Obama in Salem, a personal story

Over at DailyKos, blogger "MamaBigDog" relates her personal interaction Friday with Senator Obama:

I met Barack Obama today. Today was the 10th anniversary of our marriage, and rather than go out to a fancy restaurant for dinner, we decided to take our kids to witness history in the making. My family (Husband, Daughter-16, Daughter-14) and I attended the event in Salem, OR today, arriving at about 8:30A for the announced 11:30 doors open time. ...

As Obama worked his way down the line, he efficiently glad-handed, smiled and thanked supporters for coming. When he got to us, my youngest shook his hand and thanked him for running. He said, "You’re very welcome." I was next- I reached out to shake his hand saying, "Senator Obama, please talk more about the economy and the mortgage crisis. My mother is losing her home to foreclosure." Obama stopped in front of me, still holding my hand. "What is the situation, how did it happen?" he asked. "She is moving in with us," I responded, "She got into a bad loan, high rates, and couldn’t keep going when the economy tanked." He asked, "Have you been able to get any help locally?" "No." I said. Obama then talked about a number of non-profit organizations that could assist with the situation, and wished us luck in getting things settled. And he thanked me for coming out today. All the while, he held my hand, looked me right in the eye, and really listened. It was really amazing. I was teary-eyed and a bit shell-shocked when it was over.

My oldest was next. She shook his hand, and asked, "Senator Obama, what do you plan to do about the situation in Darfur and the refugees in Chad?" His response was immediate and unwavering. "We need to get conflagration troops on the ground, and a no-fly zone over the camps in Chad." Then he shook her hand again. I was so proud of my girls! They officially granted Obama "Rock Star" status on the spot.

And later, reflecting on the event at a local restaurant:

At the restaurant, we all talked about the rally, our personal encounter with Obama, and were overheard by a table of diners nearby. Two elderly men came up to us to talk about what we’d witnessed. One told us, "He made me see that his being black doesn’t matter. After his speech this week, I see that now. And that’s not a small thing- I’m a redneck, and proud of it. And a republican too, but he’s got my vote. He reminds me of John F. Kennedy." He recalled McCain’s involvement in the Keating Five scandal, saying he could never forgive McCain for violating seniors like him during that time. "Anybody who tells you to vote for McCain, you remind them of the Keating Five. He can’t be trusted." The other gentleman said he was also a republican, but was considering changing his registration to vote for Obama in the primary.

Read the rest. Discuss over there.


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