Two Men, Two Speeches
John McCain’s Passion
I just happened to catch John McCain’s last campaign speech on Election Day, and I have to tell you, it was pretty impassioned. His delivery was great. He had his audience. There was no mention of socialism. His message was about the issues. It was as if McCain had stepped through my Twilight Zone re-do door and had slipped back to that time before Palin and all of the silliness and nonsense and was still on point. And he was good. And I turned to Corey and commented that if he had remained that John McCain, things would probably have been much different.
Less than ten hours later, I was watching a very gracious but defeated John McCain deliver his concession speech before his supporters at The Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife Cindy by his side. He silenced boos in the crowd, and he won them over with statements such as this: “Let there be no reason now … Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.” And then he took the onus on himself: “We fought — we fought as hard as we could. And though we fell short, the failure is mine, not yours.”
The crowd responded loudly with a resounding “NO.” And I agree, somewhat. There is plenty of blame to go around, but he is the captain of his ship, and as he did in the beginning of his speech, he could have said “no,” and he could have said “stop” to his campaign at any time, but I think that it all just got away from him.
But in the end, he met his defeat with his head held high. No word on the governor, though.
Barack Obama’s Grace
If this was the President-elect’s acceptance speech, I am beyond edge-of-my seat in anticipation of his inaugural address. This man has been graced with an ability to turn phrases in a way that so captivates and enthralls that has not been seen since the days of the truly great speakers in this world, the Churchills, the Roosevelts, the Lincolns, the Jeffersons, and back to the days of the inception of oratory: Plato, Marcus Aurelius, Socrates.
Do I exaggerate? No, I really don’t believe that I do. His voice is steeped in the classical oratorical skills of the masters. It is rich in rhythms that politicians have tried to achieve but have not quite attained. JFK was one of the few. But Obama also has that quiet dignity and a way that touches the heart of even the poorest, least-educated person in the crowd, and lets him or her know that he has not forgotten of his existence, nor will he in the days and months to come.
This kind of skill can be learned, but more often than not, for it to be perfected, it must come from a place deep within and be fostered by something that most people do not ever quite come close to achieving: true grace. That Barack Obama is the person he is today is most assuredly a testament to the people who nurtured him, who instilled the values in him, who taught him about love, respect, honor, equality, humility, bravery, the necessity of a good education, and most of all, the importance of daring to dream.
Because this man has shown us, average Americans, that it is all right to dream, and to fight for our dreams, and to do it with respect, and honor, and humility. He dared us to come along. He challenged us to be the best people that we could be, and when we wanted to take the fight down to a level that was unworthy, he reminded us that that was not what we were fighting for. He kept us focused. He kept us honorable. And in so doing, he allowed us to win with dignity, right beside him. And for that, we should all be eternally grateful to this man who started out with nothing more than intelligence and a dream and the family to help him find his way.
What an extreme honor it has been to help you in your campaign for the presidency of the United States of America, President-elect Barack Obama.
Grant Park Embraces Their Favorite Son
I must say that I would have sucked up my long-ingrained fear of crowds to have been in Chicago in Grant Park, or among the thousands more who spread into the loop for a crowd of approximately 240,000 people, by the fire department’s estimation, to hear President-elect Barack Obama deliver his acceptance speech.
But I have to tell you, the one thing that just slayed me, and I never would have expected this, was the Reverend Jesse Jackson, a man who is not known for his silence, just standing there with tears streaming down his face, no words needed. That was it for me.
In Closing . . .
And so, to borrow a phrase from John McCain, my friends, that’s it from me today. I’m spending the rest of this cold windy day in bed with the dogs. Won’t Malia and Sasha have fun in the White House with their new puppy? It’s has been an incredible, wonderful experience. I only wish that I had been able to begin it sooner.
I hope to have the other blog site, politicofemme, operative soon. I’ll explain more on that later, but I have high hopes for it. But for now, it’s a cup of tea and some chocolates (I’m out of twizzlers).
More later. Peace.