I was amazed when I received the video of Barack Obama speaking recently at the Alfred E Smith dinner for the great and good in New York. It expanded magnificently the warm side of Obama we have seen in small amounts during his stump speeches and gave greater insight into this incredible man. Barack is excellent at poking fun at himself, blessed with a fantastic sense of humour, shrewd at making observations of others and so down to earth in his manner, it is refreshing and heartwarming to experience.
Normally when we have big dinners in the UK attended by politicians, the speeches are always used for something important that the keynotes wish to say, and always very, very serious. Often, in fact, they are pretty boring. It is great to see that in America it is different, that the guests of whatever persuasion are just interested in having a good night with some great jokes thrown in.
The night certainly belonged to Barack and, if anyone is in any doubt as to who he is, this wonderful short speech emphasises what a great president-in-waiting we have in him. Some of his cracking lines including the following:
"Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father Jorel to save the Planet Earth.
"Many of you -- many of you know that I got my name, Barack, from my father. What you may not know is Barack is actually Swahili for "That One.""
I haven't laughed so much in a long while. Enjoy!