Dear Senator Coleman,
Despite what happens to you during this most contentious war for the U.S. Senate Seat in Minnesota, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
I am writing you from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I am away from my family, friends and the snow in Connecticut, but I plan to spend a very beautiful, warm and relaxing holiday in Zanzibar. While I am taking the ferry over later today to spend the night, I plan to review my life in 2008. I will look at all of the incredibly smart things I have said and done to win with others and myself, but also the stupid decisions and mistakes I have made that have cost me. Mostly I'll ponder about how to peacefully reconcile my present with my future.
Sir, I want to know if you would kindly consider giving yourself two Christmas presents this year - 1. Acceptance of what is meant to be wrapped in a big white bow and 2. Peace of Mind dressed in gold wrapping paper with yellow ribbons.
During President George W. Bush's first term, I remember seeing you at the White House a number of times. I did not know who you were, but I knew you were with Bush because he always acknowledged you and you always spoke to him after the events. Like the other power guys in the room, you were one of the first ones to talk to him. Afterwords, there was always this big laugh at something the president usually said. I know it sounds odd that someone observed you so carefully, but it should not come to you as a surprise since the people of Minnesota have watched you more closely. Since that time, your relationship with the White House changed dramatically. You critiqued the president's handling of the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina. At this point, it does not even matter what your status with Bush is. He's leaving and you are trying to hang on to power by nearly any means necessary.
Now, after the most historic presidential election of Barack Obama, it is Christmas and Hanukah Season, and you still don't know if you won or not. The State Supreme Court shot down your most recent campaign lawsuit that sought to block the course of the recount due to concerns that some ballots had been counted twice.
I can only imagine how terribly painful it must be to fight so hard to win. Sleepless nights and early morning rises are probably most difficult. I have noticed the signs of aging on your face due to the stress of trying to prove you deserve this Senate seat. I am sure you talk endlessly with your loved ones, campaign staff, friends and anyone who will really lend a listening ear why this nightmarish election against inexperienced comedian like Al Franken is so laughable. It must be difficult to think that perhaps the ultimate shaggy dog story might be on you for losing this seat to someone who either might become a great junior Senator or a big joke like your former Governor Jesse Ventura.
Then again, you might win and then have a national press conference with your family by your side. You may have the opportunity to show that great smile of yours once again, and thank the people of Minnesota for their patience and understanding over this bitter and oh so ugly battle. In as much as this could happen, will you still have peace of mind if you win? Will you still feel like you won with the dignity and pride of winning a seat to serve Minnesotans?
If you lose, can you be like your colleague Senator John McCain and rise out of the ashes like he did? Can you find that place in your heart that leads you to an even greater purpose for your future once you figured what really happened? Are there lessons you can teach others about the true agony of defeat? Please don't be upset by my questions. These questions can be applied to any leader at any given time.
I am comforted to know that you stated that life goes on should you lose. I just only hope it was more than just words. I am not advocating that you give up or thrown in the towel, but whatever the outcome, I hope you can look into the eyes of the people of Minnesota with reconciliation and a new self awareness.
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