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Live-blogging the Obama announcement

Saturday, Feb 10, 2007

***Transcript of Obama’s Presidential Announcement Speech***

———————————————————

***Audio Clips***

Courtesy of Metro Networks

Obama speech pt. 1/4

[audio:first-5-min.mp3]

Obama speech pt. 2/4

[audio:2nd-5-min.mp3]

Obama speech pt. 3/4

[audio:3rd-5-min.mp3]

Obama speech pt. 4/4

[audio:last-5-mins.mp3]

Governor Blagojevich’s reaction:

[audio:blagojevich.mp3]

Treasurer Giannoulias’s reaction:

[audio:giannoulias.mp3]

* 7:30 AM - RICH MILLER: Downtown was crazy fun last night as parties raged everywhere and the locals prowled for celebrities. Dan Shomon’s party was top notch.

Satellite trucks line the streets, giant American flags are hanging from the building across from the Old State Capitol. Obama will address the crowd from the east side of the historic building, with the sun in his face.

The media horde has already begun to gather at the bitterly cold (8 degrees as of this moment) location, according to a friend who is there. The site was open to the press at 5 o’clock this morning so the TV types could jockey for position. They have three risers, which kinda aces out the print reporters. Radio reporters were grumbling yesterday that they weren’t given access to the tables unless they were broadcasting live, leaving some to wonder how they’d file.

The campaign ran out of media passes for non-traveling press last night, forcing some to come back early today to pick one up. By late yesterday, the campaign had received 500 credentials requests - which is unheard of for something like this. You get the distinct feeling that the campaign staff is completely overwhelmed by the response. Right now, it’s almost a purely volunteer operation and done on the fly.

Obama’s website had been criticized for being bland and uninteresting, but a new version is up today. Go check it out. It’s pretty good.

My next post will be from the site. Have a good morning.

* 9:00 AM - RICH MILLER: The crowds are growing larger but still not huge. There are tons of media. The governor’s people have confirmed that he will be here for the program, but he will not be speaking.

* 9:08 AM - RICH MILLER: Advance copies of Obama speech are now out. From a glance the broad themes appear to be: unity, bipartisanship, and ending the war. The speech quotes Lincoln and talks about his own inexperience. It also mentions the great struggles that the country has been through together and how Obama would like to bring the nation together again.

* 9:26 AM - RICH MILLER: Turnout is increasing rapidly. They had held the crowd back to be sure that there would be a packed view for the cameras. But they have now opened the gate up to the front and spectators have filled it up. We are in an overflow situation right now.

* 9:34 AM - RICH MILLER: Last night, I had a cocktail with top Obama people; they didn’t know what to expect. We thought the weather would keep the local folks away, but wouldn’t deter anyone else. The overflow crowd keeps getting much bigger. They just keep coming.

* 9:38 AM - PAUL RICHARDSON: Watching from home, the coverage thus far has been unique. More than anything else there appears to be a local fascination with the presence of international media. Korean, Polish, and Swiss journalists have already been interviewed live by local media. The Polish journalist said he was here because it was the “biggest story in the world right now.”

* 9:42 AM - RICH MILLER: There are a small handful of protestors. A crowd of about 15 are being led by someone with a large American flag. They are all anti-abortion protestors, some with signs with pictures of aborted fetuses. There is also one anti-immigration protestor. They are behind the set up cameras and wont’ be seen.

* 9:48 - RICH MILLER: The radio table has a huge propane heater. When I asked how they managed to pull that off, the radio guys said I was because their engineers are geniuses. It was supposedly brought to keep the equipment warm, but everyone is crowding around it now.

* 9:52 AM - RICH MILLER: The Governor just released a statement. He said that he was pleased to join many Illinoisans on this historic occasion. At the end of his statement he urged the legislature to immediately send him a bill to move the Illinois primary up to Feb 5th 2008 that will give Illinois voters the opportunity to support Barack Obama.

* 10:05 AM - RICH MILLER: The are playing U2 songs as Obama enters. Obama and Durbin recently met Sting in D.C.

* 10:08 AM - RICH MILLER: Key paragraph to speech: “I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness a certain audacity to this announcement. I know I haven’t spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington, but I have been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.

* 10:09 AM - RICH MILLER: The dozen or so pro-lifers have tried to get a chant going (“Life Yes, Obama No”), but they have stopped after about 5-10 seconds. It is either because it is too cold or they want to hear the speech themselves.

* 10:12 AM - RICH MILLER: The protestors tried chanting again and were able to keep it going for about 45 seconds. The main sound system is not loud enough, so they can be heard.

* 10:25 AM - PAUL RICHARDSON: It appears that he is getting stronger as he continues through the speech; he seemed somewhat drained at the beginning. His energry and passion have picked up. The sincerity and honesty are more believable near the end.

* 10:43 AM – RICH MILLER: A dominant theme in Obama’s speech was the discussion of generational lines. There were many references to “this” generation and a “new” generation. Yet, Obama doesn’t seem to fit into any branded generation himself.

