A couple of years ago I had occasion to find myself in the company of then candidate Janet Mills and, during that brief encounter, a musical opportunity presented itself—clearly irresistible to her—whereupon she impulsively launched into a lively, passionate and acapella rendition of Ain’t Misbehavin’. Inspired, I joined her. We did well, were applauded even, and I felt good about her, really good.
I’d been a Republican for 60 years. She was such a welcome contrast with her predecessor who, along with our President, had left me so troubled about that life-long allegiance and about the degree to which my party was unwilling to condemn it, that I switched parties.
Last night, after her State of the State address, I was reminded of how much I enjoyed her company and I went to bed feeling better about being a Mainer than I had for eight long years, and certainly better than about being an American, and it wasn’t simply because I know how passionately she can sing (truth be known, she hit at least two flat notes).
Her State of the State appearance was a welcome and refreshing contrast—with no flat notes—to the gloomy and depressing behavior that has recently passed for leadership both here and on the federal level. Listening to a chief executive who motivates instead of one who feels more strongly about blowing his own horn and about further aggravating his base than about leading and inspiring others to follow—what a treat!
Phil Crossman lives on Vinalhaven