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Donna Shalala And Her Resume

July 5, 2018

Five Democrats are competing for the 27th Congressional District in Florida.  The primary is less than two months away but one topic has come up in the race which should concern everyone, regardless of which political party one calls home.

This congressional district come November is one that many in each party think will be a Democratic pick-up, given that it is an open seat.  It has been held for decades by Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

One of the candidates vying for the nomination is a gay state legislator who has been in office since 2012.   David Richardson is working hard to undercut Donna Shalala, who is seen as the most viable and talented of the ones in the primary.

To make it seem Shalala is not suited for the congress of today he has attempted to place her as part of the reason for the dysfunction in Washington.   But Shalala, who was a fixture of strength as Chancellor at UW-Madison, is not having any of that nonsense. 

“I was never in the swamp. I worked for an administration that was very dynamic. Balanced the budget, created the Children’s Health Insurance Plan. We immunized all the kids in the country, so we did lots of very good things. I’m hardly a Washington insider. I’ve spent most of my career running universities, with young people rotating through, so in many ways I’ve had many different kinds of experience … but mostly related to young people and to their experience and their dreams. And one of the things that you get when you run universities is, they keep you young.”

So what should we all be concerned about from this attempt by Richardson to score one against Shalala?  Simply put we should never place a candidates skills and institutional memory under the bus and pretend that they are not valuable.  There is much to prize and honor in the decades of experience and commitment that Shalala has demonstrated.  To have Richardson attempt to dismiss all that in a tawdry manner just to score a political win is shameful.

The reason that Shalala is riding high on the way to victory is due to an electorate who has seen what happens when someone is elected with no resume, skills, morals—and the list goes on.  I understand that there is also a swath of voters who hold those with an education or a winning resume in contempt, even label them as elitists.  But when that latter group seeks out a surgeon to cut out a cancerous tumor they are not looking for the greenest doctor in the city, but the one with the most experience.

The same must go for electing our candidates to high office.

When asked recently why she decided to run for Congress now, after all these years Shalala summed it up just as those in Madison knew she could.

“I woke up one morning, I turned on the television, and I just got pissed off.”

Many feel like she does.  And they will vote.  Not just for change, but knowing the change must be based on a resume of proven results.

One Comment
  1. Mark E. Bye permalink
    July 5, 2018 12:02 PM


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