He is 45 years old- too young to be a baby boomer and too old to be a Gen Xer. Instead he is drawing on the idea of being a bridge between generations, capable of connecting the two divergent groups. Or perhaps Obama’s generational talk is meant to promote a “new” generation- a generation of change. He could talk of uniting differing groups into this new generation of transformation and challenge to the status quo.

* 10:49 AM - RICH MILLER: Security was very visible throughout the day, but it wasn’t overly constrictive. According to the State police officers, security was a joint effort coordinated by the Springfield police, State police, and Secretary of State police.

* 11:33 AM - RICH MILLER: Police estimated the total crowd size at 17,500 15-17,000. That number may or may not include the media. I just talked briefly with Speaker Madigan. His quote: “We just saw the next President of the United States.” I also asked if he now considered it a mistake to refer to Senator Obama as the “Messiah.” The answer will be in next Tuesday’s Capitol Fax.

* 1:14 PM - RICH MILLER: A few quick things before I wrap this up.

* The Springfield police, state police and SoS police did a very good job today. There was a big, gaping security hole, but it wasn’t the coppers’ fault. My brother got a press pass purely by showing a state ID to some Obama volunteers. Press was allowed to carry in bags and equipment. This needs to be addressed right away.

Devin just told me that the volunteers were also giving people press passes who had little point-and-shoot cameras who were obviously not affiliated with any media outlet. Not good.

* Paul did a remarkable job posting my dispatches from the field. I called them in and now that I look at them, they seem pretty darned accurate, considering time constraints, etc.

* To add a bit to what Paul had to say above about local reporters interviewing foreign reporters this morning, the opposite happened as well. Lots of overseas and “national” reporters were interviewing the local scribes.

* We had a communications breakdown with ArchPundit, but no biggie. I’m sure he’ll have plenty to say later on his blog.

* Some of us stayed toasty warm because we dressed for the occasion (I wore ice fishing socks, hiking boots, Carhartt longjohns, a winter hat, Thinsulate-lined leather gloves and a woolen Irish sweater). Others just about froze to death. One poor young lady from a downstate paper that we won’t name looked just about dead towards the end. Luckily, I brought extra hand warmers and she seemed to perk up a bit. This person seems to have trouble every time she comes to Springfield.

* I’ll be posting pics in a separate post in just a few minutes.

* Oh, one more thing. Sorry about that Clooney thing. I was told by a very high-level municipal official that he was heading out to have a drink with Clooney. Really? i said. Yes, he said. No kidding? I asked. No kidding, he assured. But not long after that, I decided to have Paul pull the post because I started to doubt the story.

*** Let’s close this one out and move the discussion over here. Thanks for all the comments on this thread, by the way. ***

- Posted by Rich Miller        

79 Comments
  1. - Mr. Luxury Yacht - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 7:50 am:

    Rich, stay warm. I oh so truly wish I could be there. At least I’ll be at the Pavilion tomorrow. Thanks for keepin’ it real.


  2. - Capt. Obvious - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 9:12 am:

    Looks like a great day!
    Wonder why the Governor flip flopped and decided to attend. Hope they don’t to delay the event for him.
    Go Barack


  3. - Buck Naked - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 9:20 am:

    Sounds like it will be both exciting and freezing at the same time. As for Blagojevich, my bet is that he will be on time. The real question is Speaker Madigan — will he kneel before the “Messiah” before the throngs of supporters? Has he gotten over Obama’s support of Alexi, or is he still holding the grudge?


  4. - Little Egypt - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 9:37 am:

    Priorities people. This day is about Obama - not Blago. If Blago is not there at starting time, begin without him. Don’t let this jerk hold up such an important moment as this.


  5. - Citizen A - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 9:57 am:

    This is definitely an historic day. The gov is not only in town but he arrived BEFORE the event. Wow, this all makes me just giddy.


  6. - The 'Broken Heart' of Rogers Park - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:13 am:

    10;13 am. Cheers for the crowd.


  7. - amy - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:29 am:

    Love U2, but quite ironic:

    “The more you see, the less you know.”

    the speech was a laundry list. he is still a tabula
    rasa, all things to all people. amazingly dull.


  8. - Poli sci geek - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:32 am:

    Speech was good. Covered his history in civil rights and his thoughts on DC.


  9. - R-dukes - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:32 am:

    Visiting my mom this weekend and didn’t have access to tv. Listened to it on radio…sounded good. What was the crowd chanting during the middle portion?


  10. - Not Impressed - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:33 am:

    ‘The sincerity and honesty are more evident near the end.’

    Sincerity? I can fake that….


  11. - IAmtheWalrus - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:33 am:

    I agree with Amy. His handlers need to pay more attention to the message. They should have just looped the instrumental part of the song at the beginning.


  12. - Citizen A - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:33 am:

    So very disappointing - like trying to put air in a blown out flat tire. We must do better. He is not the one not here not now. So much a letdown.


