Saturday, August 30, 2008

Let's get started!

The energy at Invesco Thursday night was electric!

Let the commentators call it what they may..."Kum ba yah," "All about the celebrities," ...whatever. It was an ingenious way to organize supporters, engage people, and reinforce the message Barack has communicated all along, "...this election has never been about me; it's about you."

From the very beginning of the evening, I was intrigued. As we got settled in the stands, the jumbo tron flashed, “What is the name of Sen. Obama’s comprehensive early education plan?” and asked us to text our response of E1, E2, or E3. The correct answer? Zero to Five. (The E2 option was, "No Child Left Behind for Real"...which I thought was pretty funny.)

And then (you can click the picture to enlarge it and see the question better)...

The answer? $4000.

I wish I would've thought to record Ray Rivera's explanation of the texting. He asked us all to text in messages to Barack. On the jumbo tron they showed a map of the United States which, he explained, had stars on every state. In real time, the stars would get larger as the number of text messages from that state came in.

The campaign's use of technology is amazing and forward-thinking...which is exactly what we need for our country.

Unfortunately, my phone died near the beginning of the evening. I wasn't able to text and call friends like I'd hoped. But I know people who were "twittering" and blogging in real time to keep everyone up on what was going on.

So what's next? Will people continue with the energy they felt Thursday night? Or was it really just a "celebrity" event?

Personally, I think it's more than some "high" or inflated sense of excitement. I think Barack Obama inspires people to be a part of change.

At IHop (where we went after Invesco), the server sat down and talked to us about the convention.

When I got back to the hotel and finally got enough "juice" in my phone for it to power up, I had several texts and voice mails from friends in different states, of different ages, and even of different political parties who were paying attention.

The morning after, I got a text message from a college student I rarely hear from telling me that McCain had chosen his VP. As we text'd back and forth, she expressed her desire to help get Barack elected.

As I was walked around Denver the day after, I ran into a guy who was standing on the corner registering people to vote. I really wish I would've stopped to interview him and find out where his motivation came from and what the response had been so far.

I have chatted with random people as I walked down the street, into stores, and as I walked through the airport.

There is a sense of camaraderie in the air. There is a sense of community.

What I like about Obama is that I think he realizes our country shouldn't be about a certain few making decisions for the entire country. Democracy is "government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system."

We are the government. The power is vested in us. It's time that we really consider who we want to elect based on which of the two candidates embody "we, the people" in it's true spirit?

(Pics to come later...as well as more reflective posts about this past week).
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