Politics Barack Obama’s standing-room-only book tour
posted by October 27 at 11:01 AMon
So although Barack Obama filled Benaroya Hall last night with a sold-out crowd of fans who interrupted every third sentence with applause, it wasn’t a political rally and it wasn’t even an especially invigorating oration. The Seattle audience was his largest on his 25-city book tour and the talk he gave was about his book, not about taking down Bush or getting out of Iraq or anything else the audience would have lapped up with yet another standing ovation (though he got three with just the book-selling speech).
The first thing he addressed was the title of his book, The Audacity of Hope, which, he explained, was “pilfered” from a sermon his United Church of Christ minister gave 18 years ago. “Looking at the way the world is, it’s easy to be cynical,” explained Obama. The audacious risk these days is “putting your shoulder to the grindstone to make the world better than it is.” He also told a short story about attending a barbeque in Southern Illinois just after becoming junior Senator, seeing 300 people wearing light blue Obama buttons and realizing just how unlikely it was that he — “with a mother from Kansas, a dad from Kenya and named Barack Obama” — was now serving as a state senator.
Much of his talk hit home the point that Americans should find those basic core values on which we all agree and find “common sense solutions” to our problems. There’s a lot of good ideas that aren’t Republican or Democrat, like making sure children get proper health care. Also, importantly, our policies should be “based on fact, not ideology.” (hallelujah!)
Obama had the audience (myself included) in the palm of his hand. He’s the only Democratic leader right now that I get excited about supporting. Voting for me is usually such an anti-climax — when I get to the polls and remember who it is I’m actually casting my ballot for, it’s never a proud moment. It’s a sighing, “Well, at least they’re not a Republican, right?” moment. Call me a doe-eyed optimist, but I think Obama can snap voters out of being reluctant Democrats.
That, along with Angela Valdez getting propositioned by a capitalist button seller, made it an exciting night… even if it was just a stop on a book tour.