I saw Barack Obama in person today. That’s right folks. I dragged my lazy butt out of bed this morning at 5:30 am and headed out to Philadelphia to catch a glimpse of our future President along with my daughter Heather, my friend Linda, and her sister in tow. We decided to go to the first of four stops Barack was making in Philly. Long before we reached the shopping center where he would speak, the really, really, really, really long line began. (Did I mention it was really long?) We dropped Linda and her sister off while Heather and I looked for a place to park.
After we parked the car, we headed off to meet Linda in line, amazed at the throngs of people who came out that early to show their support of Barack Obama. It was thrilling — no, it was electrifying to see so many people on the streets of Philadlephia who were just as excited as we were to show their support of Barack Obama and at the same time catch a glimpse of him. People were smiling and laughing and everyone seemed as happy to see us there as we were to see them. We were all different individuals but united as one giant mass of mankind with the same beliefs, the same goals, and the same hope for our future. And that hope begins with Barack Obama.
After waiting a good hour and a half in line, we made it through the security gates and were shuffled into the open area for those without tickets. Somehow Linda had managed to squeeze her way to the front of the back gate which divided the ticket holders and the ticket holder wannabes. The location was awesome. We could clearly see Obama even with everyone jumping up and down and throwing their arms in the air. A couple of times I picked Heather up to see over the crowd so she could catch a glimpse of him. She may be 28 but at 5’1” and barely 100 lbs., she needed a little assistance to see above the crowd. I was able to squeeze out this video using my wonderful $99 digital camera. No bad, eh?
Barack Obama is an excellent speaker with an amazing presence. When he speaks to a crowd, you can sense greatness in his voice, and yet he has a down-to-earth, “everyman” quality that envelopes everything he says. He truly is a man of our time. As we drove home, we were comparing him to Bobby Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King. I am so proud to be an American and part of this historic event. When I step into that voting booth this November, I will pull that lever for Barack Obama with more conviction, more faith, and more patriotism than I have ever felt for a political candidate in my whole life. And after 30 years of voting, that’s saying something.