I have never taken an interest in politics. I claim no political affiliation (much to the disappointment of my father, a long standing Democrat). And yet, this past presidential campaign had captured my interest as never before. I found myself watching with growing interest some of the more high profile candidates. I wasn't very informed on the politics of the candidates, but still I listened and I watched and I waited.
The first time I ever heard Barack Obama speak was in 2005. He was receiving an award from the NAACP. I didn't know much about him other than he was senator of Illinois and I don't recall much what he said. I do remember thinking how eloquent he was, how passionate he seemed to be, and how he could possibly run for president one day and have a really good shot at it.
In a speech given at a dinner fundraiser back in 2005, Mr. Obama stated, "The battle lines may have shifted and the barriers to equality may be new, but what's not new is the need for everyday heroes to stand up and speak out for what they believe is right." He may already have been grooming himself for the White House.
Fast forward three years and presidential candidate Barack Obama is spiraling up the polls and generating a historical ripple that would change the face of this nation. He campaigned in Utah when I was still living there. The news reports showed a huge following in a predominantly Republican state. The press coverage showed a mass amount of people showing up to support him. That was impressive.
At the California Democratic Convention, he said "if we don’t meet those challenges, we could end up leaving our children a world that’s a little poorer and a little meaner than we found it." He sounded sincere, concerned, hopeful, truthful...he sounded like he really wanted to make a difference. And I believed him.
When he says, "Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work. That's the promise of America, the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation, the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper." I believe him.
And when he rallied the country under one banner and reached out to those across the globe, he spoke to the world saying "This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can." So says, President Barack Obama. And I believe him.