Barack Obama decided to make Waterloo and its nest of active Democratic voters one of his very first stops after announcing his candidacy for President on Saturday. I went to Central Middle School with my brother Aaron and cousin Ben for what they expected to be a kind of intimate affair. They had a thousand tickets - 2300 showed up. He gave a great, inspired speech, but he was obviously tired from a very long day. That didn't hold him back though. He is very impressive and I have to admit to being very torn between him and John Edwards. They both advocate universal health care and getting out of Iraq sooner rather than later. They both talk about change. Edwards focuses mostly on poverty, so that speaks to me. Obama focuses on America's lost idealism, optimism, its desire for challenges and that speaks to me, too. When he says we've gone from JFK saying we're going to the moon in 10 years without a clue as to how we're going to do it, to saying universal health care for every child in America is impossible, he's speaking to the heart of this country's present morass. Somewhere we got turned around. Obama makes you think we can get back in the right direction.
Spotlights brighter than the sun and an absolute mob made this the best picture I could get of him speaking:
I got closer ones as he came down the aisle and shook everyone's hand, signed their books and posters, but they came out sort of blah. He has like a half a head in all of them. I did manage to meet and take a picture with his beautiful and very, very nice wife, Michelle:
She even took the picture again after the first one didn't come out, which was very gracious of her. Like I said, I'm very torn, but it's a great time to be a Democrat. We've got the best field we've had in a long time, and no shortage of hope.