Monday, December 31, 2007

"Is This Obama's Moment?"

Scott Galindez (

t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Obama staffers said they only expected a few hundred people since they only invited South Des Moines supporters and undecideds. The actual turnout was around a thousand people, many of whom had to stand in the aisles.
(Photo: Scott Galindez / Truthout)
Monday 31 December 2007

In Obama's closing argument, which he is delivering throughout Iowa this week, he argues that he can't wait another four years - that his moment is now.

He challenges those who argue that he doesn't have the experience, by tying his opponents to experience working in a system that is broken. He argues that as an organizer on the South Side of Chicago, and as a civil rights attorney, he learned what people really need from Washington.

Bill Clinton said a few weeks ago that a vote for Obama is "a roll of the dice." Obama counters by arguing that the real gamble is voting for candidates who will continue to operate in a system that is not working and expect different results.

Obama argues that he has not taken PAC money or corporate donations, so he will not be owned by the special interests in Washington. He went on to say that those special interests are worried and are joining the fight against him:

"And now, in four days, you have a chance once again to prove the cynics wrong. In four days, what was improbable has the chance to beat what Washington said was inevitable. And that's why in these last weeks, Washington is fighting back with everything it has - with attack ads and insults; with distractions and dishonesty; with millions of dollars from outside groups and undisclosed donors to try and block our path.

A young supporter of Senator Barak Obama shows his support on Sunday in South Des Moines. Over 1,000 people packed the gymnasium to hear Obama's closing argument for the Democratic nomination.
(Photo: Scott Galindez / Truthout)

"We've seen this script many times before. But I know that this time can be different.

"Because I know that when the American people believe in something, it happens.

"If you believe, then we can tell the lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over."

Obama delivered his closing argument on the South Side of Des Moines Sunday night in front of a standing room only crowd that was diverse: young, old, children, senior citizens.

Mark Bradley, a Des Moines resident, said that he has never caucused before, but will this time: "I travel oversees and have watched our image in the world decline. Barack Obama can turn that around; his message rekindles my belief in America"

Others agreed that Obama's message of hope is timely. Sara Davis, who last voted for Ronald Reagan, said: "Obama is the first candidate in a long time that has inspired me." She went on to say that everyone she talks to is jaded; they don't recognize the America that we have become", but she believes Obama is genuine. She said, "He could have written his own check on Wall Street, or joined a high-powered law firm, but he instead he dedicated himself to improving people's lives."

Obama making his case is South Des Moines. He told a crowd of more than 1,000 that their time is now.
(Photo: Scott Galindez / Truthout)

Obama himself echoed their sentiments:

"I've spoken to Americans in every corner of the state, patriots all, who wonder why we have allowed our standing in the world to decline so badly, so quickly. They know this has not made us safer. They know that we must never negotiate out of fear, but that we must never fear to negotiate with our enemies as well as our friends. They are ashamed of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and warrantless wiretaps and ambiguity on torture. They love their country and want its cherished values and ideals restored."

Obama delivered these remarks on a day when the latest polls show the race for the Democratic Party nomination locked in a three-way dead heat.



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