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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thoughts about Obama's speech and McCain's VP pick:

I spoke with one independent who was undecided before witnessing Senator Obama's acceptance speech. His reaction was the same one I felt: He wished the election were tomorrow so he could vote for Senator Obama. There has simply not been a political speech of this heart-felt brilliance since perhaps the acceptance speech given by JFK 48 years ago. In a real sense, I think Senator Obama won the election last night. He put forth a coherent, realistic vision for our nation's future while expressing a deep love of this country and the great aspects of it. His speech was every bit as remarkable for its content as it was for his delivery. These are not the gushings of a fanboi. These are the statements of someone who never thought I would ever see one of the great leaders of this nation in my lifetime. When I was born, JFK and RFK were dead, as were FDR, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Washington. While Obama, as all other great people do, stands on the shoulders of giants, last night, he proved he also deserves to be counted among their number. Honestly, I still get chills thinking about it. Senator Obama's vision was not easy. My favorite part, aside from the discussion of his personal background, was his "eco-Apollo program" proposal to completely remove our dependence on foreign energy in the next 10 years. Others had parts they preferred, but perhaps because of my own interests, this was my bias. I have never heard nor ever expect to hear from another politician a more brilliant, thoughtful, and well-written speech. For once, I'm out of adjectives.

As brilliant as Senator Obama's speech was, as thoughtful as he was, McCain was the opposite when he selected Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. When I first saw the announcement on CNN, I spent a minute or two looking for Ashton Kutcher on the screen. I honestly thought the American public was getting punked, at first. We have a man attacking his opponent for his lack of experience selecting a running mate who, prior to becoming governor of a state with a population a little over half the size of the largest metro area in Alabama eighteen months ago, was the mayor of a town of 8,000. Furthermore, she is being investigated by a Republican state legislator for allegedly firing the Public Safety Commissioner because he refused to terminate the employment of her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper. If true, that would be an impeachable offense, as using an office of public trust to fulfill a personal vendetta is deeply inappropriate and a gross abuse of power. No wonder Senator McCain likes her. In addition, I've heard reports that Governors Romney and Pawlenty are not being shy about their shock and outrage, and in their defense, who can blame them? Frankly, this reeks of desperation, and once people become aware of her more extreme views, the fallout will be as great as that experienced by Walter Mondale back in 1984. I suppose it's fitting in a way that a display of brilliance is followed by an act whose bizarreness and perversity is equally profound. Senator Obama left me speechless and in awe. With this pick, Senator McCain has left me speechless in disgust.

Enjoy the music.

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