  13. - leigh - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:35 am:

    Crowd was chanting “Obama”. I was excited by his announcement, he is quite dynamic. I can’t see myself voting for a liberal democrat, but if I did, it would be for him.


  14. - Levois - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:37 am:

    I’d be watching right now if this morning the internet in my dorm didn’t take a crap. I wouldn’t mind being in Springfield for this though.


  15. - Anon - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:38 am:

    This speech was good. People need to remember that a lot of folks (me included) aren’t looking for rhetoric and fancy speeches. We want someone who is not part of the establishment and can build bridges that lead the country in a positive direction. He laid out broad themes that will resonate with voters.

    And, the logo on the signs is awesome.


  16. - Buck Naked - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:42 am:

    Great speech — this man can be President.


  17. - If It Walks Like a Duck... - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:46 am:

    Check out on the BBC what non-Americans think about Sen. Obama:
    http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.
    jspa?threadID=5511&&amp
    ;edition=2&ttl=20070210125611


  18. - Rep. John Fritchey - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:48 am:

    I thought it was a great finish. Barack has always been at his best when he finds his comfort zone. And when he does, the passion that comes through rivets people.

    Remember that people have to hear you before they can listen to you.

    Barack has gotten people who were previously disconnected from the political process to hear him, and as they now actually listen to what he is saying, I believe that they will appreciate his message and become activated in the process of determining the direction of our country.


  19. - R-dukes - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:52 am:

    I agree with Anon 10:38…logo looks sharp, distinct, and kinda futuristic.


  20. - Stuck with Sen. CPA - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:53 am:

    Watched live on CSPAN. I’m a fan but I thought today’s effort fell short.

    What’s with the U2 song as an intro? Weak. The old Capitol looked in marginal shape too.

    Speech was OK but far from anything special. Just like the chants, it never really hit stride.


  21. - R-dukes - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:56 am:

    And to tie in with Rich’s last comment, the logo has a bridge-like effect–red/white stripes leading through the “O”. The great thing about his vague generation comments is that mutliple generations can feel like he’s speaking to them.


  22. - Pat Hickey - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:58 am:

    One of the best political speeches in years - direct, effective, inclusive, positive and honest.
    This young man is out of the blocks and sprinting - it is no dash to the White House and more like a Two-Mile Print. By all appearances he will sprint the whole way.

    I especially liked how effective Senator Obama was in making a clear distinction between what an effective politician can do and what career hacks have done - Hillary, Gore, Kerry, Bush & etc. No Bush bashing whatsoever and no whinning, This man is the real deal!


  23. - Citizen A - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 10:59 am:

    Definitely a “production” Did anyone spot Jack Bauer ?


  24. - Reddbyrd - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 11:00 am:

    Buck must have forgot it was Madigan who wants to move the primary to 2-5-08. At least Madigan is looking forward, Buck might try the same
    Go Barack


  25. - Anonymous - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 11:04 am:

    Rich,
    A little thin skinned concerning Obama ?


  26. - Little Egypt - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 11:08 am:

    Great speech. Great response. Great city in which to announce. I’m really proud of Springfield.


  27. - Anon - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 11:20 am:

    Saw the speech..as always, didn’t really hit on issues…more of the flowery stuff…that won’t stack up against the Clinton machine…or in debates when real questions are posed and he gives liberal answers.


  28. - wndycty - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 11:21 am:

    Just got back to the hotel, awesome event. One of the coolest sites from the crowd was watching all the cameras and camera phones come out the minute he hite the stage. There were a number of kids on parents shoulders taking pictures.


  29. - Warmer Than Rich - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 11:32 am:

    Barack’s special gift as an orator came through, and the symbolic connection to Lincoln’s life story was exceptionally well done–just the right blend of subtle and overt. I suspect that many who know him from Springfield can’t fully appreciate how fresh, inspiring and spiritually centered he appears, in comparison to other national pols, to TV audiences just now getting to know him.


  30. - Inquiring Mind - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 11:37 am:

    There ia an inherent contradiction in invoking Lincoln on unity and that is that Lincoln did not achieve unity through words and talking with seccessionists. They ran from the union when he talked about unity. It was only through massive bloodshed that he achieved a more perfect union. When he says that Sunnis and Shias need to sit down and talk through their differences, that is not going to happen. What is he going to do when they settle their differences as we did in 1860? Iran and Syria and Al Qaeda won’t be just talking unity at that point, but I guess he thinks all we should do.


  31. - Ivory-billed Woodpecker - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 11:41 am:

    Excellent speech. Strong components of personal and public braided together into a compelling whole. And an excellent delivery.

    Love the “O logo – sun rising over an Illinois farm.

    WBBM radio seems to have put Obama on a 5 second delay. Which was a pretty weird decision.

