Wow...I put in a 10 hour day at work before heading over to the Xcel at 5:30. At 5:55, I was in a line of undetermined length. It took almost 2 1/2 hours of baby steps over 9 blocks but I did get in! The line was reportedly over a mile long and once Obama took the stage, another 18,000 people watched outside on the exterior BigScreens.
After standing in line for all that time, I was mighty parched so I chugged a couple of pitchers of Kool-Aid. Damn if it wasn't the best tasting stuff I've ever had.
Seriously, even if you are a (R), you should consider a trip to hear Obama as he is probably the best public speaker of our day. He lit that place on fire. It should be a very spirited race between Obama and McCain. One down, one to go...I
There is a reason he has invoked Reagan several times (even though it brought him flack from some in the Democratic party). He is very similiar in style and delivery. He also patterned his message of optimism after him. Clinton (Bill) had a very folksy, ordinary guy with an education thing going. Reagan and now Obama both have (had) very visonary 'history in the making' type styles. The public responds very well to natural born visonary speakers like both of them. Yes, Obama is on the opposite side of the political spectrum as Reagan, but their styles are undeniaby similiar.
You could read this excerpt from Reagan's farewell address and easily hear Obama giving something very similiar:
The past few days when I've been at that window upstairs, I've thought a bit of the "shining city upon a hill." The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we'd call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.
I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it and see it still.
And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was eight years ago. But more than that; after 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.