NEW HAMPSHIRE gets its nickname — Granite State — from the decorative stone carved out of its landscape. Known for its durability, strength and uniqueness, granite is formed over thousands of years while magma, far below the earth’s surface, cools, and the distinct minerals initially present in the magma create the unique design and color of each rock.
In other words, the events at the outset shape the final product.
And so it’s almost poetic that the first presidential primary in the nation — the event to shape the general election — is held here, in the Granite State.It won’t take thousands of years to see how the primary shapes the 2016 presidential election — in fact, voters only have a few months before making what amounts to a powerful and influential decision.The citizens of New Hampshire have a responsibility — as the first voters in the nation — to carefully and thoughtfully evaluate their candidates.
Our nation’s politics have suffered at the hands of partisanship. But with the 2016 presidential election, we have an opportunity to change that. The New Hampshire primary is the first opportunity — and perhaps the strongest — to convince our candidates, and our nation, that we want change, and that we need a President who will solve our nation’s problems using all resources necessary, including working with members of the opposing party. We do not need a President who wins with 51 percent, appealing solely to a base of loyal voters. No, we want a President who is elected by those uncommitted voters, the ones who are eager for positive change, the ones who demand our country’s next leader prove that bipartisanship is on the agenda. This primary is a chance for our candidates to create authentic “buy in” from voters beyond party affiliation or loyalties. This primary is a chance to begin again.
It’s a chance to affect the quality of our nation based on the components present at the outset.
Just as the components of granite determine the uniqueness of the rock itself, so too do the components of New Hampshire voters. Unique in that 43 percent of registered New Hampshire voters are undeclared, this means that a major portion of the voting population are waiting for a candidate to prove him or herself to be a problem solver.
The power of the undecided 43 percent is as powerful as granite itself; now is the time to question those candidates and uncover the problem solvers, the candidates who are committed to the success of our nation over the success of a political party.And it means these voters can swing the political pendulum toward a new kind of presidency, a President committed to solving problems by uniting members of both political parties.No Labels, an organization of Republicans, Democrats and Independents, is working to promote that new kind of presidency. We’ve created a framework for a National Strategic Agenda with a specific set of goals for the next President, together with Congress, to tackle our nation’s biggest issues. The National Strategic Agenda provides a framework to:
- Create 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years;
- Secure Social Security and Medicare for another 75 years;
- Balance the federal budget by 2030; and
- Make America energy secure by 2024.
As we’ve seen in our present political climate, these goals cannot be reached by one party alone. The candidates, and the state’s voters, have been invited by No Labels to participate in a Problem Solver Convention on Oct. 12 in Manchester. Voters will have an opportunity to question the candidates who will be asked to demonstrate their commitment to bipartisan problem solving, if elected. Details of how to participate can be found at nolabels.org.
It is time to address the issues that divide us by electing a leader who pledges to unite us, and who demonstrates exactly how to accomplish that. With the right leader, we can bridge these deep divides. It is time to elect a problem-solving President. It is time to stop fighting, and start fixing.
Jon Huntsman and Joe Lieberman will lead the No Labels Problem Solver Convention Oct. 12 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Radisson in Manchester.