Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Righteous Wind at Our Backs: Barack Obama circa 2004

Remember back when Barack Obama was an unknown? Remember that speech in Boston? Nobody know that his speech was going to be "the speech." Nobody knew how far that speech was going to carry him.

Except maybe the man himself. Obama wrote his speech at the Democratic Convention himself, and worked for weeks and weeks on it. By the time he turned it in, he knew he had something.

From a great article in Chicago Magazine:

Obama was buoyed, however, by the hordes of reporters and well-wishers who descended on him as he walked around the streets of Boston on Monday with his close friend Martin Nesbitt. "I said to Barack, ‘You know this is pretty unbelievable, man-you're like a rock star,'" Nesbitt recalls. "He said, ‘Yeah, but it might be a little worse tomorrow.' I said, ‘Really? Why do you say that?'" Nesbitt recalls that Obama then smiled and replied: "It's a pretty good speech."
It was a pretty good speech.

It was a piece of history. And it wasn't just the red state/blue state part that was memorable. The entire speech is damn near poetry.

"I believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity.

I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair.

I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs, and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us."
Read the article I linked above. Go back and watch that speech now, and think about how far this man, and this country, have come in four short years. It's seventeen minutes of history, and you'll be glad you took the time.

Here's Part One.

Here's Part Two.

We have come far, and yet, my friends, we still have work to do. Let's get to work.

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