Pres­i­den­tial wannabes lay their cards on the ta­ble with hol­i­day greet­ings

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Christina Bellantoni

‘Tis the sea­son to be jolly, and for politi­cians, that means send­ing greet­ing cards to just about ev­ery­one.

Ev­ery year, Democrats and Repub­li­cans alike gather their fam­i­lies for por­traits, put some warm sen­ti­ment be­low, and mail a batch to sup­port­ers, donors and re­porters. In some cases, sev­eral po­ten­tial 2008 pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates sent their Santa-grams to their sup­port­ers’ e-mail in­boxes, opt­ing against a pa­per card.

“Happy hol­i­days from our fam­ily to yours,” reads a head­line above a Hawai­ian-shirt-clad Clin­ton fam­ily, on a card em­bla­zoned with snowflake art.

“My fam­ily and I wish you and your loved ones peace, joy, health and good­will dur­ing the hol­i­days and in the com­ing year,” Demo­cratic Sen. Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton of New York says in her hol­i­day mes­sage to sup­port­ers. “We are lucky to have so many peo­ple touch our lives and to have such re­ward­ing work that chal­lenges and in­spires us.”

While some men­tion Christ­mas by name, oth­ers played it safe.

“Wish­ing you and your fam­ily all the joy of the hol­i­day sea­son and the hope that the new year brings,” said Sen. Barack Obama, fea­tured on his card sit­ting in a park with wife Michelle and smil­ing daugh­ters Malia and Sasha.

For­mer Sen. John Ed­wards, who an­nounced an­other pres­i­den­tial run last week, uses his Christ­mas card to sub­tly pro­mote his new book, “Home: The Blue­prints of Our Lives.”

“The bless­ings of home re­mind us of the sac­ri­fice of those who leave their homes to make a bet­ter world,” the card be­gins in the North Carolina Demo­crat’s hand­writ­ing. They also “re­mind us that too many are with­out shel­ter, re­as­sure us of the hall­marks of home — love and se­cu­rity, and re­mind us of friend­ships, old and new, that sus­tain us.”

Iowa Gov. Tom Vil­sack, a Demo­crat run­ning for pres­i­dent, tells sup­port­ers that the hol­i­day sea­son “unites peo­ple all across our na­tion and much of the world” in a card in­clud­ing a ca­sual photo of his fam­ily.

“It is a time to re­flect on what mat­ters most in our lives, in­clud­ing fam­ily and com­mu­nity, and to re­solve to do even bet­ter in the com­ing year,” he said. “May God bless all of us with the en­ergy, op­por­tu­nity and courage to con­tinue work­ing for change in 2007.”

Sen. Joseph R. Bi­den Jr., a Delaware Demo­crat con­sid­er­ing a pres­i­den­tial run, sent a card fea­tur­ing a beam­ing Bi­den fam­ily.

“Like many of your homes, we have our fa­vorite dec­o­ra­tions up, ready for fam­ily and friends to gather for din­ner, to warm our hearts with songs, and to share in the de­light of watch­ing our grand­chil­dren open presents,” he said, adding, “Al­ready our Jewish friends have started their blessed cel­e­bra­tion of Chanukah, with the lights of the Meno­rah burn­ing bright.”

Most cards fea­tured large fam­ily pho­tos em­bla­zoned with snowflakes or Christ­mas holly, but a few folks — in­clud­ing out­go­ing Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Bill Frist — gave their hol­i­day wishes with­out an ac­com­pa­ny­ing im­age.

“We join you in cel­e­brat­ing fam­ily, friends and faith,” wrote the Ten­nessee Repub­li­can, who de­cided against a 2008 White House bid.

Mr. Frist, a physi­cian, promised to up­date sup­port­ers on his fu­ture plans, and noted a Fe­bru­ary trip to treat AIDS pa­tients in Kenya and Su­dan. “My work in Africa has al­ways served to cen­ter me and ground me in the one­ness of hu­man­ity,” he said.

In the lengthy note to sup­port­ers, he out­lined his last Christ­mas in Wash­ing­ton, plans for a fa­ther­son hunt­ing trip and the com­ings and go­ings of the Frist chil­dren.

Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee Chair­man Howard Dean sent out a state­ment laden with Christ­mas love.

“As we gather to­gether in this time of home and re­mem­brance, we give thanks for the bless­ings in our lives, and re­flect on the val­ues that unite us,” Mr. Dean said. “In keep­ing with the tra­di­tions of Christ­mas, we honor Christ’s call­ing to feed the hun­gry and care for the sick and suf­fer­ing.”

Sev­eral politi­cians paused to honor troops serv­ing over­seas in their cards.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with th­ese coura­geous sol­diers and their fam­i­lies who share in their duty and sac­ri­fice as they put into ac­tion the time­less Christ­mas wish for peace on earth,” Mr. Dean said.

Even also-rans sent out hol­i­day greet­ings this year.

“We wanted to take just a mo­ment out of your busy hol­i­day sched­ule to wish you and your fam­ily a happy hol­i­day sea­son and best wishes for a new year full of hope, health and hap­pi­ness,” reads a card sent out by for­mer Vir­ginia Gov. Mark Warner.

The e-card prompted the po­lit­i­cal blog Hot­line on Call to won­der whether the Demo­crat might be con­sid­er­ing jump­ing back into the pres­i­den­tial race af­ter end­ing his bid in Oc­to­ber.

Mele Ka­liki­maka from Bill and Hil­lary: The Clin­tons went with a Hawai­ian theme as they wished con­stituents peace and joy in the com­ing year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.