Ben Leming For Congress

Mission first.  Those two words describe how Ben Leming intends to lead as a United States Congressman.  I have to admit, I’m pretty jaded, and I am usually wary of those that use military parlance too frequently.  I remember, as a young man, hearing men like my father talk about duty and honor and the words seemed to fit the men that used them, probably because so many men in my neighborhood had served our country during WWII.  I hate that I frequently feel as though the words and their meaning have been so diluted that we tend to hear them without affording them the esteem they deserve.  Anyway, I was prepared to be less than impressed when I and a throng of almost 12 people (sorry, Robertson County Democrats, but you dropped the ball again) settled in after dinner to hear our would-be candidate speak.

Ben stood up and talked about his 15 years in uniform, from the time Congressman Bart Gordon awarded him an appointment to Annapolis, to his tours flying helicopters for medical evacuations in combat zones, to his experiences as an intelligence officer throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean. then finally to his time teaching at the Naval Academy.  To hear him tell it, he joined the Corps for the promise of adventure in exotic places, and while he certainly got that, he found something even better…his true self, or what he calls his core values.  Really, values is yet another word that many unscrupulous politicians cheapen by misuse, but when spoken by this retired marine officer it’s authenticity rang true. I started to let my guard down a little.

He then asked for questions, and right off the bat got three tough ones to field.  Each time, I expected him to dodge and weave  and pivot back to safe ground, but he didn’t do it.  What I found especially surprising was his willingness to take a leader’s position on each issue, rather than pander to the people in the room.  It was quite apparent that the mindset of mission first guides him and helps him clearly define his position.  If it isn’t useful for our efforts, there is little time wasted on it.

I won’t try and report what he said about every issue he was asked about, because I think people need to go see and hear him for themselves, but I want to point out two things I found incredibly honest:

When speaking about our need to develop alternative energy sources, he flat out said he just returned from fighting in a war for oil, and doesn’t want to send anyone’s kids to fight another one.  Rare that we hear the “war for oil” phrase from a former military officer.  That is gutsy, and honest, and what one should expect from a leader.

When asked about an issue he didn’t know a great deal about, he just admitted it, and asked the questioner what they thought.  I admire smart people who know what they don’t know, and who are willing to listen and learn from those who are passionate about a particular issue.

Ben Leming has shown me that he indeed possesses the core values that I look for in any leader; honesty, integrity, compassion.  In addition, he is intelligent and focused. I’m going to send him a few bucks, because I believe he is head and shoulders better suited to help solve our future challenges than any of his opponents.   If you are a Democrat, look him up on Facebook or go to his website, and make the time to go meet him.  If you are a Republican, do the same.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Ben Leming For Congress

  1. He was impressive and believable. He didn’t go evasive and dodge any of the hardball questions he got, he just honestly responded. Now all we need are about 400 more of him – all running for Congress.

  2. The Missus

    The reasons we are all impressed with Ben Leming speaks volumes. It’s not something any “handlers” have done with him. It’s not his art of not answering your question. He is very real. Leming is the guy you really would like to have a beer with.

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  5. “War for oil.”

    Yeah, there’s a really well-researched piece of analysis. Shows real insight into the last twenty years of history in the Middle East.

    He might be a heckuva helicopter pilot…

  6. Red Hat, thats hardly a fringe belief. Not that it matters much, since anyone paying attention is certain that the next full-scale global war will be over water. I’d invest in desalinization technologies if I was the investment type.

  7. Leigh Wright

    You can find out more about Ben at
    http://www.benleming.com

    You can also visit his Facebook Fan Page at:
    http://www.facebook.com/benleming

  8. I wasn’t at the dinner that you attended, so I went to his website. He seems like a decent enough guy, but it would be nice if he stated his position on ANY issue. I get it that he was in the marines, and he’s a big fan of INTEGRITY, HONOR and GETTING THE JOB DONE. Who is against those things?

  9. Ex, I hear ya. I wasn’t that fired up about him based on his website either. There isn’t much to grab hold of issue-wise, but his background is impressive and he is a Democrat so I went to see for myself. I decided to wait before getting too specific on his positions until after I’ve seen him in a less friendly setting. I’m expecting consistency, I believe I’ll get it. Good vibes and all that. Stay tuned.

  10. democommie

    Tough questions, asked and answered on the record, are indicators only. Of course if his opponents refuse to go even that far in proving their commitment then it’s not too hard to make a choice.

    I would say that a normal politician has his “position” on “issues” tailored to his listeners of the moment. A true public servant has positions that are subject to change, but not at the whim of his campaign manager or the pollsters.

  11. It was a little disturbing that he has no positions on his site, but I expect that will come. He did a good job responding to Democrats asking questions on big issues, but they were all Democrats and respectful. How he reacts with opposition & heckling remains to be seen, but I do have a good feeling he can handle it.

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