Saturday, March 20, 2010


What a tour de force. This was, for me, the most moving speech I have seen President Obama deliver. Like Lincoln, the President appealed to the better angels of our nature, and reminded the people’s representatives why they first got into politics starting out, and most of all, why they became Democrats. Because, he said, there was a moment “I realized if I wasn't willing to step up and be true to the things I believe in, then the system wouldn't change.”

The President continued:
“Something inspired you to get involved, and something inspired you to be a Democrat instead of running as a Republican. Because somewhere deep in your heart you said to yourself, I believe in an America in which we don't just look out for ourselves, that we don't just tell people you're on your own, that we are proud of our individualism, we are proud of our liberty, but we also have a sense of neighborliness and a sense of community, and we are willing to look out for one another, and help people who are vulnerable, and help people who are down on their luck, and give them a pathway to success, and give them a ladder into the middle class.”

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For the first time in his presidency, President Obama clearly and eloquently articulated why we are Democrats, and not Republicans. Party identification matters, and the Democratic Party was reminded of its roots as the party of the people and of transformational social legislation: Social Security, Civil Rights, and Medicare. While outside the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party screamed ugly epithets at Democratic lawmakers and spat on one black Congressman, inside the halls of Congress the Democratic Congress found its voice anew, inspired by a young president from Illinois who was, himself, inspired by a great Republican president of another era.

Abraham Lincoln of Illinois, has always been among President Obama’s favorites:
“I am not bound to win, but I'm bound to be true.

I’m not bound to succeed, but I’m bound to live up to what light I have.”


Lula O said...

Darn, that was a good speech wasn't it. Excellent post Carlos

Carlos said...

Thanks, Lula. You know, for the first time I looked at the president, and I was moved, and I saw greatness. This was that rare moment for me. The President had the audience in the palm of his hand, and he looked every bit our leader, the President; not just any president, but one who would take his place among the greats of our party -- FDR, Truman, Kennedy. At the very least.

President Obama has just stepped across that threshold of the few, of the transformational president.