Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Speech

Damn if you do, damn if you don't. This morning I got to work later than I have in quite a while. The reason? Barack Obama's speech on race, religion and the presidential race (YouTube video above, transcript here).

It was as moving a political speech I have heard in ages. Maybe ever. And it really hit the ball out of the ballpark in addressing the issues - while transcending them - and calling them for what they really were: An attempt to steal the Democratic nomination from the person who leads in the popular vote as well as the delegate race (I also learned how to pronounce the word chasm!).

Or at least that was my take.

This afternoon proved to me just how divided people are, at least when it comes to the Democratic presidential candidates. Personally, I think it stems from the hurt that Hillary supporters feel that her once supposedly unstoppable nomination has been all but derailed. Nothing that Obama does will be enough to convince some Clinton supporters that he is the real deal and that, should Obama win the Democratic nomination, they should vote for him.

When I first expressed my support for Obama on the eve of the Iowa caucuses (caucusi?) he certainly wasn't being accused of empty inspirational oratory (as a matter of fact he'd been pretty boring at some of the Democratic debates before then). I 'came out' for Obama purely on his record and his stand on LGBT rights. It was seen then as a risk considering how few of New York political movers and shakers had come out as Obama supporters.

Looking back, I am thrilled that I decided to express my support. And, even if he ultimately is not the Democratic nominee, I will be eternally proud that I endorsed Obama relatively early and that he has proved to be much more than I even expected back then.

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