Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I have seen the future

Wow.  Tonight I saw the future in Barack Obama. In case you haven't heard, he's being called the Tiger Woods, the new golden boy, and the future of the Democratic party...and a possible future presidential nominee, even though, for the time being, he's only an Illinois state senator.  I hadn't even heard of him until fairly recently when Tim mentioned him to me a couple of weeks before I moved to Chicago. And once I moved up here, there's been so much hype around him in the news, especially in the wake of Jack Ryan's troubles.  Still, like most people, I didn't really understand the hype because I didn't really know him and had never seen him speak.  Until tonight.

I caught Hilary and Bill Clinton's speeches last night and Al Gore's today on the DNC website.  I really liked Bill Clinton's speech while Hilary's and Gore's were alright but kind of underwhelming, I thought...although I especially liked Gore's part in addressing voters for Nader in 2000...asking them, "Do you still believe that there was no difference between the candidates?"

Tonight I was excited to hear Howard Dean speak, but he was also a bit underwhelming.  So was Teresa Heinz Kerry.  Although I agreed with Ron Reagan and supporting stem cell research, I thought he might have oversold it a little, maybe putting a bit too much optimism into it being the miracle he envisions it becoming.  But the Democrats hit a home run tonight by having Barack Obama as the keynote speaker.  He started off well, but you could literally see him picking up confidence and momentum as the speech went on, and it was perhaps the best speech I've ever seen.  I wish I was at the Fleet Center to witness it in person and give a well-deserved standing ovation.  One of the PBS analysts said that Obama's introduction to the national public via his speech tonight was transcendent across Republicans and Democrats, blacks and whites, men and women, and others.  I agree wholeheartedly.

It's quite a shame that the major networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS) didn't air tonight's convention, although I'm assuming that the cable networks did.  (The Chicago ABC, NBC, and CBS affiliates only broadcasted Obama's speech.)  If you missed Obama's speech and you have high speed internet, go to the DNC website and watch it.  I doubt that any other speaker during the convention in the next two days will even come close to matching his speech.


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