Sunday, February 10, 2008
My friend Om is a big Obama supporter who has convinced me that he will be a good choice for President. So I decided to go with him to the big Obama rally on Friday at noon at Key Arena. I have never seen him giving his speech in person and I wanted to check it out as I heard it is an incredibly inspiring experience. We heard on the radio that the doors will open at 11 am and Obama will probably start his speech an hour later. So we decided to leave from Campus at 11 am. This turned out to be a really bad idea. Because traffic was horrible when we got there at 11:30. We finally got parking, walked towards to arena. As we approached, we saw that there was a huge crowd outside. I wondered if they were the line waiting to get in. we grabbed a rally worker and asked him if this was the line to get in. He then looked at us with pity and said "no, the doors are already closed. The arena is full, these people are waiting outside because they are going to pipe out the speech on the loud speaker" !!??!! The arena was full? it seats 17000!!!. People are waiting outside? it is 40 degrees and raining!!. We were quite dismaybed but determined to stay til the end. After about half an hour of waiting and my hand has frozen over, Obama arrived amid thunderous applause and screaming. He was very nice enough to stop outside the arena and talked to us using a bullhorn. Thanking us for coming out and telling us that change is possible. He was able to whip the crowd into a frenzy with jsut a few words. People were chanting "Yes we can" and "Obama" over and over again. I have only seen this kind of united fervor at rock concerts. I have finally seen first hand the power he has to bring people together.
We stood in the cold and listened to his speech which had a theme of "Hope". He spoke about our nation's problems and the difficulty of solving them. But mostly he spoke of hope. Not false hope and optimism that everything will be ok. But hope that if we work together and towards a common goal we will be able to overcome the obstacles. One thing really made an impression on my mind. He mentioned that one of his goal is to work towards real "Peace in the World". I kinda snickered to Om and said "Peace In The World eh!!??". It was more like a joke. Om only laughed but this lady in front of me heard me, turned around and said "well if we all believed and worked towards it it can happen". I felt a little bit of shame for being so cynical but mostly I was impressed at the example of the kind of people he can bring together. People that believe in his vision, people who are practical but not cynical. In short, people that have conviction and hope. So I believe that if these are the type of people he can inspire to work for him. He can really accomplish things.
I found out that he won the WA caucus today, making him one step to the presidential nomination. I have nothing against Hillary actually. I think she is a very experienced and capable politician. Frankly, anyone would be better than some Republican in my mind. But I think there is something about Obama that are kind of intangible. If he gets elected in the general election, perhaps we will see some real difference in Washington. Time will tell!