Saturday, June 21, 2008

Liberty City Democrats have Obama's back

Outside the Inter-Continental Hotel where Barack Obama was speaking to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Bravo to Lottie Hines and her Liberty City Democratic Club! Here's one member with a pro-Obama sign in a throng of noisy dinosaurs -- the anti-Obama chanters from the fringe of the Cuban exiles.

The Liberty City Democrats weren't the only ones out on Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami to support Obama, though you wouldn't know it if you watched the Channel 7 news at 7 p.m. Saturday. There the camera focused on the anti-Obama message (Fox: Fair and Balanced, in its own way) and at the end of the report, the reporter said some smallish number of pro-Obama people also were present. The way I saw it at about 3 p.m., the numbers were equal, and the pro-Obama side was growing.

Oh, well. Every demo can't be like the latest polls, such as Newsweek with Obama 15 percent ahead nationally. That's what I call a bounce.

This should be the moment to pour out solid coverage of Obama's speech, but alas, my blogger business card didn't get me in to the main event until a few of us lightly credentialed types had lodged a half-dozen appeals from a broiling spot on the sidewalk outside the hotel. Thus I had a good view of the demonstrators for quite a spell before by some miracle we were permitted in, and I found my pre-printed credential in the press office. Some kinda fouled-up coordination let the Miami Police do their wickedest as gatekeepers. Just following orders, with a smile.

So, as the last half of Obama's speech revealed, "Now is not the time for small plans."
  • "Broadband for all." Why the heck is this country No. 15 in the world in access to good internet connection?
  • "World-class transit systems." Why the heck is the fastest train in the world in Shanghai, rather than in the United States. I could say something about that, because that train is a mag-lev (magnetic levitation) design made in Germany, on which I took a test ride while stationed in Berlin in the early '90s. So this is now getting along to being a decades-old idea.
  • There was sustained applause when Obama said his ambitious plans would be paid for at least partly by savings from "bringing this war in Iraq to a responsible close."
There will be more of this before the summer and fall are over. We should come out when we can to stand in the street as our candidate passes. It feels right. Plus, the other side will be there yelling lies. They might stop if shouted down often enough.


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