    Obama would have better conveyed his abilities to understand and address the big problems we are all facing together if he had WORN A HAT – it’s like 10 degrees out there. Maybe going topless was supposed to suggest a Kennedyesque youthful vigor. I think it showed an almost Bushlike capability to ignore reality – just a persistence of the presidential policies of the past. Not that Hillary would have done differently.

    Bill Richardson. He would have worn a hat.


  32. - R-dukes - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 11:56 am:

    anon 11:20, what kind of issues were you looking for him to hit on? I thought he struck the right balance of issues and getting folks excited. I may be wrong on this, but a presidential announcement probably shouldn’t go too in-depth on the issues…10 point plan wouldn’t be too exciting for those 17,000 standing in the cold.


  33. - ZC - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 11:58 am:

    I think all the references to generations helped blend the two rhetorical pools Obama is dipping into here - both Lincoln’s “new birth of freedom” but also John F Kennedy’s “the torch has been passed.” Ultimately I think the “new JFK” label sits easier on Obama than the “new Lincoln,” for some of the same reasons Inquiring Mind lists above. Even if it was not his first love, JFK did ultimately herald in the civil rights movement, and Obama is now the beneficiary of that decision. The torch has indeed been passed.

    You might also argue that Obama’s constant references to a new generation is meant to echo the same essential promise of an Obama candidacy - to break up commonly-understand dividing lines, old categories, old ways of understanding “who must be where.” By declaring himself part of a new generation, Obama is in effect saying, “I’m kicking out the old categories, and in with the new” which corresponds with the overall thematic of his campaign.

    Main weakness of the speech: for all his talk about sacrifice, there was very little sacrifice requested in that speech. And for his talk about dreaming new dreams and bold new proposals, I didn’t hear any policy ideas or proposals that really captured my imagination. Truth is, for his talk of capturing a new generation’s energy, Obama remains so far an essentially cautious, conservative model of political progress - again why I think JFK is the better model, since he was much the same. But the campaign is young, and Obama has plenty of time still to break out with a bold proposal.


  34. - R-dukes - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 12:08 pm:

    Why would anyone expect Obama, or any other presidential candidate for that matter, to propose a big, bold (read: controversial) program in his announcement? Obama’s a pragmatist and will (and should) play it safe eary on.


  35. - anon - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 12:09 pm:

    I was moved by the speach and felt proud to have this man voice the hopes that I have for this country. We can be better than we are now and I think Obama is the person to lead us to that goal. Out of Iraq is the message that differentiates Obama from the others.
    Obama/Edwards could lead this country to be the place I dream of for my kids.


  36. - Lovie's Leather - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 12:12 pm:

    When he loses the nomination, there is going to be much disappointment….


  37. - whatever - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 12:35 pm:

    Just more proof of how unsophisticated our homegrown reporters are. All we’re getting is a bunch of fluff that sounds like it was written by some giddy, naive schoolgirl. How embarrassing.

    A 45 yr old with little national or international experience, who speaks in nothing but fluffy soundbites, isn’t going to be the Dem nominee. That’s reality.


  38. - Shelbyville - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 12:36 pm:

    I think Lovie has it about right. You got to have the delegates.


  39. - Skeeter - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 12:40 pm:

    Inquiring Mind:
    Not sure if you heard.
    Sen. Obama is running for President of the United States.
    He is not running for President of Iraq.
    Hope that helps clear these things up.


  40. - howard - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 12:47 pm:

    wow. i went and was impressed. I have attended most every big political event to happen in springfield over my lifetime. This had the feeling that it was the biggest. my wife’s sister has never voted and wanted to BUY a t-shirt. This is about more than politics. My 15 year old niece wrote a paper about why obama should be president. the polls are wrong he has more support than shows up through traditional polling methods. wait till hillary turns on the hate machine and ‘the obama’ gives them some heavy hong kong fui? karate politics. he will use her negative approach to empower his camp.


  41. - Bomber91 - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 12:54 pm:

    Glad I didn’t go. Watched it on TV and wasn’t impressed. Nothing new in the speech, just the same claptrap Democrats will spout for the next 20 months until the election is over.


  42. - jerry - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 12:59 pm:

    Biggest story in the world according the Polish reporter?

    Lets see…Google has 711 stories up already from…Melbourne Herald Sun, Reuters India, Guardian UK, Canada.com, Toronto Star, Jerusalem Post, BBC, Middle East Times (Egypt), Pravda (Russia), BBC Bulgaria, Irish Times, Australia, South Africa, and I saw stories at Al Jazeera, at China Daily and more. Craziness.


  43. - Rod's Brush - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 1:00 pm:

    It seems as if there is a mishap with the Obama campaign web site. The link to his announcement speech doesn’t link to his announcement but some video about health care in India


  44. - onlooker - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 1:12 pm:

    Best quote of the day came (in thanks to Amanda Vinicky’s great reporting!!!)
    “Yo momma said vote Obama!!!”


  45. - YNM - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 1:55 pm:

    I’m not sure why there are those upset because he didn’t lay out a specific enough plan on the issues … before people care what he thinks about specific issues, they need to know what kind of person and politician he is.

