Senator Bob Graham

January 12, 2003


As you have probably learned from recent media reports, I am seriously considering seeking my party's nomination for President of the United States.  I want to share with you some personal thoughts on this matter and seek your feedback as I make my decision.  Should I decide to run, I want to know that I can count on your full support for my candidacy.

Our country enters 2003 in serious need of a more strategic understanding of the world and America's role in it.  No one can argue that what constitutes American security changed on September 11, 2001.  And while the President launched the War on Terrorism with clearly articulated goals, there has emerged an unnerving and expanding gulf between rhetoric and results.  My perspective, shaped through my service as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is that this administration's dominant focus on Iraq diverts important attention and resources from our domestic security and the actions required to win the War on Terrorism.

Among the casualties of the President's misplaced priorities is a lackluster domestic economy that disproportionately rewards those on the highest rung of the economic ladder.  The president's proposed remedies threaten not only to widen this disparity and balloon the national debt, but they also place at risk the fundamentals that drive economic expansion and, in the process, limit opportunities for current and future generations of working Americans.

A similar pattern extends to the policies pursued by this administration that have weakened our ability to preserve our natural resources, as well as to the absence of concrete actions necessary to provide quality health care for our seniors and educate our children.

While wartime Presidents have historically enjoyed strong support, this President's situation is eerily similar to that of his father in 1992, when a failure to focus on the economic fundamentals led to his defeat.

Throughout my career in public service - including eight years as governor and sixteen years as a United States Senator representing what will soon be the country's third most populous states - I have achieved results that are meaningful and real.  I have delivered groundbreaking education and environmental successes during my tenure as Florida's governor; offered essential recommendations for enhancing domestic security while leading the Intelligence Committee and the historic 9/11 joint inquiry; provided leadership for older Americans; and labored side-by-side with fellow Americans during 386 Workdays.  I have gained experience that has provided me an inclusive appreciation of our people and our role in the world.

Over the coming days, I will be discussing this important decision and ask you to be part of my future.  Please send your comments and feedback to me at [e-mail address].

If I decide to commit to pursuing my party's nomination for the Presidency, it would be done with a clear understanding of and respect for the awesome responsibility of the office, a crystalline vision and an unwavering expectation of success.

I am ready to lead and able to win.

Adele, our girls and their families are all enthusiastic about the campaign.  We join in thanking you for your continuing friendship and support.

Best regards,

Bob Graham