Sitting in my primo seat in the front row with 2,500 others we listened to an hour long speech by Senator Obama followed by another hour of a town hall meeting with audience members asking the questions. Imagine two hours, one in a semi-rehearsed stump speech and the other letting the questions rip. He was asked about protecting the Dali Lama, stem cell research, the housing market, logging, and then the question that stopped him in his tracks. "What do you do to stay grounded and to take care of yourself during this long campaign?"Howie P.S.: No offense, but could she just given us a little taste of his "personal and long" answer? Paulie is chairwoman of the Jackson County (OR) Democrats.
Senator Obama took a long time to answer. His answer was personal and long. And in that answer the audience saw the man, what motivates him, what he deeply believes in, his authenticity, and his truthfulness. The moment was quiet and reflective. The crowd realized this man, who gave one of the most moving speeches in my lifetime this week, is who he says he is. Thoughts of Nelson Mandela or the Dali Lama must have been rolling through some of the listeners heads as they were in mine.
I was invited backstage to meet the Senator along with several others. He shook each of our hands and quietly listened to each person, asking a question or responding.
Hillary Clinton or Bill are scheduled to be in Southern Oregon in the next few weeks. I'll be listening carefully, very very carefully.