First up were a bunch of local politicians who I greatly appreciate. Our beloved Richmond mayor, Doug Wilder (who, incidentally, is the former governor of Virginia, and the first African-American governor that was ever voted into office in the United States) spoke, and was, of course, amazing. Hillary Clinton then spoke, and received very polite applause, and she definitely has a moderate following in Viriniga. Then Mark Warner, who is running (and going to WIN!) for U.S. Senate spoke, followed by Tim Kaine, our new governor, also spoke, and is an avid Obama-endorser. In fact, he was the first person to endorse Obama, period.
THEN OBAMA. Amazing. Anything you have seen on TV is just magnified in person. His passion is awe-inspiring, and his belief in the American people is just beautiful. He understands the difficulties that our nation is facing, and he knows that he, as one man, is not going to be able to fix it. He understands that we need a President in office, a leader, who is going to inspire the United States to fix our own problems, and not solely rely on politicians to do the job for us. He defined the word hope for us, voicing that it is not just idealistic and a fanciful notion, but rather something that built our nation, and continued to build it, from the abolitionists, through the suffrage movement, to a nation that climbed its way out of a depression, through a Civil Rights movement that we are still fighting today... and he let us know that hope is what is going to get us out of what the American people have been going through for the past seven years. He spoke of his plan for eventual universal health care, and how it isn't going to be easy, but it can be done. He spoke of ending a war we never should have been in in the first place, he spoke of not supporting another war that our current President is trying to involve us in... and every word was laced with absolute sincerity. A man who doesn't accept lobbyist money, isn't corrupted by Washington, D.C., and loves this country, red, blue, white, black, Asian, Latino, gay, straight... it's absolutely beautiful.
Then, after he was finished amazing us with his phenomenal rhetoric, Cooper and I walked down Broad Street (waving our Obama signs in front of restaurants and coffee shops like maniacs), put our stuff away at home and went to Popkin Tavern. Cooper and I had some amaretto sours, talked to Ed (an adorable bartender there), some guy bought me a shot, and then we got up to go home. And as we are exiting the bar, who's there? Well, hello Mark Warner. MARK WARNER. MARK WARNER. HOW ARE YOU? YOUR SPEECH TONIGHT WAS ALSO AMAZING AND I LOVE YOU! Well, that's what flashed through my head, anyhow. In reality, I stood with my mouth agape while he talked to other patrons, but actually managed to tell him how much I admired him and how great I thought he was when he actually talked to me and Cooper. Then I got a picture of him, where I look insanely, geekily happily.
Best day ever. Seriously.
And tomorrow, I'm going to go see Barack again in Virginia Beach. I am so excited.
BARACK AND ROLL. OBAMA '08