Friday, March 21, 2008


Yeah, this pretty much sums up my electrifying dalliance with Barack Obama today: (Please excuse the fact that I look like the undead.)

(I would also like to point out that he looked at and spoke to me directly while answering. Ask B.)

In case you have something really wrong with you, and couldn't tell, I was so nervous speaking in front of 4,000 people I almost passed out. Instead, I just stuttered and trailed off like a simp. And what you could not possibly know is that the senator called on Brandy and me, since were both waving our hands, and it was only because she selflessly bestowed the floor on me that I was able to mutter what little I did get out. I owe her big, and B, at about 4:19 into that video, you will recognize a beautiful familiar face smiling brightly. Thank you so much.

B and I waited in the freeeeezing-ass cold (in t-shirts) in a line that snaked from the armory to Timbuktu, along with what appeared to be half the state, just to get a glimpse of this man Obama. It was a good couple hours until we finally inched our way inside, past the windy vortex at the entrance, past the 10 ft. x 10 ft. protest posters of mutilated babies, through various turn styles, and a few metal detectors. Once inside, where I was determined to get floor seats, we were told the floor was full. This didn't deter me in the least, and I proceeded to lie and say that our party of four already had seats. I have exceptionally good rally karma, and spied exactly four empty chairs in the last row. Our enthusiasm gave way to full-blown adrenaline as it became clear that our man was close, and we were standing on our chairs screaming our fool heads right off.

And then it happened. This man, this almost mythical figure, this embodiment of hope and change, appeared before our very eyes, and I honestly started to weep. I must clarify that I am not as concerned with his celebrity as I am with his message, his movement, if you will, and seeing him before us brought the dream very close to home. He spoke with comfort, ease, authority, and vigor about everything from how to strengthen Oregon, to how to restore America's luster, and finally, how to bring our men and women home from Iraq. The crowd responded with deafening applause, so many times. There was no one highlight for me, as I was just awestruck by his vision, and his execution. Having my own little conversation with him, amidst the sea of people, still has me swooning, but B and I go to heighten our experience by rushing the stage (is that what it's called?) at the end, and getting up close and personal. In addition to photographic proof of our miraculous proximity, we both shook/held hands with him, and we both got to speak with him briefly. I looked him squarely in the eye and said, "I cannot wait to call you my president," to which he replied, while leaning waaay in, "thank you." Several people told me later it looked like he kissed me, which I like to think was his intention, lol. B took her moment to thank him, and he replied with a very genuine "no, thank you."

I really don't know how much better it could have gone, short of being recruited by his personal staff to work on his campaign, or maybe for all the people from my high school and college to have seen me connect with my hero. I can tell you that I have stormed the stage to shake hands with Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Howard Dean, and recently my kids and I were photographed with Senator Ron Wyden (a favorite of mine). And with all due respect, those brilliant men are forgettable by comparison. At the risk of losing all credibility, my experience today was magical, and I have hope that Obama's grass roots, from-the-bottom-up politics is the answer. The answer. That is what I told the Statesman Journal, the freelance journalist who interviewed us, and that is what I will continue to say until we catapult Barack Obama into the White House, where he belongs.

Yes We Can. Si Se Puede.

Just what the doctor ordered:

And we even got closer than this...

And so we've shaken on the deal.

He is worthy of the hype. And you all KNOW I never say that.


Anonymous said...

Wow. How very powerful to stand and introduce yourself and ask such a perfect question. It seemed like he'd been waiting for that question.

I am so proud of you, and you guys are beautiful and this is turning into SOME ELECTION!

Seeing this determination in the younger generation warms this hippie heart that's been in a semi-deep-freeze since the tragedy of 2004. Obama is truly inspiring and I'm beginning to think that he may actually be sincere.

You got this Democrat off the fence.


Cheyenne said...

wow. to get a cynic off the fence is one thing, but to get a libra off the fence is quite another.

you hear that sam?

you won't be sorry. tell everyone you know.

Anonymous said...

And I am here to verify the Clinton, Wyden and Kerry/Dean rallies Cheyenne
shook all their hands.
Hey, this is the first rally I haven't been with you...

(but i did get to sleep and not freeze)


(it's making me sign as anonymous...but it's me and I'm so happy and proud and let me tell you...Grandpa Dan would LOVE this!!!!!!!!!- and so would our Lydie...)

Anonymous said...

OH! just watched it again, and I'm thinking of Be's brilliant question. Did you notice? he answered that -allegedly unspoken- question FIRST!


"Senator Clintin is smart, capable and tenacious; she would be a VAST improvement....etcetera....."

thrilling cheers three or four thousand people in Salem gave for that! Therein lies Obama's inspiration, I am thinking- we the people are rising to his side. It's an awesome good turn in the path for humanity no matter what. And Jesus X! he's BROWN, like most of the people in this war-torn world who are all watching this. (including me, I'm kind of beige and brownish-red)

I don't think he wants to fight dirty, she of course doesn't prefer that either!...but I also want to know that if he has to address a fierce opponent.... well, come to think of it, he is doing just that. And today from your question he got to bring up that famous 3 A.M. commercial Clinton put out. For those of you opting out of TV it played a lot. She's going toward dirty.

The eternal question, does a politician have to be corrupt? My dad changed after running for office. But I know he did a lot of good as a union organizer too.

There seems to be an enormous amount of people at Obama's side. IT IS POSSIBLE that we can have a government that we are proud of. Maybe even the best when it comes to liberty and justice for all, once again.

We can help him stay honorable in this campaign, Bee (?), if enough of us keep questioning him. This is OUR country, after all.


gail said...

i'm not sure what to say....what a marvelous experience. how brave of you to stand up and ask a seemed he was answering you personally. wow. you must be on cloud 9 :) perfect.

gabrielle said...

i am incredibly proud of you, chey, getting up there asking your question!

you two rock with your passion for change. his message is quite mesmerizing. i feel kinda odd not jumping on the obama for change bandwagon before --- i've so wanted all that jazz for my entire life!

sigh. all so so inspiring!

Sam said...

OMG! That was so awesome!

How freaking GREAT did it feel to have Obama speak for FIVE minutes in reply to your question?!?!

You rock! Obama rocks!

He has to win!

Hello from Chelsea said...

Amazing-this made up some for me being ill and missing the event. Thanks for telling your story.

Cheyenne said...

no no, thank you for withstanding my endless verbosity, lol.

Adam said...

What an awesome experience! I wish I could have gone.