    Overall I was impressed with the speech. I believe he did what he set out to do. And I believe his logo presents it well, too. A sun-rising over a field … a “new day” doing things a “new way” … and I believe that is what turns people on about him.

    True or not, and maybe it’s yet to be seen … but he *seems* to be a refreshing alternative and I think there are many who are ready for that. I personally thought one of the best lines was “The genius of our founders is that they designed a system of government that can be changed.

    And we should take heart, because we’ve changed this country before.

    In the face of tyranny, a band of patriots brought an Empire to its knees.

    In the face of secession, we unified a nation and set the captives free.

    In the face of Depression, we put people back to work and lifted millions out of poverty.

    We welcomed immigrants to our shores, we opened railroads to the west, we landed a man on the moon, and we heard a King’s call to let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

    And it was fun seeing the obamalac as well … and I have a picture to prove it :)


  46. - Conservative Republican - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 2:04 pm:

    Miller- how can you be 45 years old and not a Baby Boomer? Most authorities consider anyone born between 1945 and 1964, inclusive, as Baby Boomers. Obama’s a Boomer. Look it up…


  47. - Buck Naked - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 2:05 pm:

    Rich, you mentioned your question to the Speaker regarding his calling Senator Obama the “Messiah.” While some may have my comment as a negative distraction to the feel good story of the announcement, I’m glad that you find it relevant enough to discuss today with mopre to follow in the Fax. The upcoming session will be quite contentious and I wonder whether the Speaker will be looking for an opportunity to score political points with Senator Obama in hopes of peeling off some of the governor’s support in the black caucus.

    To say that the Speaker is a calculating man would be an understatement. He didnt make the “Messiah” remark without thinking it through first. Now, on the Barack’s biggest day, will the Speaker use this as an opportunity to strengthen his own political hand?


  48. - proudstatecopper - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 2:18 pm:

    Fox News reported 50,000 attended. Blago’s people must have given them that number. As far as security goes Rich, Senator Obama has one retired secret service agent on contract. He is not afforded the protection of the Secret Service until he is the sole Dem candidate for President. Until then, the security will only be what the local and state police allow it to be. Consider in the cost and manpower necessary to make it Secret Service-like, it was as good as it was going to get. The press pass issue was very bad and must be worked out by the campaign.


  49. - Conservative Republican - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 2:23 pm:

    Obama’s grasp for affiliation with the legacy of Lincoln is misguided. Too bad the MSM can’t tell the differences between Obama and Lincoln. I laugh every time a Democrat tries to hitch his star to the greatest Republican President, who was Republican through and through, BTW.

    It is questionable whether the homely Lincoln would have advanced as far as he did in the contemporary hyper-media, celebrity-craving environment. Likewise, Obama would have faltered in 1860 with his lack of substance. Lincoln built his reputation, which was solid, experienced-based, and nationally-known before he was elected President, on 25+ years of political activism, which included years in the Illinois legislature, a term in Congress, and decades as a consummate Illinois political insider. Lincoln’s exposition of his methodology in opposing slavery while keeping the Union and the Constitution intact at the Cooper Union in New York educated the Republican Party nationally on Lincoln’s merit as a potential presidential candidate. Also, Lincoln was essentially a career-long Republican (given his affiliation with the pre-Republican Whigs) and was never a Democrat. He supported free enterprise, business growth, national development, emancipation, adherence to the traditional views of the Declaration and the Constitution, and military force to the degree of “total war” if necessary to preserve the Union’s interests.

    Obama, a warmed-over disciple of the New Left, is in no way comparable to Lincoln in substance, as the above shows.

    Someone should do a Lincoln-Obama comparison similar the the Lincoln-Nixon comparison comedy bit of 25 yrs ago (”The second letters of their last names were both “i”, etc.)


  50. - Rich Miller - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 2:42 pm:

    CR, I don’t consider myself a baby boomer. From Wikipedia…

    There is little agreement as to the exact beginning and end dates of the baby boom, but it is popularly identified as starting in 1946 and ending in 1964.[2] [3] [4] The problem with this definition may be that this baby boom of 1946-64 is too long for a cultural generation while still being a period of increased births.

    In his book, Boomer Nation, Steve Gillon states that the baby boom began in 1946 and ends in 1964, but he breaks Baby Boomers into two groups: Boomers, born between 1945 and 1957; and Shadow Boomers born between 1958 and 1964.[5]


  51. - Rich Miller - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 2:45 pm:

    Besides, my parents were born just before the beginning of the boom. They weren’t Depression/WW2 people.


  52. - Rich Miller - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 2:51 pm:

    YNM, I think those who believe he should have produced a litany of issues either don’t understand what an announcement speech is about or are just saying something negative out of partisanship. It’s understandable if people don’t like the message, but knee-jerk partisan posts that have little relation to reality are fairly transparent. I wonder if they realize that?


  53. - the wonderboy - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 2:57 pm:

    Wow…I just got home from the event and that is all I can say. Wow.

