The main reason that I have stayed away from doing much posting about Barack to date is that, well, hell, how much more can be written about the man?
At some point, I'll write about my experiences serving with him and knowing him on an informal basis. For right now, I just want to touch on the big picture. And today's announcement.
The amount of attention that has been placed on Barack is downright surreal. I honestly cannot think of any celebrity, sports figure, or politician that has drawn the incessant scrutiny that Barack has. And one must not forget that, for all of the eyes wanting to learn about the man and his message, there are just as many eyes searching for flaws. Such is the nature of politics.
I have said before that he has weathered it superbly, and I think that the excess attention will relent long before Barack does.
The Audacity of Hope
Due to a prior commitment, I wasn't in Springfield for the speech today. But like countless others, I watched it on TV. I also got to watch the post-speech coverage on CNN (amusing to see Emil Jones and Kirk Dillard on CNN).
Visually, I think that the Old State Capitol was a great backdrop against a bright blue sky. The crowd looked to be as vibrant as it could be in single-digit temperatures.
I don't know if having Barack by himself on the stage was planned, or was a weather-related decision. But at times, I thought that it made him look too isolated from the crowd.
His message was consistent, tying in elements of his DNC speech ('we are one people'), while connecting it to his ideas for the future of our country.
I thought it was a great finish. Barack has always been at his best when he finds his comfort zone. And when he does, the passion that comes through rivets people.
Remember that people have to hear you before they can listen to you.
Barack has gotten people who were previously disconnected from the political process to hear him, and as they now actually listen to what he is saying, I believe that they will appreciate his message and become activated in the process of determining the direction of our country.
When I talk to people older than me who have been involved in politics for a long-time, they can almost all point to somebody who gave them a sense of hope about public service and civic involvement.
History tells us that it is obviously way too early to have any idea of what will happen in the 2008 election. But one thing is certain, for those looking for a new voice on the political landscape they have found one.