We can? I mean … We can?

Sometimes not having TV is more annoying than others. Am I the last person to see this?

(Thanks, Alejna for sharing that one … and the parody vids as well.)

This video surprised me. I’ve distanced myself from this whole push toward the nomination. I haven’t taken a side, haven’t let my comments hint at a leaning in any direction. (Ok, yes, I posted that wacky Obama-sistible video, but how could I have refrained from that?) Last term, Jeovany was convinced I must be an Obama supporter (“Come on, Miss. You gotta vote for the black guy.”), while Reina figured I must be for Hillary (“She’s a woman, too, you know.”), and it drove them crazy that I wouldn’t say who I wanted to be the nominee.

I have a friend who, from day one, has been one of the most enthusiastic and vocal Obama fans. She would definitely have fallen into that annoyingly-named category, the Obamaniacs. She couldn’t understand how I could be on the fence, how I hadn’t yet seen the light. And, to be honest, I couldn’t understand it, either. I mean, I should have been so excited that a black candidate was running so well, getting so many people energized about November, pulling so many young voters into the campaign. Should have been excited that people were really taking his candidacy seriously.

But I wasn’t. I said in another post that I was ambivalent about the race, but that’s not exactly right. In my head I wanted to support each candidate equally and see which one won me over, which one swayed me to their cause. In my heart, I wanted to be for Obama. Not in a ‘race trumps gender’ way, but … in a ‘race pride‘ way, which was a feeling that surprised me because it smacked too much of Jeovany’s confidence that I’d support Obama simply because he was black. I wanted to be for Obama because how amazing was it that he was getting the support he was getting, getting the endorsements he was getting, raising as much money as he was raising? How amazing was it that his candidacy was happening, was viable?

But the feeling wasn’t there, and I couldn’t figure out why.

Hillary suspended her campaign. Nothing. When I wrote about HIllary’s concession speech, I actually said, ” I might even be glad that Barack Obama has become my party’s presumptive nominee.” Who am I kidding? Of course I was glad. I mean, wasn’t I glad? Then why couldn’t I feel it?

And then I saw this video. At first I thought, “Oh, this is clever. Oh and isn’t that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?” And then I was crying. Yes, really. Crying. Sobbing, actually. That freaked me right out. What the hell was that about? I couldn’t figure it. I watched the video again, got choked up and teary. WTF?

The epiphany didn’t come until the next day. I’ve spent so many months holding my breath, afraid to be enthusiastic about Obama, afraid of all the awful turns fate could have taken, afraid to hope that this could happen, that we could have a black man running for president as the nominee of a major political party, afraid to believe we had that in us.

And then he made the delegate count. And then Clinton stepped down. And then that sat with me for a while.

There are still things to be afraid of — so many things, so many things — but something in that video shook me loose, pushed past the barrier I’d put up between myself and my excitement over Obama. Look at so many of the faces in that video. Their joy. Their pride. Their wonder and conviction. This is real. This is here. This is my country doing something I never thought I’d live to see my country do. This is who we have become. This is possible.

Maybe it’s true. Maybe we can.

So I’m outing myself today, for good and all. This is who I am, an Obama supporter … still a little shaky standing in the open, but here I am. Here I am. Proud. Such a relief, really. And it meant that when I found this: I didn’t shed a single tear.

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5 thoughts on “We can? I mean … We can?

  1. Maggie, dammit

    Every time I hear the Obama chant I get goosebumps. I’m instantly back in that stadium where I first listened to him speak, instantly flooded with hope and dreams and good stuff.

    I want this very, very badly.

    (and yes, you’re the last person on earth to see these videos.) šŸ˜‰

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  2. Um…No, I guess I am the last to see them!

    Very American! So patriotic! And it makes me feel like it would be unAmerican to vote for anyone other than Obama. I am still undecided. I was having trouble with BO vs HC. Now I think I just need to clarify why BO would be a good choice.

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  3. Ah, Ladybug and Lisa, I’m glad I’m not the last!

    You’re right, Ladybug. Not a solid issue in sight. That didn’t bother me so much, though. I’ve had a lot of time to read and hear his various positions on things.

    Lisa, it’s funny that you say the vids are so American and patriotic. When I read your comment, that surprised me, but of course you’re right. I didn’t see it that way at all when I watched the videos. I just saw them as hopeful and positive, affirming in that people are so excited about this candidacy, the possibility for change represented by Obama. And although it would be downright un-American to vote for anyone but Obama ( šŸ˜‰ ), it would be much more un-American to vote for someone you didn’t really want to vote for.

    My reaction to the video was really not so much about anything Obama said in this speech. It was finally having it sink in that this is really happening. I’ve liked Obama since I first started paying attention to him after he seemed to appear out of nowhere to give that excellent convention speech for John Kerry. But I like Hillary Clinton, too (not so much loving Geraldine Ferraro or Bill just now, though), and watching this campaign has been hard for me. It’s helped to have my students to play devil’s advocate with.

    Turkish Prawn, I heard Obama on WWDTM, too! He was great. (And I just love that show, period. It’s the biggest source of laughing-out-loud-alone-with-my-radio!) I half-quoted him, in fact, when I wrote a note to my nephew as he graduated from 8th grade last week!

    Hey, Maggie. Lucky you to have gotten to hear him speak in person! Hope you’re all safe and dry.

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