Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama 2008: Hitting One Out of the Ball Park

When my neighbor told me I had been sitting in the end zone during the last night of the Democratic National Convention, I realized that Mile High Stadium is not that kind of ball park. So Barack Obama accomplished another first by hitting one out of a football field. I will retrace how he did that for those not lucky enough to be in Denver.

By the time I got to the very end of the security line for entrance to the Democratic National Convention, a helpful policeman told me that he sees a guy on the line that asked him how long the wait would be two hours ago. I prepared for the worst but I was through the gates in a little over an hour.

Thank you, Mr. Police, sir.

After flying through security, I grabbed a plate of enchiladas, a pizza, and a lemonade before finding my way to the end zone where I, straight out of Massapequa, sat between Taisha, straight out of Compton, and Merilyn, straight out of Berkeley. We all just met and we were all cheering and voting for Obama. What a world.

Jennifer Hudson sings the National Anthem

I must admit it was a lot easier to hear the words the speakers were saying when I was watching the proceedings online. (ABC News was streaming it live with commentary by creaky Sam Donaldson and some other guy who looks like a geek.) This evening, the last night of the Convention, the most rousing speeches were those given by the little people or as the DNC lists them, American Voices. Sure, Al Gore was inspiring but Roy Gross, Monica Early, Janet Lynn Monacco, Teresa Asenap, Pamela Cash-Roper, and Barney Smith - whose chant that we want a president who cares more about Barney Smith not Smith Barney was a highlight for all - spoke passionately and eloquently (!?) about their personal travails over the last eight Bush years.

Look closely at the bottle bobby-pinned to her hair

And then there's Obama - whom I could hear clear as a bell. I'm not going to reiterate what Obama spoke about in his speech but, suffice it to say, this man is the future of America. I fear for this country if he does not win this election.

John Legend and Will I Am sing Yes, I Can

About two-thirds of the way through his speech I left the comfort of my cushion between the two archetypes I had been playing with for the last five hours and got closer to the stage. (I always do that. Ask Carol Channing.) I soon found myself next to the ABC, CBS, and NBC news tents watching Obama orating magnificently. At the same time, I was watching Katie Couric, Charles Gibson and Brian Williams, our three national network news anchors, with their backs to the speaker, their heads down, and their eyeglasses perched on the tip of their respective noses, reading from pieces of paper.

Now granted, they were undoubtedly reading the speech on paper but they were not experiencing the speech as the rest of the attendees. They were reading words and dissecting grammar so they can have probing questions and insight but not one of them was experiencing the audience reactions or the speaker's expressions and movements. They were about to mislead their viewers.

And then it was over. Fireworks closed the evening and I literally ran out front to get a wide angle of the stadium and the sky. Enjoy!

And remember to vote for Obama on November 4, 2008!!

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