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Dem presidential candidate takes questions at event

NASHUA – While taking part in a forum with a slightly different feel than a typical town hall-style event, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney answered questions of a slightly different sort at Nashua’s Temple Beth Abraham on Tuesday.

Speaking before community leaders consisting of the Rabbi John Spira-Savett, the Rev. Sally Newhall of Nashua Presbyterian Church and Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter Executive Director Michael Reinke, Delaney fount the forum focused more on leadership and character qualities than on any specific policy proposals.

Newhall asked Delaney, a former Maryland congressman and successful entrepreneur, about a time in which he gained a new perspective on something.

“I think running for office really changed things for me quite a bit…” Delaney said. “I really always thought of my life as a third learning, a third earning, and a third serving.”

Delaney told members of the panel that after doing everything he wanted in business while running two publicly traded companies, he believed he was ready for public service. However, he said Democratic Party officials only identified him through his father being a union electrician.

“It was really funny when I ran for office… I was a liberal person who was strong Democrat, but I had this business profile, which is a problem with the Democratic Party by the way,” he said, “because we have a notion that all these business people are terrible, which they’re not.”

“What mattered to the voters is not what I did with my life, but what he did with his life, because they looked at me and said you’re a successful businessman and I’m suspicious of you, but your dad was an electrician and he was in a union, and I’ll listen to you a little bit,” Delaney said.

When asked by Spira-Savett about the unique power the president has over human life and death, and how he would deal with such issues including the ability to launch airstrikes, respond to atrocities committed abroad or the deployment of troops, Delaney said he would have to take an analytical approach to such situations.

“I may have to call a mom or dad, or brother or sister, or maybe a child and say that their loved one was lost in service of their country based on a decision I made,” Delaney said. “I really would have to be sure that I thought I felt it was necessary.”

“I think you have to be analytical, which my whole life I have with everything I have ever done,” Delaney continued. “But, I think you have to use some humility and understand the significance of what you are doing because only then can you be decisive, which is what it requires.”

Delaney continued to talk about how he would rely on his roots, his family and faith to lead, which many who came to hear him talk said was refreshing to hear from a candidate.

Nashua resident Laura Horowitz said she was glad the temple decided to host such a conversation.

“I am so pleased to hear that because all the candidates stand up and tell you what their promises are and what they’re going to bring you, and what they’re going to do once they’re in office,” Horowitz said. “It’s nice to know what the person is, who the person is and their values, and that is what I got today.”

Another attendee, Sam Tardiff – a self proclaimed New Hampshire primary geek – agreed with Horowitz.

“I think it’s cool seeing that side of the candidate,” Tardiff said.

Reinke said the idea of the town hall was to identify the leadership qualities, while exploring Delaney’s leadership ideals.

“The tallest living organism on the earth is a tree, but the day the tree stops being flexible is the day that the wind pushes it over. What matters to the tree is that it has a firm foundation,” Reinke said. “To a degree, the policies of any given president are like a tree.”

“They need to move some, but they need to be rooted in a firm foundation,” he continued. “What I understood us trying to do today is trying to get at the firm foundation of congressman Delaney.”