America's Ready for Big Ideas.
By: Congressman Jack Kingston · Section: Diaries
As some of y'all know, one of my colleagues I admire most is former Nebraska head coach Tom Osbourne. We will miss Tom in the hallways of Congress (and in bible study) when he becomes Nebraska's next governor, but his presence will never be forgotten. My friendship with Tom has taught me a few things about team work and how those relate to Congress.
When it comes to having a successful team, one thing is clear -- you need a solid coach. The coach is the guy who is always looking at the big picture, calling plays for the good and glory of the team, and unifying the team. Tom Osbourne's a humble man - in fact when he spoke to a group of Members at a Theme Team breakfast he said that the only time he ever let himself celebrate after a victory was during his walk off the field. Tom Osbourne's players respected him because of his love and respect for the game and the team.
That's a leader. Humble with victory, and always looking toward tomorrow's challenges.
Read on . . .
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Feb 7th, 2006: 10:28:07
Over the past few weeks - Republicans have been playing the Super Bowl without a coach. We have crouched in a defensive stance providing an opportunity for the Democrats to swing at us with baseless allegations.
At times, we haven't played our best, but fortunately the Democrats are having a little internal leadership fight where the more sensible Democrats are getting pushed out of the way by Daily Kos-liberals, Bill Clinton operative opportunists, and a Democratic Party Chairman who can't tie his shoes without crossing someone.
Don't misunderstand me. Some of our greatest supporters--y'all--have been helpful in pointing out some red flags that are inconsistent with our philosophy (Ahem, Bridge to Nowhere). As always, you've had a serious impact on the debate in Congress and are helping guide the party. Keep it up.
Last week, House Republicans elected one of our most talented Members - John Boehner of Ohio - to be Majority Leader. John's a big vision guy who has worked hard for our Party and knows that we need to get back on offense and score some touchdowns. He's a precise decision-maker at the Leadership table. He will be a great coach.
I am proud to call John my Majority Leader and I look forward to working with him in Leadership to move the ball down the field.
As a disclaimer, I supported Majority Whip Roy Blunt to be Majority Leader because he was willing to serve when we needed it most and delivered. Roy led through challenging times, indicative of his work ethic and dedication to our party. We are fortunate that Roy will continue to serve as our Whip.
One of the things I have talked with Majority Leader Boehner about is the need to get the team focused on an agenda for this year. Republicans are victorious when we are on offense and moving the ball down the field as a team. America is ready for big ideas.
During the Leadership campaign discussions, I sent a letter to my colleagues about this to try and get the ball rolling. You can download the letter and list of priorities I distributed to my colleagues here.
I call it the American Renewal Project. It's a compilation of major themes that Republicans should work to pass this year. It is not a list of legislation. It is not the perfect solution.
You see, for me, there will always been a contract with me and my constituents, and when I talk with them at a town hall meeting - they don't say, "Jack, how did you vote on the Deficit Reduction Act?" Instead I hear, "Jack, what in the hell are you doing to curb federal spending and keep my money in my pocket?"
To be effective communicators we need to keep it simple.
It's time to lay out the promise - and work together to fulfill it. On every single Republican door in Washington we should tape one of these documents and check it off as we complete each one. By this simple act we can send the message everyday that we are making good on our promise and are worthy of retaining the majority.
I need your help.
If you think we need a game plan - I need you to call your Republican Congressman and tell them what issues matter most. If you run a local radio program - let your listeners discuss this with you. If you host a blog - weigh in with what you think should be on our agenda. This coming weekend, House Republicans will gather to discuss our vision for the coming year. This is your opportunity to help steer the wheel.
My list of priorities is a starting point - but it's not the ceiling. Let me know what you think. It's your party and we are listening.
America is heading in the right direction thanks to the leadership of our President and the Republican Majority. But we can and must do better.
You all are helping us keep and maintain the majority and are offering critical input from what you're hearing outside of the beltway.
Thanks for your friendship,
p.s. Tomorrow I will post and discuss the American Renewal Project and delve into the themes I think we should work to pass this year.