Friday, August 29, 2008
Obama, If You're Reading This... Give Yourself A Hand
Okay, troops, OBAMA DELIVERED.
The Democratic Party is IN LOVE.
I sat there, 9-year-old Obama supporter (and cheerleader who yanked Queen Mommy from Hillary–land into the future) cuddled up next to me after bed time to WATCH THE HISTORIC SPEECH.
The video – not so much. Slender. “Is this all he’s accomplished?” the panicked Queen wondered. Then – the beginning of the speech. Oooooooh…. Same messaging – even some of the same lines – offered by other speakers. The roll call of everything he will accomplish. “What, he’s going to be in office for 25 years?” says grumpy husband (King of Snark?), of the angry-white-male-listens-to-Rush-Limbaugh-ilk. “He said ‘READ MY LIPS,' Mommy,” commented my little prince. Oooooops, again, thinks Mommy, thinking of Bush pere – “read my lips! I’ll reduce foreign dependence on oil inTEN YEARS???”
I was afraid, dear readers. I was afraid.
But then – Obama gathered momentum. And the crescendo, the end, the reference to the “young preacher:…. Aiiiiiii – even McCain-supporting hubby was in tears (then again, he just read Jane Mayer’s book on the undermining of civil liberties and has been calling into his favorite conservative talk shows to upbraid them on their stupidity. And, of course, we just learned the McCain will be speaking the night of the NFL season opener. So maybe he was in tears that his guy was going to lose.)
My nine-year-old asked, simply “What do we have to do to elect him, Mommy? Should we knock on everyone’s doors and tell them how important it is?” He was frightened, too. This child who cried when I didn’t show up for the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at his school ("Wasn’t that just for the black parents?" my racist self thought at the time); this child who has grown up in a mini-United Nations and doesn’t see skin color or religion or foreign language – he only sees “friends.” This child that is the embodiment of Martin Luther King’s “dream” of a world where all children played together and enjoyed the same advantages. This child who yelled “Go Obama!” through all the debates and threatened to “kick me out of the family” if I voted for Hillary.
So, now, for a little snark.
McCain is no dummy. (Oh, and hey, we're watching him right now, are you?) The leading AP story after Obama’s speech was McCain’s announcement of a 24-hour hiatus on negative advertising and a new advertisement congratulating Obama on this historic moment. The choice of Sara Palin, Governor of Alaska, as running mate was not dumb (and, as a new mother, she might not actually get in McCain’s way much as he continues the Bush-Cheney assault on the country). Disenfrachised, bitter PUMAs, here we come. And frankly, sometimes I thought all the big Dems at the convention said more nice things about their “respected colleague” John McCain than they did about Obama. Obama represents the Democrats, the future, our need to take the country back from the realm of darkness. But there wasn’t much else to say about Obama the MAN and the LEADER.
Today’s various columns and editorials today in Post and Times and WSJ reminding us that we don’t really know who this guy is who has swept us off our feet are all on point.
We are in love. But it’s a big love. And his charisma may be enough. His charm, his telegenicity may be enough to sell Americans on the tough choices we need to crawl out of this hole. Tough choices about energy use. Tough choices about how the world economy actually operates. Tough choices about the military sacrifices we may still have to make to rout the terrorist extremists.
And we have the instructive, nearly blessed example of Lincoln. Another outsider. Another man with a short track record. Another man who beat a shoo-in political operative (Seward, and some would say, Chase) for the top job. A man that saved the Union, who ushered in the end of slavery.
We need charisma at the top of the ticket, we need a candidate we can love, we need nine-year-olds so inspired by their government that they want to go door-to-door (as though they invented the idea) to sell their neighbors and the country on the importance of this moment in history.
Obama is the man.