Add me to the list of Obama supporters. I was late coming around, but after seeing him yesterday, I'm joining my wife, who's from Illinois and has been with him from the beginning. I'm going to reprint an email exchange below between me and a friend of ours who now lives in NYC, Stacy Aab. She's a blogger on Huff Post, an author, and a former Clinton White House operative. She described by response as "the best email ever," though I thought hers was a lot more eloquent. My response is below, Stacy's message is below that.
I am convinced. Until yesterday morning, I was basically undecided (though kinda leaning towards Richardson with full knowledge that he was probably running for vice president at this point).
I think Obama represents a dramatic departure from business as usual, and that is very appealing to me at this point. I also haven't been so personally impressed and inspired by a candidate for president since 1992. Even with Gore (with my heart still broken) and certainly with Kerry, it seemed like it was more about "electability", whatever that is.
Then I saw his final speech in Iowa on YouTube before the caucuses, and I was hooked. Then I saw his victory speech last night, and I was convinced that he's what we need now.
To: Matt Emal
From: Stacy Aab <>
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2008 10:09:05 -0500
Subject: Before, We Walked in Faith. Now, We Celebrate Fact.
Well, maybe not all of us. But many of us! What an incredible, incredible night....just wanted to share this with you all!
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Before, We Walked in Faith. Now, We Celebrate Fact.
Last night, I wish I could have been an Iowan. I watched the early caucus coverage while at the Harlem NY Sports Club, working the elliptical machine. So many of us in the gym, racing, racing, watching CNN on the individual TVs. Wolf Blitzer cuts away to packed rooms of voters, sitting, waiting, being counted, waiting to stand up (if not literally, figuratively) for their man or woman. I found myself getting choked-up. I try not to be sentimental, because I find it to be a suspect emotion, but I found myself moved by the images of men in women in big sweaters and sweatshirts—just normal folks, like the folks of small towns in Michigan where I grew up, and all across the country. There they were. They were doing it. Each man and woman walked into that high school gym, looked at their neighbors, or didn't look at their neighbors, and prepared to say out loud—to testify, to declare for their whole world to know, who exactly they supported. I was jealous. I wish I could have been there. I wish I too could have made that simple, yet most powerful statement: Obama is my man. I hope he can be yours, too. And then, to look around, and see that other people are doing it with you? Only Spartacus could have felt better than Obama does tonight, knowing that so many people rose for him, and didn't shy away, didn't say oh, we're trying to back a "winner" just like people said in 2004 with that "winner" John Kerry. Last night, Obama was rewarded for dreaming big, and for acting big. So were we.