Saturday, May 24, 2008

Future Pres

Yesterday, I took the day off of work so that I could experience our future president's oratory style, firsthand. Sen. Obama spoke, at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, to a packed house of mostly African Americans. Instead of waiting with the masses, I surreptitiously snuck in with the crippled folks and other jerk-offs (or are we geniuses?) through the ADA door. Once inside, the excitement was deliciously tingly! Thousands of people coming together for the same purpose is a very inspiring experience. I forced my way onto the floor and stood for four hours in a tight crowd of angry, funny and interesting people. It was worth the wait. I made friends, enemies and had the privilege of standing less than 10 feet from one of the most convincing, elegant, eloquent, and natural speakers I have encountered.

Obama arrived to screams and cheers and immediately left the podium to walk and talk to the audience in a comfortable manner around the stage, "like Oprah," he said. He managed to joke with the attending constituents while responding to his opponents criticisms. He spoke of the importance of veterans' benefits by referring to his grandfather's service in the military during WWII. Described how the GI Bill provided his family with shelter and education, allowing him to get to where he is at today, showing that although he hasn't himself fought in a war, his family has sacrificed for this country. The audience responded the most enthusiastically to his comments on healthcare; he noted that McCain hasn't proposed his own solution to the grave injustices in our current system. That was his only mention of other candidates that I could hear (the acoustics were terrible) beside mentioning that this election is not a blame game. He stuck to defending his stances on the issues, including his rejection of suspension of the fuel task this summer, which has been supported by Hillary and McCain.

We had a lot of laughs. One guy yelled out, "we got your back, b!" Afterward, the same man told us that he would be following the Obama trail to DC. He stood as long as we did on the floor, for hours, and as we walked up the stairs, I noticed he had a significant limp. Obama had inspired us all, and made the discomfort of the wait (8 years/4 hours) worth it.

Thanks to Marco O'Toole for the brilliant photograph on his fancy phone.

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