I heard Barack Obama giving a speech (from Richmond, Virginia) on CNN on Sunday, February 10th prior to Virginia’s Tuesday primary race on February 12th. I was struck, once again, with how many people he constantly thanks. People like to be thanked. I’m sure Tim Cane and Mark Warner and Doug Wilder and Bobby Scott and Jim Morain and Rich Baucher and Dick Granevald and Amy Rieger and all the others Barack was thanking so profusely were grateful. I remember that, when he appeared in Davenport, Iowa, he brought out all the young campaign workers and thanked each of them personally in front of the crowd. This “niceness” may well be a big part of Barack Obama’s appeal.
Said Obama, in the televised speech excerpt, “It has been one year since we began this race to the Presidency on the steps of the Old Capitol in Springfield, Illinois…I knew we wouldn’t be the favorite. I knew we would be the underdog from January till June. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But then something started to happen. Across this land, the message is the same: we are tired of being disappointed by our politicians. While Washington is consumed by the same distractions, another father puts up another for sale sign on the lawn…and it goes on and on and on and on and on. We become cynics. We lower our standards.”
And then, swinging into full Obama Oratorical mode, Barack said, “Not this time. Not this year. The stakes are too high. People want to turn the page. People want to write a new chapter. Yes we can! We won in (fills in blank with recent states of victory) and I believe we can win in Virginia on Tuesday (February 12) if you’re ready to stand with me and fight…”
Obama went on to use the “no more Scooter Libby justice; no more Brownie incompetence; no more Karl Rove politics” line I have heard him use in person. “We are gonna’ be unified as Democrats to make sure that we bring it in from the failed politics of George W. Bush. That’s how we are gonna’ win in Virginia and that’s how we are gonna’ change this country.”
Get this man a church! He is dynamite from the pulpit!
If you have the chance to hear Barack Obama, in person, do not miss it. To wit: “There’s a moment in the life of every generation when we must act. Virginia, this is our moment. This is our time. You and I together will transform this country.” Chills.
I was instantly reminded of my all-time favorite Shakespeare quote, which I will (roughly) paraphrase for you here:
“There is a tide in the affairs of men which, if taken at the flood, leads on to fame and greater fortune. If omitted, all the voyage of our lives is bound in the shallows of misery and despair.” That’s not exact quoting, but it reminds of Obama’s eloquence and the sentiment is certainly similar.
You gotta’ love it! Unless you’re a Republican and you’re seeing doom in the upcoming November election trying to defeat Barack Obama, should he secure the nomination. The most charismatic speaker in a long time has come down the pike, and he’s intelligent, too!