Saturday, February 23, 2008

Barack Obama in Austin, Texas

Barack Obama appeared at a post-democratic debate rally in Austin, Texas tonight to deliver his message. Against the backdrop of the Texas capital building, Obama talked through his experiences and motivations that led him to enter the presidential race, quoting Martin Luther King, Jr. “the time is always right to do what is right.”

Mr. Obama methodically and carefully discussed key elements of his platform dismissing critics claiming his campaign is one of talk and not substance. He directed his audience to his website to view the substance of his ideas; to view his ‘ten-point plans, eight-point plans, five-point plans. I’ve got plans.’ He stressed his confidence in planning as well as the need to inspire hope (a constant theme) in Americans, emphasizing the equal importance of hope and planning. The desire to be better, the desire to change must accompany planning or even the best plans will fail.

Mr. Obama addressed additional criticisms of his abilities. His lack of experience? He pointed to years of community activism, legal training, instruction (including the Constitution) and practice, and service in the U.S. Senate. His lack of toughness? ‘Hey, I’m a black guy named Barack Obama running for president of the United States... you don’t think you have to be tough to be in that position?’

Mr. Obama was well received by the Austin crowd. Austin, often referred to as a blue island in a sea of red, typically votes Democratic in contrast to the rest of Texas. All comments by both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama over the last two days pointing out the failed policies of the Bush Administration have been met with passionate applause and cheers. Tonight Mr. Obama pointed out several but stressed that disliking things is easy and not the best place to spend your energy. Have hope and make change.

Texas has both primaries and caucuses (tonight dubbed the “two-step”). The primary is held March 4, and early voting has already begun.

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