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Last night I was catching up on the backlog of not-yet-folded laundry and there was nothing on TV so I ended up on C-Span watching Obama’s remarks at an AFL-CIO picnic in Cincinnati earlier in the day. I haven’t actually sat down and listened to him speak from start to finish in a quite a while and must admit that I, like so many, have been frustrated by the stymied progress on health care. But wow, is he good. He is just so good.
He told this great story about how his campaign came to use the term “fired up,” a story I’d somehow missed during my campaign obsession. And I headed off to bed later totally fired up. Ready for our country to finally make good on its moral obligation to provide all its citizens with access to high quality health care. I mean, come on folks, this is an absolute must; its necessity is not even debatable. Ready for my school age child to watch the president’s address to children, encouraging them to stay in school and work hard to achieve their goals (and where is the controversy in that one?). Now, I’m self-aware enough to know that I’d have plenty to complain about if George W. Bush was speaking directly to my child, but (as Mark often reminds me) the office of the presidency is deserving of respect regardless of who sits in it. But I sure am glad that the person who sits in it right now is as inspirational and intelligent as Barack Obama.
The message he sent yesterday to that lucky crowd in Cincinnati, and the one I hope he sent today to our nation’s students, is this: “One voice can change a room. And if it can change a room, it can change a city. And if it can change a city, it can change a state. And if it can change a state, it can change a nation. And if can change a nation, it can change the world. One voice, your voice, can change the world.”
What better message should our nation’s leader send to our nation’s youth? It got me fired up.