I watched the whole convention up until Thursday at home on TV. But for The Big Day – Barack accepting the nomination – I wanted to be on the Square with the rest of the town!
When I got there, Fountain Square was abuzz with the salsa dancers that have been filling it every Thursday this summer. Michael Beck, one of the best, gives salsa lessons each week – and judging by the crowd, lots of folks have been showing up – and are showing off their skills. Lots of guys showing off their moves… nearly an equal number of women. We all know that’s often not the case. Lots of fun.
We picked our spot, set up our chairs, taking turns walking around the bustling scene. The salsa finished, we got to see a bit of the action at Invesco in Denver, when the jumbotron switched back to local and regional politicians here talking to the crowd. And their volunteers were working the crowd, passing out stickers, signing us all up for lit drops and phone banks.
I wore my O’Bama tshirt for the occasion – a lot of fun to talk about my Irish brother.
When the TV switched back to CNN in Denver, a speech or two – and here is Barack walking out on the stage. Confident, comfortable, smiling. As soon as the crowd calmed down – took a while – he said very simply that he accepted their nomination for president. And the crowd was off again.
The man is magical. Calmly loving us, teaching us, having fun with us, through this madness of 80,000 people hanging on every word. I know he’s the first African American to be the candidate of a major party in our country. I just think he’s the best I’ve seen since Jack Kennedy. Black is irrelevant in many ways, except as it has informed his life and his experience, made him more empathetic, given him the ability to see into the core of a problem, see it as structural rather than person, given him keen observation abilities.
The speech itself was perfect. Hit all the right bases. Showed that empathy, showed his toughness, was specific about the steps he’ll take, who he’ll tax, what his priorities are. We all knew we had heard a speech for the ages, no matter what the pundits would say.
A constitutional lawyer, one of the best writers I’ve ever read, a man who’s family really comes first, as demonstrated by his actions, not just his talk.
President Barack Obama. Has a wonderful ring to it, doesn’t it?