The Many Times He Barack-ed My World

I want to say I met him when canvassing in New Hampshire, but I missed the opportunity when I was there. I want to say I had a chance to really speak with him for more than a few minutes, but I can't. What I can tell you is that I have met him 3 times, and have seen him speak many more times than that. As a very strong Barack supporter, I make sure I can attend as many events for him as possible. The first meeting was March of '07, at a Lawyers for Obama function. I was already 12, but still quite a few months younger than I am now, so not as invested in him. He made a fairly good speech, but not quite as inspirational as I now know his speeches to be. It was a lunch event, and I remember the gap between eating and listening to him speak. It was a rather small crowd, and I remember going up afterwards to shake hands. I shoved my way in and mentioned to him that he had said we would have to force people to finally be environmentally-conscious, and I asked him how he planned on enforcing that. He proceeded to give me an incredibly detailed and articulate answer that shocked myself and my father. He treated me as a complete equal, which I'm sure was not for the benefit of my dad. It was made completely non-derogatory or belittling in any way.

The next time I met him was at the Grand Hyatt, just a couple months ago. I hadn't paid to get my picture taken with him, but a friend of mine lent me her ticket. I stood on line and then ran up to take my picture. We weren't supposed to speak with him, but I very quickly (in one run-on sentence) said to him, "hi, Senator, I know we're not supposed to hold up the line but I just have to tell you that I met you at a Lawyers for Obama event last spring and asked you about your environmental policy and you gave me such a thorough answer and I just have to tell you how for your campaign I am." He playfully punched my arm as the next person in line went up to take their picture, and I satisfied myself with knowing that though he met millions of people each day and probably wouldn't remember who I was or anything, I at least threw in my two cents.

The third time I met him was at the same event. He made his speech, which was not quite as entertaining as others I have seen him make because of his fatigue, but was still intriguing. I stood in the front row as he walked down the line to shake hands. Confident that he had forgotten who I was, I simply said to him (he had mentioned New Hampshire earlier in his speech, as well as the upcoming South Carolina primary) that I was there campaigning in New Hampshire and was ready to go wherever he needed me next. He said thank you so sincerely that it made me feel utterly blessed to be given the opportunities I am given to meet these impressive people and to be involved in the future of our world.

I have also met Hillary Clinton, and of course she was nice and personable in person, but it is not the same experience. I am happy to support her if she wins the nomination, but this is beyond whether I think she is electable or not, though I believe she isn't. It's that Barack Obama is a different voice from those in Washington. He's a true advocate of change, and is working against the system we have now, instead of with it. He has new methods and a fair sense of judgement. He is the new voice of America we have been waiting for, and though I can't vote, I am educated enough to know when something amazing is happening, when we can really make a difference in the world. Barack Obama is that key change that will cause the beginning of the great new world we will have when and after he is President.
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