Given last night's "debate" and all the emotions it's raising, I thought it appropriate to repost my Feb 5th first-hand account of Obama's visit to Boston. I offer it as a way to keep things in perspective and remind ourselves why making Barack Obama the next President is important and why, therefore, we have to put up with, and overcome, what passes for politics in this country:
On Feb 4th in a rally in Boston, Barack Obama proved to me how truly different he is. During the section of the speech where he repeatedly points out how hard it will be to change and transform our country and selves, he was critiquing how fear drives politics and how Democrats, in reaction to that, have often adopted those tactics.
When a supporter yelled out, “You mean Hillary” at that moment Barack could have piled on and given the crowd the veiled anti-Hillary one-liners it wanted. But instead, he said, “No, because it’s more extensive than that, sometimes it seeps into my own campaign too. It is habits of mind, habits of heart that we all start engaging in. Because we start thinking this is a game, a contest, we forget the kid who doesn’t have enough to eat…”
When Barack could have “torn down an opponent” (which the crowd would have loved), he instead chose to criticize his own campaign as a way to show how deeply internalized these things are and what he means by, and what he thinks has to, change. A politician opting to criticize himself rather than his opponent so that he could make a more important, broader point. Wow!
So right in the middle of a speech on transformation, in an unscripted, revealing moment, Barack Obama provided a living example of that transformation.