obama comes from nowhere and steals the show

If you didnt see Democratic candidate for the US Senate, Barack Obama, speak at the Democratic National Convention last night, you missed quite a show. Clearly the Democratic leadership sees big things for this young man and its obvious why. Hes got one hell of a story, and he knows how to tell it. Here, in case you missed it, is one of many highlights:

A belief that we are connected as one people. If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandmother. If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It’s that fundamental belief-I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisters’ keeper-that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. “E pluribus unum.” Out of many, one.

Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America-there’s the United States of America.

There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States.

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

It was really fantastic… One weird thing though, I couldnt find the transcript of his speech on the main DNC page, along with all the other transcripts. I eventually found it at his site, but I would have expected to have found it on the main convention site along with those of all the other speakers Maybe its the just conspiracy theorist in me, but I suppose theres also a slight chance the DNC fears that he might upstage Kerry (even more than Edwards).

Heres another quote from his speech. I especially liked the dramatic pause toward the end.

Don’t get me wrong. The people I meet in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks, they don’t expect government to solve all their problems. They know they have to work hard to get ahead and they want to. Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they don’t want their tax money wasted by a welfare agency. or the Pentagon.

One last thing, about his name and the unfortunate fact that it sounds a hell of a lot like that of man who is trying to kill all of us, I just did a quick Google search and found no evidence that his Republican rival for the Illinois Senate seat is using the phrase, “a vote for Obama is a vote for Osama.” That gives me some hope for this country of ours.

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One Comment

  1. Anonymous
    Posted July 29, 2004 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I caught the tail end of his speech and it was electric. I watched it on PBS and Jim Lehrer’s reaction, along with Brook’s and Shield’s, was amazement. Each one agreed that he may just be the first black American president.

    II have to say is that it is about time someone started talking about the political body as a whole rather than fragmented. Thomas Hobbes Leviathan has a number of metaphors for the political body / commonwealth like these that I think are very helpful for thinking of ( the ) US. Obama chose to repeat the mathematical one that the Founding Fathers chose- lifted from Nicomachus’ Arithmetic. I prefer the metaphor of the individual body, probably because the church used it to such great effect when designing cathedrals.

    It might do a bit of good to consider that Hobbes believed the Leviathan to be a monster, a necessary evil whose utility prevented a number of larger evils but was capable of, if not used correctly, much greater evil.

    I intend to slug through Moby Dick as well as revisit the story of Jonah with Hobbes Leviathan in mind at some point.

    Here is an interesting quote from Charlie Kauffman’s movie “Adaptation” at the very end after the credits, attributed to “the 3” :

    We are all one thing, Lieutenant. Thats what Ive come to realize. Like cells in a body. Cept we cant see the body. The way fish cant see the ocean. And so we envy each other. Hurt each other. Hate each other. How silly is that? A heart cell hating a lung cell.

    Dave Morris

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