Exactly what is a Democrat? Why do people decide to be Democrats? What is the common thread that bonds us a Democrats? Why is the Democratic Party so diverse? To Be a Democrat answers these questions through the words of well-kwn Americans, from Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama. Their letters, essays and speeches, which are divided into three sections - Courage, Principles and Progress - illustrate the historical strengths, diversity, and accomplishments of the Democratic Party.
Mary Ellen Andriot Blencoe grew up in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., where politics is a part of daily life. She first became actively involved in the Democratic Party during the 1964 Presidential campaign. She has been a lifelong Democrat, and recently has served at the county level as president of the Democratic women's club and secretary of the Democratic executive committee. In addition, she was a co-commentator for three years on The Point, a local political call-in television show.