Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oh No He Didn't

I began working on this blog around 5 pm Denver time after learning of the acclamation vote to make Senator Barack Obama the Democratic Presidential nominee. Here’s how it started.

There are several seminal moments in American history and today’s acclamation vote of Senator Barack Obama to become the Democratic Party nominee for president is one of them.

If this were in my early journalism days I would have pulled the paper from the typewriter and tossed it in the trash can. I can’t do that in cyberspace instead I’ll just say, Damn!!!!!

I’ve been in Denver for five days. There are early mornings and late nights. I’m somewhat drained as we come to the last day at the Pepsi Arena, before the Mile High event. I felt this was one of the days where the speakers were okay (President Bill Clinton and Senator Joe Biden). I’d spill in a couple of quotes and get a few more reactions to this historic day (In fact the original title for this blog was Historic).

It’s been very tough to get on the floor when the main speakers start (you only get 20 minutes). I had to work on the guy with the passes to get into the arena for Clinton. Biden, the Vice Presidential nominee, wasn't Obama, so I decided it wasn't necessay to see him live from the floor. I had a pre copy of his speech and it was okay. Fellow Blogger, Stump Connolly of “The Week Behind” kept pointing out Biden was going off script. When the Delaware Senator wrapped up speaking I began tying at my computer. Biden’s wife appeared on screen and said she had a special surprise. This normally means kids, long lost relative, etc…

I turn and looked its Obama. The crowd is going wild so I grab my camera and start video taping the screen in the filing room. Reporters are crowded around monitors.

“Hello Denver!” The crowd can’t contain itself . Obama and Biden are on stage together? Isn’t this supposed to happen tomorrow? Remember up to this point the Illinois Senator has been making his way to the convention.

My good friend S.A. Miller of the Washington Times who’s been following the candidate nationwide had just arrived. Miller popped his head into press filing room as Biden was speaking. According to Miller, Obama had come in around 4:30 pm and apparently was with his wife, kids, and close relatives when the acclamation vote was taken. I'm guessing it was very emotional in the suite at the Denver Westin where the Obama’s are holed up.

Damn Again

Who is scripting this event? The selection of the first African-American Democrat nominee for president is heavy. I’m more keenly aware of its broader implications after reading Challenging Slavery in the Chesapeake: Black and White Resistance to Human Bondage, 1660-1865 by T. Stephen Whitman and “Here Lies Jim Crow” by Fraser Smith a Baltimore writer.

The possibility of Black President...“Not in my life time,” said Baltimore Delegate Curt Anderson. After answering a few more questions he pondered the societal changes if it all comes to fruition.

How many of you were told in elementary school, “You could grow-up to be President?” Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina, a former school teacher said, "I'd told numerous students this, but he personally didn’t believe it." The South Carolina Democrat said, ”When teachers say this in the future there will be a realism associated with it outcome.” My cousin, George Smith, Jr., a product of a Boston Prep school and a graduate of Tufts University, came to this simple conclusion. “His Ivy League education makes him palatable to people.”

But it’s more than that, I said this four years ago in Presidential Perspective I ( As a paper boy delivering the Afro-American newspapers in Baltimore, I remember the exhilaration, anxiety, and fear Black folk have around doing the impossible.

But you got be in the game, just to play.

Tomorrow: Invesco, A Mile High Experience.



At August 28, 2008 at 11:45 PM, Blogger GOS said...

Thanks for the mention. The speech was excellent. Who says Obama is not tough!!!


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