I spent time this week attending two very different events with the Senator in San Francisco. The first was a private fundraiser at a home in Pacific Heights, attended by over 200 high dollar donors. The second was a public fundraiser luncheon which included ticket prices from $2300 to $25 and was attended by nearly 4000 people. Each of these experiences was inspiring, although in not all the same ways.
First, I have to state the obvious. The Senator continues to be amazingly engaging live. He spoke at each event for more than 30 minutes and then shook hands, signed books, and worked the room a bit. At each event, the energy was electric in his presence.
At the private, smaller event, the Senator spoke about the need for a change of more than parties in the white house. He addressed the fact that he faces a larger challenge in the primary than he would in the general election. And he answered questions from the crowd, addressing how he would address non-proliferation, the early state polls, how he will stand up to attack by the opposition in the general election, and whay supportin him is a more daring and difficult choice than supporting HRC. He was honest, straightforward, unscripted and well reasoned. And let's face it people, in addition to his wisdom and judgment, he is brilliant!!! And that is clear when he addresses a room. And this is desperately needed in Washington right now.
Obama reiterated his intention to close Guantanamo, to reinstate habeus corpus in this country, to responsibly bring the Iraq war to an end, to revise and rework No Child Left Behind, to fund responsible education reform, to re-engage in diplomatic efforts in the middle east and throughout the world, and to make health care affordable and available to all Americans. This is the change that we so desperately need.
Additionally, the Senator addressed questions of experience. He ardently questioned why those in Washington believe that only experience in Washington counts. Remember, the Senator has two decades of experience demonstrating judgment, wisdom, and the ability to effect change in a positive way for citizens of his community. This is experience, no matter what those in Washington count as valid.
Overall, this event was amazing. Though the energy was more subdued, polite applause, but no hooting and hollering, this was clearly due to the high-dollar nature of the event. But, on their way out, those same donors were eager to take home tshirts to share and show their support for this movement. It was clear that people were moved by the Senator's message and clear that he had convert a few undecided votes during his visit.
The following day, the Senator spoke to a larger crowd at the Civic Auditorium, sponsored by California Women for Obama. This crowd was fired up. Obama again addressed his agenda, but spoke directly to women on his position on issues affecting women. He also spoke directly to the power of women and yooung people to affect the 2008 election. The crowd cheered, rose to their feet multiple times, and was clearly invigorated and moved by the Senator's remarks.
I left this second event energized to keep doing whatever work I can to further this movement. And let's remeber, friends, this is a movement. This movement is be advanced by real people, on the grassroots level, spreading the word to everyone they know and reaching out to those they do not know. This effort is about further this movement in our communities, but also about building our communities as we further this movement. So, I challenge us all to take the energu generated by the Senator's visit and to reinvest in this campaign. To ask ourselves what we can give and how we can challenge ourselves to give even more of ourselves.
Ready to go!
Ready to go!
Let's get it done people :)