we want to remain a national party.

The University of Washington is one of the best universities in the United States. I hope they will accept a bright young man like yourself. It would be in their interest to have a guy like you in their lists of alumni.

What I liked most about your letter is your enthusiasm. I receive a lot of letters from young people, who tell me they are fed up with politics as usual and consider a career of public service, but they do not follow through as their desire to become a public servant is based more on a spur of the moment than on a deep conviction and love of public service.

You are different. You say you won the Lt. Governorship at the Boys’ State, you say you are talking to Mr. Greenspun about politics. I don’t know whether you are doing this on purpose or if it’s by instinct, but you are already building your network, which is the most important thing in an aspiring politician’s career.

For this reason I would recommend the University of Washington over Gonzaga. You need to build your network even further. Don’t misunderstand me. I think you will have a great career as a public servant, because you are ambitious and seem to have the right kind of instincts. Those things are things you can’t learn at any University. So even if you do attend Gonzaga, you just have to work harder on building your network.

Now the reason I recommend the University of Washington is simple. That’s where the Democratic party’s constituency goes to school, that is where the future leadership of the Democratic party is likely to be educated.

Excuse me if I’m repeating myself, but this is very important. You need to network with the leaders of other University based groups. You know the groups, which constitute our party’s base. I don’t have to spell them out for you. You must try to make friends with the leaders of these groups, because you will meet them later on in life and at that time in your career you might need their support.

There is another thing I would like to tell you. You are attending a University. Most Universities will put ideas in your head, which are to the left of the mainstream. Remember that.

The first time I ran for governor, I won. I was full of energy and I wanted to change the face of Arkansas and its politics. Next election I lost. The reason for that was simple. I had so many wonderful ideas, I wanted to change so many things, I wasn't walking in front of the people of Arkansas, I ran passed them straight into the ditch. University had made me forget where I came from.

Vinny, don’t forget you are from Nevada and you want to go back to Nevada to be a politician in Nevada. You wear cowboy hats. You do not quote George Sand. The ideas you will learn in college are not always compatible with the Nevada mentality or mainstream. If you understand that, a great future awaits you, I will promise you that.

Vinny, our party needs you. Make us proud.

I wish you the best. And don’t forget to tell Brian Greenspun how much I appreciated his help during my presidency and how much I appreciate the support he continues to give Hillary.