Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Shook His Hand!

There is something mystical about flesh-on-flesh contact between charismatic politicians and regular people. Obama spoke here in Raleigh tonight at a Town Hall Meeting and yes, I shook his hand and yes, I swooned.

The handshake was electric and propelled me back into a seat and took my breath away.

But it had nothing to do with the outrageous McCain commercials about Paris and Brittany and celebrity and rock stardom. I swooned because I spent an hour and half listening to a man of substance -- who spoke in a way that continually engaged my mind, who had an intelligent answer to every question,, who was genuine and 'present' with every questioner, and who personified my deepest hopes and dreams for change in this country.

Exactly 40 years ago, I had a similar passion about another American politician and had the honor of shaking his hand as well. He, too, engaged my heart and my mind, my hopes and dreams. In fact, I remember I even trampled the shrubbery outside the library at Columbia University to snag that handshake. That politician was Robert F. Kennedy.

Ah, what might have been in 1968. Ah, what might yet be in 2008.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'68 was surely a missed opportunity and just as surely changed the direction of the next 24 years.

thanks for sharing your adventure.

stuart g