Why I'm in Love with Barack Obama

Okay I admit it. I'm completely in love with Sen. Obama. Not only is he intelligent, well-spoken, handsome, and down-to-earth, he has now decided to stand up with fellow Democrats (including awesome fellow Illinois Senator Dick Durbin) to challenge the electoral process. This is a genuine man who genuinely cares for people.

That might be fluff if said about many other politicans who have a fake public "face" but I know it's true about Obama. I've seen it first hand. At a fundraiser for Melissa Bean (victorious Illinois 8th Congressional District contender and another genuinely wonderful person), I met Obama in person. He leant tremendous support for Bean, as he did for many other candidates since his victory was in the bag. He spoke at that dinner just as well as he did at the Democratic National Convention. He tore the room up, as you can imagine. But despite all the thunder and hype, he somehow manages to come off as a real person. He connects with you. He looks you directly in the eye, and you understand why he appeals to people across the aisle, in urban IL as well as traditionally racist Southern IL. To the "elite" as well as the "working class." His appeal is natural and organic and this is why he has gotten so many people all over the nation (and in Kenya as well!) so worked up. At the dinner, he made a point (although he was behind schedule and being trailed by handlers) to visit every single table and shake hands and speak to every single person. How could I help but feel a tingle as we shook hands? I knew I was meeting him at a crucial time - before the storm when he blows up nationally.

Will he become the big star every thinks? Is it too much too quick? Is he a future Presidential contender? Who knows. He is already aware of being over-hyped and admits as much in his usual self-affacing way in the Jan. 3 "Newsweek" (picture up the issue containing his cover story if it's still available). Hopefully he'll pace himself properly, remaining cautious while still showing guts (as he has done today), and one day help pull Democrats out of the Dark Ages within which they currently find themselves. Until then, I will try to nurse my crush as I realize I have to share him with the nation now :(

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