A campaign aimed at bridging the political divide, drew about 200 people to a town hall meeting in Manchester where the featured speaker was Panera Bread Founder and Chairman Ron Shaich. According to a statement from No Labels, the Unity campaign seeks to create public support for a policy platform and an approach to governing that can, and should, be embraced by both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates running in 2020.
Shaich, a longtime supporter of No Labels, was joined on stage by No Labels Co-Founder Bill Galston and Chief Strategist Ryan Clancy to frame the challenges and highlight steps presidential candidates could take to promote national unity, including a bipartisan cabinet and concrete commitments to deal with issues like infrastructure, education, immigration, the deficit, and securing America's social safety net in a bipartisan way.
"As we look toward the 2020 presidential election, there appears to be no end in sight to our tribal politics and both sides appear to be gearing up for an ugly and divisive campaign," says No Labels Co-Chair Joe Lieberman. "This is a surefire recipe for everything in our politics to get worse. There is only one way out of this endless cycle of overreach and retribution and that is presidential candidates who pledge—in words and through policy commitments—to uniting the country."
"It is early in the process, and we don't yet know exactly what form a Unity campaign can take," Shaich says. "But we do know it is essential. We do know that two years of Democratic and Republican presidential candidates denouncing and destroying one another will only worsen the divide in our country and make it even harder to solve our common challenges. We know that a presidential candidate who unites America around our common interests is what we need and what the American people want."
Monday's event was to kickoff a yearlong effort that will culminate on Nov. 3, 2019, when 2,000 New Hampshire voters gather to meet presidential candidates from both parties.