Funny, I never thought I’d see the day when the patrons of an entire bar shut their mouths and glue their eyes to the TV for a politician. Last night I looked around the room and saw nothing but saucers – everyone eagerly awaiting Obama’s next word.
As far as the actual speech went—well, I was really hoping to be moved to tears the way I was when Michelle and Biden spoke. In the end, though, talking family values wasn’t Obama’s mission last night (and that’s the stuff that makes me all misty-eyed). He needed to outline a clear plan for how he will make change a reality, and he did just that, point by point—from the economy to the war in Iraq to civil rights. I also thought it was really smart of him to address the “where’s the money coming from” question head-on. No dancing around the issue: his plans will take money, and he has accounted for the source of every penny.
After last night, no one can say that Obama doesn’t have clear strategies in place for executing on his dreams for this country.
On a more personal level, I found this part of his speech particularly inspiring:
The "inherent good in us all" message was one that Obama incorporated in his campaign early on, but one that I haven’t heard in recent months. I’m really glad he’s gone back to it, because this idea is truly powerful. And no one can really refute this message without sounding like a total sleaze ball naysayer.
But let me take a step back. Because last night was bigger than words.
I haven’t lived through too many “I was _____ when _____ happened” events. My parents have tons. I have a few. I was in class on my second day of college when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers. I was on the phone with my dad, listening to him say, “Ryan, turn on your T.V. immediately, you won’t believe it—all the people drowning in New Orleans are Black” when Katrina hit.
Now I have another. I was at a bar in Boston, standing next to one of my favorite people in the whole word, my heart racing, my hands clapping, my eyes sparkling, when the first African-American man accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president of this country.