President Obama Brings Goosebumps To Madison

To be honest, I almost did not attend President Obama’s rally at the UW-Madison Tuesday afternoon.  Somewhere over time my patience with standing for hours, and being confined with thousands of people I do not know has lost some of its luster.  In addition, I thought that perhaps too many political rallies were under my belt and I could not be moved to the point where I would get goosebumps on my arms like I did twenty years ago.   After all I had reasoned, would it not just be easier to watch it on television?

It was not until noon on Tuesday that I made the decision to attend the rally.  It had been sixty years since a sitting President visited UW-Madison, and  for all the love I have of reading history I should just kick it in gear and get in line with all the others.  While I had attended two other presidential rallies many years ago (Reagan and Bush 41) this would be the first one for a Democrat.  This was history in the making I told my partner James, and we needed to attend.

It was the best decision we have made in months.  Here are three reasons why.

First, the public response to this presidential visit was inspiring.

More often than not when I turn on my television, or open my newspaper, I am confronted with political rhetoric from Republicans and others about President Obama being  ‘ a Marxist’, ‘a muslim’,  ‘ a socialist’ , or other factually incorrect terms.  So it was nice to have positive statements and real enthusiasm from a wide array of people who seemed to have a good grasp of the difficulties for governing a nation.  I heard many times today from young and old that President Obama has a very tough set of issues to deal with.  There was also a sense of respect and admiration present that is often missing when I read the news.  

Afterwards at a packed Fresh Madison Market on University Avenue everyone understood that we all had witnessed something special.  It did not matter if people knew each other or not, or were even from the same generation.  It was as if we all were connected by some invisible force.    We are.  We are Americans.   And I think many felt the same in the store as I did.  That  was worth coming to the rally all by itself.

Second, the background to a presidential rally is intense.

It is one thing to have presidential candidates press the flesh in Madison and ask for votes.  It is something else entirely to have the leader of the free world, the President Of The United States, land at the local airport and be driven in a battle-ready limousine to a rally site on a massive college campus.  There was not an inch over a wide swath of campus that did not have some form of law enforcement making sure that nothing would interrupt the rally, or cause anyone harm.    The seriousness of keeping the president safe was as much a part of the ‘show’ as the rally itself.  There are many men and women who devote their lives to keeping the president safe.  They are never thanked to the degree they should be.   Seeing them in operation today only confirms that fact.

Third, I got goosebumps.

Considering we did not get to the event as early as some we still were able to get to see a powerful American moment.  (Twenty years ago I would have been even closer!)  When Tom Barrett, candidate for Wisconsin Governor, made the energetic introduction of President Obama, and the crowd went wild it happened……my arms tingled with goosebumps.  As I write this I wonder how it ever crossed my mind that perhaps this would not have been the result.  Though James and I did not get to shake Obama’s hand we were able to feel the enormity of the event, the power of the presidency, and the feeling that in spite of all the national rancor there is plenty of reason to have hope.


6 thoughts on “President Obama Brings Goosebumps To Madison

  1. Darlene & Lori

    I pray he gets reelected to a second term. I’m not happy with the lack of progress on his promises to the gay community but, given the sheer enormity of the mess he inherited it is understandable that they were perhaps pushed to the sidelines. Hopefully with a second term he would be able to make good on them.

  2. CC

    May we all know more and more that feeling of being Americans. I was not sure what you might write about the event but knew it would be your heart talking.

  3. I would love the chance to go to a Barack Obama Rally. I envy you.

    Truth is; I was on Hillary’s bandwagon during the first months of the 2008 election primaries. I had a friend that was an Obama supporter and we would argue who would be the better candidate. Me, picking on Obama for his big ears, mostly because I was losing the argument as Obama was clearly the best candidate and I just didn’t want to admit it. finally, I jumped bandwagons and ended up on Obama’s and haven’t looked back since.

    Though there have been times I wanted to yell at him to stop trying to compromise with those on the Right because they had decided at the very beginning that they were going to fight this man; I have not once lost faith in him. It is refreshing to have a president that isn’t afraid to attack the big issues like health care and financial reform. Most presidents would have kicked it down the road, afraid of the political fall out. Not Barack; he promised what he would do and he has done everything in his power to get these things done. There maybe issues he still needs to work on like “Don’t ask, don’t tell”, but even that will be tackled by this man before long.

    What I do believe and you can mark my words; this man is destined to be one of the greatest presidents; right up there with Abraham Lincoln. George W Bush on the other hand, will be remembered for one of America’s biggest mistakes.

    Everyone, let’s get out and vote this election or we will lose all that we have accomplished because the GOP will try and destroy it all while they again start investigations and eventually an impeachment trial, because that’s what these people are about.

  4. Pingback: Crowd of 26,000 confirms: Obama is not a cactus. | blue cheddar.

  5. Denise

    What a refreshing article, and I almost didn’t read it! It seems to me that most articles written today are by hate spewing ideologists (sounds like idiots, doesn’t it). Your article was full of the right stuff, and it let me know that there are still some Americans who have not lost their minds! Because from where I sit, it seems to me that good ol’ common sense, which Americans always prided themselves on, is gone. Ranting and raving is the thing today. Keep up the good writing!

  6. Pingback: Crowd of 26,000 confirms: Obama is not a cactus. |

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