    People may not agree with Obama on the issues, but it is hard to question his ability to bring out people who have never been a part of the political world. As for his speech, he may not have given a full 10-point plan, but he certainly gave the people a reason to hope and dream for something more. I consider myself to be somewhat cynical of the system, but listening to Obama is like a glimpse of what could be.

    One thing about the new site…is the campaign seriously going to ask for people to buy bumper stickers and signs? Interesting move…although the shirts ARE a lot cheaper than the $200 McCain fleece which I didn’t buy earlier this week.

    “We welcomed immigrants to our shores, we opened railroads to the west, we landed a man on the moon, and we heard a King’s call to let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Incredible line.

    By the way Rich…your dad’s car looked pretty sweet.


  54. - Criminal Enterprise Called Illinois - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 2:58 pm:

    Wow. I loved seeing some of those Illinois politicians green with envy in the crowd. Blago wants to take some of the spotlight for himself, of course. I wonder how some of the politicos who did not support Barack feel now. But then, in Illinois, memories are short, for some people. Go Barack! Tear down the walls and show yourself as the statesman the other politicos in the crowd could only dream of being.


  55. - so ill - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 3:01 pm:

    I find it so humorous at how much people have doubted Obama, but still he keeps forging ahead - gaining support, gaining admiration and gaining the offices that were supposed to be out of reach.
    Obama is in. He is a force. People thought his star would begin to level off after making it to the Senate, well it hasn’t. It’s still heading toward the stratosphere.
    This announcement, which brought me to tears for it’s unmistakable message of hope, is just like a stone being dropped in a pond. Now watch the ripples reach from coast to coast.
    Hillary is going to play dirty and will lose.
    People of this nation have been starved from the lack of leadership in the county, and now they are hungry for Obama.


  56. - so ill - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 3:07 pm:

    And one more thing… this county has been run by a Bush or a Clinton since 1988. The dynasties are becoming dangerously tiresome.
    And this “experience” agrument is sooo lame I want to barf.
    You want a new direction for this nation which is going down the crapper… then you need a truly new leader. O8′bama


  57. - ZC - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 3:49 pm:

    Obama doesn’t need a litany of issues. But he needs one or two big signature issues that can capture the minds of the media, the activists and the primary electorate. Today would not have been too early to roll one out. John Edwards has already taken the lead on the “substance primary” with his health care proposal. Obama’s got the charisma and a fine message, but he doesn’t want to get outflanked as the serious candidate of ideas. His pledge for universal health care is already getting some criticism (accurate?) that it means, “I don’t know what to do about universal health care, but I’ll figure it out as I go along.” It’s not partisan to point out that none of us still have very much of a clue what Obama would do if he reached the White House. Iraq cannot be his primary issue, because all of the Dems will be calling for a withdrawal by January of 2008.

    So sue me, Obama backers might reply; what politician running for President does this? But Obama’s limited time in office, and the extreme velocity of his career, makes him more vulnerable than most candidates. He needs to roll out some big ideas earlier rather than later because he’s going to be especially vulnerable to this line of attack, that he and his staff are making this up as they go along. Many people won’t vote for a man who conveys an impression that he wants to be President before he knows what he wants to do once he gets there.

    So contrary to some other posters, I think he did slightly miss an opportunity here, because he’ll rarely have the spotlight like he’ll have for the next 72 hours or so. It’s not the biggest deal. I’m sure he’ll be rolling out proposals in the weeks and months to come, and I look forward to reading them. Not to rain too much on his parade today, because I am an Obama fan, but I am trying my hardest not to view him as a long-time Illinois resident (through Obama-tinted glasses, as it were) who has had tons of prior exposure. I think if I were a primary voter in New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada or South Carolina, those are the suspicions I’d still have about him, and what I’d say he still needs to demonstrate.


  58. - 'Lainer - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 3:55 pm:

    I saw the Obamallac… the pictures didn’t do it justice! How did it run in this weather?
    I was there just to observe. Say what you will about Obama — and I’m not quite ready to jump on the bandwagon yet — he’s got something people desperately want right now. JFK had it, but so did Ronald Reagan. He makes people feel good about being Americans. Of course he needs more than that to be president, but there’s no question, he has that.


  59. - ANON - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 4:14 pm:

    We have finally learned that government programs cannot solve our problems. Government can hand out money, but government cannot put hope in our hearts or a sense of purpose in our lives.”
    -George W. Bush, 2000

    “…and that when a child turns to violence, there’s a hole in his heart no government could ever fill.” Obama 2-10-07

    Great minds think alike?


  60. - amy - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 4:22 pm:

    don’t tell Obama, I’m voting for Mamma….the
    slogan many in Illinois secretly chant….


