The Moment Obama Grabbed 100,000 Coloradoans
Source Dave Anderson
Date 08/10/27/18:32
The Moment Obama Grabbed 100,000 Coloradoans
By David Sirota
Denver Post's PoliticsWest

I JUST GOT back from the Obama rally at Civic Center Park here in
Denver. The Denver Post estimates the turnout was 100,000 people,
which is really just astounding considering the total size of the
city is about 550,000 people and the size of the metro area is about
3 million people...

Most Americans have seen Obama speak, and millions at this point
have been to his events, so I won't bore you with my opinion on the
details of his promises (pretty progressive) or of the energy at the
event (high). But what I will say is that while most of the rhetoric
was standard Democratic stuff, what really seemed new and
"transformative" (to admittedly use a cliche description of Obama) -
what really seemed to capture those 100,000 Coloradoans (including
me) - was his discussion about struggle. I may be an old seadog from
the many campaigns I've worked, and I may have learned enough to not
be easily mesmerized by politicians, but I will admit right here: the
flash I saw from Obama at the end of his speech really blew me away.

Indeed, as he was closing his remarks, he touched on how making
change is incredibly painful and incredibly grueling - and how it
always has been throughout our history. And the best part - the part
where the audience was most silent and rapt - was when Obama veered
off his prepared remarks and made it personal:

"Maybe some of your parents or grandparents, they were born in
another country without freedom of speech or freedom of worship, but
they said, you know what, we know there's this land across the ocean
called America, where it's a land of opportunity and a land of
freedom, and we're willing to take the risk to travel to that place
to create a better future for our children and grandchildren. In this
audience, there are people whose parents or grandparents couldn't cast
a vote, but they said to themselves you know, maybe my child or
grandchild, if we march, if we struggle, maybe they may be able to
run for the United States Senate, maybe they might run for the
Presidency of the United States of America."

Those references to the courage of immigrants and the civil rights
movement are clearly personal to Obama, and they are rarely voiced in
Colorado politics - an arena that has often been about bashing
immigrants. That he departed from his prepared text to talk about
those issues, and tied them to a discussion about how difficult
change is - well, it suggests that very "transformative" possibility
of the Obama candidacy.

Whether you believe Obama represents real change or not, I came away
believing that he understands the challenge of actually making
change, should he win. That is, he understands that if he really
attempts to fundamentally alter the status quo on major issues, it is
going to be a very tumultuous and difficult process - one that only
begins on election day.

I'm not 100 percent sure, knowing how hard this will be, that Obama
will move into the breach. My heart hopes he will, and my gut tells
me its more than likely he will, because Republicans are helping
create an even bigger mandate for an Obama presidency than Obama ever
dreamed of. But we will never know if he will unless he gets a chance
- a chance which, since early into the Democratic primary, I have
believed he deserves (even though I stand by my concerns/objections
to some of his specific positions). If he wins, I am sure we will
have a president who grasps how tough it will be to make progress -
and I am becoming more confident we will have a president who will
try to make that progress a reality.

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