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.