Friday, January 04, 2008

Obama is About to Make History and Become the Next President of the U.S.A.

This link is to the text and the video of Barack Obama’s speech after winning the Iowa Primary last night. The message in the speech is clear from the text but in the video he lifts it off the page.

I have been around long enough to experience the phenomenon of Jack Kennedy winning the U.S. Presidency and Trudeaumania in Canada. Watching the video late last night reminded me of those days. Obama is the real thing.

He is resonating as a youthful hopeful agent of change with a proven capacity to govern. Clinton’s “experience” and the Republican candidates who are all selling “fear and doubt and cynicism” are in stark contract to Obama.

He is breaking down partisan barriers and bringing in new voters, independent voters and young people back to politics. He is not pandering and not sugar coating the challenges and sacrifices that will be coming. But he also speaks to hope, and a sense of destiny and to the aspirations of Americans. I only hope we will get this kind of presence and inspiration from our federal and provincial politicians here in Canada soon.

Last night he captured all of those sentiments when he said

Years from now, you’ll look back and you’ll say that this was the moment – this was the place – where America remembers what it means to hope.

But we always knew that hope was not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it.”

I regularly download great speeches in history to my iPod. I expect this speech, given last night by a young black man running for President of the United States of America, will become one of them in due course.