February 02, 2008

Ted Kennedy & Barbara Lee in Oakland, February 1st, 2008

We went to see Senator Ted Kennedy speak at the Bebee Memorial Church yesterday. I was curious to see how various news outlets or blogs would differ in their report from my personal experience. A New York Times blog really spun it, highlighting it as an old Kennedy focusing on nostalgia for the 60's - here - This really wasn't what we heard, & I commented my palinode:

Comment 1: I was there yesterday, & I find it interesting you left out several important things:

-It was not just a "largely African-American crowd" - it was an energetic, extremely diverse crowd - & by diverse, I mean, "Latinos for Obama", crazy outfits, dancing, singing, I saw Muslims & old Chinese women. All come out to see a senior Senator? Kennedy's comments weren't just calculated, they were responding to something amazing that he was looking at.

-Barbara Lee, our awesome Congresswoman, spoke first, & she pointed out that she & Kennedy were some of the few who voted against the war, an elite club which strengthens their endorsement of Obama in contrast to the Clintons.

Comment 2: Furthermore, I can't agree that the 60's were the dominant theme of the event. You're right that he invoked history a couple of times in his short speech - how could he not - but the mood felt different, like the future, something positive & optimistic, not nostalgic - with Chavez, King, & the Kennedy Brothers not their as ghosts, but as credence & affirmation!

Anyway, isn't it weird that they would report that it was just a black crowd, that Kennedy preached the 60's, & omit Barbara Lee as if she doesn't exist? And I forgot to mention, the line waiting to get in, the cars driving be were honking & shouting, & two city buses long-honked with their entire passenger load leaning out of windows & cheering.

Mr "Brian Aha" was at the simultaneous John Kerry rally in San Francisco - I'd be curious to see his thoughts. He texted me: "These rallies seriously need some new cheers. Perhaps new task for you? Will send you pics later." I heard a lot of "Fired up - ready to go", "Yes, we can", "Obama - Oh-eight!" & "Teddy!"

1 comment:

Brains said...

Awesome! Thanks for the shout out. I wouldn't have known about the will.i.am video if you hadn't posted it. It's pretty.