Mitt Romney has won the 2012 presidential nomination by promising Republicans that he would end a so-called 'culture of dependency' on welfare - welfare defined as 'free stuff' and food stamps for poor folks, not tax breaks for Big Oil or tax shelters for Bain executives.
America's demographic shift was obvious to everyone in the 2010 Census - but Republicans stubbornly rejected math, facts, and polls to their electoral peril. While Republicans tailored their platform by and for the pale stale and male, among us, Obama and Democrats are embracing America's diverse mosaic.
When we talk about feminism - equality without apology for all - we can't be talking about for all white women or all highly educated women but all women, regardless of color, class, creed, sexual orientation or identity.
Campaign boot camp started as an opportunity to work in a grassroots way with people who were running for Congress. Colleagues on the Democratic National Committee were batting around different possibilities. I said, 'We should have boot camps.'
The beauty of our democracy lies in the American value of equality: if you vote, you have a seat at the table. If you speak, you have a chance to persuade others. A billionaire and a minimum wage earner have the same power at the ballot box.
Remember the Dreamers whose patriotism was praised when the Democratic House passed, and the Senate filibustered - the DREAM Act in 2010? Washington promised a path to citizenship, not just a roadblock to deportation.
When it comes to voting rights, Democrats push voter protection while Republicans shout voter fraud in a crowded polling place. Democrats think anyone who can vote should vote; Republicans think everyone who should vote can vote.
Sitting at a candidate rally is similar to sitting in a ballyard. Both give you the opportunity to assess the technical metrics and reflect on the intangibles - what baseball calls 'make up' and politics calls 'character' - the leadership, talent and maturity to add value to a venture.
The last time I saw Ted Kennedy was a generation after my first meeting, at the Senate subway below the Capitol on Obama's Inauguration Day. He was his usual gregarious and gracious self - with beaming smile and booming voice wishing my husband and me good luck with our pregnancy and expressing his excitement about the new president.
Fault lines run along color lines in American public life, and the women's movement is no exception. Over the years, feminism has become more inclusive but there is still hard work to be done to include LGBT women and communities of color.
I worked as a prosecutor watching Catholic priests charged with sex abuse and saw firsthand how the 'circle the wagons' mentality revictimized the innocent, coddled the guilty, and made matters worse for everyone.
Baseball calls it a curve ball for a reason: you just don't know where some pitches will land. Your ace could get injured. Your golden glover could err. Your team could sit through a rain delay. Your manager could get ejected. Your bench must be broad and deep enough to overcome.
Speak out, educate, do not be intimidated by the apologists, and do not let extreme racism be mainstreamed. Hopefully there will come a time when we don't need to tell our kids that Halloween is no excuse for hate, and that blackface has no place in a civilized society.