October 18, 2006
Barack Obama comes to Seattle
Senator Barack Obama of Illinois is coming to Seattle later this month to promote his new book The Audacity of Hope, and he’s already set to receive a rock star welcome. Tickets went on sale yesterday at the Elliot Bay Book Company, and the line wrapped around a downtown block for almost a mile. The event sold out in two hours.
Seattleites can’t get enough of progressive speakers. When global warming journalist Elizabeth Colbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe, came to Seattle for a sold-out book tour appearance, would-be attendees from around the state banged on the doors of Town Hall in a vain effort to get a standing-room place. Another global warming speaker, a certain Al Gore, is coming to town on Monday and will speak at Key Arena, a stadium that normally holds the Seattle Sonics crowd.
Yet the excitement around Senator Obama’s visit is different. Many people first saw him speak [video] at the 2004 Democratic convention when he was still a state senator. His story is compelling—his father was a Kenyan goat herder who got a scholarship to study in America, and his mother is from Kansas. His speeches are articulate, passionate, even-handed and intelligent. Even so, it’s telling that so many people in Washington State have even heard of the junior Illinois Senator.
The 45 year-old has repeatedly said he will not run for president in 2008. Yet many people believe he is the most inspiring figure in the Democratic Party. Most Democrats I know believe Hilary Clinton will run and lose. I believe that Hilary or almost any other Democratic candidate would do a better job as president than a Republican, including John “Bear Hug” McCain. But with Barack Obama, there's a real spark of excitement.
Update: I wasn't able to see the speech—even though I was willing to pay as much as $50 per ticket, I couldn't get my hands on one. But you can do what I did, and listen to the Seattle speech from NPR station KUOW.
Hey! I hope you get to see him speak. I met him at a political lunch over a year ago and, WOW he is a very magnetic personality. He and his wife are both stunning. I shook his hand and said "I'm so glad you're my Senator!" He looked me in the eyes and smiled and said "Thank you. I really appreciate that."
Then he smiled and winked at my mother-in-law. We were starstruck.Damn!
ps: glad to see your blogging again!
Posted by: dks | Oct 20, 2006 10:49:15 AM
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