On Sunday, a kinder, gentler Bill Clinton appeared before a crowd in California and gave a moving address. While it was clear he was rallying for his wife...his message uplifed both Hillary and Barack. He talked about the history that was being made, the pride he felt to be alive to witness a Black man and a woman standing as serious contenders for the presidency. The "charming, intoxicating Bill" was back and it was easy to become swept away.
It is very important to remember the stark differences between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. You might not have time to read his book, "The Audacity of Hope" before Tuesday. However, I reccommend that reading. His values are different, his plans for the country are different, his stand on issues in the past have been different. He is not more of the same.
His book again reminds you of that. It gives you a glimpse into the soul of the man, the gift he will be to this nation, the caliber of human he is, and the vision of hope he keeps talking about and believes in to his core. After reading it, watching him on the campaign trail and in debates and observing his reaction to the craziness that accompanies elections, I could understand why JFK's daughter would call him "A Man Like My Father." His is not just a campaign promise, he has a vision for this nation that is rooted in real pain, real sorrow, real experience. I am not talking about the kind of experience you get from working the corridors of congress, legislative halls, the White House or other government houses. There is a line in a movie where one of the characters asks the man trying to recruit him to clean the back of his cab...afterwhich he will listen to his recruitment message. The smartly dressed exec hesistated. The guy in turn asked...you are not afraid to get gully are you? Genuine in his work, Barack Obama knows what people are going through cause he's been right there fighting for them and with them.
After Senator Barack Obama spoke before a crowd of 20,000 people in Rodney Square in Wilmington, Delaware I heard a fellow blogger being interviewed on one of the local radio stations. In that interview he said that a Hillary Clinton wouldn't offer the nation much more than a John McCain win. He said they are very similar and the nation would simply get more Bush. WOW!
I don't know how true those statements are. But I believe an Obama Presidency would not look anything like what we have now. He is not another sympathizer. He connects with people at a much different, real way. When he tells you a story that has moved him, you feel it too...it is not just a line in a prepared speech--Genuine. He is a family man...not in words...you see it in his regular interaction with his wife and children. He talks about his family all the time. He loves them and you hear that from him and see that in him and you can tell it is not campaign P.R. --it is Genuine.
He is a real person, a real American. You can see in his actions and discern from his words that he recognizes every day is a blessing...although that blessing comes harder for some than others. I believe him when he says whatever he can do to help he will. But I value and respect the honesty in his words when he reminds us that he can't change things alone...all of us must pitch in --Genuine. He doesn't try to set himself up as a superhero that is going to save our day like so many of the others. And it is that lie that has our nation currently so screwed up.
So in this historic contest, don't get caught up with familiar words of comfort. That would be the easiest thing to do, but not necessarily what America needs...what people need. We need a leader who respects us enough to tell us the truth, respectful of others in a way that will fix our international image and respected in a way that will naturally draw the aid of those needed to turn this country around, get Washington back in the business of the people and heal the nation. We need the Genuine article--Barack Obama.