Barack Obama in Las Vegas
|Last Friday night I had the opportunity to see Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama speak at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas. I got tickets after talking with one of his precinct walkers earlier in the afternoon. My wife and I arrived about an hour before the doors opened and we were already about 100 yards back in the line.|
Finally after 3 hours of waiting, [I was reminded of the lines I have endured for many movie openings in Los Angeles] we got in to the gymnasium, where it was standing room only.
He spoke about the "Urgency of Now" and how he is a "Hopemonger." After about a twenty minute speech, he took questions from the audience for almost an hour, shook hands and then jetted back to Illinois to be with his family the next day.
Here are some of the thoughts that struck me that night. First, like many politicians, Obama has many things he would like to do as President. This does not make him much different from people like McCain, Clinton, Edwards, or even Fred Thompson. My question is this...how you gonna pay for it? Isn't that the sixty four thousand dollar question? I mean let's get real here. If you want to provide universal health care, big tax breaks, or even a stronger military, the money has got to come from somewhere. Taxing the rich, who already pay for the lions share of our government expenses can only go so far.
Second, what I saw there that night was inspiring. I saw hope. Not only in Obama, but in what we as a people could become. And it was powerful. When I was a small kid in church we learned the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children." It had a refrain that went like this "...all the little children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight..." That night I saw all of those colors together, hoping. Hoping for a change in our country. Hoping for a country that was not divided by color, class, political party, or background. I saw young and old, dads with their kids, high school students, and senior citizens all in one place together to hear Obama call us to be better, for America.
I do not know if Barack will win the Democratic party nomination. But I do know this, for one night, for a couple of hours, I saw what hope in America looks like.
[Above] Barack shaking hands before the event. That is my friend Evan smiling right in front of Obama. [Below] Two good pictures of the overflow crowd at Del Sol High in Las Vegas.
Flickr Set of photos from the Del Sol event.