During the primary season Hillary Clinton took a sarcastic jab at her opponent, Barack Obama.
“Let’s get everybody together, let’s get unified. The sky will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing, and everyone will know we should do the right thing, and the world will be perfect.”
Don't get me wrong, I love Hillary, but I couldn't help but thinking that her quip taken literally perfectly summed up Yesterday's Rally in Bicentennial Park.
The sky was open, a beautiful clear blue. The sun rays came down, accompanied by a light breeze, and at time the chants of “Yes We Can” or even “We Want Pie” sounded something akin to celestial choirs.
Things didn't start out anywhere near perfect. Things never start out perfect, especially when trying to organize the shear physical mass of over 30,000 bodies. Everyone entering had to pass through security, which hastened the flow into Bicentennial park. The crowd was frustrated with having to deal with the process while waiting to see Mr. Change, himself. Strained metaphor alert: It was a lot like the frustration we're all going through waiting on the upturn in the economy, waiting for the end of the War in Iraq, waiting for well, change. Though the frustration of this crowd, unlike some others, didn't turn to anger, it didn't to fear, and it didn't turn to hate.
Originally, we were going to liveblog the event, but by the time I got in, right before Michelle Obama's speech, the press area was full. So I was relegated to the Wi-Fi-less land of the crowd, and I'm glad I was. Little girls standing on their math books to get a better view, babies in Obama shirts, the long line of disabled folks who waited patiently to get in, a few tears, many screams, a lot of enthusiasm. If I had emotions, they surely would have been affected.
Barack told us “Florida, we can bring some badly needed sunshine to DC.”
He told us, “After eight years of Bush-McCain economics, the pie is shrinking. And what's left of the pie has been eaten by millionaires and billionaires. Everybody here wants some pie. We want to grow the pie. And then we want a slice of the pie!"
We chanted "We Want Pie!"
He asked, “"How many people make less that a quarter million dollars a year?"
We put our hands up, this blogger included
He said “There's a lot of young people here. So, I wanna make a deal with you. My opponent's chief financial advisor....”
All the young people automatically turn out when you start talking about CFOs, but perked back up when he said, “If you give back to your country and community, we will make sure that each and everyone of you will get the money you need for tuition. No ifs, ands, or buts. You invest in America, we'll invest in you .”
He told us he could bring change, but we'd need to do our fair share too. And not just in getting out the vote.
“I can put more money into education but I can't be a parent. I can't turn off the TV, I can't get your kid to do their homework.”
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He told us, “We can't afford to divide this country. There are no real or fake parts of this country. We're not separated by the pro-American or anti-America parts of this country. we love this country.”
And then a few minutes latter it came to an end. And maybe Hillary is right, a good speech and a sunny day isn't going to make the world perfect, but it sure seemed like we were heading in the right direction.