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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Chants of "U-S-A" Capture Spirit of Obama Campaign

Tonight during its coverage of Super Tuesday’s almost-national primaries, CNN provided a brilliant metaphorical statement to its viewers. During Arizona Senator John McCain’s address to his supporters from Arizona, Illinois Senator Barack Obama began to approach the stage of his campaign headquarters where he would address his own supporters. CNN found itself in a pickle. Should it stick with the Republican powerhouse that has been John McCain, or would they preempt the boasting senator in favor of Obama?

The tension was building as CNN provided an essential split screen. On the right (ironically—except not at all) McCain rambled on about how his mother’s birthday was in two days, how she was traveling on the campaign trail with him, and how, though he liked being the underdog, winning all the time wasn’t bad either. Though all his comments were undoubtedly pressing, CNN cut McCain short, and at the crescendo of his speech to boot, in favor of what would be another stirring speech by Barack Obama.

Senator Obama’s speeches, at this point, are a selling point of primaries, debates, and public appearances. CNN proved that tonight when they axed John McCain’s own speech in favor of that of Obama. Tonight, in my opinion, Obama did not disappoint. However, there was a different message sent by Obama tonight. In fact, Senator Obama issued a plea to voters not completely sold on his position for change.

This tangent was necessary, as Obama no longer talked about his positions against those of Hillary Clinton, but rather the Democratic candidate against the Republican candidate. He asked the crowd of supporters if they wanted to hear a Presidential debate over who had more experience in Washington, or over who is most likely to change Washington? He continued that they all had a choice between a Democrat whose campaign has received more lobbyist donations than any Republican’s has, and a choice for a Democrat who has accepted no lobbyist donations. Considering the War in Iraq, Obama assured that Republicans do not have a foot to stand on when debating against him.

Most importantly, Barack Obama lumped Hilary Clinton in with all the Republican candidates as being “linked to the past.” Rather than “look to the past,” Obama propositioned his supporters, “allow me to be a President that looks to the future.”

Despite not winning a majority of the state in tonight’s nation-wide primary, Obama’s call to the indifferent was a moving one. So moving in fact, that the chants of “O-bam-a, O-bam-a,” sounding throughout the beginning of his speech were replaced with chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A!”

Is Barack Obama the real candidate for change? Well, like all things, that is still up for debate. However, the emotion and inspiration that emulates from each of his speeches and appearances are something that Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike respect and are drawn to. I feel I can say, without a doubt, that a speech given by Hillary Clinton (even on her best day) could never achieve that result.

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