  61. - Rick - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 6:30 pm:

    You guys are wasting your time. BamBam won’t make it through the primaries


  62. - sad - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 6:58 pm:

    For those who apparently made up there minds against Obama…I suppose anything short of turning water into wine was a poor showing. I’m not a fan, typically favor Republicans (OK, so I’m a complete moron and maybe losing my hearing) but that was a heck of an inspirational speech. Nice length, nice themes….”Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher” as the closing song…somebody better hurry up & pull Fleetwood M. (hurl)out of the Bill’s casket for Hillary.


  63. - YNM - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 8:19 pm:

    Unfortunately, I’m not sure they do realize that, Rich. But the rest of us do, and maybe that’s all that matters :)


  64. - Patrick McDonough - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 8:46 pm:

    The media made their choice and now we will have this dude jammed down our throat. I wish Obama the best, but the hype, the baggage, the Daley’s backing… something missing…


  65. - NI80 - Saturday, Feb 10, 07 @ 9:49 pm:

    The announcement was absolutely worth freezing my toes off over. It was an amazing announcement-he was clear on his intentions and was very direct and honest. I also appreciated that there were only two speakers-they knew we were cold and did not disappoint. Rich, I saw the Obama car last night, and it looked fantastic!


  66. - Tony - Sunday, Feb 11, 07 @ 11:30 am:

    Rich - I agree of course with your assessment about security regarding the press corps; when it comes to a presidential candidate, there is no such thing too much security. However, you make an observation that Obama’s people were giving press passes to folks with “little point-and-shoot cameras who were obviously not affiliated with any media outlet.” I work at a group of weeklies in the far SW Chicago burbs and sometimes I even use my own digital point-and-shoot to take photos, and we don’t even have media “credentials” except for maybe our business cards. I’m sure many of the little weeklies down in central/southern Illinois are in the same boat. Not every newspaper provides their reporters with the “creds” and the $1,000 digitals that the bigger/medium size dailies have.


  67. - Gregor - Sunday, Feb 11, 07 @ 4:30 pm:

    I have not made up my mind who to vote for yet, I went because I knew it was going to be historic no matter what, and from curiosity. I am also just a big civics nerd.

    What I got out of the event was a taste of that unbridled optimism and sense of a united and noble purpose, the incredible yearning for coming together to build something larger than ourselves. I’ve been disappointed many times before on federal, state, and local levels; I don’t know enough about the man yet to cast a vote, he may turn out to have feet of clay like all the others, but after all the cynicism and ugly politics of the last 20 years, this moment was like a religious experience. That message resonated to the core of my being and that of the people around me. When people are motivated like that, watch out, things can be made to happen. It is what I’ve been taught since childhood, but the ugliness and lies of realpolitik had just about beaten it out of me. Whether or not he gets my vote a year from now, he’s already made a difference in my life.


  68. - NW burbs - Sunday, Feb 11, 07 @ 6:00 pm:

    Could the conservative hacks posting their hit-n-runs against Obama please add a little substance?

    Swap out the word “Obama” in any of their posts with “McCain” or “Giuliani” and the posts’ meaning don’t change. They’re all just hollow snipes posted by nattering nabobs of negativity (Citizen A, Amy, “Anon”, etc).

    Grow up you grumpy-kins. If you hate Obama just say so — you’ll at least get some points for being up-front about it.

    If this is the best (actually, worst) the right-wingers have against Sen. Obama then he has nothing to worry about after the nomination.


  69. - HoosierDaddy - Sunday, Feb 11, 07 @ 6:01 pm:

    Obama ‘08 = Dean ‘04.


  70. - Just a piece of paper - Monday, Feb 12, 07 @ 1:31 am:

    I am just excited the next President could be a Constitutional scholar, instead of a guy who views it as an obstacle to be shunted aside to fit his agendas.

    The other thing that struck me this weekend was something about the “race question”. Not that I think about this a lot, though I have my white guilt with me always. I mostly work on consciously overcoming the wrongheaded things my parents thought and said all my younger life and not passing that on to my kids, but I’m not an activist or anything.

    But, over the years, I have seen more and more bi-racial couples in public, something exceptionally rare when I was a child, and I see their children, and when I see them, what I think to myself is: “that’s what the future Americans will all look like some day, these folks are just ahead of the curve, and when years and generations from now, we’re all like that, maybe we can get over these meaningless distinctions”. I would think to myself during those times, that “some day” a non-white person could make a credible stab at getting elected President, by people who understood that color doesn’t matter. But I always felt that more “enlightened” time was probably a generation or three yet in the future, and I would never see it myself. Not because of my own predjudices, but those of people around me.

    It can be a trap, waiting around for people to come around, year in and year out, generation after patient generation, moving incrementally towards that goal. You figure you know that if it won’t come for years, why struggle to make it come any faster. But then nothing happens to bring on that future. You can see why if you’re one of the people on the uncomfortable side of that wait, how galling it can be, always hearing “your time will come”. Kind of like being a Cubs Fan :-) So I understand the need to keep a forward pressure going.

