Talking Heads

New York Senator Hillary Clinton didn't just launch a political campaign when she announced her candidacy to become the first women president in the history of the United States. She promised "a conversation with America." Now Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm wants to "talk with citizens" about the future of the Great Lakes State.

What is this the View?

Enough of this "talk" about change. What is urgently needed now is leadership and action. Not only for America, a country distracted from its domestic priorities and mired in a war that's costing evermore in life, money, and reputation. But especially for the greater Great Lakes region, which is undergoing a fundamental and intensely painful shift in its basic economic underpinnings.

The aspects of any serious agenda to stregthen the mega region stretching from Chicago to Pittsburgh and, by extension, the United States of America, are clear. What's needed is much more aggressive investment of time and money in education and innovation, revitalizing cities, streamlining government, and restoring the globally unique Great Lakes ecosystem.

This stuff is not new. We've "talked" about these needs for years. The conversation is ripe. Now is the time for talk to become action. Americans are hungry for leadership, someone to light the way out of mediocrity.

That gives an edge to those civic leaders with the courage to set aside partisan differences, roll up their sleeves, build diverse and nontraditional coalitions, and get to work solving the challenges of the time.

Everything else is just chit chat.