I did not vote for you. Either time. I have voted Republican for the entirety of my life. I proudly wore pins and planted banners displaying my Republican loyalty. I was very vocal in my opposition to you -- particularly the ACA. Before I briefly explain my story allow me to first say this: I am so very sorry. I was so very wrong.
"You saved my life. My President, you saved my life, and I am eternally grateful.
In a few minutes, President Obama will speak in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to celebrate all that the Affordable Care Act has done - including 20 million additional Americans insured - and if we know this tireless champion of change, he will also talk about the work that remains to be done. The above are the words of Brent Brown, the lifelong Republican whose life the Affordable Care Act saved and who will be introducing the President.
Brent Brown's words are not moving because it represents a political conversion. It's moving because he represents the character of this president: he is everyone's president. No doubt thousands of Brents were among the people protesting Obamacare, shouting at their Congresspeople, and voting for its repeal when they cast their ballots. And yet, the President fought for them as much as he was fighting for anyone else. In fact, he pushed the reform through a great deal of opposition within the ideologue wing of his own party and even the political warnings of his own advisers.
That after nearly a century of fighting about it Barack Obama was the president able to finally achieve a tectonic shift in the paradigm of American health care from individual affordability to social responsibility was no coincidence. It was the result of a committed fighter hell bent on achieving results. It was the work of a leader determined to deliver to Americans like Brent - no matter where they came from, what they believed, or whether they even liked him - the health care they needed.
As we slowly move towards the end of the Obama presidency, we do not need to end the Obama era. We need the next president to be like Barack Obama, we need them to be everyone's president.
Use this as your open thread for today.