Say it with me. President Obama.

Yes, today I saw the man himself, the next President of the United States, Barack Obama. Very exciting. Last time I saw a presidential candidate was Dukakis. That didn't turn out so well.

But the last time I cared about a presidential candidate was when Carter was running for reelection. This is the first time I do when I can vote. Indeed, it's the first time I contributed to a campaign, however paltry the amount. He's the first candidate I've seen since Carter who takes his faith seriously, and lets it influence how he acts. Obama's different.

The evening began with some righteous West African dancing, to some seriously intense drums. Very impressive. Wish I could say the same for the act that followed. I think Obama was caught in Seattle traffic, and they needed someone to fill in, so they decided on the only guy who could play guitar backstage. Seriously, I wouldn't be dissing him like this if it had been one, or even two songs. We sat through five songs of a guy who couldn't hit a single note on key, singing five romantic songs about how he couldn't get the girl. Seriously. It was a total let down from the wonderful dancing.

Then Congressman Adam Smith- yes the same one who attempted to help me out with Homeland earlier this year- introduced Obama, sharing how he was a long-time supporter. I like Mr. Smith more and more.

I was maneuvering myself into the stage dive area, where most of us were standing, foregoing the seats in the back of the WaMu Theatre of Qwest (hashek) Field. Finally after a couple of false starts the main man came out to work the crowd on stage, specially chosen to represent all of Seattle. (Though I think we're actually more diverse than what was represented on stage.

It was truly a thrill to hear Obama share. That's how it was- more sharing than Clinton's listening, Gore's lecturing, or Jesse Jackson's preaching. It felt somehow intimate, and very honest, very genuine. There were moments of fire, but most of it was a man speaking to inspire quiet hope, and give a concrete plan of action. Sure, there weren't all the details, but it wasn't the venue for that. It was enough that there were plans.

Obama got the most wild applause when he spoke out against the current administration, or when he spoke about the war- against it, and his long term actions in support of peace. And there was even a heckler in the audience, only three people from me. Obama's hecklers are evidently people who call for the impeachment of Cheney, and sing while doing it.

In person, Obama lived up to his first name- that of power-blessing. And he holds a promise to be that for our nation.


drh said…
Yesterday I watched a film by the man who used to be the next President of the United States. He deserved an Academy Award for that performance!
@bdul muHib said…
Yes- although one of the scariest movies I've ever seen, it was quite excellent.
Mike said…
You're not just rooting for him since he's an Oxy alum, are you? ;-)
@bdul muHib said…
What? That's not enough of a reason?
Omar said…
Do you think Obama has any chance of being your next president? I very much wish he will be!

And do you think Clinton, if she wins the nomination, will choose Obama as a running mate? And if she does - will Obama agree?
@bdul muHib said…
Yes, I think he has a definite chance, a good one. He's climbing in the polls, and he's raised more money than Clinton or anyone else in the run for the Presidency. (Clinton started with more as she had 10 Million in her war chest left over from the Senate Campaign.) And he's do to raise more than her in the 2nd quarter too.

She might choose him, he might accept. But I have to admit, since writing this, I'm a bit off Obama now. Using the Select a President website, he's still my top pick, but I'm not all ga-ga over him anymore.

The reason I left Hillary was she apologized for hugging Arafat's wife, in order to get the Jewish vote in NY. It was really political, and very culturally disrespectful. That's how you greet someone in Palestine, Arafat's wife didn't do anything, and they were no longer considered a terrorist organization by the US at that point, and I'd argue also weren't. It was very anti-Semitic, in the sense of anti-Arab.

But Obama, he was equitable, as much as a US politician can be, treating both sides equally, calling both sides to come to peace. He was. Then at the Soujourners Forum, in which the three top Democratic candidates were interviewed, he came out with a different picture, which I geuss he's been running with for awhile now. He said in order for anything to happen there, the Palestinians needed to forswear violence and give up terrorism. I agree, but Obama made it seem like it was all up to them. Who first began suicide bombings? The Irgun Gang, back in the 40's- Israel. When did Palestinian suicide bombings begin? Only recently, when Sharon went to the Dome of the Rock/Temple Mount with 1000 policemen, and acted like he was taking it over and kicking the Muslims out of their 3rd most holy site. That's when the violence ratcheted up. Before that it was just stones and the occassional (very wrong) hijacking. Yes, the Palestinians have acted wrongly, with violence and terrorism. But in response, and only recently it's been worse. And it's not even in porportional response. Far more Palestinians have been killed by state-sponsored Israeli terroism than Israelis killed by Palestinians. And Obama didn't address any of that. It was just- Palestinians need to change and follow peace. Very disappointing.

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