Nov 6, 2008

A little over four years ago...

I attended the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Protesters, supporters, an abundance of police, armed forces and secret service milled around Boston's Fleet Center. Once inside, I was lucky enough to slide into some borrowed VIP seats in time to see Barack Obama deliver the keynote address. I wondered to my colleagues aloud at the end, "When can we have this guy as our President?". He delivered an amazing speech, a unifying speech and not just for the Democrats. He was commanding, eloquent and spoke honestly about how to heal a divided nation. When people have asked me why I have supported Obama I keep pointing back to that night that I had a glimmer of the hope that an Obama presidency would bring.


Barack Obama delivering the keynote at the 2004 DNC on Flickr

Last night, when the Obama landslide victory was announced, I welled up uncontrollably. I didn't cry for a politician, I think like many Americans I felt like a veil had been lifted. Seven years of fear mongering, misleading the nation and mishandling of both man-made and natural disasters are finally book-ended by a historic win for a deserving, intelligent leader. I finally feel truly hopeful about America for the first time in a long time.

This wasn't an easy win and I have friends and family who flew to battleground states, made phone calls, donated money and goods, held fundraisers and more. When it was all over there was dancing in the streets. DANCING. IN. THE. STREETS! When is the last time a political candidate inspired more than a cocktail party? Truly amazing.

I know it sounds corny and empty without action behind it but, I believe in Barack Obama, I believe in the hope he has already inspired and I know that will translate to action in the coming years. I can't thank all of you enough for voting for Barack Obama. Yes we did!

4 comments:

La Mom said...

Hi there,
Thanks for visiting La Mom Jason! Please drop me a line if ever you come to Paris.
You little boy Drew is a cutie. How many little Shellens are there?

WDavidStephenson said...

I didn't see the 2004 speech live, although I've listened many times since then. I became a believer 1st time I heard him live, and met him, in Oct. 2006. Never took Obama button off my jacket after that night. Here it is 2 weeks after election and I still can cry at drop of a hat when I see anything about election. Truly believe he is tranformational figure in Lincoln, FDR mold, and perfectly matched to situation we face!

bob said...

jason,

great post! i too was struck by that obama speech in 2004. so much so, i immmediately called up my pseudo-spouse who was on the west coast getting all smarted up at doctorate school.

i said, i'm pretty sure i just heard the 2008 democratic presidential candidate speak. he's black but that's nothing. get a load of his name, i think they said barack hussein obami or something like that.
she said, i have no time for this! how much wine have you had?
and i answered, not nearly enough for this story.
and she hung up (i guess she really didn't have time).

anyway, my guess is that we are a couple of presidential savants or something.

thanks for reminding me of that fateful day in 2004!

Jill Riter said...

Hey, Shellen, don't thank me, I voted McCain/Palin. But I sure like dancin' in the streets!

All the best.

P.S. Saw ya on Twitter. Hope you are feeling better. Gotta love NYC. Eat some good food for me, will ya?!

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