Yes, that's right, in an effort to make all of my conservative friends and family even more wary of me (or in some cases, I think, worried for me), I went and got political again today by attending the Obama rally at the Richmond Coliseum. I even used vacation time to do it! And as a state employee with less than five years in, that time ain't easy to come by! :)
I met up with Leslie (my partner in politics) and my friend Etienne, the husband of one of my co-workers. We waited in line for about two hours. I have to say, for a while I was nervous we wouldn't get in. Thankfully, though, we were among the last several hundred to make it through the doors, and while we were relegated to the nosebleed seats, it was still an electric experience, even before the speakers took the stage.
Nothing like the wave to get a crowd going!
Virginia's governor Tim Kaine kicked things off, followed by former governor and candidate for Senator Mark Warner, and then the man everyone came to see. And the crowd goes wild!
Barack Obama was inspiring. The thirteen thousand people in attendance inside (and the seven thousand outside) were from all walks of life--you think of a demographic, it was represented. The loudest cheers came when Obama talked about our country unifying to give everyone a chance to be better, when he talked about his plans to help the middle class, and ultimately when he talked about our responsibility to future generations to make a stand for what we believe in.
One of the things I like best about Obama is that while he makes promises like every politician, he also stresses the importance of individual responsibility. It's not enough for the government to spend more on education--parents have to spend more time with their kids, and turn the TV off. It's not enough for the government to spend more money on fighting crime--fathers have to be there and be good role models for their sons. And the one I loved, but chuckled at a bit: It's not enough for the government to work towards energy independence--we each have to turn off the lights when we leave a room! :)
Two weeks from today, our new president will have been elected. I. Can't. Wait.