Yesterday, at about 3:45, I snuck out of my office and walked three blocks to stand in line until 5:00, when I was allowed into a building to stand and wait until 7:00, when I stood and listened to an hour-long speech, then trudged the five blocks back to my car.
My feet ached, and my back hurt, and I got smushed and jostled, and at some point, I turned to Todd, and said, "Someday we'll tell our grandchildren about this night."
We did all this to hear Barack Obama speak to us and 8,000 of our closest friends. And it was fantastic.
As I listened to him, I just kept thinking to myself, "This is where it all turns around. This is when it happens. This man will be the next President of the United States."
You know all those people who insist Obama doesn't seem to have anything to really SAY, that he's just a pretty face and a rousing speaker? I'm here to tell you, it's a lie.
He said that he will cut taxes to give people like me more money, and he'll pay for it by closing the corporate loopholes that are helping the rich get richer while I worry about gas money to get to work.
He said that he will institute tuition credits so EVERYONE can get the education they deserve.
He said that he will pay teachers more money so EVERYONE gets a higher-quality education.
. . . that he will explore alternative fuels so we can stop the continuing damage we are doing to our environment
. . . that he will end the war in Iraq so we can stop wasting the lives of our citizens
. . . that he will reform health insurance so EVERYONE can afford medical care, including our children and our elderly and emphasize prevention so we stop being the most unhealthy people on the planet
. . . and on and on, until every one of the 8,000 people in that auditorium really BELIEVED that our country can be something to be proud of again.
Rhetoric? Well, there's no doubt the man can speak. But I'm reminded of the saying, "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean no one's out to get you."
Just because he can speak doesn't mean he can't back it up.
Here's the one part of his speech that I plan to tell those grandchildren: After speaking of all the things he wants the country to do for us, he plainly stated that we have to be willing to give back. He urged each of us to "invest in our country," by volunteering our time and ourselves to what we deem to be worthy causes.
Because it's OUR country. And it's OUR government. I haven't believed that in a long time. Listening to Barack Obama, I started to believe again.
This man will be President. I believe it.