Friday, April 04, 2008

So this Obama chap came to town

robert-obama.jpgI was up before the sun this morning to prepare myself to head to Wayne High School where I was volunteering with the Obama campaign. When we arrived, the sun was still below the horizon and the clouds were sprinkling on us. We each received our credentials and waited - and waited. The Secret Service and Sheriff’s department had to go through the entire school complete with sniffing dogs - I wonder how many Wayne HS students were shitting their pants over things they may or may not have left in their lockers.. We also had to wait fro the TSA to set up the screening stations that everyone had to walk through upon entering the building.

After we finally were inside, I discovered my job was to seat people in the VIP section - hey, I already had a ticket for this section, so I was cool with that. At one point, one of the gentlemen who walked around with little coiled wires coming out of their ears asked me to reserve a couple of seats for his crew - just in case they needed them. Oh boy, talk about being back in High School - now the Federal hall monitors were making me save seats.

Although the event was scheduled to begin at 11:00AM, there was a slight delay. Obama was introduced by Michael Riley, who was the Indiana campaign director for Sen. Robert Kennedy back in 1968. Oddly enough, my first presidential rally was at the ripe age of 13 in Indianapolis - exactly 40 years to the day. It was on that date that Robert Kennedy informed us all that Dr. Martin Luther King had been assassinated, so it was appropriate that the majority of Obama’s speech was about the legacy of Dr. King. And how fortunate for me to have a front row seat at a speech that in no way resembled the other stump speeches the Illinois Senator has given in recent weeks. Today was special.

After his speech, Obama kidded around about being finished, then went on to accept several questions during the town hall style meeting. He handled everything from gun ownership and unions to youth and the environment. The final question came from a youngster who appeared to be around 10 years of age. He wanted to know what inspired Obama to run for president. Obama responded by mentioning Dr. King’s book, “Why We Can’t Wait“. He said there was no time to wait. “Now is the best time.”

Below are two videos - the first is video of the events leading up to Obama’s speech and the second is Obama’s remarks about Dr. King.

All in all it was a very inspiring day.


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