Thomas R. Carper, political icon
I met Tom Carper in the summer of 1974. I had just become the campaign manager for Jim Soles, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. Carper, an MBA student at UD, joined the campaign as a volunteer (we all were) and became Jim’s treasurer and fundraiser. Carper would go on to serve as state treasurer, congressman, governor and senator and win a record 12 statewide elections. He took on many of the state and country’s most vexing issues. The short list: Delaware’s fiscal health and economy, the savings and loan crisis, cleaning and replenishing our beaches, education and health-care reform. Still, with all of the positions held and issues tackled, perhaps Tom Carper’s greatest legacy has been the way he has gone about his business. His career has been marked by an unwavering willingness to reach across the aisle in order to solve problems and to treat friends and foes with respect and civility.