Washington Post op-ed columnist Michael Gerson gives a shout-out to Colorado governor Bill Ritter today, in a column that notes how two governors in battleground states -- Ritter and Tim Kaine of Virginia -- spent time as Catholic lay missionarie, and then coinsiders how the two might play as vice-presidential candidates.
Writes Gerson: "Ritter has one of the most compelling stories in American politics. One of 12 children abandoned by an alcoholic father, he began working in construction at the age of 14 to support his family. He helped care for a disabled brother who died at age 6 -- an experience that, he says, taught him 'the intrinsic value of life.' He worked for years to reconcile with his estranged father, sometimes playing cards with him and his friends at the Salvation Army. As a prosecutor, he worked to steer nonviolent drug offenders toward treatment instead of prison. As governor, he has been a strong but responsible environmentalist. Recently, he has found himself in the middle of a messy fight between labor unions and businesses but has tried to broker a peace...There is one political problem with Ritter: He is more authentically pro-life than Kaine..."
But that political problem could be an asset in this election, Gerson posits: "Many national Democrats consider Ritter a cipher, with little reputation outside Colorado. But Ritter's story of personal struggle, service in Zambia and environmental leadership would appeal broadly. And picking a genuinely pro-life running mate would be a revolutionary decision by Obama -- helping remove the largest obstacle to broad, Democratic realignment."
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To read the complete piece, click here. -- Patricia Calhoun