    Well, Obama makes me think I may have misjudged the waiting time left before we get this stupid prejudice behind us and just vote for a man based on his merits. God knows I think we’ve done worse a time or two. I wouldn’t have voted for Jackson when he ran, not because of color, but because of his later-life personal baggage: I felt he was an opportunist with compromised morals. But Powell, Rice, Hillary and Obama strike me as people who could be worthy of the job, regardless of race or gender. Maybe I don’t know enough about them personally yet, we have a year for all the truth about Obama to come out one way or another. But that far-off future I once thought I would never live to see personally… well, I think that timetable has moved up quite a bit. Enough to work for making it happen, to live long enough to see a seed become the mature tree.

    If he wins the Presidency or not, Obama can in one year take this generation farther than it has ever gone under even the great civil rights leaders of the past. If he turns out to be a disappointment, with scandals and such, he can set it back almost as far in the other direction.

    Sleep well, Senator! No pressure or anything!


  71. - face in the crowd - Monday, Feb 12, 07 @ 1:35 am:

    I was there about 50 yards away. Not unexpected for Springfield, when the dignitaries were mentioned at the beginning of the ceremonies, Rod got a healthy chorus of boos from the local crowd. Didn’t see the Sunday coverage of the Chicago event, did Rod have a speech there and if so how did he go over?


  72. - YNM - Monday, Feb 12, 07 @ 10:43 am:

    HoosierDaddy, could you explain your math? If you mean that Obama’s campaign will be similar to Dean’s in that it will go against the establishment, raise it’s money from smaller donors and be more like a true grassroots campaign, I might be tempted to agree with you. If you mean he might surprise some people who aren’t expecting much out of him, again I might be tempted to agree with you. If you’re insinuating that he will fall off the horse with a scream that gets played over and over, I’d say there’s little chance of that. The one thing Obama has been pretty consistent with, and that his haters can’t stand I believe, is that he is very articulate, self-deprecating with his humor, doesn’t take himself too seriously, and handles the media extremely well. But if you meant something different with your equation, please fill us in.


  73. - Maggie Guiney - Monday, Feb 12, 07 @ 1:40 pm:

    We should also worry about local races. My fear is the Obamamania is going to distract from important local races.

    Some I think are important are
    the 42 Ward where we have a chance to beat a real corrupt buffoon
    Mike Libert dropped out and endorsed Brendan Riley at the Illinois Coalition for Honest Government event yesterday that was a real blast

    Also Pat Dowell running against the racist buffoon Dorothy Tillman can win

    Tillman and Nataturs are the worse alderman

    Riley and Dowell are excellent candidates and good alternatives
    Libert showed class and cooperation


  74. - A Citizen - Monday, Feb 12, 07 @ 3:27 pm:

    NW Burps - Thank you for the quoted phrase “nattering nabobs of negativity” - I have been wrecking my brain trying to remember it for days. You da man!


  75. - HoosierDaddy - Monday, Feb 12, 07 @ 10:02 pm:

    YNM–

    Anybody who thinks the scream is what did Dean in was not paying attention. What killed Dean was his total collapse in Iowa, followed by a similar collapse in New Hampshire. Dean’s people raised everyone’s expectations sky-high, and when the first votes were counted, in Iowa, he didn’t even come close. After that, his last hope was New Hampshire. When he failed to perform there, his support dried up.

    The same thing will happen to Obama. Please save this post so you can revisit it one year from now. Obama WILL NOT be the nominee. Obama will be like Dean in that he will take third in Iowa, third in New Hampshire, will struggle on for two or three more primaries, and will go back to his day job.


  76. - anon - Tuesday, Feb 13, 07 @ 6:46 am:

    I just got my electric bill. I’m sorry, but when folks find out Emil Jones is his mentor, if they are like me they will walk away. I read Jones was not for freezing electric rates and takes big donations from the utility company. If Obama is so much for the little guy why haven’t I heard a peep from him concerning freezing electric rates. Could it be he is in Jones pocket? Finally, personally I do find it offensive of his comparisons to President Lincoln.


  77. - the wonderboy - Tuesday, Feb 13, 07 @ 9:03 am:

    HoosierDaddy–You may be right in the long run, but I have to agree with YNM in that an explanation of your math would still be useful. HOW is Obama’s campaign going to be like Dean’s?? It isn’t really sufficient to say that Dean’s campaign collapsed because he got third in Iowa…that doesn’t provide any causation whatsoever. What caused Dean to get third in Iowa and second in New Hampshire?

    I guess your post still requires a little substantive explanation to back the opinion. Again, the opinoin may be right, but I think it would be nice if the rationale wasn’t circular logic.


  78. - labor for you - Tuesday, Feb 13, 07 @ 9:26 am:

    The Laborers’ in springfield sent out thier biggest guys to help with securit for the event in springfield. these guys were very helpful. Thank you to 477 and Brad Schaive for once again being available when needed!!


  79. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 13, 07 @ 9:28 am:

    Let’s close this one out and move the discussion over here. Thanks for all the comments on this thread, by the way.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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