Friday, April 18, 2008

Mojo Mama meets Obama


I've had one of the busiest weeks of my life, with some really exciting events mixed in with everyday joys and responsibilities.

The day you meet your candidate for the next President of the United States is a good day! In the brief time we had to talk before his Town Hall meeting in Raleigh, I told him I was on the Executive Team at MomsRising.org and that founders Joan Blades and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner said hello. He knew all about MomsRising, since he has met with us before. He asked what I did, and I told him about writing Mojo Mom. I said I thought Michelle was very brave to have gone on The Colbert Report (since you never know what kind of curve ball Colbert might throw) and that I thought she had done a great job, and he said Michelle is definitely a Mojo Mom.

(While looking up Michelle Obama's video clip, I just found out that Barack himself made a surprise appearance on The Colbert Report last night, along with Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. I'll check that out later today.)

Senator Obama comes across with a calm, centered energy and a talent for connecting with each person he meets. This is all the more remarkable when you consider he's been running for President for over a year. Can you imagine trying to reach everyone in the country? He and his family have sustained an impossible schedule!

In his Town Hall meeting he covered many of the points you've heard him make before. I really respect that he treats us as grown-ups. He doesn't promise easy solutions by any means, but rather expects us all to do the hard work that is necessary to move our country forward.

At the end of his speech he took about a half-dozen questions from the audience. These truly appeared to be unscripted questioners chosen in the moment by Obama. He was asked about issues from the Supreme Court decision on eminent domain, to payroll taxes, to the war, to seniors being pushed out of their homes by rising property taxes. He spoke as confidently and clearly in response to questions as he did in his prepared remarks. He truly does seem genuine and comfortable with himself and with his plans for our country. He has the spirit of a community organizer and the intellect of a Constitutional Law professor. Wouldn't that be a wonderful change after the past seven and a half years?

An African-American fourth grade boy asked for advice about becoming President some day. He said he was class president at school, and Obama said "Maybe I should ask you for advice. You've already won an election." It was a nice moment. Seeing this wonderful boy stand up in front of a crowd to confidently ask this question underscored the world of possibility that would be opened up by having Obama as our leader.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe you support Obama over Clinton. She has done so much for women and mothers and children over her carreer. What has Obama done? Nothing.

Clinton: helped establish the State Children's Health Insurance Program and the Adoption and Safe Families Act; attorney for the newly founded Children's Defense Fund in Cambridge; a consultant to the Carnegie Council on Children; published the scholarly articles "Children's Policies: Abandonment and Neglect" in 1977 and "Children's Rights: A Legal Perspective" in 1979;co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, a state-level alliance with the Children's Defense Fund, in 1977, and served on the boards of the Arkansas Children's Hospital, and the Children's Defense Fund (as chair, 1986–1992); (1979–1981, 1983–1992), she served as the chair of the Rural Health Advisory Committee, where she successfully obtained federal funds to expand medical facilities in Arkansas' poorest areas without affecting doctors' fees; introduced Arkansas' Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youth in 1985, a program that helps parents work with their children in preschool preparedness and literacy; Arkansas Woman of the Year in 1983 and Arkansas Mother of the Year in 1984; from 1987 to 1991 she chaired the American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession, which addressed gender bias in the law profession and induced the association to adopt measures to combat it and was twice named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America, in 1988 and in 1991; helped create the Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice; 1997, she initiated and shepherded the Adoption and Safe Families Act; in her September 1995 speech before the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, Clinton argued very forcefully against practices that abused women around the world and in the People's Republic of China itself, declaring "that it is no longer acceptable to discuss women's rights as separate from human rights" and resisting Chinese pressure to soften her remarks; She was one of the most prominent international figures at the time to speak out against the treatment of Afghan women by the Islamist fundamentalist Taliban that had seized control of Afghanistan; She helped create Vital Voices, an international initiative sponsored by the United States to promote the participation of women in the political processes of their countries;from 1995 to 2004, she brought together women from communities, Catholic & Protestant, to meet & work together toward a common goal of peace in N. Ireland.

Women and Children have been the most important focus of Clinton's work. Your assertion in the News and Observer that she represents old style Washington politics and Obama does not is naive. Obama is the consumate politician, changing his position as needed to gain votes and power. He learned the ropes from "pay to play" Emil Jones, Jr. in Illinois who assigned him all that high profile legislation Obama takes credit for even though it was initiated and pushed forward by others, same as he has been trying to do in Washington, D.C. with Chris Dodd and others.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you even read It Takes A Village?

1:51 PM  

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