I carry a New Jersey quarter in my wallet, when it occasionally sometimes slips out, I restlessly search every quarter until I find another one, for on its back is a reminder that the smallest of us can make a big difference.

(Test your memory: what exactly is on the back of the New Jersey quarter?)

You may remember, it shows Washington crossing the Delaware early Christmas morning in 1776.

Those of you who studied America’s history, know it was do or die for Washington that day. His entire army’s commission expired on January 1, 1977, six days away. He had been routed from New York, humiliated by almost every battle, chased like chickens across the fields and forests of New Jersey, and the term “American fighting men”, had become an oxymoron. Soon every patriot soldier, would be going home as per his contract; going home to wife, family, and friends they had not seen in over two years. Walking in snow with rags for uniforms, their ranks dwindled daily as each night came news that one more had slipped off and one less was available to fill the roster. The new troops promised by Congress were still imaginary……… They did not exist.

By all intents and purposes, the cause was finished. In less than one week, the British would win………..by default.

Washington needed a win. If he could convince the troops to hang on until Spring, by that time perhaps some replacements could be mustered. But without a win, there was no way any soldier would volunteer for certain death for a losing cause. Sure, the principals he was fighting for sounded fine. But based on the reality of every lost battle, those lofty principals apparently were not going to happen……

It was therefore do or die.

The campaign succeeded. Not only did they rout the Hessian garrison early Christmas morning, but were also able to raid the unprotected camp of Cornwallis in Princeton just after the British raced to Trenton to recapture the Hessian camp. The entire campaign was an overwhelming success, and Continentals morale was high.

Then on January 1, the troops were lined up for what they thought would be their farewell and dismissal. Washington atop his white horse drew a line with his sword in the dirt down the full length of the column. Although there is no record of what he said, there are third party accounts that he said a few words to the men. Essentially most historical experts have speculated that he told them the truth, that without them, the cause was over, that everything they had dreamed would not come to pass, unless they made a choice to continue, I believe he even offered them more money if they stayed, even though a broke Congress had expressly instructed him not to…….

Imagine it is you standing before that line. For two years you have been telling everyone you couldn’t wait to get home. You long for your wife, and haven’t seen your children. By all accounts, you’ve done your duty, and finally, here at last was your chance to put it behind you; you are desperate to get home. Your past has been one of constant starvation. Your troops have had no real supplies; the only thing you will miss is just the camaraderie of your “mates.”

And here was someone asking you to give up this long awaited opportunity and stay? Ain’t not way, brother, forget about it.

The genius of Washington was that he only gave the men two options: to either step across the line, or stand still. If one did not wish to continue forward, he could not make the conscious choice to do so by stepping back; he just had to stand still until the crowd moved on and only then could he turn himself toward his home. Some reports say that after twenty minutes, no one had moved. After all, who could blame them. Washington said a few more sentences. Finally ten minutes later just one man stepped across the line. The shock rippled up and down the line. Then another, and another, and more corralled their courage, and stepped across the line.. As the number left in the line dwindled, and the stragglers suddenly realized that they were rapidly becoming a minority, and feeling the intense psychological pressure of Washington and their comrades for them to conform, they too stepped across the line.

The cause was saved. The army would remain intact for a little while…..and as we know, history’s favor finally fell to the American’s side, and we as the result of that one man, became a brand new nation, different from every other.

Today, when I sometimes fly across the Midwest of this country at 30,000 feet, I’ll pull my wallet and out falls the quarter I keep. As I look at it, and look down at the farms below, I wonder to this day, what would have happened if that one man. anonymous whoever he was….had resolved to hold out for just a little while longer. Would I be now typing with a British Accent? Would this wide expanse still be unified under the banner of one country, or split today in regions, each with a different native language? Would our history be nothing but a series of wars, as one region sought dominance over another? As religions confrontations flared in Europe, would they correspondingly flair up here? And without our example, would the French have revolted against their king, spreading Democracy? Or without our nation’s successful rebellion, would queens and kings continue to dominate the geopolitical landscape of this planet?

