I'm embarrassed, ashamed, and filled with guilt and despair.
That's right, you guessed it. I attended my first-ever-political-rally this week!
I went to see John Edwards at the Castleton in Windham NH on Tuesday morning. My primary incentive? I thought there'd be free coffee and donuts. There was, but not for us "common folk".
The plentiful, and well-protected, breakfast-buffet was in clear site but the secret service guy's presence made it clear that "one bite and you'd better get yourself a good lawyer". [Hmmmm, I wonder if Edwards would take the case.]
Once I got over my disappointment (and hunger pains), I wandered into the function room and waited for the VP candidate to arrive.
The former Governor of the State of NH opened the event, and then a Republican-Turned-Kerry-Edwards-Supporter spoke to the crowd in an emotional and powerful way.
It seems that the recent Kerry/Edwards convert was layed off from his senior position at a local firm this year. And, it was handled in an extremely heartless and thoughtless way.
He told the story about the e-mail he got one morning that said, "don't come into work today". And then, the next day, he was copied on an e-mail to his employees which said that he was no longer employed by the company. To make matters worse, he was offered no severance package and his health insurance was canceled.
He fought back the tears as he described how this situation had affected his wife and young children. His words clearly set the tone for the event, and he ended his talk by introducing John Edwards.
So in walk's John Edwards, with the energy and charisma of a rock star. The 'crowd-went-wild'. I was hoping he'd sing a tune or two, but he didn't come to sing....he came to persuade.
And persuade he did.
He gave the "canned, heard it all before" speech, but he made it look and sound like it was the first time he'd uttered those words. And during the "open mike" session, he was articulate, compassionate, and convincing. He clearly won over the room.
I watched the crowd more than I watched Edwards, and what I saw were people, young and old, whose faces were etched in hope and pride. You could see it in their eyes, and in their smiles. They knew they were glimpsing into the future of America.
Based on the polls, it's not certain who will be our next President and Vice President. Win or lose this year, my "prediction" is that John Edwards will be our President in 2008.
I also predict that, in 2008, George Bush will finally admit he's made mistakes.
Well, one out of two ain't bad.
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