Promises

by Michael O. Allen on February 4, 2008

I found out at the last minute that Barack Obama would be making a noon campaign appearance at the Izod Center (the former Brendan Byrne Arena) in the Meadowlands in Rutherford, New Jersey. My 10-year-old son really wanted to go but, thinking we would not be able to get in anyway, I insisted he go to school.

I ran some errands in the morning: took my laptop to be repaired, went to village hall to pay property taxes, then to the post office to mail bill payments. On a moment’s inspiration, I went to the gym. I hadn’t been for four months, since my soccer season ended in November. Did some strength training, which hurt but I was glad I went.

I suggested to my wife we take a drive to the Obama event, see if we could get in. She was game so we went.

We missed Newark Mayor Corey Booker’s full-throated speech. We could hear over the loudspeakers that old warhorse Ted Kennedy giving a vintage performance getting the crowd primed for Obama. Obama took the podium as we were taking our seats.

He gave the same speech I watched him on C-Span give to a St. Louis, MO campaign event, hit some of the same grace notes the very same way I had seen on television. I have seen so many Obama speeches now that I come to expect certain bits and I’m disappointed when I don’t hear them. But Obama rarely disappoints. There are new twists to some old themes but it’s still the same campaign speech.

My wife was still undecided between Hillary Clinton and Obama and was deeply disappointed by his handling of an issue the New York Times wrote about. I, too, am disappointed. It is cases like this that might put doubt in a person’s mind about whether Obama is a real change agent, as he claims to be.

Obama does seem to have a good heart and, because of his service in the Illinois state senate, I believe he has valuable experience. I like that he was a community organizer. That has largely fueled his campaign. He has done a good job against incredible odds and built unprecedented support among the young and across a broad section of our society.

His best moment of the campaign, surpassing even his Iowa caucus victory, was in his defeat in New Hampshire. Listen to his speech. A portion of that speech has even been set to music. Never mind the rich people in the video. Just Listen to the words.

I don’t know what my wife will do in the morning but I believe I will vote for Obama.

{ 1 comment }

JoeyBoy February 5, 2008 at 1:14 PM

I did vote for Obama today. Nader will probably be the best candidate for me in the general election although Obama is clearly the better candidate in the Democratic party field.

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