So what was the thought that crossed that mans mind as he changed history? What particular expression or vision was strong enough to cause him to throw away his personal comfort, and perhaps his life, to change the course of history?

As I have mellowed and aged, and the more I apply thought to that very question, the more those thoughts come back full circle to my original conclusion. It is the same gut reaction I mutter whenever I have to do something that duty commands, but the flesh is unwilling.

Were you standing next to that man as he spoke, I’m sure you would have heard him mutter, “WTF” as he shocked you by stepping across the line. And from that simple move, by one anonymous man…… we have all of this today………..

Talk about one man making a difference and not knowing it……..

And all that is just background for the real point I want to make. And that point is: sometimes you make decisions that have consequences light years beyond your grasp of knowledge. Sometimes you make those decisions bravely, and sometimes you cower, your own body fighting against you as you decide to follow through with your intentions……..

We are about to do the same this Feb 5th as Democrats prepare to cast our vote for our favorite Presidential contender. As Delaware Democrats, we have an option that is unavailable to voters in other states, for we have a favorite on our ballot. One that could change history for the better if given the chance.

I mentioned this option once before and then dropped it as I too became sucked up by the media attention caused by political armies marching through my locality. But today, I chanced upon this article, written by an actor who most of you know, who played an operative within the popular television show “The West Wing.” The article was long, but being from Delaware, and because it was written about my Senator, who we can say handled himself rather well compared to today’s front runners while in the media’s spotlight, I read the whole thing by Richard Schiff.

I have been fortunate, through my acting career, to have met with formidable people in our political world. I have met senators and congressmen and secretaries of state, presidential nominees, generals on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and ambassadors. I had dinner with President Clinton and spent an entire day with him, when we were given honorary doctorates from my alma mater. He’s a fascinating man, as are all of them. But other than the obvious showbusiness fare, rarely did anyone ask me a question of substance. Mostly, I listened. I quietly listened to posits and pontifications, theories and solutions, questions asked rhetorically – and quickly answered. Joe Biden is the only one of them who is genuinely curious; who seems to have a profound affection for people and their varying views of the world; who isn’t looking for support or potential adversaries, but for what concerns us and what worries us and what he can do about it. The more we talked and stumped together, the more I found myself proud to know the guy. And the more I hoped he had a chance in hell to win this thing

I was intrigued by that one passage. As I read it, the feeling that I shouldn’t let those passions lie undisturbed, that I should again resurrect them, and like Washington before me, entreat you to do a seemingly pointless task and that is:

to show in this primary, your support for the best man Delaware has ever had to offer in the race for the Presidency. A man who this time, truly believed that showing Americans today how a campaign should, and must be run, was far more important to the health of this country and its political process, than a viscious man who won by any means at his disposal.

I can’t see the future, and I don’t know how it will play out…. But I do know that in America, history is played out by the actions of average Americans. The average ones are those who do the fighting. The regular people are the ones who do the work. The “everymans” are the ones who make the changes.

All I’m asking, is that as a Democrat, when you walk into the voting booth intent on either voting Obama or Hillary, and pull the curtain behind you, take your finger and pause it for two slow seconds over the “X” in the box for Joe Biden. And if something indescribable, deep inside of you, and I mean really…. deep inside of you, like the conviction you feel when you ask someone to marry you, tells you it is right to push it that button…just push it….don’t fight it….trust that feeling. Then mutter to yourself, ” WTF.”

If enough of you do, then Delaware’s favorite son will have 28 delegates to use in the convention. If neither current candidate widens his lead, then those delegates may be worth something in future promises for this first state.

To be honest, it doesn’t look good for Biden, especially with with news of the Obama swing through this state on Sunday. But as Aragorn charged the Black Gate, near the end of Return of the King, against impossible odds, as two hobbits chose to follow him, as did the whole army follow, this one scared blogger is doing so with his version….while muttering under his breath…..”WTF”.