Obama 08

M and I and CM and L'felter got up early this morning to drive to Springfield and attend Barack Obama's presidential announcement. Wow, was it ever cold -- in the low single digits when we arrived. I haven't had frostbite on my toes since I was a wee lad. But it was worth it when Obama finally took the stage for a brief, 25-minute speech. His speech was what we've come to expect from Barack -- a message of change in our political climate, and what we've come to expect from our politicians; a message of ownership of America, of energizing a nation of despondent folks so that they may realize the true meaning of citizenship; a message of a country living up to its true potential, instead of accepting where its chosen to settle.

The big announcements: 1) Obama wants universal healthcare in America by the end of his first term; and 2) He wants to bring home all troops -- and give them the proper homecoming (medical and otherwise) they deserve -- by March of 2008. Neither of those messages necessarily separates him from Hillary -- I think she "shares" a similar viewpoint as we speak -- but in Obama's delivery one senses a sort of invigorating immediacy that's hard to resist. He also spoke bluntly of a need to accept our failures -- instead of blaming them on "the other party or gay people or immigrants" -- and seek to correct them, and the fact that no amount of U.S. soldiers in Iraq can resolve that country's civil war and age-old political power struggle. Hear his whole speech at his site, U2 introductory music included. (His closing music -- classic r&b like Jackie Wilson's "Higher and Higher" -- was a much better choice.)

I have no idea how many were in attendance, as it was hard to get any sort of vantage point that would allow me to take in the scene. But for a wild guess I would say 25,000 people. If anyone has read a more accurate number online, please post it in the comments. The turnout was impressive -- even in his home state -- considering how bitterly cold it was outside. Here's my snapshots, including a photo of the security detail that were atop most of the buildings surrounding the old Capitol building.


jdw23 said...

we almost went...but instead watched it on the tube. he's my man! i hope he makes it thru the process intact!!!!!

Don Gerard said...

Great pics!

Fred said...