Archive | October 2009

I Met Two Presidents in Two Days

I don’t know how many people get to say that… or when i will ever get the chance to meet even ONE other president, but the last two days have been amazing for someone like me who LOVES politics and who is such a big fan of Barack Obama!

by the way, i’m going to throw in the past two days in one HUMONGOUS post because otherwise, one or the other would never get done… as i’ve been getting about one post done per month for the last few months. I have a post that i barely started two weeks ago still sitting in my drafts that i just haven’t had time to write out! πŸ™ hopefully, soon… because i definitely want to get it done.

Anyhow, after being hesitant for a few days whether i was even going to attend the political rally where Bill Clinton was coming to rally for Corzine at my own school (Rutgers) because of a long and tiring day, i did end up going right after class… and i had a great time. The waiting line was decently long by the time we got there, and soon it had become much much longer! One thing that surprised me was there were no security checks (considering a former president was going to be present).

I know my brother Ayaz and i were discussing this, and many others feel the same way… but those rallying for Corzine seem to be doing a better job for him than Corzine is himself. and of course, Clinton is a great speaker as it is.

On a sidenote, after the event my brother and I met a reporter/fellow tweep (one uses twitter) Mike Memoli and it was so interesting to meet someone you communicate with online! We saw and talked with him at the Clinton/Corzine and the Obama/Corzine event (and met his sister and nephew there too).

Until attending the Clinton/Corzine rally, i was 100 percent sure that i was absolutely not going to be attending the Obama/Corzine rally the following day at FDU because of work, school work, and whatnot. But then, after the Clinton/Corzine rally…i realized no matter how much else was going… they could all take a back seat, because who knows when i would get such an amazing opportunity again in my life (or if i would ever!).

Luckily, i have no classes on Wednesday and was able to get someone to cover my shift at work on campus. I am SO SO SO glad i convinced myself to go!

Ayaz and I left home around 12ish (it was about 40 – 50 minute drive without traffic to get to Farleigh Dickinson University) and doors opened at 3 PM. We got there around 1:15ish i would say, and somehow, there were no real lines of any sorts and we were lucky enough to get to the front of the line!! To think that i wasn’t even going to go, and then i ended up in the front row!!! (Can you tell how great of a time i had? πŸ™‚ )

One of the many speakers before we finally hear from Obama, was freeholder/reverend Vernon Walton (the first African-American to serve as a Bergen County Freeholder). He was a great speaker and he was amazing at getting the crowd going and was definitely a tough act to follow. he was probably my favorite speaker, aside from Obama of course, from last night.

Oh, and a last minute addition to the rally was Caroline Kennedy. most of the crowd had no idea she was also going to be one of the notable speakers that we would witness, but my brother and i got a heads-up from the reporter Mike Memoli that we follow on twitter. While Weinburg teased the unknowing audience about the “she” that was about to speak, we already knew all thanks to technology. πŸ™‚

Caroline Kennedy received a much deserved standing ovation. Like so many others, I’ve had a natural interest in the Kennedy family and the tragedies that have struck their family. and no matter what your political philosophies are, Caroline Kennedy comes of as “real” and comes off to be just one of us. Furthermore, what Ted Kennedy did throughout his life for healthcare was amazing, and hopefully the fight will continue.

It’s scary/sad to think of how many people are not covered by health insurance… and how many of those people are little helpless kids! Education and Healthcare issues are two of the main ones that i am especially concerned with. It’s nice to hear the politicians hear about what “they are going to do”, but it’ll be even nicer to see some action being taken.

I’m no huge fan of Corzine (i haven’t researched him enough to be one) but some of the things Christie is against, is so hard to believe! I can’t believe anyone would be against things such as having a 2 day hospital stay for new mothers, having mandated mammograms, and funding for education. If we elect Christie, that’s taking some major steps backwards. Christie wants to make it not mandatory for healthcare insurance providers to cover mammograms!!!! can you believe that?? who could be against such things! especially when breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death for females!!! not only that, but Christie also wants to cut funding for early education… because he thinks preschool is “babysitting”. can you hear my frustration??

Anyways, getting back to the rally, talking about Caroline Kennedy reminds me of one of the funny moment as we waited for the “real” speeches. one of the secret service agents brought out a black portfolio to the podium that i am assuming was carrying Obama’s speech and the crowd was so anxious, that the secret service agent got a huge ovation from the crowd for simply bringing the portfolio out to the podium and walk back to the back area. the agent just smiled, shook his head, and headed back out. The pretty cool DJ promoted a second wave of cheers/applause from the crowd for him too. πŸ™‚

here’s Caroline’s speech:

Loretta Weinberg spoke before Caroline Kennedy and Jon Corzine spoke after Caroline Kennedy. Weinberg’s speech was the same as the one from the night before at Rutgers. Corzine started off by saying he’ll keep his speech short because he knew the real reason we were all here was to listen to Obama. Obama, of course, spoke last. i think one of the best techniques Corzine has been doing lately is linking Christie to Palin – that’s ingenious right there and anyone with half a brain will negate them. the latest polls (from today) show Corzine leading by a three point margin (very small)… but this is the first time he’s been leading for a while. all of the powerful speakers this week have definitely helped Corzine, undoubtedly.

by the way, did you guys know Corzine’s mom is a registered republican?? i had no idea until Corzine mentioned that yesterday!

Obama came out to a loud and cheering audience, of course… and the atmosphere was amazing. and it only got better as Obama spoke. I’ve said it many times before – Obama is a great, inspirational, and eloquent speaker… and even more so in person! Ayaz and i were so lucky to meet him from so close up, and shake hands with him! I truly believe he has the potential to make a big difference for the country.

I’ve heard the “fired up” story many times before, but i heard it again last night live as Obama ended with the story (and i was wearing my ‘fired up’ shirt too!). it’s one of those things that never get old. Obama said the moral of the “fired up” story was that “one voice can change a room…and if can change a room it can change a city… and if it can change a city, it can change a state…and if it can change a state, then it can change a country…”. Obama, intelligently, connected this with urging each of us individually to go out there and knock on some doors, call some people, get our friends/family/neighbors out to vote, etc because we could make the difference.

this next image shows just how close we got:

also, during Obama’s speech… near the center in the front row alone we had three girls “faint” in the same general section. i found that really weird, but the secret service just came in and carried each of the girls out as it happened.

here’s obama’s speech btw:

I know i would have regretted it later had i not gone to either of the events (ESPECIALLY the Obama event)! This is a pretty long post as it is, but i’ll probably add more thoughts to this as i remember more things.

These past two days have been pretty amazing… and one of those things i’ll remember forever!

UPDATE: this post is as long as a 5 page essay! to think how productive i could have been school-wise today! πŸ™ πŸ™‚