Friday, January 18, 2008

Obama in NYC and my thoughts

I saw Obama at a NYC fundraiser two nights ago for the first time since April and was blown away (again).  My feelings are captured nicely by Pulitzer-Prize winning Berkeley author Michael Chabon, who at a rally in SF said (according to this article:

"You know what I needed to do before I could decide to support Barack Obama for president? I had to give myself permission to feel hope. That's almost kind of sad, isn't it? I had to tell myself that it is OK. That it would be all right if I allowed myself to acknowledge the possibility that we can aspire as a nation. That we can aspire to be more than merely secure or predominant. That we could apsire to build and to heal not just to patch and prop up. We can aspire to come together not just come to terms."

Suffice to say that one rarely gets to hear an internal monologue during an endorsement rally...which might explain why a couple of the TV cameras clicked "OFF" about this time. Nevermind them, Mike. Preach, brother!!

"I had to allow myself to do something that felt really weird, something I had never done before in my entire life -- to believe in a candidate for the president of the United States."

The crowd starting yelling "We believe!"

"I do, I do believe. I do believe in Barack Obama. But I don't believe in him blindly or unquestioningly. He's no demogogue or figurehead. He's a man, not a symbol. But he does stand for something, something I can believe in. The way I believe in the comfort I take in my family and the pleasure of good company, and the blessings of peace and liberty and in anything that requires me to put my trust in the best part of myself and of other people."

In his remarks, Obama made some great points about losing New Hampshire.  He said (I'm paraphrasing from memory) it was good news ("and I'm not spinning you") because it all seemed too easy -- and it shouldn't be and we shouldn't have expected it to be.  The forces of the status quo aren't going to be vanquished without a fight, so even though you (speaking to his supporters) may feel disappointed and exhausted, he needs us to buckle down and keep up the fight.


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