How about that Barak, huh? A strong showing in my second home state of Iowa. I’m so proud of that guy and can’t wait until he’s in the White House.
And who saw Huckabee’s victory speech? I couldn’t take my eyes off Chuck Norris standing behind him. His smile was blinding. I felt like I was staring into the sun. I’m actually sitting here right now watching MSNBC and they’re talking about Chuck Norris in great detail at this very moment. I’m curious to see what sort of spike I get in views here as a result. Everytime Chuck Norris makes the news or becomes the topic of conversation, this site gets massive view numbers. It’s amazing.
Anyway, congrats to Obama. I truly believe he’s the best person for the job. This will sound weird, but I think he reminds me a lot of Abe Lincoln. How could that be, you ask? Because in my mind, I see Abe Lincoln as having a similar oratory style. I have a feeling that we tend to imagine Abe Lincoln as having a very slow, deliberate, almost quiet speaking voice. But whatever. I’m not here to speculate on Lincoln’s speech delivery style. The fact is that Obama knows how sound presidential. He’s got a natural regal quality that demands a level of respect. He knows how to hold a room. He knows how to make everyone think that they’re hearing the most important thing they’ve ever heard. Part of this is because he’s just a good speaker. But it helps that the things he says are the things we want to hear. Much of what he says really is important. In some respects, the things he says very well might be some of the most important things many of us have ever heard. This is a very exciting time. I actually look forward to educating myself further as these primaries progress. Because as those of you who are regular readers know, I’m not exactly the most politically minded person in the world. But I know a good man when I see one, and that man is Barak Obama.
It helps that he seems to have a magnificent speech writer. Here’s the transcript of his Iowa victory speech (as apparently leaked from the New York Daily News):
“They said this day would never come. They said our sights were set too high. They said this country was too divided; too disillusioned to ever come together around a common purpose.
But on this January night – at this defining moment in history – you have done what the cynics said we couldn’t do; what the state of New Hampshire can do in five days; what America can do in this New Year. In schools and churches; small towns and big cities; you came together as Democrats, Republicans and Independents to stand up and say that we are one nation; we are one people; and our time for change has come.
You said the time has come to move beyond the bitterness and pettiness and anger that’s consumed Washington; to end the political strategy that’s been all about division and make it about addition – to build a coalition for change that stretches through Red States and Blue States. Because that’s how we’ll win in November, and that’s how we’ll finally meet the challenges we face.
The time has come to tell the lobbyists who think their money and their influence speak louder than our voices that they don’t own this government, we do; and we’re here to take it back.
The time has come for a President who’ll be honest about the choices and the challenges we face; who’ll listen to you even when we disagree; who won’t just tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to know. And New Hampshire, if you give me the same chance that Iowa did tonight, I will be that President for America.”
I’ll be a President who finally makes health care affordable and available to every single American the same way I expanded health care in Illinois – by bringing Democrats and Republicans together to get the job done
I’ll be a President who ends the tax breaks for corporations who ship our jobs overseas and puts a middle-class tax cut into the pockets of the working Americans who deserve it.
I’ll be a President who harnesses the ingenuity of farmers and scientists and entrepreneurs to free this nation from the tyranny of oil once and for all.
And I’ll be a President who brings our troops home from Iraq; restores our moral standing; and understands that 9/11 is not a way to scare up votes, but a challenge that should unite America and the world against the common threats of the twenty-first century: terrorism and nuclear weapons; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease.
Tonight, we are one step closer to that vision of America because of what you did here in Iowa. And I’d like to take a minute to thank the organizers and precinct captains; the volunteers and staff who made this all possible.
I know you didn’t do this just for me. You did this because you believed deeply in the most American of ideas – that in the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.
I know this because while I may be standing here tonight, I’ll never forget that my journey began on the streets of Chicago doing what so many of you have done for this campaign and all the campaigns here in Iowa – organizing, and working, and fighting to make people’s lives just a little bit better.
I know how hard it is. It comes with little sleep, little pay, and a lot of sacrifice. There are days of disappointment, but sometimes, just sometimes, there are nights like this – a night that, years from now, when we’ve made the changes we believe in; when more families can afford to see a doctor; when our children inherit a planet that’s a little cleaner and safer; when the world sees America differently, and America sees itself as a nation less divided and more united; you’ll be able look back with pride and say that this was the moment when it all began.
This was the moment when the improbable beat what Washington always said was inevitable.
This was the moment when we tore down barriers that have divided us for far too long – when we rallied people of all parties and ages to a common cause; when we finally gave Americans who’d never participated in politics a reason to stand up and do so.
This was the moment when we finally beat back the politics of fear, and doubt, and cynicism; the politics where we tear each other down instead of lifting this country up.
Years from now, you’ll look back and say that this was the moment – this was the place – where America remembered what it means to hope.
For many months, we’ve been teased and even derided for talking about hope.
But we always knew that hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shrinking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and work for it, and fight for it.
Hope is what I saw in the eyes of the young woman in Cedar rapids who works the night shift after a full day of college and still can’t afford health care for a sister who’s ill; a young woman who still believes that this country will give her the chance to live out her dreams.
Hope is what I heard in the voice of the New Hampshire woman who told me that she hasn’t been able to breathe since her nephew left for Iraq; who still goes to bed each night praying for a safe return.
Hope is what led a band of colonists to rise up against an Empire; what led the greatest of generations to free a continent and heal a nation; what led young men and women to sit at lunch counters and brave fire hoses and march through Selma and Montgomery for freedom’s cause.
Hope is what led me here today – with a father from Kenya; a mother from Kansas; and a story that could only happen in the United States of America. It is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us; by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is; who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.
That is what we started here in Iowa, and that is the message we now carry to New Hampshire and beyond; the same message we had when we were up and when we were down; the one that can change this country brick by brick, block by block, calloused hand by calloused hand – that together, ordinary people can do extraordinary things; because we are not a collection of Red States and Blue States, we are the United States of America; and at this moment, in this election, we are ready to believe again.
I’m not gonna lie to you, watching him give this speech gave me goosebumps.