05 November 2008

A Look Back

The internet and blogs are today filled with all kinds of stories about Barack Obama -- America's president elect. I thought I would add my own recollection of another Obama, of another time, and the eeriness of coincidence.

On 27 July 2004 (my birthday, eerie coincidence number one) my spouse was watching the Democratic National Convention. I don't watch conventions.

Okay, so I am walking through the house just after Barack Obama started his now-famous "Out of Many, One" speech (eerie coincidence number two). Listening to this man speak so intelligently, so eloquently made me stop: you never hear any intelligent or eloquent politicians these days, so I had to.

"Who is that?" I asked Matt.

If I remember correctly he said "Some senator."

I stood and listened some more, then said something along the lines of "Too bad HE'S not running for president. I'd vote for him."

Now, four years later, I had that chance (eerie coincidence number three) and I took it, helping Obama become our country's 44th president.

But wait, the eerie coincidences don't stop there.

Back in September I read the book Remembering America by Richard Goodwin. I got it because it contained a chapter about the quiz show scandals of the late 1950s. I found out about the book only because it was the basis of the 1994 movie "Quiz Show" which we (coincidence number four) rented in August.

The rest of that book (coincidence number five) happened to be about the campaign of John F. Kennedy (on which Goodwin worked as a speech writer). The whole time I was reading this I kept marveling at how similar was Kennedy's campaign and Obama's (number six).

Like Obama today, Kennedy greatly influenced the youth of his era (eerie coincidence number seven), won a stunning upset over his Republican rival (number eight) and was seen as a bright and shining beacon of hope not only to our own country, but to the world at large (number nine).

I hope Obama is able to bring to his administration even a tiny bit of the qualities that so marked the Kennedy administration. He has the intelligence to do it, I just hope he has the fortitude to do it in a place like Washington.

And if he does, it will be eerie coincidence number ten.

You can see Obama's 2004 speech here or read the text of the speech here.

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