2.10.2007

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.


3 comments:

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...

amen