Barack Obama’s eloquent and powerful speech of change still reverberates on the political scene, the day after the junior senator from Illinois stepped onto a stage in Denver and into the pages of history. Obama became the first African American to be nominated for president by one of the country’s two major political parties.
A huge crowd of around 80,000 witnessed Obama’s acceptance speech at Invesco field in a Denver football stadium. Millions more watched as part of a huge television audience. I was among the masses glued to the tube listening to Obama state his case for and to America.
I shared this event with more than fifty Democrats who crowded into a two-bedroom condo for a Watch Obama Speech Party, sponsored by the Burbank Democratic Club. The noise level was quite high until Obama emerged and walked to the podium — then it was silence — except for the few whimpers of a fussy toddler.
The group, a mish-mash of diversity and backgrounds, frequently broke into applause, cheers or mumbled approval and encouragement. Also, when Obama spoke with passion and conviction about the American promise, the hardships and sacrifices of average citizens as well as those of his own family, some were moved to tears.
They cheered loudly when Obama spoke of the economic and social changes he would make as president. Cheered even louder when Obama slammed the “failed policies of George Bush.” And yes there were even more cheers, when Obama attacked the presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain and skillfully linked the Arizona senator to the Bush administration.
At the end, Obama acknowledged the other historic factor of his speech — it was delivered on the 45th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I have a Dream” speech. Then it was over, the fireworks went off, the confetti dropped, and Obama stood center stage basking in the adulation of his party. A short time later, Obama would be joined in the spotlight by his wife Michelle, daughters Malia and Sasha, and his running mate Joe Biden and his wife, Jill.
Back in Burbank, the euphoria filled the room just as it did in that Denver stadium. It appears the Democrats are finally united and seriously ready to do battle for the White House.