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It seems conservative Democrats & liberal Republicans are extinct

To The Daily Sun,

Demographically, New Hampshire is an independent state. A large majority of voters — 44 percent — call themselves unaffiliated and until the primary next month are likely to remain independent of the Republicans and Democrats. We are just shy of the national average of 45 percent independents. Yet our Congressional delegation is split evenly and regularly cancels itself out. Neither side represents those of us in the "middle." We need candidates — and a president — from the middle.

Former Senator Jim Webb is the most qualified candidate to be president and commander-in-chief of the United States. A decorated war hero from his military service in Vietnam as a Marine, his time in the Pentagon, Navy secretary under Ronald Reagan, and United States senator has granted him a solid foreign policy background.

Jim Webb has shown himself as one who will unite and not divide. Webb has and can cross that aisle in Washington, and he has worked successfully with members of both parties. Perhaps gridlock in Congress can be overcome and things get accomplished from a positive example set in a Webb administration.

As an avid reader, I appreciate that Senator Webb is a published author of fiction and non-fiction, history, current affairs, as well as an Emmy award winning journalist. Yet when I talk to friends and family about why I support Jim Webb for president, I find name recognition to be the biggest obstacle and I blame that on a biased media and political machine that anoints candidates quite similarly to the schemes of a century ago.

Some commentators and bloggers called the Senator "obtuse" or "petulant" after his last Democratic debate. Point in fact, what he tried to do was make note of a lack of speaking time to present his case to the American voters. He has always occurred like someone who is ready to act or speak up when pressured. But as Senator he proved himself to be proactive as well with legislation to create the new G.I. Bill and to implement prison reform. As an stand-out Naval Academy boxer, he'll come out swinging if necessary. His actions could be seen as assertive or aggressive — which tells me he won't back down when our country is threatened, nor will he appease anyone if it comes under attack again.

As a centrist who grew up Republican, I can readily relate to the feelings Webb expressed at the last press conference when he dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination. He talked about feeling like a Republican in a room full of Democrats and vice versa. And yet he left the Republican Party in the late 1980s for the Democratic when he felt that the GOP lost its connection to its progressive history. Many — including myself — are eagerly awaiting his entry into the presidential race as an independent and are actively encouraging him to do so.

It seems the conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans of the past have all gone extinct or at the very least switched parties. No one thinks exactly like Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, or Donald Trump. Does anyone adhere to or agree with a party platform word-for-word?

David Lloyd George once said, "A politician is a person with whose politics you don't agree; if you agree with him he's a statesman." New Hampshirite James Freeman Clarke once said, "A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation." Well, a statesman in the truest sense of the word not seen since the days of Adlai Stevenson, Jim Webb possesses a strong sense of history and a deep appreciation for tradition. Good qualities that have been lacking for too long among the leadership of this state and this country. The disenfranchised and disenchanted will again have a champion.

Alan Vervaeke

Gilford

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I have enjoyed my tenure but won't be running for another term

To The Daily Sun,

I would like to thank the people of the Inter-Lakes community for the opportunity to serve on the I-L School Board for the past four years. The board, along with the administration and staff, have made significant progress in education, such as one-on-one computing and individualized learning, and in saving money with energy-saving improvements. The board has worked well together under the leadership of Richard Hanson, with the best interests of both students and taxpayers in mind.

As my term is complete in March and I will not be running again, I sincerely hope other Center Harbor residents will consider this rewarding experience.

Sally Whalen

Inter-Lakes School Board Member

Center Harbor

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