Tuesday, January 29, 2008
[barack] where i come from
i've never been real boisterous about my political views, and don't intend to now. when it comes down to it, i'm a proud kansan, and always get excited when politics from the federal level, travel a few back roads and find it's way to this state.
i also love seeing our elected officials speak live. two years ago, i had the chance to hear president bush at kansas state. i had friends say, "you couldn't pay me to listen to him!" i didn't care...i went. well today i had the chance to hear democratic presidential candidate, barack obama speak. once again i had friends that said, "you couldn't pay me to hear that man speak!". i still don't care, i went. i'd like to believe that if any candidate would have come to kansas to speak, i would have made time to attend.....well....almost any candidate.
i read that mr. obama would be speaking in el dorado, the birth place of his grandfather, which is just about 30 minutes from wichita. he would also be the first democratic candidate to visit the sunflower state since 1960! it's was also kansas day! how could i miss this?
i convinced a co-worker to attend the speech with me. he and i arrived in el dorado about an hour before the doors were suppose to open, and found ourselves, in a line, about 150 yards from the door in near zero degree wind chill! i kept reminding him how wonderfully old fashioned this was to stand in line, in the weather, to see a candidate speak! about 45 minutes into the wait, this wasn't entertaining to him anymore. during our wait we were told that considering our place in line, we'd probably end up in the overflow rooms and have to watch it on t.v.
i hoped not.
as we arrived closer to the door, we ended up being one of the last groups to be allowed entrance into the gym, this was also the time they opened up the floor seating. we found ourselves right behind the reserved seating, about 15 feet from the podium!
in the beginning, mr. obama's speech focused on his grandparents kansas upbringing, and how they fought and forged out a way of life in america that seems to be slipping. it then shifted into what actions and changes he would make, if elected president which at various points caused the whole crowd to stand and cheer. the highlight of the event was when our own governor, kathleen sebelius, came out and publicly gave her endorsement of mr obama.
just as before with president bush, i'm glad i went and have no regrets taking a few hours off work to attend the event. i do wish however that i would have been better prepared to stand in the blizzard for an hour, as i think i'm now sick.....
happy kansas day everyone!