The Great Communicator

There are people who are great at speaking in public. If you put them on a stage with a podium in front of them, a bank of teleprompters to read from, and they are gracefully powerful.

There are people who can communicate on radio, using just their voice, and are able to project their message effectively, and speak as if to each individual listener like they are sitting in the room with them.

There are people who can sit on a stage, in a one-on-one interview, the stage surrounded by people watching, and can captivate both the live audience and those watching on TV.

There are people who can pack arenas, or coffee shops. They can bring a crowd to their feet, or reduce them to tears.

Some that can stand in front of a video camera and deliver the most important speech on race that this country has heard in forty years.

And then there is Barack Obama.

Who is able to be all of that, and more. I listened to him speak on the Ed Schultz show ( as he explained in a way that was both calm and passionate his plan on how to get our country out of the mess it is in now. From the war, to the economy, education and health care. He answered every one of Ed’s questions. He spoke in a way that connected with my Twenty-five year old brain. He talked about the kind of issues that effect my life, and the lives of the people I care about.

And when he was done addressing how he plans to fix Dub’s mess

He talked about the NCAA tournament, his bracket and how he sees the final four playing out. This may seem like a trivial thing for a Presidential candidate (and the presumptive Democratic candidate) to be talking about. It spoke however, to me. I want a President that has the capacity to talk about our crumbling economy, and Baseball’s opening day.

I watched in disgust as W sat in the booth Sunday night in Washington, lounging in his chair, talking about when he almost bankrupt the Rangers franchise. He looked awkward and uncomfortable.

I could only picture sitting there Sunday night, B.O. and how well he would have handled sitting there in that booth with John and Joe talking about sports and politics, life and leisure.

I watched B.O on Hardball with Chris Matthews last night. Sitting on a stage with Chris, in the middle of a packed auditorium, he might as well have been sitting in his living room. Barack was calm and cool. He was funny and serious. He handled Chris’s toughest questions (it is Hardball).

He put Chris on the spot for keeping the Pastor Wright story in the fore-front. After five minutes of questions concerning Barack’s former pastor, Obama pointed out that it was five minutes not spent talking about 4,000 dead Americans, 5 years of a mistake of a war, or the state of our economy, to which Chris had no answer.

I turned off the TV following the show and realized I felt something that I have never felt before. I was too young to appreciate the Clinton Presidency, and knowing what I know now about it, I would like to think that I would have not approved of many of the facts.

I felt, like Michelle Obama said, Proud of my country for the first time.

I love this country. I love the freedoms that I enjoy. I love that my Daughter will grow up with a world of possibilities at her fingertips (maybe someday she will be the 5th or 6th woman president).

I don’t however love many of the decisions that our Government has made, not only in my lifetime, but in the entire existence of our Republic. I, unlike nationalistic Conservatives, can love my country for what it is, and hate parts of our history.

Barack Obama is not perfect. I am not a mindless follower that will explain away every bad vote, campaign contribution from a special interest, or miss-statement.

He does however represent all that is good about American politics and society.

The man that can stand in front of 20,000 or 20 and effectively communicate his message.

The man that can inspire real change.


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