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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Two down, with one to go

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I had the pleasure of witnessing another presidential hopeful Friday evening at Terre Haute North High School.

My fiancÚ spent a few hours waiting in line to get tickets earlier in the week to see Barack Obama speak.

She's not a supporter of him. She wanted to go. She wanted to see yet another presidential candidate.

I accompanied her to the event. Not as a journalist, but rather, as a spectator.

Getting the opportunity to see Obama in action Friday from a spectator's point of view helped quite a bit when it came to writing this column.

It was more difficult to write a column after Hillary Clinton's visit.

For one, I was extremely tired after the visit. The other reason, you ask? It was odd to be honest. I've covered a lot of great, interesting events. But I've never covered a presidential candidate. That was quite exciting.

But I digress. I think I'm getting off topic here.

When I wrote about Clinton's visit, I promised I would write about Obama and John McCain.

That is, if both paid the Wabash Valley a visit.

McCain still hasn't stopped in the valley.

But Obama did Friday night.

I've had two days to soak all of it in and I've come to a conclusion.

Obama is a very inspiring man.

He is exciting. He is fresh. He is new.

It's going to be difficult, in my opinion, for Clinton to catch up to him in the current race. It's going to be even more difficult to pass him.

There were more than 2,500 people crammed into the Terre Haute North gymnasium Friday to see Obama speak.

He arrived on time, to the amusement of all the journalists, I'm sure. It's nice when we as journalists actually get to get something done on time.

After all, our business is deadlines, deadlines and more deadlines.

Again, getting off topic.

Obama showed up on time and went through the same talking points he does in other stops along his campaign trail.

If there's anything that actually bothered me about his visit Friday, it was that.

Sometimes, the speeches seem contrived. I'm sure the candidates get tired of talking about the same items over and over again.

Still, anyone who was in the gym Friday must have felt that magic.

I can't get over the fact that he is a tremendous orator.

And he appears to be very humble. He seemed very touched when he started looking at the podium he was next to, knowing it was the same that President John F. Kennedy spoke next to when he visited Terre Haute more than 40 years ago.

Of the talking points Obama listed throughout his hour in front of the audience, I thought it was touching to know that he did not want a "yes" man as a vice president.

Following his speech, he took at least six questions from the audience.

The final question regarded what qualities he might be looking for in a vice president?

After hearing the question, Obama's immediate response was that he was more concerned about becoming the candidate. He didn't want to get too far ahead of himself.

Still, he did say he didn't want someone who was going to agree with everything he said.

Again, Obama appears to be an incredibly humble man.?His answer to that question alone speaks volumes regarding that.

He appeared to be interested in being in Terre Haute. That's something that I questioned regarding Clinton's visit. And I still question it.

After seeing him in person, it's no wonder he has lit a fire under a lot of Americans since he announced his candidacy.

So many people, who may not have voted before, are going to show up May 6, when Indiana's primary takes place.

Obama has played a big role in that. He has several citizens interested in the shape of the country again.

They want their voice heard. And he has said he wants to hear their voice.

If he does get the presidential nod, let's see if he can live up to that promise, because it may be more difficult than it appears.

He may want to be in Washington and he may want to shake things up a bit. But politicians in general don't like change and the changes he wants to make will be difficult.